Pilgrimage | Lake & Backwaters | Nature & Scenic | Beach
At a distance of 1 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the oldest and best temples in Kottayam.
Built in early 16th century, this temple is located in heart of the Kottayam town and is famous for its rich architecture. Constructed by Thekkumkoor Maharaja, this temple showcases the typical South Indian architecture. The walls of the temples are decorated with beautiful paintings of different scenes from the Hindu epics. The innermost sanctum of the temple is adorned with impressive images of epic characters from the Hindu mythology.
The annual festival is celebrated for 10 days in the month of March. Nine well decorated elephants participate in this procession. The major attraction of the festival is the all-night Kathakali presentation on third and fourth days of the festival.
Timings: 5 AM to 12 PM & 5 PM to 8 PM.
At a distance of 1 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Thirunakkara Sri Krishna Temple is located near Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple.
The pilgrims visiting Sabarimala take a dip in the holy pond of this temple. There are separate smaller shrines available in the temple for Lord Ganesh and Goddess Bhagavati. An annual 7 day festival, 'Araattu', held here is a major draw.
At a distance of 3 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Cheriapally Church dedicated to mother Mary is the first church built in Kottayam.
Constructed by the Portuguese in 1579, it is one of the oldest churches in Kerala. It is also believed that Thekkumkur Maharaja has built this holy place. The architecture of the church is a blend of European architecture along with Hindu temple architecture. The Hindu influence is seen in the large brick walls outside, suspended lamps of the halls and granite pillars while the Portuguese impressions manifest themselves in the dye paintings on the walls and ceilings, depicting the life of Christ.
The main festival of the church is celebrated on January 15th.
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM.
At a distance of 3 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Thazhathangadi Juma Masjid is one of the oldest mosques in India built around 10th century.
Situated on the banks of Meeachil River, it was built by Habib Dinar, son of Malik Dinar who introduced Islam in the country. This magnificent mosque is famous for its rich architecture & wooden carvings, constructed in typical Kerala Architecture. The Government of Kerala has declared it as one of the protected monuments of the state.
The sacred well of the mosque differs from those of other Islamic places of worship. The well has stone steps resembling the steps noticed in most of the temples of India.
At a distance of 11 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Mahadeva Temple located in Ettumanoor is one of the most celebrated Siva temples in Kerala. This is one of the popular tourist & pilgrimage sites to visit near Kottayam & Kochi.
This temple is known for its exceptional murals and woodcarvings made in 16th century. The themes of these murals are stills from the Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata and the and Puranas.The oil lamp at the entrance of the temple is believed to have been lighted for more than 450 years and it is fed with oil by the devotees everyday. There are 14 decorative gopuras in the temple built in 16th century.
Another attraction of the temple is Ezhara Punnana (golden elephants) donated to the temple by Maharaja of Travancore. The golden elephants are kept on display during the temple annual festival celebrated in the month of February / March. Only Hindus are allowed into this temple.
Ezharaponnaana Ezhunallathu is the main festival celebrated .....
At a distance of 5 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Bhagavathy Temple at Kumaranalloor is one of the most important Devi temples in Kerala.
The idol of the Goddess is in standing position and is about 3 feet high. The temple has been identified by Sri Adi Sankaracharya as one of the five important centers in India to worship Durga. The temple was built in sreechakra style and known for its unique architecture. It is also renowned for its temple towers constructed in Tamil Nadu style of architecture. The temple has many attractive mural paintings and wood carvings.
The annual festival of the temple is celebrated in the month of November / December.
At a distance of 4 Kms from Alappuzha Railway Station, Mullakkal Raja Rajeswari Temple is very famous shrine in Alappuzha dedicated to Goddess Durga.
It is believed that Goddess Raja Rajeshwari appeared at this site to take care of a Jasmine flower (Mullakkal means 'Jasmine Flower' in Malayalam). The temple celebrates two annual festivals - the Navratri festival (October/November) and the Thaipooyakavadi festival (November/December). The last two days are the most auspicious days. Colorful processions participated by nine elephants are held in the evening. It is witnessed by thousands of devotees. Also several cultural programs including Ottanthullal & Kathakali are staged in the temple.
The Thaipooyakavadi celebrated for 41 days in November/December. The whole town will be full of lights and decoration and the last ten days are celebrated with glory.
Lake & Backwaters
Alappuzha is a magnificent destination in Kerala with mix of Backwaters and Beach. Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey is situated on the shores of Arabian Sea close to the banks of Vembanad Lake. Alappuzha or Alleppey is among the most famous destination of backwaters in Kerala and also one of the top tourist places in Kerala.
Along with Kumarakom, Alappuzha is among the most famous destination of backwaters in kerala. A houseboat cruise in these backwaters is a delightful experience. It connects Kumarakom and Cochin to the North and Kollam to the South. The never-ending panorama of lush green paddy fields, towering coconut trees, shimmering water and long canals around Alappuzha make it a delightful destination.
It is popularly known as the 'Venice of the East'. Alleppey is also known for the annual Nehru Trophy Boat .....
At a distance of 2 Kms from Alappuzha Railway Station, Alappuzha beach is a lovely white sand beach on Arabian Sea. It is one of the top places to visit in Alleppey and among the most visited Kerala Beaches while holidaying in Kerala.
The beach is lined with dense palm groves at one end. The bridge on the beach is close to 150 years old. With Arabian Sea on west and several lakes (including Vembanad Lake), lagoons and several freshwater rivers, Alappuzha is a place with breathtaking natural beauty.
The children park at northern end of the beach is a good place to hang out for kids. There are no water sports facilities at the beach. The beach has considerably less commercial activity.
At a distance of 16 Kms from Alappuzha Railway Station, Mararikulam Beach is a cute little known beach situated in Mararikulam village. It is one of the most scenic beaches in Kerala. This white sand beach is filled with several coconut trees providing unique appearance to the beach. This is one of the popular tourist places to visit near Alappuzha & Kochi.
The beach is about 3 Kms from NH47 junction (called Mararikulam-Kalithattu Junction) before Kanjikkunzhi, between Alappuzha and kochi. The NH47 Junction is connected by frequent buses travelling between Alappuzha and Kochi.
There are several home stay options just on the shores of the beach. This beach is safe for swimming.
At a distance of 23 Kms from Alappuzha Railway Station, Arthunkal Church, also known as St. Andrew's Forane Church is one of the oldest churches in Kerala. It is situated on the shores of Arabian Sea
Dedicated to St.Sebastian, this church comes under the Latin order. The Arthunkal Feast is celebrated for 11days. The highlights of the concluding day of the festival include a special ritual in which the devotees crawl on their knees all the way from the nearby beach to the church.
The near by Arthunkal beach (0.5 KM) is a nice place to watch the Sunset. The beach has no commercial activity.
Arthunkal is close to NH47 (near Tiruvizha Railway Station - about 5 Kms) between Alappuzha and Kochi and the highway is connected by frequent buses. Private/Public vehicles are available from the highway to reach the Arthunkal Church.
At a distance of 14 Kms from Alappuzha Railway Station, Sri Krishna Temple located in Ambalapuzha is an ancient temple built in 8th century AD. It is one of the popular places of pilgrimage in Kerala and also one of top tourist places in Kerala.
Built in typical Kerala style of temple architecture, this temple is famous for Pala Payasam (sweet pudding made of rice and milk) served to the devotees. During the raids of Tipu Sultan in 1789, the idol of Sri Krishna from the Guruvayoor Temple was brought to the Ambalappuzha Temple for safe keeping. The idol here is found with a Whip in the right hand and a Shankhu in the left. It is believed that Kunjan Nambiar was the artist who gave birth to the unique art form of this temple.
Amabalapuzha Temple Festival, known as the Champakkulam Moolam Water Festival is celebrated in remembrance of the installation of the idol of Lord Krishna in the temple.
Lake & Backwaters | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 13 Kms from Alappuzha Railway Station, Champakulam is a beautiful village on the banks of Pampa River in Alappuzha district, with green paddy fields, coconut groves and water fowl. It is part of Kuttanad region, the rice bowl of Kerala.
Champakulam Moolam Boat Race is the oldest snake boat races in Kerala. The race is held in Pampa River on the moolam day of the Malayalam month Midhunam (June/July), the day of the installation of the deity at the Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple.
Champakulam Church is one of the oldest churches in India, built in 427 AD. This church has seen many changes and undergone several enhancements. There are many inscriptions around the church describing its history. The annual festival is celebrated on October 3rd.
At a distance of 29 Kms from Kottayam, 35 Kms from Alappuzha & 33 kms from Pathanamthitta, Sri Vallabha Temple is located near Thiruvalla town (4 Kms) in Pathanamthitta district.
This ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is one among the 108 Diva Kshetrams in India. This temple is built in typical Kerala style of temple architecture with fine carvings and murals. The inner sanctum of the temple houses a 6 feet tall idol of Maha Vishnu. The flag staff of the temple is made out of granite and it is about 50 feet tall. A 3 feet idol of Garuda (the eagle vehicle of Lord Vishnu) is installed on top of the flagstaff.
This temple is famous for the traditional Kathakali performances almost every night and it is perhaps the only temple in Kerala where Kathakali is regularly performed as a ritual offering to a deity, after the evening Pooja
The annual festival of the temple is celebrated in Feb / Mar and the Utharaseeveli festival is celebrated for one day on Mar / Apr.
Historical & Heritage
At a distance of 49 Kms from Alappuzha, Krishnapuram Palace situated on NH47 between Alappuzha and Kollam is a wonderful palace built by Kayamkulam Kings.
The palace was occupied by Marthanda Varma, the Maharaja of Travancore from Kayamkulam kings in 18th century. The origin and age of the palace are unknown. The Palace is a rare specimen of the Kerala style of architecture, with gabled roofs, narrow corridors and dormer windows.
Currently the palace houses an archaeological museum, with many wonderful exhibits of the region. The most fascinating exhibit being the 49 Sq. Meter Gajendra Moksham, the largest mural painting discovered in Kerala. The mural was placed at the entrance of this palace near the pond to help the kings to worship the deity after their bath. Other attractions of the palace include the garden with a variety of flora, Buddha mandapam, rare antique bronze sculptures and paintings.
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