|The word Kottayam is a composition of the
words Kotta (meaning fort) and Akkam (meaning inside). Kottayam
is one of the exotic backwaters sites attracting tourists throughout
the year. Being a mountainous region with scenic landscapes,
backwaters, bird sanctuaries, temples and churches make this
a place of tourist attraction. Lying below the sea level, some
of its nearby places are also a treat to the eyes.
Area 2024 sq km
Best time to Visit September to March
Languages Malayalam, Hindi, English
STD Code 0481
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
Air:The nearest airport is at Cochin (Kochi) located 76 km
from Kottayam. Another airport is at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)
160 km away.
Rail:The railway station is situated just 2 km away from the
central bus station. There are regular trains from Kottayam
to Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam (165 km), and Ernakulam (65
Road: There are two bus stations, the Kerala State Road Transport
Corporation bus station on T.B. Road and a private bus stand
near the railway station.
The history of Kottayam is significant from the time of the
second Chera Empire who used to have a great influence on
the region. Maharaja Marthandaverma had a great influence
on the state of Kerala as a ruler. He conquered the Vembolinadu
established by his former rulers. Since ages, Kottayam has
been regarded as one of the most important places of Kerala
both politically and otherwise.
The climate of Kottayam like the rest of Kerala can be classifiedas
in equatorial type of climate. It is hot and humid. From June
to Sept. it experiences torrential rains brought by the monsoon
clouds. However from September to March, the climate remains
relatively dry and cool and it is the best period to visit
Wildlife Sancturies :
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.
Pilgrimage Centres :
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.
Bay Island Driftwood Museum :
A display of unique large collection of superior quality driftwood
articles of very high artistic value, prepared through a rare
and innovative modern art-form Visiting Hours.
The Poonjar Palace is a glorious testimony to the regal opulence
of a bygone era. Within the palace walls is an extraordinary
royal collection of antiques and exquisite furniture including
a palanquin, a thoni carved out of a single piece of wood
for Ayurvedic massages, huge chandeliers, palm leaf engravings,
jewel boxes, varieties of lamps, sculptures of Nataraja (the
dancing Siva), grain measures, statues and weapons.
Fairs and Festivals :
Elamkavu Attuvela During the two-day Attuvela, beautifully
illuminated canoes, carrying a huge replica of the temple,
glide down the waters accompanied by hordes of colourfully
decorated small canoes and temple percussion music.
Ettumanoor Festival The ten-day annual festival of this temple
is celebrated in February- march. Various performing and ritual
art forms are staged during the festival.
Manarkad Perunal On the last three days, colorful processions
are taken out with golden crosses and rows of brilliantly
Thirunakara Festival The annual festival of this temple falls
in the months of March-April, when folk arts like "Mayilattam'
and 'Velakali' are presented in the temple grounds during
Places to visit :
Peermed, an inviting hill resort with an altitude of 1066
meters, is a place worth visiting while going to Kottayam.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a place to go if one wants
to have a look at the natural habitat of elephants, the tiger
and the bison. A glimpse of the spotted deer, wild pigs, bisons,
tigers and the leopard by cruising on the lake is truly enchanting.
The Thirunakkara Shiva Temple is also a famous must-see spot
here. The temple is a storehouse of the typical Keralan temple
culture. The walls of the temple are decorated with beautiful
paintings. Phalguna Utsav is celebrated here every March.
The Kootiattam or the Sanskrit dramas are also an event of
One of the nearby places to visit near Kottayam is Kumarakom.
It is in the west of the Vembanad Lake. This lake is also
famous for the seasonal migratory birds that come to this
bird sanctuary in their respective seasons. Pathiramal, which
literally means 'the midnight sand,' is a lonely island in
the lake. Backwater cruises are accessible from this spot.
A number of visitors flock to this place during the tourist
season. It is an ideal destination for the newly married couples.
Forty km north of Kottayam is another important Shiva temple
known as the Vaikom Temple. This temple is associated with
the legendry Parasurama. This temple also depicts the typical
Kerala temple culture.
Wagamon is another place to visit while going for excursion
in and around Kottayam. The place is 60 km from Kottayam town.
This place has good spots for trekking and so the place is
called the trekkers' paradise.
A few other places worth visiting while at Kottayam are St
Mary's Church (Valiapally), St Mary's Orthodox Church (Cheriyapally),
and St Joseph's Monastery (Mannanam)
Pundareekapuram Temple Lakes
Vembanad Lake Others
The Vembanad Lake, Pathiramanal, Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls and
Karimbukayam - Meloram River.