» Location : Southern Part Of Kerala
» Main Attractions : Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Vaikom
» Languages Known : Malayalam, Hindi, English
» Best Season : August to March
Kottayam, located in the southern part of Kerala is an important commercial centre of India, producing a large chunk of cash crops. A beautiful town situated in the hills, most of India’s natural rubber originates from the acres of well-kept plantations of Kottayam.
The town is also home to the Rubber Board, one of the country’s Primary Commodities Board. Situated in the ‘Backwater’ circuit, the populace of Kottayam is marked by the presence of the Syrian Christian community.
Well known for its churches, Kottayam sandwiched between serene palm-fringed backwaters on the west and the Western Ghats on the east, provides some of Kerala’s finest natural scenes.
Prime Attractions of Kottayam
§ Thirunakkara Mahadev Temple : The temple built in the indegenous style is situated in tht heart of the town of Kottayam. It features several murals and is thronged by a large number of devotees during the annual festival held in the third week of March.
§ Valiyapalli Church : Dedicated to St. Mary, the Valia Palli is a church built in 1550 for the Knanaya Orthodox Syrians situated in Thazhathangadi, 2 km from the centre of the town. It is famous for its 8th century Persian cross and the Pahalavi inscription on the cross.
§ Cheryapalli : Located near the Valia Palli, the smaller church of Cheria Palli, also dedicated to St. Mary, built in 1579, has some Murals and paintings of Biblical and other themes.
§ Ayyampara : 43 km from Kottayam, Ayyampara, a good base for trekking expeditions is a little-known scenic spot of rocky plains where a 100-acre area of flat rock makes a natural granite stadium to enjoy the sunset and the view of the town below.
§ Bharananganam : An important Christian pilgrimage centre, the town of Bharananganam is known as the site of the internment of Sister Alphonsa (1916 – ’46) in a chapel next to the St. Mary’s Church. This millenium-old church features an attractive grotto of Virgin Mary.
§ Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary : 12 km west of Kottayam town, on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, at Kumarakom is the Bird Sanctuary known for local varieties of Waterfowl, Cuckoo, and Water Ducks, as well as for the migratory Siberian Storks.
§ Erumelli : 60 kms form Kottayam, its an important pilgrim centre of both the Muslims and Hindus. An ancient temple dedicated to Lord Ayappa and a mosque of Vavar, his Muslim ally, are both located here. The pilgrims to the holy shrine at Sabarimala also pay obeisance to Vavar, an enduring custom, which brilliantly exemplifies the communal harmony of the land and its people
Excursions of Kottayam
» Hill Stations
§ Peerumedu : Peerumedu is a small hill station, snuggled at an altitude of 914 m above sea level, on way to Thekkady. The famous plantation town takes its name from Peer Mohammad, a Sufi saint and close associate of the erstwhile royal family of Travancore.
§ Grampi : The picturesque hill station of Grampi, situated 5 kms from Peerumade is also known as the Parunthupara, meaning the eagle rock.
§ Ilaveezhapoonchira : Located at distance of 55 kms from Kottayam and 20 kms from Thodapuzha, this is another picnic spot located in the midst of the beautiful hillocks near Kanjar.
§ Wagamon : Located 64 kms from Kottayam and 65 kms from Idukki town, Wagamon is a hill station perched at an altitude of 1100 m above sea level.
§ Vaikom : 40 km from Kottayam, in Vaikom is the Shiva Temple, which is believed to have been built by Parasurama, the mythical creator of Kerala. The 12-day Ashtami festival in the months of November and December is marked by elephant processions, religious discourses, and performances of dance and music.
In contemporary history, Vaikom’s prominence derives from the satyagraha of 1925, started by Mahatma Gandhi and aimed at opening the temple for untouchables
§ Ettumanoor Temple : 13 kms. Famous for its legendary 16th century Shiva Temple, Ettumanoor is a Hindu pilgrimage. The Shiva temple is a specimen of Kerala’s indigenous style of temple architecture, incorporating clear-cut wood carvings and murals, including an exceptionally striking one of Shiva as Nataraja, where he trampled underfoot the evil spirit represented by a demon. Every year in February and March, a 10- day long festival is held at the temple.
§ Pundareekapuram Temple : Pundareekapuram is a small temple atop a small hill called Midayikunnam near Thalayolapparambu, in Kottayam District. The temple is dedicated to the Lord Vishnu mounted on his vehicle Garuda.The temple at Pundareekapuram is famous for its Mural Collection.
§ Vembanad Lake : Vembanad Lake, one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia, is 12km west from Kottayam. Kottayam is a vast network of rivers and canals, which empty into the great expanse of water called Vembanad Lake.
§ Mannanam : Housing the famous St. Joseph’s Monastery, Mannanam is an important Syrian Christian centre. The town is assosiated with the name of Father Kuriakose Elias of Chavara (1805 – 1871), one of the saintly figures of the Syrian Catholic Church of Kerala. Established in 1844, St. Joseph’s Press is one of the oldest printing presses in India, where one of the oldest of Kerala’s newspapers was printed.
Fairs & Festivals of Kottayam
» Elamkavu Attuvela
» Ettumanoor Festival
» Manarkad Perunal
» Thirunakara Festival
Places to stay in Kottayam
» Guest House, Nattakom. P.W.D.
» Rest House. Hotel Iswarya (KTDC).
» Hotel Aida, M.C. Road.
» Hotel Anjali, K.K. Road.
» Hotel Green Park
» Hotel Nisha Continental, Sasthri Road.
» Vembanad Tourist Resort (Kodimatha).
Nearby Cities of Kottayam
» Alappuzha (Alleppey) (43 km)
» Thrissur (135 km)
» Kochi (66 km)
» Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) (148 km)
How to Get There
Air : Nearest Airport is at Cochin, 76 kms away. The Thiruvananthapuam International Airport is 152 kms.
Rail : Kottayam Railway Station 2 kms. away from the Central Bus Station and is connected with major cities and tourist centres.
Road : There are two bus stands, one run by state transport and the other private. The buses to major centres operate from the KSRTC bus station.
Ferry : The Ferry Station is 3 kms, away from the railway station. Services to Alleppey, Mannar, Chempakulam, Mankombu and Ambalapuzha.
General Information about Kottayam
» Area: 2579 sq.km.
» Population: 2,398,285.
» Climate: Tropical.
» Rainfall: 270 cm. (Annual).
» Temperature: Mean Max: 36.0°C Mean Min: 22.4°C
» Clothing: Tropical.
» STD Code: 0481.