Town, the headquarters of this district is located on the
foothills of the Western Ghats. This beautiful town is also a
prominent trading centre, especially for plantation crops like
rubber, tea, pepper and cardamom. Kottayam is a stronghold of the
Christian community in the state as many denominations have their
headquarters here. Many newspapers and magazines in Malayalam and
English are published from Kottayam. Kottayam is very famous for
its 'Kettuvallam' (House Boat). Traditional cargo boats called
Kettuvallams are modified into cruise boats and house boats, with
all basic facilities like kitchen, toilet, bathrooms, sit-outs
etc. These boats gracefully move around the backwaters, providing
facilities to tourist to enjoy the beauty of the Vembanadu lake in
a relaxed pace.
Kumarakom is a small
village 12 Kms. west of Kottayam town. It is a part of Kuttanad,
which is lying below sea level, comprising of a number of islands,
in the backwaters. This beautiful sanctuary, in Kumarakom, on the
eastern banks of the Vembanadu lake is an ideal place for
backwater cruises organized by the Kerala Tourism Department.
Spread over 14 acres of lush greenery and blue waters, Kumarakom
offers sanctuary to various birds including water fowl, water
ducks, cuckoos and Siberian storks which nest and spend the summer
- This town, located on the bank of
the Vembanadu lake, is famous for its Siva temple, which is one of
the oldest Siva Temple in the world. During the Sabarimala season
pilgrims alight here to worship the 'Annadanaprabhu (Load Siva)'.
Vaikom gained prominence during the Indian freedom struggle, as it
was the venue of the famous Satyagraha staged in 1925 for the
admission of Harijans into this temple. Vaikom is situated about
40kms from Kottayam town. Two Ashtami festivals are held annually,
one in Kumbham (Feb -Mar) and the other in Vrischikam (Nov-Dec) of
which the latter is more famous. The celebrations last for 12 days
and end with an 'Aarattu' at the Subramanya Swami Temple at
Udayanapuram, on the day after Ashtami. Prathal (feast) is the
main Vazhipadu here. There is a school teaching temple arts, known
as Kshethrakalapeedhom, attached to the temple.
St. Mary's Church, Cheriyapally-
This church contains exquisite murals and
paintings of Biblical and non-Biblical themes.
Thirunakkara Siva Temple -
Built in the indigenous style of
architecture, this temple has many interesting paintings on its
walls. The sanctum-sanctorum is covered with pictures from the
epics. Three festivals are celebrated here in Thulam (Oct-Nov)
Mithunam (Jun-Jul) and Meenam (Mar-Apr) of which the last one is
the most important. The 'Aarattu', conducted on the last day of
the festival, is the festival, is the festival of Kottayam,
irrespective of the caste and creeds. The main festival Phalguna
Utsavam is celebrated during March.
The Mosque at Thazhathangadi is one of the
ancient mosques in India which is made in the old Kerala style. It
is believed that Malik Dinar had built this mosque about 1000
years ago. Now it is an important pilgrim centre at Kottayam. The
artistic value of this mosque is of special interest to the
situated behind the civil station at Kottayam, this
is the first church of Diocese of Vijayapuram. The construction of
this church, which is completed in Italian style, was completed in
1882 and was renovated in 1964. The feast at St. Sebastian is on
20th January and that of Good Shepherd, is from 10th to 12th
(Angathattu Palli) is the cathedral of
the Dioceses of Vijayapuram. This church, constructed in Gothic
style. The main steeple has a height of 172 ft., which is
considered as the highest church steeple in the state. Vimalambika
is the deity here. The main feast is in December. This church is
situated near Kottayam railway station. The chief ecclesiastical
dignity of the Orthodox Syrian Church, the Catholics of the East,
has his head quarters in Devalokam Aramana at Muttambalam Catholic
Church, Latin Catholic Church and the Church of South India have
their Head quarters in Kottayam. The Arch Bishop of Changanassery
who follows the Syro-malabar rite, has his Head Quarters in
Changanassery. The Bishops of Knanaya Jacobite and the Church
Mission Society have their headquarters at Chingavanam and Kurichy
Siva Temple here, built in 16 AD, is a good specimen of the
indigenous Kerala Style of temple architecture. The shrine
contains exquisite mural paintings and sculptures depicting scenes
from Hindu mythology. Nearby is a mural art centre, preserved by
the state Archaeological Department. The annual festival of the
temple is celebrated for ten days during February/March.
church here, containing the mortal remains of Sister Alphonsa is
one of the important pilgrim centers of the Christian in Kerala.
Erumeli: Located on
the bank of Manimala river, Erumeli is an important pilgrim centre
for Hindus and Muslims. Pilgrims going to Sabarimala alight here
at the Sastha temple to worship the deity. These pilgrims also
offer prayers at an ancient mosque here.
How To get there:
Kottayam is connected by rail and road with all the major cities
in South India. The nearest airport is at Kochi, 76 Km. from here.
The main ferry station at Kottayam operates ferry services to
various places through scenic backwaters.