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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

How can one reach Kumarakom?

Aloke Bajpai DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Kumarakom is a hotspot tourist destination these days. Both domestic and foreign travellers are pouring in like the monsoon rain. Fly down if you need to save on time, if you wish to save a few bucks travel by train. And if you want to see a malayalam movie (they do switch it off after a bit) at night, catch a bus! The boat service only connects Alappuzha (Alleppey) to Kumarakom (both within Kerala).

  • Air

The Cochin International Airport or locally known as the Nedumbassery Airport is the closest airport to Kumarakom. Go IndiGo, Air India, Kingfisher or Jet Airways. If these are full try SpiceJet (flying for everyone). Most carriers connect Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai to Cochin. Delhi to Cochin will take you some 4 to 4 and a half hours. And, Kumarakom is about 1-2 hours from Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.

Cochin Airport is a relatively old airport as compared to the more recent ones like Bangalore. There is a little shopping zone with 3-4 outlets. Right behind the seating area is a bookstore, a gadget shop and the popular John’s umbrella outlet. Grab some grub from the food court beside it or from the one right outside the airport. It’s takes 2 hours to reach Kumarakom from here, that is if you manage to squeeze out of the chock-a-block of the city traffic.

There is a prepaid taxi stand right outside the airport. They’ll charge you about INR 1600 to INR 2000 to reach Kumarakom. You could also ask your hotel to provide for pick up services.

  • Rail

To reach Kumarakom, you’ll need to get off at Kottayam Railway Station. Book tickets for the one that goes to Trivandrum and not the one that stop at Ernakulam or Cochin. Kottayam comes after Cochin and before Trivandrum. It takes 48 hours approximately from Delhi to Kottayam and Mumbai to Kottayam is about 24 hours. You get meals on the train and coffee and crispy vadas on intervals. Rajdhani will pamper you with food. You could also get a refreshing glass of fresh fruit juice at the Vijayawada station. But first confirm from the attendants how long the train stops there. If it’s about 7 to 10 minutes, go ahead grab your glass. Do not get down with children. You also get nice juice at Ernakulam or Cochin station where Kerala Express stops for about half an hours to change the engine side of the train. Palakkad station comes early morning. If you are up dig into some yummy param puri (banana fries) and coffee. If you are travelling from Kottayam in the Kerala Express, first day towards evening you also get a glimpse of the Tirupati at the mountain top.

There are overnight trains from Bangalore and Chennai. Hop onto one of these at night and you’ll be in Kottayam around 11 am.

Just as you step out of the Kottayam station, taxis and autos will be waiting for you just outside the railway station. There are also have local buses but it’s advisable to take an auto or taxi as you may find it difficult to find your way around the new place. Depending on the amount of luggage, people and whether you need AC or not pick between a taxi and an auto. It’s half an hours drive from Kottayam to Kumarakom. The autos don’t have a meter. They’ll charge you something between INR 250 to INR 280 and the taxis between INR 300 to INR 400.

  • Road

The bus service, state run and private is nothing less than impeccable. Luxury coaches (mostly private) connect Bangalore To Kottayam. These big air buses provide you with blankets for a good nights sleep. Kerala Transport buses and other state buses also connect the North of Kerala, Chennai, Bangalore and other destinations to Kerala. Get off at Kottayam (tell the conductor at the time you board the bus) and take a cab or auto directly to Kumarakom. Bangalore-Cochin is about INR 600 and up and it’s an overnight journey.

  • Boat

The boat service connects Kumarakom and Alappuzha. Muhamma is the exact location from where you can board the boat. You can get both private boats and those run by the Kerala Water Transport. These function like local buses and won’t cost you more than INR 10 to Kumarakom. You can also hire private one between INR 400 to INR 500 depending on the season. These boats are provided by both the hotels and KTDC who might either provide their own service or hire from other hotels.

Getting a ticket to Kerala during peak season can be very cumbersome. Prices also soar up. Getting a bus and overnight trains from Chennai and Bangalore on short notice are also difficult. So book your ticket well in advance.

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