Kerala is truly a nature’s paradise. The state has innumerable hidden gems and some are yet to be explored. One of the most coveted is Kumarakom! A natural stunner in itself. People who did visit have returned dumbfounded. Such is the beauty of the place that just a one-time visit doesn’t suffice. Mysterious and mystic. A conglomeration of tiny islands on the Vembanad Lake, it’s a village with enchanting backwaters. It is situated in the Kottayam district of Kerala which is already scenic for its lush greenery. With the enchanting backwaters, the beauty of the place elevates to another level.
Kumarakom is one such destination which can be travelled all year round. But, there are certain months which are considered the best time to visit Kumarakom. The place is preferred by foreign nationals and Indians alike. With a number of resorts cropping up in the shoreline, visiting Kumarakom has turned into a trending destination in the recent years. Beside the best seasons to visit Kumarakom, there are quite a few festivals which you can get to see. In this article, we would share details of the best time, season and the festivals during which you can visit this beautiful place.
Also read: The Best places to visit in Kumarakom
Best season to visit Kumarakom
Winter definitely wins when it comes to the best time to visit Kumarakom. Amazingly comfortable weather. Yes, comfortable is the exact word. Travelling is easy and you would get to explore the tiny village in all it’s grace perfectly. The minimum temperature during those months is recorded to be around 16 degree Celsius. Daytime experiences temperatures around 24 degree Celsius.
- Best places to visit: Pathiramanal Island and experience the beautiful scenery on both the sides while boat riding. Also, you would get to see various species of migratory birds that come from Siberia and Himalayas.
- Months: November to February
- Temperatures: 16 – 24°C
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Kumarakom becomes more refreshing in this season. As monsoon hails, the lush greenery is washed with the season’s downpour and comes out greener than before. It’s a truly cinematic sight. Monsoon does receive a bountiful of visitors who wish to experience the true beauty of Kerala. But unlike winters, the place is less crowded and more peaceful. The region is said to receive 1100mm of rainfall annually.
- Best places to visit: Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, to enjoy the abundant flora and fauna.
- Months: June to August
- Temperatures: 18 – 27°C
If you are a lover of history and culture, then you should definitely visit Kumarakom during this season. Weather is pleasant. Light showers occur throughout the day which doesn’t hamper your travel plans. The main reason to visit Kumarakom in autumn is due to their traditional festival. Onam. It’s a lovely opportunity for people who would like to explore more about the local culture, people and festivals.
- Best places to visit: The local temples celebrating Onam along with the traditional feast.
- Months: August to October
- Temperatures: 18 – 27°C
Definitely summer. The season is not at all recommended as the best time to visit Kumarakom. Weather is quite hot and unpleasant with temperatures shooting up to 33°C during daytime. But, you would find great deals in accommodation in those months. And, with such less number of tourists, there’s certain calm around the whole place.
- Best places to visit: Staying in a houseboat, evening walk in Kumarakom Beach.
- Months: March to May
- Temperatures: 22 – 34°C
Best time to visit Kumarakom
Winters (November to February)
The colder months have always been the best time to explore most of the places in India. And, that stands true for Kumarakom as well. It’s one of the best time to visit Kumarakom. Travelling is easier. No muck. No sweat. Pleasant weather. You have the freedom to roam around the tiny village at any time of the day. Temperatures vary between 22-24 degree Celsius during daytime. That makes it easier to go out and explore the beautiful surroundings.
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Also, it’s a good time to take a swim in the serene blue sea water and try out various water activities there. Foreigners love to get that perfect copper tan and laze around in the resorts there. Kumarakom has noticed a sudden up rise in the number of foreign tourists in the last few years. They come around for a month or so to visit Kerala and stay over in Kumarakom for a good long week. Hardly ever seen booking a cab or taxi, they prefer eco-friendly travel. Cycles to be precise. They travel and explore the little village by cycling and hiking. And, winters are but obviously the time they choose to visit this region.
Winter gives abundant opportunities to the one travelling to Kumarakom. Also, it’s the best time to visit for ornithologists or people who take keen interests in bird-watching. A variety of migratory birds come down to make this place their home for the whole season. Heron, Egrets and many such species. Visit the Bird Sanctuary and the Pathiramanal Island to admire the abundance of flora and fauna. The climate during winters is excessively stunning and you would return back with joyful memories of your trip.
Quick Tip: Pre-book accommodation at least 6-7 months in advance. Winters are the peak season. Carry light woolens as weather would be pleasant but, it won’t make you shiver. Travelling light is quite important.
Monsoon (June to August)
Although it may not be the best time to visit Kumarakom, the magic of monsoon is still completely unparalleled. If you wish to explore the true beauty of this enchanting backwaters, then this would definitely be the appropriate season. Monsoon doesn’t give you the ease of travelling unlike winters. But, Kerala comes alive when drenched with the downpour.
Hues and shades of green would greet your eyes and leave you enthralled. Best is, you would get to have fresh seafood as local fisherman work actively and real hard during the monsoons. Also, during the reasons, the region receives fewer visitors as compared to winters. So, it’s a real treat for your eyes and your soul if you can ignore the disadvantages of travelling in monsoon. The bad part is that, they do halt the houseboat rides till late autumn. But, there are still a lot many places left to visit and things to do in Kumarakom.
Migratory birds fly in between the months experiencing rain. You can get to see a variety of species if you visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Long leisure walks amid the rain-washed greenery of the region is highly recommended. A certain chill in the atmosphere combined with the green painted canvas all around is a piece of heaven in itself. Temperatures vary from 18 – 27 degree Celsius. If it’s raining too heavily outside, you can just sit back and relax in your resort. Best, if there are any facilities for Ayurvedic treatments available in your resort. Avail that and plan for the following day ahead.
Quick tip: Carry a good strong umbrella. A must-have in your luggage. Raincoat and jungle boots are advisable when you are visiting the sanctuary.
Also Read: Top 10 places to visit in Kerala
Autumn (August to October)
Light showers, gentle breeze, clear blue skies with wispy clouds scattered throughout. Autumn in Kerala is a heavenly affair. In fact even if not best, it’s a good time visit Kumarakom. The air smells of new harvest, flowers and festivities. Yes. That’s the time of new harvest and also the celebration of Onam. Traditional festival of Kerala. Celebrated throughout the state with much pomp and show, locals get dressed in all their finery during Onam. It’s a traditional ten day festival that marks the homecoming of the mythical king Mahabali.
Cut short, people from all over the world visit Kumarakom to celebrate Onam with the locals. It’s a good way to immerse in the culture, and travel as well. Also, the weather during these months are quite favourable for light travelling. Pleasant with only light drizzles throughout the day. At night, the temperature dips and comes down to around 20 degree Celsius. That way, you can take long evening walks on the beaches. Visit the nearby temples to enjoy the Onam feast. Or go to the nearby driftwood museum and admire the artifacts.
Quick tip: Many visitors visit Kumarakom during Onam. The place and specifically the state of Kerala receive a lot of visitors just like in winter. Pre-booking your accommodation is highly recommended. At least 2 to 3 months in advance.
Summer (March to May)
As March sets in, days become warmer and travelling to Kumarakom turns bit unpleasant. This season is the least preferred among tourists and it’s not recommended by us as well. Temperatures soar up to 37 degree Celsius during the day. You will find the least number of visitors coming down during this season. The beaches lay empty with only occasional glimpses of people strolling. Although, it’s quite a good time to visit this place, if you wish to experience some peace and calm. With fewer crowds, you can actually explore the tiny village without much hassle.
Best way is to start early in the morning so, that you don’t have to experience the noon heat. Visit the Bird Sanctuary around noon. The canopy of trees would protect you from the harsh sun and keep you cool. You can also opt to stay over in the luxurious houseboats. Evenings spent in the royalty of Kerala houseboats is something you could boast of even many years. The charm and novelty never wears off.
Quick tip: You would get the best deals in accommodation during these months. So, travel cheap. Carry light cotton clothes as the weather can turn tremendously hot.
Festivals and events in Kumarakom
Erumeli Petta Thullal
During the month of January, when pilgrims are on their way to Sabrimala, they perform this dance ritual. Popularly known as the dance festival or Petta Thullal. It’s the best time to visit Kumarakom if you would love to witness this spectacle. In the presence of thousands of devotees, the ritualistic dance is formed, by slaying of Mahishi by Lord Ayappa. A vibrant sight in itself, pilgrims from all over Kerala gather in this place and join in the merrymaking. Like all other traditional Indian dance forms, the concept of Petta Thullai is same. Victory of good over evil.
An unforgettable scene, Erumeli has those thousand devotees, all clad in blue or black clothes. The pilgrims are all in devotional abandon and seeking forgiveness for the sins they committed. Knowingly or unknowingly. There are two groups which actively participate in the dance. Ambalappuzha and Aalangadu. After visiting the Manimala Bhagavathy temple on the 25th Dhanu, they perform the Aazhi Pooja. The dance form in itself is devotional and is a crucial ritualistic custom of the pilgrimage. Pilgrims and tourists throng this place equally. It’s a beautiful and unforgettable sight to watch the devotees sway around in unison. Such composition and symmetry is hard to find elsewhere.
- Duration: 1 day
- Entry Fee: Free Entry
Celebrated at the beginning of the month of Chingam, the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham), it’s a ten-day long affair. Indeed an amazing and the best time to visit Kumarakom. New harvest, royal feast, families meeting and a lot of merrymaking. That’s how Onam is celebrated in Kerala. Beautiful patterns are made with flowers and decorated in front of every door.
The temple authorities perform various rites and rituals pertaining to the significance of each day of the festival. The food cooked during this festival is elaborate and varied. You can also try it in one of the hotels or the one you would be staying in. All in all, the month when Onam is celebrated is a must-visit and one of the top experiences in Kumarakom.
- Duration: 10 days
- Entry Fee: Free Entry
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Kumarakom Boat Race
During the months of August to September, the backwaters of Kerala and specifically Kumarakom, hosts a number of boat races. Carved wooden boats racing with each other along the serene backwaters looks absolutely electrifying. There are several types of boats which do take part in the race – snake boats which are long and other smaller ones. Considered as one of the largest group sport in the world, the pristine backwaters turns into a riot. Participants thrash into the water and that too in rhythm. A snake boat accommodates four helmsman, 25 singers and 100-125 oarsmen. They all row in unison to the fast rhythm of Thevanchipattu (song of the boatman)
Kumarakom is one of those places, which you would love to visit again and again. It’s truly a paradise on earth. Although, the place might not have everything for all kinds of travellers, but, does it need? Any tourist with actual love for travel would fall in love with the place at the first glance.
Further Read: Find out the best things to do in Kumarakom