Peaceful backwaters lined with lush palm trees under a clear blue sky - Kumarakom

Escape the Urban Jungle: A Weekend Getaway from Chennai to Kumarakom

Chennai can get overwhelming at times. Craving a serene escape amidst nature's embrace? Look no further than Kumarakom, a mesmerising backwater paradise boasting tranquil lagoons, enchanting houseboats, and swaying palm trees. Here's your guide to a perfect weekend getaway from Chennai to Kumarakom, including captivating stopovers along the way.

an auto-rickshaw on a road

Weekend Getaway From Chennai: En Route to Kumarakom

The distance between Chennai and Kumarakom is approximately 680 km. While you can opt for a direct flight (approximately 1.5 hours), transforming this journey into a road trip unlocks hidden gems.
  • Pondicherry (Puducherry): Take a detour and delve into the French colonial charm of Pondicherry during your Chennai short trips. Explore the vibrant French Quarter with its colourful streets, quaint cafes, and historical landmarks like the French Governor's Residence and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
  • Thanjavur (Tanjore): Steeped in rich history and cultural heritage, Thanjavur is known for the magnificent Brihadishwara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the towering vimana (temple tower) and intricate carvings adorning this architectural marvel. Explore the Thanjavur Maratha Palace Complex and be mesmerised by the exquisite paintings and art collections.
  • Trichy (Tiruchirappalli): Experience the spiritual essence of Trichy by visiting the Rockfort Temple, perched atop a massive rock outcrop. Climb the 437 steps to be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Don't miss the enchanting Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, one of the largest temple complexes in India.

Chennai Weekend Destinations: Kumarakom

Kumarakom, nestled on the banks of Vembanad Lake, Kerala's largest freshwater lake, is a haven for nature lovers and tranquillity seekers. Here are some experiences that will make your Kumarakom escape truly unforgettable.
  • Houseboat Cruise: Embark on a mesmerising houseboat cruise through the labyrinthine backwaters. Glide past lush greenery, witness the vibrant birdlife, and experience the simple joys of life on the water.
  • Ayurvedic Rejuvenation: Indulge in the ancient Indian healing practice of Ayurveda. Kumarakom boasts several renowned Ayurvedic centres offering personalised treatments and wellness programs. Rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul with traditional massages, herbal remedies, and a focus on holistic well-being.
  • Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: A paradise for birdwatchers, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is home to over 170 species of resident and migratory birds. Spot colourful darters, majestic kingfishers, and elusive migratory birds amidst the lush mangroves and serene waterways.
  • Kathakali Performance: Witness the captivating art form of Kathakali, a classical dance-drama that originated in Kerala. Be mesmerised by the elaborate costumes, the expressive eye movements, and the powerful storytelling through dance and music.

A houseboat in the centre in the kumarakom backwaters with coconut tress on the side
bunch of cottages surrounded by a big swimming pool

Planning Your Weekend Escape

Here are some tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable weekend getaway from Chennai to Kumarakom.
  • Choose Your Season: The ideal time to visit Kumarakom is between November and February when the weather is pleasant and dry.
  • Accommodation Options: We suggest staying at Rhythm Kumarakom when visiting this stunning destination. Escape the noise and stay in the opulent rooms, dine at the multi-cuisine restaurants, and be one with nature.
  • Getting Around: Local transportation options like taxis and auto rickshaws are readily available in Kumarakom. You can also rent bicycles to explore the scenic backwaters at your own pace.