Kottayam boasts of a scenic spot where visitors can experience rural life, relish traditional regional cuisine, enjoy the gentle breeze alongside a river and even learn more about the place.
Tucked away from the town, Vaikom Fish Farm and Aqua Tourism Centre at Thettakom in Vaikom is now witnessing a steady stream of tourists, especially those travelling as families.
Visitors to the farm, which is located on the bank of the Kariyar, a tributary of the Muvattupuzha River, include Indians as well as foreigners. In fact, hundreds of school children from various districts of Kerala visit the farm every day.
Bamboo structures and activities
The farm was launched in 2014 by the couple Vipin and Anila and the structures are built with bamboo. It gained popularity within a short time and is now thriving after overcoming challenges such as the floods of 2018 and the COVID-19 crisis.
The spot has a number of attractions and activities for children and adults. It is among the few travel destinations in Kottayam which have effectively utilized the potential of fish farming and tourism.
Vaikom Fish Farm is 25 km from the renowned travel destination of Kumarakom in Kottayam district.
The farm is an ideal spot to spend a leisurely evening enjoying the cool breeze. The other attractions include a freshwater aquarium, a museum displaying conches and shells and a park of aquatic plants. Both children and adults find the several colourful fish species at the aquarium interesting.
Among the unique features of the farm are an archery corner, a children’s park, water slide and rain bath. Moreover, the service of guides is available and they explain the details of these attractions to visitors.
This museum displays several types of conches. They are of different shapes and colours, making children curious. Some of the conches are poisonous. When a certain species of conch is placed close to your ear, the roar of waves in the sea could be heard.
Visitors can also try their hand at fishing with a rod at the farm. Pearl spot (karimeen) and tilapia could be caught from the farm and they could be bought at a price of Rs 500 per kg for the former and Rs 200 per kg for the latter.
Meanwhile, fish caught from the river flowing adjacent to the farm could be taken home by the visitors free of cost.
Facilities for a coracle ride, a trip in a traditional boat and canoeing too are available at the farm.
Lunch with fresh fish
After enjoying the sights and engaging in various activities, visitors can taste the meals served at the farm. The traditional lunch is prepared fresh based on the preferences of visitors and booking is available to avoid a rush.
All fish varieties served at the farm are from the freshwater. Delicacies include dishes made with prawns, pearl spot, murrel (varal), various types of river fish, clams, chicken and duck. Visitors can also enjoy regular items such as biriyani and fried rice.
The farm offers two packages for visitors. For Rs 350, a visitor can enjoy the sights at the farm, engage in fishing and other activities and relish a lunch.
The second package includes a welcome drink, lunch, evening snacks, activities, rain bath, coracle ride, canoeing and a trip on the traditional boat. This package comes at a tariff of Rs 1,250. ‘Karimeen pollichathu’, bread and salad are served before lunch under the second package. Duck roast is among the delicacies included in the fish curry meals. Visitors can also enjoy a delicious dessert after lunch.
Timings, contact numbers
The eco-friendly Vaikom Fish Farm and Aqua Tourism Centre is open from 10.30 am to 6 pm.
The contact numbers are 7736905797, 9605535797.