Kottayam is one of the 14 districts in the state of Kerala, India.Kottayam has a vast network of rivers, backwaters, ancient religious places, and hillstations. Some of the noted tourist places here are. Vembanad Lake has a great expanse of water which is a part of the interconnected Kerala Backwaters that run virtually the length one third of the state. Vembanad Lake is 84 km in length and 14 km in width. Traditional cargo boats called Kettuvallams are modified into luxurious cruise boats and house boats. These boats gracefully move around the back waters, providing facilities to tourist to enjoy the beauty of the Vembanad Lake in a relaxed pace. Pathiramanal is located in the Vembanad Lake is a small beautiful island. This island is accessible only by boat.Kumarakom, located on the coast of Vembanad Lake, is a beautiful village stocked with divine mangroves and coconut groves, lush green paddy fields, gushing waters snaking through the dense forests. Kumarakom bird sanctuary, is home to migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. Local birds like the water fowl, cuckoo, owl and water hen and other common varieties like the woodpecker, sky lark, crane and parrot can also be spotted here. Ninety-one species of local and 50 species of migratory birds are found here. The best time to watch local birds is June–August and the best time for migratory birds is November–February. Thazhathangadi boat race in Kummanam is over a century old. Boat races are conducted at Kavanar and Kottathodu rivers in Kumarakom. These vallam kali have about 50 boats participating, including Chundan, Churulan, Iruttukuthi Veppu, and canoes.