A complete tourism guide of Kerala, offers info on Kottayam tourism in India. Kerala, the God's Own Country is bountiful with numerous attractions including Kottayam town. Kottayam tourism houses the medley of temples, churches, mosques, a hill station and bird sanctuary in and around Kottayam that attracts tourists from far and wide. Kerala travel guide will take you on a journey to discover the regal flavor of Kerala, India.

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Kottayam Tourism

Distance : 160km from Thiruvananthapuram
76km from Cochin
Population : 166,200


¤ Perched On The Western Ghats

Nestling at the foothills of the lofty Western Ghats, Kottayam is synonymous with a picturesque landscape, labyrinthine backwaters, lush paddy fields, rubber plantations, ayurvedic resorts and a fully literate population. The palm-fringed Vembanad Lake, embracing the western part of Kottayam, fully compensates for the lack of a sea coast.
The eastern side of the district is hemmed in by the rugged Western Ghats. While Ernakulam forms the northern boundary of Kottayam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta are to the south of the district. Like most other places in South India, Kottayam has a tropical humid climate with plenty of rainfall throughout the year.

¤ The Vegetation

Several rivers meander through the district of Kottayam. While rivers like the Muvattupuzha and the Manimala can be categorised as inter-district rivers, the Meenachil River flows entirely through Kottayam. The secret of Kottayam’s economic prosperity lies in its production of cash crops like rubber, tea, pepper and cardamom that earn a substantial amount of foreign exchange. Extensive growth of rubber has given rise to rubber-based industries. Food crops like paddy, tapioca, coconut, ginger, pulses, pineapple and sugarcane are also abundantly available in this district.

¤ Thaliyil Fort

The story of how the modern town of Kottayam acquired its name has an unusual ring to it. The seat of power of the Murinjanad and Thekkumkur kings was at Thazhathangadi in Kottayam. Unfortunately, Marthanda Varma of Travancore defeated the Thekkumkur rulers and demolished the palace and the Thaliyil fort. The Kottayam of today was once located within the boundary of the fort.

¤ Declared As A Fully Literate Town

The socially progressive district of Kottayam has many firsts to its name. Kottayam was catapulted into the limelight when it was declared as the first district in India to be fully literate. Kottayam’s contribution to the development of literature and education in Kerala has been immense.
That modern day journalism in Kerala should have originated from Kottayam, hardly comes as a surprise. The first printing press was established here in 1821 under the patronage of Rev. Benjamin Baily. In 1848, the efforts of the local people finally paid off when the CMS Press in Kottayam launched the first newspaper called Jnananikshepam.

Kottayam has the singular honour of publishing a number of leading dailies like the Malayala Manorama, the Kerala Bhushanam and the Deepika.

¤ Making a Mark

Kottayam has carved out a niche for itself on the cultural map of Kerala. Kidangoor, a place in Kottayam, is the home of Kunchan Nambiar, known as the father of Thullal, a popular temple art form.
The Malayalam masterpiece, Unnineeli Sandesam, was authored by one of the Vadakkumkur rulers who reigned over this region. Around the 18th and 19th century, Christian missionaries made significant contribution to Malayalam literature.
Many notable personalities, who have enriched the culture of Kerala during the 20th century, have come from Kottayam. The name of the late G. Aravindan, the renowned film-maker comes immediately to mind. Recently, the place was in the news again when Arundhati Roy, a native of Kottayam, won the prestigious Booker Prize for her novel, ‘God of Small Things’.

¤ Festivals

For centuries, various religions have co-existed harmoniously in Kottayam. Though a stronghold of the Syrian Christians, Kottayam is home to a sizeable Hindu as well as Muslim population.
As churches, temples and mosques dot the landscape, religious festivals assume a special significance in this district.But compared to the more religious festivals, the popularity of the others has by no means waned.
The festival of Onam is celebrated with great pomp and ceremony all over Kerala. The highlight of this festival is the snake boat races that are held in the idyllic backwater stretches of Kottayam. (See Festivals of India and Kerala).

¤ Arts and Crafts

Although there are no handicrafts that are particularly associated with Kottayam, the nimble fingers of the craftsmen fashion exquisite items out of bell metal, wood, cane, fibre and coconut shell. But these pieces are available all over Kerala. Intricate gold jewellery designed and crafted in Kerala is also in great demand among the tourists as well as the locals.

¤ Tourist Hotspots

Many a temple, church and mosque dots the town of Kottayam. Among the temples, the Thirunakkara Mahadevar Temple is the most noteworthy.

Other temples like the Pallipurathukavu Bhadrakali Temple, theIranjali Devi Temple, the Keralapuram Temple, theThriguthapuram Sri Krishna Temple and so on are important pilgrim centres in their own right. Being a stronghold of the Syrian Christians, it is not surprising that Kottayam boasts of a number of churches like the Valiapally, the Cheriapally and the Good Shepherd Church. The headquarters of His Highness the Catholics of the East, the chief dignity of the Orthodox Syrian church is the Devalokam Aramana at Kottayam. The Thazathangadi Mosque is the religious hub of the Muslim population in Kottayam.

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