December 31, 2007

Day 3: 21st December '07 – Kumarakom and Thanneermukkom

The day was red-letter – my wife’s birthday. The carte I had planned – wake up in the houseboat, dock at an ayurvedic resort, pamper her to a complete spa ritual, followed by a trip to a bird sanctuary (she is a nature freak!) and the evening go spiritual at a local temple.

We woke to the gentle slapping of water against the body of the houseboat. The fishermen were recovering their nets laid out for the overnight catch. The sun reflected its beam against the Vembanad Lake. Our breakfast was ready and we will soon be cruising a short distance to dock at the jetty of an ayurvedic resort.

Thanneermukkom is a small hamlet that skirts the Vembanad Lake. The resort was state owned – well located with excellent facilities and with potential to be marketed better. The architecture was very local and the cottages were spread out. The view from the window was the lake – overwhelming. The resort has a ayurvedic spa which has its own small herbarium.

Once the ayurvedic ceremonial was done, we rested for a while and took off on the 15-minute drive to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. There are two options to experience the sanctuary – the 5 km trek by foot or a half hour motorboat ride along the edge. We decided to go for both. The sanctuary oversees the Vembanad Lake and the marshy shoreline was an ornithologist's paradise is a favourite haunt of millions of migratory birds from Siberia! The local avian fare included kingfishers, morehens, storks, paddybirds, cormorants, waterducks and waterfowls. A camera with zoom is a must here.

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