The origin of the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, earlier Bakers’ Estate, dates back to 1847. It was in that year that Alfred George Baker started developing the wetlands near Lake Vembanad into fertile land, the Kumarakom of today. Of the 500 acres that he was granted by the king, Baker planted mangroves in 10 acres, on the southern bank of River Kavanar, and then, interfered with the land no more. Soon, local and migratory birds adopted this land as their home. That was the beginning of its growth into a bird sanctuary.
The bird sanctuary, also known as the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary, was later developed into an area of 14 acres. It is the first scientifically formed and preserved bird sanctuary in India, with about180 species of birds. The profuse bird life owes much to the location and the climatic peculiarities of the region. The proximity to Kerala’s largest lake, the fertile, untouched land ideal for insects and the mangroves all contribute to the abundant avian life.