Weekend Getaway – Pathiramanal

In the Muhamma Panchayat of Alappuzha district in Kerala lies a small island by the name of Pathiramanal. It is a beautiful and reclusive spot, and ideal for a weekend getaway as it just 13 kilometers from Alappuzha and 5 kilometers from Kumarakom. The name Pathiramanal means “sands of the night”, a name as you see suits this place pretty well.

Birds, Birds and more Birds

The main attraction in Pathiramanal is the boat ride, and birdwatching, especially in winter. There are about 90 species of birds and 50 migratory bird species here. Some of the commonly seen birds are Indian Shag, Purple Heron, Indian Pond Heron, Little Egret, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Night Heron, Watercock, Whistling Duck, Pintail Ducks, Common Teal, Intermediate Egret, Cattle Egret, Cormorant, Darter, gulls, terns, large egrets, Cotton Pygmy-Goose, Little Cormorant, Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacanas, and Whiskered Tern.

A Little History about Pathiramanal

As you know, Pathiramanal means midnight sand, and according to legends, the island was created magically in a single night by a famous Brahmin and an ardent devotee Sree Guruvayoorappan, Vilwamangalathu Swamiar. The holy one was traveling in a boat along Vembanad Lake when he wanted to answer the call of nature. For this reason, he created the island. Later, a landlord named Parayi Tharakan owned the island. The land was later purchased by a Gujarati trader, Bheemji Devi, and then by a person called Chevalier ACM Anthraper.

The island was converted into a coconut plantation that was looked after by 14 laborers and their families. Eventually, the laborers were rehabilitated to Muhamma Panchayat and the island was left deserted, and eventually, it became a haven for migratory birds. In 1979, the state government took over the island by imposing Land Reforms Act and then over to state tourism department.


The government has performed its bit in protecting the land. It has started a Pathiramanal Biodiversity Conservation and Responsible Eco-tourism Development Project to conserve the island by keeping it clean and protecting its plant and avian species while making it an important tourism destination. Several rare and threatened plants grow on the island; many of them are medicinal too.

Some Holy Places near Pathiramanal are:

  • Ettumanoor Siva Temple
  • Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple
  • Vaikkom Mahadeva Temple

The only way to reach Pathiramanal is by boat. If you are taking a motorboat, you can reach your destination in one and half hours while a speed boat would take you there within 30 minutes. If you are taking a backwater ride along Alappuzha, this island would be the ideal place to rest and take a break.

Spending a weekend here would be the most refreshing way to recharge yourself. The peace and quiet that you get to enjoy here are incomparable. You have plenty of resorts where you can book and stay and enjoy nature in its totality.

Alappuzha, Kumarakom and Marari are related destinations, so if you have a long weekend, you can probably head to those places as well. A boat ride along Alappuzha would be perfect because “Venice of East” (another name for Alappuzha) should be enjoyed through a thrilling backwater ride.
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