Kumarakom lies on the eastern banks of the Vembanad Lake. A once non –descript, small town, today Kumarakom is known as the backwater capital of Kerala, thanks to tourism. Located 15 kilometres from Kottayam, Kumarakom is a cluster of small islands with coconut-lined lagoons and low lying paddy fields. Before tourism came in, Kumarakom was known for its best know settlers, the Baker family. Henry Baker was a missionary and settled in Kumarakom to propagate activities of the Church Mission Society. However the family’s contribution to the local society is notable. Taking up farming, Baker has been acknowledged as the first one to introduce rubber cultivation in the area. Today the Baker residence has become part of the Taj Kumarakom resort. A lazy and idyllic place, Kumarakom offer the traveler options to cruise of country boats, motor boats and houseboats across its many lagoons and also across the Vembanad Lake. Apart from cruises, Kumarakom also has a bird sanctuary and birds like the night heron, purple moorhen, teals, egrets, cormorants and the Brahminy kites are a common sight. Other places to visit include Pathiramanal, an island once a haven for birds with its mangrove forest but today deserted expect for flocks of cormorants. Kumarakom has a driftwood museum worth a visit with wood pieces of all shapes and sizes found there. Most importantly, tourism has converted this sleepy town into a tourism destination of international repute with a string of resorts from budget categories to 5 star boutiques, making Kumarakom also one of Kerala’s most expensive destinations.