Our next stop on our journey is Kumarakom, a small town on the Kerala Backwaters situated around 16km from Kottayam. We headed for the train station quite early to buy our train tickets and to assess the situation, as this was to be our first train journey on our current trip. We had used India railways on our previous visit to India and as we discovered then, getting tickets finding the right platform is a bit of palaver to say the least. But with tickets purchased, we waited for our train. Our train was supposed to arrive at 1150, that’s normal time., but what time it would arrive in Indian time, who knows. The train eventually arrived at 1240 which wasn’t too bad in the scheme of things. Our journey to Kottayam, took around three hours. We had a nice chat with a couple of students “Neethu and Tresitta” who were studying engineering. So the journey went quite quick. We took a Tuk Tuk from the station to our Homestay “Tuk Tuk’s are getting quite upmarket these days, our one had enough space for the luggage behind the seats,” takin a Tuk Tuk is also a much cheaper option than a taxi.
Our accommodation for this leg of the trip is Mango Kerala Homes or the Indian name is Meenakshi River Villa. A really beautiful Homestay on the Keralan backwaters. If you ever visit Kumarakom you have to stay here. The owners are amazing the rooms are top class and it’s very good value for money £29 per night including breakfast.
There is not a great deal to do in the area, except relax, you could take a backwater Cruise, there are plenty of boats to choose from. We didn’t as we have done this on past trips to India. There is the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, which is worth a visit, although strangely we never saw one bird, quite bizarre. We did see some quite large monitor lizards, a water snake and some beautiful dragon flies. It costs 150 INR per person, and is worth a visit. We wanted to visit the driftwood museum, but unfortunately it was closed the days we were in Kumarakom
Restaurants We ate our evening meal in our homestay on two nights, but I can recommend Manani which was a short walk away, serving good food and good service.
ATM’s Cash Machines Some atm’s will dispense up to your banks withdrawing limit, but on occasions they will only dispense a maximum of 10000 INR, around £115. You can make multiple withdrawals up to your daily limit from the same ATM. Not all ATM machines tell you this on the screen, and rejects the transaction. So just reduce your amount to 10000 INR and you’ll be fine.
AccommodationWe stayed at Mango Kerala home, and like I said earlier I recommend staying here for it’s amazing owners, fantastic food, location and top class rooms.