Kottayam, the ‘land of Lakes, Latex and Letters’ is one of the most industrially developed districts of the State and the first fully literate town in the country. The beautiful backwater town on the foot hills of the Western Ghats is an important trading centre for cash crops like rubber, tea, pepper and cardamom. It is also referred as the ‘Mecca of Publishing Industry’, as a number of newspapers, magazines and periodicals in Malayalam and English are published from here. Kottayam is an ideal base to visit tourist centres like Pirmed, Munnar, Idukki, thekkady, Ernakulam and Madurai.
Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple
The 500 year old Shiva temple set in the heart of the town was built by a Thekkumkur Raja. This small shrine with interesting wall paintings is a fine specimen of Kerala temple architecture.
St. Mary’s Orthodox Church or ‘small church, Cheriapally
It was built in 1579, by the Portuguese under the patronage of the local Raja. The church with an elegant façade is a unique blend of temple and Portuguese architecture.
St. Mary’s Church or ‘big church’, valiyapalli
The ancient Syriant Christian church atop a hill was built in 1550, by the descendants of Syrian Knanya Christians.
Thazathangadi Juma Masjid
It is one of the oldest mosques in India.
A cruise along the beautiful backwaters of Kottayam is a must for ever tourist. Several operators at the jetty in Kodimatha provide tours around the Vembabad Lake. The best itinerary comprises of a visit to R-block, Kumarakom Sanctuary, Pathiramanal island enroute to Alappuzha.
Kottayam Tourism Information
The ancient Siva temple here dating back to 16 AD is a masterpiece of the Kerala style of temple architecture. It is noted for wood carvings and fine murals.
Kumarakom (15km)This idyllic sub-tropical paradise on the banks of Vembanad Lake is interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals. The mangrove forests, paddy fields and coconut groves add to the beauty of this small water world. Traditional country crafts, boats and canoes floating leisurely on the backwaters are a sight to behold. There are a number of resorts offering Ayurvedic massage, yoga, meditations, boating, fishing etc.
The enchanting Lake is prime picnic site and backwater tourism destination. The famous snake boat races are held her during the Onam celebrations. The Kumarakom Tourist village provides houseboat cruises.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
The beautiful bird sanctuary on the eastern bank of Vembanad Lake sprwls over 14 acres fo lush greenery and blue waters. Birds seen here include, water fowl, cuckoo, owl, ducks and migratory birds like Siberian storks. Best time to visit is between June and August. It is also an ideal site for enjoying the back waters and boat cruise. Boats are available on hire around the lake.
The legendary Siva Temple here is believed to have been built by Lord Parasuram. The 12 day Ashtami festival celebrated in November /December is known for its elephant processions, religious discourses and traditional dances and music.
Kottayam Distance Guide