RENEZVOUS TO KUMARAKOM (TRULY GOD’S OWN COUNTRY)

Waterways as roads, a luxurious resort and a relaxed holiday. Our vacation with family is always a luxurious one, wherein we always choose the best hotel for our stay. It may turn out to be a bit heavy on our pocket but leaves us fully relaxed and satisfied at the end of the trip. It was my second visit to Kumarakom and this time I was accompanied by my kids too.

We chose the Zuri Resort for our 4 day stay. It is a huge property and very well maintained.

The rooms were wonderful as far as comfort and cleanliness was concerned. The king sized squeaky clean beds were a delight to rest on and the wash-rooms were very neat and tidy. Especially since we had gone with kids, we found the resort to be quite child friendly.

The opulent Presidential villa where we were staying had a beautiful veranda with a swimming pool. The weather was perfect by my standard – warm, with a light wind blowing. The sight from the portico where I sat at eight in the morning is worth describing – the clear blue water of the pool with its whirlpool and waves is so relaxing.

The green, well-maintained lawns, with the swaying coconut trees and the immense greenery with blooming flowers was a sight to behold. This faces the gorgeous Vembanand lake which is the second largest in India. It is like a vast expanse of water with waves, the feeling is that of being on the sea.

There is so much variety of flora and different types of birds chirping around, not to speak of the man-made lake inside the resort where you could do boating or fishing. It is simply amazing.

All types of boats seem to be gliding on the water – huge house-boats with luxury rooms, small fishing boats which can accommodate only two fishermen at the most, then there are speed boats and ferries.

The sunset safari on the Hotel Shikara was a pleasurable experience. The small boat which could accommodate at the most 5-6 people started from the hotel lake and joined the Vembanand lake from the huge tunnel-like entrance. After travelling for 1.5 kms on the lake, it entered one of the canals and took us along it – there was land on both sides where people stay and use this canal water to do all their househols chores. So instead of roads there are these water bodies and people use boats instead of motor vehicles to travel from one place to the next. No wonder this place is known as Venice of the east.

There were schools, parks, churches and shops as our boat glided by. The boatman anchored the boat at one point to allow us to do our shopping and then the journey was resumed. On the outskirts of the town we passed through paddy fields and plantations before the shikara joined the lake again to return to the hotel. On the way back the water of the lake became quite choppy with huge waves forming. It was a bit scary when the boat was tossed from side to side, but all’s well that ends well! The sight of the setting sun made us forget all our woes. The reddish sky and the rays of the sun falling on the shimmering water looked lovely indeed. Black Illis is the name of the Presidential villa we stayed in, named after a bird found in this region.

It is sheer luxury to stay in such a resort, with its own private pool and a lawn along with a drawing room. The staff at the hotel were very amiable and helpful and especially children were taken good care of. They made our visit as comfortable as possible.

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