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Ideal Trip Duration: 2-3 Days

Base Station: Kottayam

Nearest City to Kottayam: Kochi (63 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Kottayam: October to March

Peak Season: September & November to February

State: Kerala | District: Kottayam

Kottayam Weather: Maximum: 33°C
Minimum: 15.5°C

At a distance of 63 km from Kochi, 48 km from Alleppey, 155 km from Trivandrum, 142 km from Munnar and 240 km from Coimbatore, Kottayam is a city located in central Kerala and is also the administrative capital of Kottayam district. It is one of the well known Kerala places to visit. The city is an important trading center of spices and commercial crops, especially rubber.

Kottayam is bounded by Western Ghats on the east and the Vembanad Lake on the west. Kottayam is well known as a beautiful Kerala backwaters destination with stunning landscape and beauty. Kumarakom, the most famous backwater destination of Kerala is situated very close to Kottayam (13 km). It is also a gateway to the pilgrim centers of Sabarimala, Mannanam, Vaikom, Ettumanoor, Bharananganam, Erumeli, Manarcaud.

Kottayam is the first town to have attained 100 percent literacy in India. It had the first college in Kerala & first Malayalam Printing Press. Major Kerala print media such as Malayala Manorama group and Deepika are headquartered in the city.

Kottayam was ruled by the Kulasekhara Empire (1090 - 1102 AD). It was later split into the Thekkumkoor kingdom and Vadakkumkoor kingdom. The Portuguese and the Dutch had trade contacts with both Thekkumkoor and Vadakkumkoor Kingdoms. Both these kingdoms were occupied by Marthanda Varma of Travancore in mid 18th century and remained under Princely State of Travancore.

Being a mountainous region with scenic landscapes, backwaters, bird sanctuaries, temples and churches make this a place an attractive tourist destination. The Poonjar Palace is an example of the rich culture of Kerala. The Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple, Pallippurathu Kavu, Thiruverpu Temple and the Saraswathy Temple are some famous temples situated in Kottayam.

Kottayam is the main Christian center in Kerala, renowned for its churches and houses built in colonial style. St Mary's Knanaya Church, Valiyapalli, St Mary Church (Cheriyapally), St Mary's Forane Church, Good Shepherd Church and Vimalagiri Church are the important pilgrimage centers in Kottayam. The ancient Thazhathangady Juma Masjid and the old St. Mary's Orthodox Church Kottathavalam attract many devotees every day. Kottayam hosts an annual Flower Show and Food Festival in the third week of January.

Kottayam is well connected by bus, train and air. Cochin International Airport is the nearest Airport (88 km from Kottayam). Kottayam Railway Station is well connected with major cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Mumbai, Mangalore, Kanyakumari, Kochi, etc. KSRTC bus service connects Kottayam to all cities in Kerala. Private buses are also available from Chennai, Mangalore, Bangalore and Trivandrum. Kottayam is also popular for its water transport facilities that include ferries and boats. There are two ferry stations in Kottayam - Town Jetty (operates in monsoon) & Kodimatha Jetty (operates in summer).

Best time to visit Kottayam is from Oct - Mar, while the peak seasons are Sep & Nov to Feb. It usually takes 2-3 full days to explore this area.

OTHER INFO
Internet Availability: Good
STD Code: 0481
Languages Spoken: Malayalam, Hindi & English
Major Festivals: Erumeli Petta Thullal (Jan),
Vaikom Ashtami (Nov),
Ettumanoor Festival (Feb),
Kottayam boat race / Thazhathangady boat race (Sep)
Notes/Tips:
None

HOW TO REACH KOTTAYAM


By Air

Nearest Airport: Kochi - Cochin International Airport (83 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Kottayam Railway Station (0 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Kottayam KSRTC Bus Station (2 Kms)

43 PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN KOTTAYAM


Pilgrimage

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.


Pilgrimage

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.


Pilgrimage

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.


Pilgrimage

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 .....


Lake & Backwaters

At a distance of 16 km from Kottayam, 56 km from Kochi, 36 km from Alleppey, 135 km from Munnar & 164 km from Trivandrum, Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake in Kerala. Also known as the Queen of Vembanad, Kumarakom is the most famous Kerala backwaters destination for traditional houseboat ride and it is among the most visited Tourist places in kerala state. This is also one of the ideal weekend getaways from Kochi & Trivandrum.

The name Kumarakom was derived from the deity of an old temple Kumaran. Arundhati Roy, author of the 1997 Booker Prize-winning The God of Small Things, was raised in the nearby Aymanam village. In order to protect the ecology of the place, the Kerala government has declared Kumarakom as a special tourism zone. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, .....

Distance (From Kottayam Railway Station): 13 Kms
Trip Duration (From Kottayam Railway Station - Including Travel): Full Day
.....


Pilgrimage

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.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 0.5 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Good Shepherd Church is located just opposite to Police Parade Grounds near Logos Junction. This is the first Church of the Diocese of Vijayapuram. The church was constructed in 1882 in Italian Style and was renovated in 1964.

The annual festival of Good Shepherd is celebrated from April 10th to 12th every year. The St. Sebastian festival is also celebrated in a grand manner on January 20th. Devotees from neighbouring districts participate in large numbers on these festival days.


Pilgrimage

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.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 1 Km from Kottayam Railway Station, Vimalagiri Church is a Roman Catholic Church and the Cathedral of Dioceses of Vijayapuram.

The construction of the church was started in 1956 and completed in 1964. This church was built in the Gothic architectural style with a 172 feet tower which is considered as one of the highest Church towers in Kerala.

The main annual festival is celebrated in the month of December and the church is crowded with worshipers from all over India.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 1 km from Kottayam Railway Station, St. Joseph's Cathedral located in Lal Bahadur Sastri Road is the major spiritual center for Jacobite Syrian Christians of the Kottayam.

Constructed in the year of 1981, this church functions under the Kottayam Diocese. It is the only Church of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Christians founded in the name of St. Joseph.

The festival of St. Joseph is celebrated on January 26. On this day, the foundation day of this church is also celebrated.


Pilgrimage

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.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 3 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Thalikotta Siva Temple is one of the oldest temples in Kerala. This temple was the place of worship for Thekkumkoor Royal Family.

The annual festival is celebrated during April / May for 10 days. Sivaratri (Feb) is also celebrated in a grand manner. This place attracts large number of devotees on these festivals.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 6 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, St. Mary's Church situated in Kudamaloor is one of the ancient Syrian churches in Kerala.

Built in 11th century by Chempakasseri Maharaja, it is dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary and popularly known as 'Mukthi Amma'. The temple has a 400 years old beautiful oil painting of Jesus Christ. In this painting, Jesus can be seen painted in sky blue color (the color usually used to paint Lord Krishna).

St. Alphonsa, the first Christian Saint from India, is born in Kudamaloor and dedicated her whole life in the service of Jesus Christ. There is a memorial dedicated to St. Alphonsa near the church.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 7 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Sri Dharma Sastha Temple is located in Pakkil, close to SH1 towards Changanassery.

Dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, this temple is believed to be one of the eight temples established by Parasurama, the legendary founder of Kerala. Annual festival is called Samkranthi Vanibham, celebrated in June / July.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 8 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Sri Krishna Temple is located in Thiruvarpu.

The annual festival is celebrated for 10 days in the month of April which attracts thousands of devotees. The highlight of the festival is that the young virgin girls carry lighted lamps during celebrations.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 8 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Manarcad Bhagavathy Temple dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali is located near Manarcad, less than 1 Km from NH220 towards Thekkady/Periyar.

This temple is believed to be older than 2000 years.The Kumbha Bharani festival of the temple is celebrated in a grand scale which attracts thousands of devotees.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 10 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Saraswathi Temple (also known as Dakshina Mookambika Temple) is located in Panachikkad. This temple is famous, as the Mookambika Temple at Kollur (Karnataka).

The idol of the Goddess is placed beneath a pond. The main deity at this temple is Lord Vishnu. According to temple history, there was a poor Brahmin who was a devotee of Sri Mookambika Devi and he used to visit Kollur every year. As the Brahmin grew old, he realized that he could no longer visit Mookambika again due to his poor health. As he returned to Panachikkadu, it is said that the Goddess Mookambika settled at the present location in Panachikkadu.

The main festival is the Saraswati Pooja celebrated in September / October. The nine day festival 'Navarathri' is also famous here.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 10 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, St. Mary's Cathedral, also known as Marthamariam is located in Manarcad, about 3.5 Kms from NH220 towards Thekkady/Periyar. This 10th century Cathedral is one of the most important churches of the Jacobite Syrian Christians.

The main annual festival is 'Feast of Virgin Mary's Birth' celebrated for 8 days between September 1st & 8th of every year. It is also called as Ettunompu, where devotees take fasting for 8 days. During this festival, hundreds of thousands of devotees from all over the world reach Manarcad to seek the blessings of Virgin Mary.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 10 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, St George Orthodox Church is located in Puthupally. This is one of the prominent churches of Malankara Orthodox Church.

The church was consecrated about 400 years ago by the Malankara Metropolitan Mar Dianasiyous. This Church is famous for the powerful intercession of St.George. It is believed that saint protects those who take refuge, from serpents, ailments, and all kinds of dangers and troubles. The Church is famous for its rich traditions as well as wealth. The main sanctum has beautiful wall paintings and ornamental decorations. The unique Golden Cross weighing around 450 sovereigns is taken out during the annual festival.

The annual festival is celebrated on 7th or 8th of May. Hundreds of thousand of devotees of various religions participate in the celebrations.

Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 10 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, St. George Jacobite Syrian Church is located in Kallumkathra, near Aymanam village (1 Km).

Established in 1817 AD, it is one of the oldest churches in the Kottayam Diocese. The picturesque landscape and the innumerable tributaries of Meenachil River add to the beauty of the village.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 10 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, St. Joseph's Monastery Church located in Mannanam is an important Christian pilgrim center. This Church is associated with the Blessed Father Kuriakose Elias Chavarachan who was famed in miracle cures.

Thousands of devotees gather here to pay homage to the saint every Saturday. Though renovated many times, the Church retains its original altar with gold filigree work and paintings.

The festival of Blessed Chavara is celebrated on 3rd January with great devotion. The nearby Chavara Art Museum preserves articles of Church history.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 12 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, St. Mary's Ferona Church is located in Athirampuzha, about 2 Kms from SH1 (from Ettumanoor junction). This place is also known as Valiya Pally.

The Church was constructed in 835 AD on a land donated by a Brahmin family. The renovation of the present church began in 1962 and was consecrated in 1966. Built in western architecture, the church is 180 feet tall and 55 feet wide. The bell tower measures a height of 85 feet, and houses three bells which were brought from Germany in 1905. The big cross in front of the church was built from a single block of stone.

The annual festival is celebrated for 8 days starting from January 19th every year. The festival, known as 'Athirampuzha Nercha' attracts a huge crowd.

Timings: 9:30 AM to 1 PM & 3:30 PM to 6 PM


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 14 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, the Palli Bhagavathy Temple is located in Neelamperoor, close to SH1 Changanassery. Neelamperoor is part of the Kuttanad region and is a beautiful place surrounded by canals.

The temple has a history of 1700 years. The original construction is believed to be a Buddhist Temple, which was later converted to Hindu Temple. Cheramanperumal, the Emperor of Kerala (250 - 300 AD), had become a Buddhist monk and spent his last days at Neelamperoor. It is believed that Cheramanperumal has built the original temple as a Buddha Vihara. Later the temple was said to be converted to Devi temple.

The principal deity of the temple is Goddess Durga. Separate shrines for Lords Ganapathi, Siva, Dharmasastha, Mahavishnu and Rakshas are built outside the main temple.

The annual festival is called 'Poonam Padayani' celebrated in the month of Aug / Sep for 10 days. The primary attraction of the festival is the display of the 45 feet Sway .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 20 Kms from Kottayam, St.Mary's Forane Church (also known as Martha Mariam Church) is located in Kuravilangad, on the way to Muvattupuzha.

Constructed in the year of 105 AD, this Church belongs to the diocese of Palai. It is believed that Mother Mary appeared to a few children in this area and asked them to build a church at the place from where a miraculous spring emerged, which exists even today. The church was built and a statue of the Virgin Mary carved from granite is installed here. A 48 feet single block granite cross is located in front of the church, which was erected around 1597. Three majestic bells of Kuravilangad were brought from Germany in 1911.

The main festival of the church called 'Moonnu Nompu', celebrated for 3 days in the month of xx. Thousands of devotees from all parts of Kerala participate in the festival.


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 20 Kms from Kottayam, Anchu Vilakku (Five Lamps) is a stone lamp post located in Changancherry town.

Situated near Changancherry Boat Jetty, it was built by the renowned freedom fighter Veluthampi Dalawa in 1905 during the inauguration of Changancherry Market, one of the largest in Kerala.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 21 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Kavil Bhagavathy Temple is located in Changanacherry town. The presiding deity of the temple is Kavil Bhagavathy, an incarnation of Goddess Durga.

This temple was built by Thekkumkoor Maharajas, to worship the ancestral deity of the Thekkumkoor Royal Family. It is currently managed by the Travancore Devasthanom Board. This temple is also known as Kavil Ambalam and Sri Bhagavathi Temple.

The annual festival Kavil Chirappu is held on December-January.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 21 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Sri Subramanya Swami Temple is located in Perunna near Changanacherry.

The idol of Lord Subramanya (Lord Muruga) at this temple is about 6 feet high. Built in 753 AD, this temple is under the administration of Urazhma Devaswam Board. This is the first temple in Kerala, opened to all Hindus irrespective of caste, according to the order of Sri Chithira Thirunal Maharaja of Travancore. Hearing this incident, Mahatma Gandhi at his first visit to Kerala, came to Perunna Temple and worshipped the Lord Muruga.

The annual festival (called 'Pallimetta Utsav') is celebrated for 10 days in the month of November / December.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 23 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Surya Deva Temple is located in Adityapuram, close to SH12 towards Vaikom (near Kurupamthara). This is the only temple in Kerala dedicated to the Sun God.

The last Sundays of the Malayalam months of November- December and April - May are celebrated in a grand manner. Devotees from far away places participate in the celebrations. It is believed that performing Adithya Pooja at this temple can cure eye and skin related diseases.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 24 Kms from Kottayam, St. Mary's Church located in Kaduthuruthy (on Kottayam - Kochi road) is also called Thazathu Pally.

The Church belongs to the Diocese of Palai and it is one of the most famous traditional Churches in South India. The original structure of the Church is believed to have been built in 1009 AD. The present structure is completed in 2005 and it's the biggest in the Diocese of Palai.

The main festival is called 'Holy Family', celebrated on the first Sunday of the month of Makaram (around mid of January). The festival of St. Mary is celebrated on August 15th and called 'Kallitta Thirunal'.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 24 Kms from Kottayam & 2 Kms from Changanacherry, Vishnu Temple located in Thrikkodithanam (also known as Amrita Narayanan Temple) is a famous temple and among the 108 Vishnu temples in India.

This 9th century temple is believed to have been built by Sahadeva of the Pandavas. The temple is famous for wooden carvings and murals. Inscriptions from 10th century are also found in the temple. The outer wall of the temple is gigantic like a fort wall. The temple represents typical Kerala style of architecture. The walls of the inner sanctum display the images of various gods. There are separate shrines for Narasimha and Dakshinamurthy.

The 'Deepam' festival is one of the most important festivals celebrated here in the months of November & December.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 27 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, St. Thomas Cathedral is an 11th century Syrian Church located in Palai town.

The Church was constructed in the year 1002 by four Syrian Christian families of Palai. It was destroyed by Muslim invaders and was reconstructed after 17th century. The church was built with the support of Hindu rulers and it resembles temple architecture. A new Church was constructed by Portuguese near the old church following European architecture.

The annual festival is called 'Rakkulithirunal' celebrated on 6th January every year.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 28 Kms from Kottayam, St. Jude Shrine is a highly revered shrine located in Kizhathadiyoor near Palai.

This Church contains the relics of St Jude brought from Rome. There are several institutions, including a hospital, functioning under the St Jude Shrine.

The festival of St. Jude is celebrated from October 19th to 28th.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 32 Kms from Kottayam & 5 Kms from Palai, St. Mary's Forane Church situated on the banks of Meenachil River in Bharananganam is one of the most famous churches in Kerala. The church is also known as Anakkallu Palli.

Bharananganam is associated with St. Alphonsa, the first Saint from India. The mortal remains of blessed Saint Alphonsa who died on 28 July 1946 are carefully preserved in a chapel next to St. Mary's Church.

The important festival is the death anniversary of St Alphonsa held on 28th July.

Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM.


Lake & Backwaters | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 35 km from Kottayam and 18 km from Kumarakom, Vaikom, situated on the eastern side of Vembanad lake is the oldest township in Kottayam district. Vaikom is famous as a temple town and a popular getaway to experience beautiful backwaters in kerala.

Vaikom is well known for the the ancient Mahadeva temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and believed to be built by Parasurama, the founder of Kerala. The temple has a huge courtyard spanning over to 8 acres of land and four towers on each side of the temple. Other major attractions of the Mahadeva Temple includes the Garbagriha, a golden Stupa surmounting Garbagriha, 19.5m tall golden staff, etc. The exterior walls of the Garbagriha exhibit several pieces of artwork.

This is the place which had made a significance in Indian history with the Vaikom Sathyagraham in 1924, i.e the movement against untouchability in Hindu society. Leader of the Indian Freedom Movement Mahatma .....

Distance (From Kottayam): 38 Kms
Trip Duration (From Kottayam - Including Travel): 3-4 Hours
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Pilgrimage

At a distance of 38 Kms from Kottayam, St. George's Church is situated on the banks of Meenachil River in Aruvithura, in Erattupetta Town. The ancient name of the place was Irapuzhai or Irapeli.

This Church belongs to the Syro-Malabar Rite in the diocese of Palai. This place is believed to have been founded by St.Thomas in the early days. The original structure of the church was built in 16th century. The present structure was constructed in 1952 in Gothic style. A miraculous statue of St.George is placed in the church above the main alter.

The annual festival dedicated to St. George is celebrated on 24th April.


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 41 Kms from Kottayam and 2 Kms from Erattupetta, Poonjar Palace is 600 years old Palace built by Poonjar Rajas.

The Poonjar Palace is entirely made out of wood, reflecting the traditional Kerala architecture. The Place has a museum that exhibits royal collection of exquisite furniture, a boat carved out of a single piece of wood, huge chandeliers, palm leaf engravings, jewel boxes, lamps, sculptures, etc.

The replica of the Madurai Meenakshi Temple nearby the Palace is another attraction. The Sastha Temple close to the Palace is also an interesting place to visit.


Hill Station | Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 36 Kms from Idukki, 72 kms from Kumarakom, 48 kms from kottayam, 20 Kms from Thodupuzha, Ilaveezha Poonchira is a beautiful valley spread across thousands of acres at the foot of three hillocks - Mankunnu, Kudayathur Hill and Thonippara near Kanjar. Ilaveezha Poonchira (meaning - the valley where leaves don't fall) has no trees, and is literally a place where leaves do not fall.

Surrounded by hillocks raised above 3000 feet from sea level, Ilaveezha Poonchira is an ideal place for trekking. This is one of the best places to watch Sunrise and Sunset. The wonderful views of Malankara Dam can be viewed from this place. Malankara Dam (7 Kms), Thommankuthu Waterfalls (30 Kms) & Vagamon (35 Kms) are near by places of interest.

Buses are available from Palai (25 Kms) and Erattupetta (30 Kms).

Distance (From Kottayam): 48 Kms
Trip Duration (From Kottayam - Including Travel): 3-4 Hours
.....


Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 48 Kms from Kottayam and 10 Kms from Erattupetta, Ayyampara is famous for rocky formation spread across 20 acres amidst great natural beauty.

The rock formed in the shape of a stadium, it is a good trekking destination. Located at an altitude of 2000 feet, Ayyampara derived its name from the Lord Ayyappa temple located here. This place is also famous for spectacular sunsets. The Five Rocks here are said to represent the five Pandava brothers of the Indian epic Mahabharata.

This place is connected by bus service from Erattupetta, which is connected with Kottayam by frequent bus service.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 57 Kms from Kottayam & 16 Kms from Erattupetta (near Vagamon), Kurisumala is a sacred mountain and one of the most prominent pilgrim centers for Christians in South India. The church comes under Diocese of Neyyattinkara.

The word Kurisumala means Mount of the Cross. Kurisumala Ashram is situated at foothill of the mountain. During the holy week, hundreds of devotees climb this holy hill carrying small wooden crosses.

There is another mount on the eastern side of this hill called Muruganmala, which houses a rock cut temple dedicated to Muruga. There is a beautiful artificial lake on the way to Kurisumala.


Lake & Backwaters

At a distance of 43 Kms from Idukki, 65 Kms from Kumarakom, 58 kms from Kottayam and 80 Kms from Munnar, Malankara Dam & Lake (in Idukki district) is a lovely place located at a distance of 7 Kms from Thodupuzha on Thodupuzha-Erattupetta route.

Malankara Lake, spread over 11 Kms is an artificial lake formed as part of Muvattupuzha Valley Irrigation Project. The Dam is constructed across Thodupuzha River for irrigation purpose. This place is a very good picnic spot with boating facilities in the lake.

It is located on SH8 and easily accessible from Thodupuzha by Bus, Auto & Cab. Thodupuzha is accessible by Bus from all parts of Kerala.

Thommankuthu Waterfalls is about 27 Kms from this place which is connected by Bus from Thodupuzha.

Distance (From Kottayam): 58 Kms
Trip Duration (From Kottayam - Including Travel): 3-4 Hours
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Hill Station

At a distance of 58 km from Idukki, 76 km from Kumarakom and 64 km from Kottayam, Vagamon is an enchanting hill station situated at an altitude of 1100 m in Idukki district on Kottayam-Idukki border. It is one of the ideal summer destinations in Kerala state and also one of the top places to visit in Kerala.

At the foot hill of Western Ghats, Vagamon is surrounded by 3 hills namely, Thangal hill, Murugan hill and Kurisumala. Also known as the Scotland of Asia, Vagamon was discovered by the British who found the place ideal for tea plantations and they were followed by Christian missionaries who built their abode of service at Kurisumala in Vagamon. National Geographic Traveler has listed Vagamon on their directory of the '50 most attractive places to visit in India'.

Kurisumala is a Christian pilgrim center and one of the main attractions at Vagamon. Kurisumala Hill is also home to the famous .....

Distance (From Kottayam): 60 Kms
Trip Duration (From Kottayam - Including Travel): 3-4 Hours
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Waterfall

At a distance of 61 Kms from Kottayam, Valanjaganam Waterfalls (also known as Kesari Waterfalls) is located very close to NH220 towards Thekkady/Periyar, before Kuttikkanam.

Regular buses are available between Kottayam and Thekkady/Periyar. September to January is the best time to visit the falls. The falls are located just adjacent to the highway and no trekking is required to reach the falls.


Hill Station

At a distance of 75 Kms from Munnar, 68 kms from kottayam & 60 Kms from Idukki, Nadukani is a small hill station in Ernakulam district. It is 35 Kms from Thodupuzha, close to NH49 near Kothamangalam.

At an altitude of 3000 feet, Nadukani is an ideal destination for trekking and mountaineering. On the sunny day Nadukani offers a clear view of the areas extending to Thodupuzha. The excellent view of the Muvattupuzha River that forms Malankara Lake on Malankara Dam is feast to the eyes.

Distance (From Kottayam): 68 Kms
Trip Duration (From Kottayam - Including Travel): 3-4 Hours
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