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Red Carpet of Kerala
 Alleppey
 Calicut
 Cochin
 Idukki
 Kottayam
 Kannoor
 Kasargod
 Kollam
 Malappuram
 Palakkad
 Pathanamthitta
 Trichur
 Trivandrum
 Wynad

 

District of Kerala :: Kottayam

How to get there

Rail: Kottayam Railway Station, 2 km from the town centre, is linked to most major Indian cities.

Road: Motorable roads connect Kottayam to important all Kerala & south Indian cities. There are two bus stations: the central KSRTC station that operates most long-distance services, and the private bus station near the railway station.

Ferry: The main ferry station is about 3 km from the railway station and offers ferry services that pass through the scenic backwaters to the following places: Alleppey, Mannar, Champakulam, Kavalam, Mankombu , Ambalapuzha, Kuttanad villages.

Bordered by the lofty and mighty Western Ghats on the east and the Vembanad Lake andPaddy fields of Kuttanad on the west, Kottayam is a land of unique characteristics.Panoramic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands, hills and hillocks, extensive rubber plantations, places associated with many legends and a totally literate people have given Kottayam District the enviable title: The land of letters, legends, latex and lakes. Kottayam Town is the first town in India to have achieved 100% literacy (a remarkable feat achieved as early as in1989).

English education in South India did actually start at the Old Seminary here at Kottayam in 1813. The first printing press in Kerala was established (CMS Press) here in 1821 by Rev. Benjamin Baily. The first college in the State (CMS College) was also started here at Kottayam in 1840. Maiden printed Malayalam-English and English-Malayalam Dictionaries were published from Kottayam in 1846 and 1847 respectively. The first and only Co-operative Society of writers, authors and publishers (SPCS), for publishing books and periodicals was set up here in 1945. Kottayam is the hometown of a vast number of books and periodicals and is the center of publishing business in the State. Kottayam is the first town in India selected by the Ministry of Environment and Forests; Government of India to be transformed as an Eco City. The Sri K R Narayanan, the former President of India hails from Kottayam District. 

The beauty of plantations and backwaters:
Kottayam, among the state’s more mountainous districts, provides some of Kerala’s finest natural scenes, sandwiched as it is between serene palm-fringed backwaters (kumarakom) on the west and the Western ghats on the east. Much of this beauty is laid out in all its glory along the road, which winds from Kottayam to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady through plantations of rubber, tea, coffee and pepper. Kottayam is also an important commercial center, thanks to its strength as a producer of cash crops. Most of India’s natural rubber originates from the acres of well-kept plantations of Kottayam, also home to the Rubber Board, one of the country’s primary commodity boards.

As the headquarters of several ecclesiastical heads of Christian churches like those of the Syrian Christian community, Kottayam is proof of the cultural and religious plurality of Kerala. Today, as reminders of this facet can be found ancient churches like the Valia Palli, the Cheria Palli (1579) and the St. Mary’s Church at Manarcad (1585).

A small village 12 km west of Kottayam town, on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is a bird sanctuary known for local varieties like the water fowl, cuckoo, owl and the water duck as well as migratory Siberian storks. The sanctuary is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the best months to bird-watch are between June and August.

Within the 101 acres of beautifully wooded grounds is the Kumarakom Tourist Complex, built around the 50-year old ‘Baker’s Mansion’, formerly a small and pretty hotel run by the KTDC, but now redone in greater style by Taj Kerala Resorts Ltd. Boats are available on hire for backwater cruises around the lake.

An important Syrian Christian centre, the town of Mannanam, 8 km from Kottayam, sites the St. Joseph’s Monastery, associated with the name of Fr. Kuriakose Elias of Chavara (1805-71), one of the saintly figures of the Syrian Catholic Church of Kerala. Established in 1844, this is one of the oldest printing presses in Kerala. It printed the Nasrani Deepika, one of Kerala’s oldest newspapers.

Kottayam is equally known for its cultural achievements. It was the first town in India to attain total literacy, an event that triggered a mass movement to make Kerala the country’s first totally literate state. Kottayam is also the mecca of Kerala’s publishing scene, home to dozens of Malayalam newspapers and magazines, including the state’s earliest, The Deepika (founded in 1887) as well as the country’s largest selling daily and weekly from the Malayala Manoram group. Kottayam is also the birthplace of a unique institution, the Sahitya Pravarthaka Sahakarana Sangham, perhaps the first-ever co-operative of writers.

Situated in the heart of Kottayam town; the Thirunakkara Mahadeval Siva Temple, built in the indigenous style and featuring several wall paintings, attracts a large number of devotees for its annual festival in the third week of March.

The Valia Palli (St. Mary’s Church) build in 1550 A.D. for the Knanaya Orthodox Syrians, is situated in Thazhathangadi, 2 km from the town centre. It is famous for its 8th century Persian cross and the Pahalavi inscription on it.

Located near the Valia Palli, the smaller church of Cheria palli (St. Mary’s Church), built in 1579 A.D., has some murals and paintings of Biblical and other themes.

Ayyampara, 43 km from Kottayam, is a little known scenic spot of rocky plains where a 100-acre are of flat rock makes a natural granite stadium to enjoy the sunset and the view of the town below. It is a good base for trekking.

The town of Bharananganam is an important Christian pilgrimate centre as the place where the mortal remains of Sister Alphonsa (1916-1946) was interned in a chapel next to the St. Mary’s Church. This 1000-year old church features an attractive Grotto of Virgin Mary.

A Hindu pilgrimage centre, Ettumanoor, 13 km away, is famous for its legendary 16th century Shiva Temple, a good specimen of Kerala’s indigenous style of temple architecture, incorporating clear-cut wood carvings and mural paintings including an exceptional one of Of Shiva as Nataraja trampling under foot the spirit of evil represented by a demon. The annual 10-day festival of the temple occurs in February / March.

A small village 12-km west of Kottayam town, on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is a bird sanctuary known for local varieties like the waterfowl, cuckoo, owl and the water duck as well as migratory Siberian storks. The sanctuary is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the best months to bird-watch are between June and August.

Within the 101 acres of beautifully wooded grounds is the Kumarakom Tourist Complex, built around the 50-year old ‘Baker’s Mansion’, formerly a small and pretty hotel run by the KTDC, but now redone in greater style by Taj Kerala Resorts Ltd. Boats are available on hire for backwater cruises around the lake.

Vaikom, 40 km from Kottayam, is famed for Parasurama, the mythical creator of Kerala, constructed the Siva temple which, legend, says. The 12-day Ashtami festival in November / December is renowned for its elephant processions, religious discourses and performances of traditional dance and music. In contemporary history, Vaikom’s prominence derives from the satyagraha of 1925, blessed by Mahatma Gandhi and aimed at throwing open the temple’s doors to Harijans(backward caste)

Kottayam is an important commercial centre of Kerala, India, thanks to its strength as a producer of cash crops. Most of India's natural rubber originates from the acres of well-kept plantations of Kottayam, also home to the Rubber Board, One of the country's primary commodities board. Kottayam, among the state's more mountainous districts, provides some of Kerala's finest natural scenes sandwiched as it is between serene palm-fringed backwaters on the west and the Western ghats on the east. 

The Valia Palli (St. Mary’s Church) build in 1550 A.D. for the Knanaya Orthodox Syrians, is situated in Thazhathangadi, 2 km from the town centre. It is famous for its 8th century Persian cross and the Pahalavi inscription on it.
Located near the Valia Palli, the smaller church of Cheria palli (St. Mary’s Church), built in 1579 A.D., has some murals and paintings of Biblical and other themes.

Ayyampara, 43 km from Kottayam, is a little known scenic spot of rocky plains where a 100-acre are of flat rock makes a natural granite stadium to enjoy the sunset and the view of the town below. It is a good base for trekking.
The town of Bharananganam is an important Christian pilgrimate centre as the place where the mortal remains of Sister Alphonsa (1916-1946) was interned in a chapel next to the St. Mary’s Church. This 1000-year old church features an attractive Grotto of Virgin Mary.
A Hindu pilgrimage centre, Ettumanoor, 13 km away, is famous for its legendary 16th century Shiva Temple, a good specimen of Kerala’s indigenous style of temple architecture, incorporating clear-cut wood carvings and mural paintings including an exceptional one of Of Shiva as Nataraja trampling under foot the spirit of evil represented by a demon. The annual 10-day festival of the temple occurs in February / March.

Vaikom, 40 km from Kottayam, is famed for the Siva temple which, legend, says, was constructed by Parasurama, the mythical creator of Kerala. The 12-day Ashtami festival in November / December is renowned for its elephant processions, religious discourses and performances of traditional dance and music. In contemporary history, Vaikom’s prominence derives from the satyagraha of 1925, blessed by Mahatma Gandhi and aimed at throwing open the temple’s doors to Harijans.

 
 
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