If you want to enjoy some serious birdwatching, then Pathiramanal Island in Alappuzha district is the go-to place. Spread over 10 acres, the green island in Vembanad Lake is a favourite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world.
Accessible only by boat, the island lies between the backwaters of Thaneermukkom and Kumarakom. Coming under the Cherthala taluk, the island is also known as Ananda Padmanabhan Thoppu and Pathira Thoppu.
The verdant island is home to about 90 species of birds and 30 species of butterflies, about 160 species of plants, 55 species of fish and 20 species of spiders.
As human interference is minimal, the island has become a roosting place for water birds, mainly those belonging to the cormorant family. Some of the birds spotted in the island are Darter, Indian Shag, Purple Heron, Indian Pound Heron, Large Cormorant, Night Heron, Black Bittern, Chestnut Bittern and Yellow Bittern, Little Egret, Median Egret, Large Egret, Cattle Egret and Grey Heron.
Common Teals, Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacanas, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Watercock, Whistling Duck, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Whiskered Tern and Smooth Indian Otters (Lutra lutra) also inhabit the island.
The island is also home to rare plants like Aponogeton appendiculatus. Mussel colonies of the Villorita species grow in the waters close to the island. There are also some medicinal plants such as Calophyllum inophyllum, Tylophora indica and Senna alata.
It will take around 1.5 hours by motor boat and about 30 minutes by speedboat from Alappuzha. It is about one-and-a-half km from the Muhamma boat jetty or about five km from Kumarakom.
Evenings spent on the island amid a dreamy environment offer a serene experience. You can enjoy the sight of Chinese fishing nets, sand-laden wooden boats and fishermen in canoes in the backdrop of shimmering greenery.
To have a preview of Pathiramanal Island, check the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qa9iesrVc4
Nearest railway station: Alappuzha, about 16 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 85 km north of Alappuzha
Boat Jetty Road,
Near KSRTC Bus Station,
Alappuzha - 688011
Phone: +91 477 2251796