Approximately 25 kms away from Kochi, in the Ernakulam district is located a small village called Kumbalangi. Declared as a Model Tourism Village by the Kerala Tourism Authorities, Kumbalangi is an impressive fishing village located near the Palluruthy Island offering its visitors a quiet and peaceful getaway.
The tiny village spread across seven square km houses around 30,000 people who are warm and welcoming. People visiting can enjoy a peek into the daily lives of these locals during their stay. Whether its people beating husk and spinning the golden palm fibers into strong coir, people clambering up the coconut trees to tap the local liquor called toddy, people fishing in various forms using Chinese nets (popularly called the ‘cheena vala’) or the ordinary nets, singing men and women as their work in their fields, Kumbalangi adds a rustic touch to the whole experience. It is said that there are more than 100 Chinese fishing nets in the backwaters that face the village!
You can also learn a new skill of thatching of palm leaves, watch catching of prawns and crabs from the natural pond and pools at the breeding farms and watch the locals in the boat building process. Kumbalangi is surely for the ones who want to be one with the nature discarding the hectic rhythm of life that is cosmopolitan cities giving. With placid backwaters all around the lush green paddy fields, the boatmen singing, cheeping of birds Kumbalangi is positively a timeless place to relax and rest yourself. Kumbalangi also offers the tourist vibrant festivals and exotic local cuisines.
Kumbalangi Model Village project was started in 2003 to instigate the growth of the local economy and its people through tourism. Homestays have been arranged for accommodating the visitors. Kalagraamam, an artist village has been set up as an initiative under the Kumbalangi project. Initially the plans were to erect a cottage in the middle of the backwaters but later in the best interest of the backwater ecology Kalagraamam was built on four acres of land within the village. This artistic village showcases the traditional fishing equipment and handicrafts of the region.
In order to boost tourism, special care and attention has been given by the local governing bodies. The roads and canals have been made stronger, lamps have been installed, and 600 biogas plants have been set up for waste management. Kumbalangi is also the first panchayat in the state to set up such a waste management system. A small park has also been constructed for visitors to unwind.
To get to Kumbalangi, Ernakulam railway station is the nearest (25 km) while the nearest airport is the Kochi International airport approximately (45 km). Kumbalangi can be reached via road either from Ernakulam or Fort Kochi. It takes around 40 minutes driving time to reach Kumbalangi from Fort Kochi.