In the 2011 edition of TripAdvisor.com’s Travellers’ Choice Hotel Awards, the Zuri Kumarakom and Vivanta by Taj, Kumarakom are ranked among the Top 25 Hotels in India. 20 million travellers voted in the poll. The Zuri Kumarakom is ranked 10th and Vivanta by Taj is ranked 25th.
Out of the Top 25 Hotels in India, 5 are in Kerala. The other 3 are Old Harbour Hotel, Kochi (ranked 2nd), SajHome, Kochi (ranked 4th) and Camp Noel, Munnar (ranked 14th).
With the roads and facilities getting improved, the flagship tourist destination of Kerala, our Kumarakom, will see a rise in domestic tourism too. The upcoming lake-side walkway at Kumarakom will definitely become another wonderful spot for a quick-trip.
The Zuri Kumarakom
Vivanta by Taj
Special Mention: The recently opened Fairmont Hotel, S. H. Mount (4 star) is a magnificent addition to the luxury hotel line-up.
Naalumanikkaattu is an in-house tourism project by the Manarcad-Ettumanoor Bypass Residents’ with technical support from Tropical Institute of Ecological Sciences (the same people behind the Butterfly Garden). A stretch of the bypass has been worked upon and transformed into something like an open park. Benches are placed along one side with tress planted in between. Paddy fields extend to both sides. The already-wonderful landscape will get even greater once the trees grow up. This is indeed a great start.
Also read: Inspired by Naalumanikkaattu, two more similar projects at Kolladu and Mutholy
Location: 2.5 kms from Manarcad Junction (on the Manarcad-Ettumanoor bypass)
(View on map)
Located under 20kms from Kottayam town, is the strong yet smooth milky waterfalls at Aruvikuzhi (also spelled Aruvikkuzhi). Water gushes down from a height of 100ft, over huge rocks from a check dam. It then flows forward as a very active stream, hitting and splashing on every and many rocks in its way.
Waterfalls are nothing new. But this certainly is. A rarity. It’s located practically inside rubber plantations. Not a single sun-ray falls on you directly. And nothing other than the happy roar of the water, falls on your ears.
Note: The waterfall is active only during rainy days.
How to go there
- From Kottayam, Kanjikuzhy – Manarcad – Oravakkal – Areepparambu – Kooroppada – 2kms – Aruvikuzhi. (Total: ~20kms)
- There’s a road from Pampady, which joins the above route at Kooroppada Junction.
- From Ponkunnam, take the Pallickathodu – Manarcad route.
This time the destination is Ayyampara – a not-much-talked-about-but-wonderful place to get your mind soothed like never before, and probably never again. Evenings suit best.
The 2000 ft-above-sea level spot is a 5km uphill drive from Teekoy Church Junction, which is 7kms from Erattupetta on the Erattupetta – Vagamon route.
As of now, it isn’t crowded or noisy. Silent & calm. You’re suggested to enjoy the experience as soon as possible – before it gets transformed into a typical tourist spot. There is no shops around. But there’s a Church and the Ayyampara temple right at the peak. Park your vehicle somewhere in the sides, get out and stroll around like we did:
…And slowly get your mind imprinted with views like these:
Now that you want to be there, here are few tips:
- There are a few KSRTC buses passing through Ayyampara, starting from Erattupetta depot.
- If you’re driving, keep yourselves ready to face one of the above-mentioned buses coming downhill. The road isn’t wide enough for a normal/smooth pass-by.
- When traveling from Kottayam, it’s suggested to use Pala as a halt/stop over if needed. Top up fuel if needed.
For food – Pala Food Court at Santhome Shopping Complex, opposite Kottaramattam private bus terminal and Indian Coffee House near the Thodupuzha-Erattupetta diversion point (near KSRTC bus depot) are recommended.
- If you stay late into the evening, you could see mild-but-vast glow up to the skies from the towns watchable from there – Erattupetta, Pala, Ettumanoor.
- The place is kept 100% litter-free and keep it up.
Off you go then, to the point of tranquility.