KOTTAYAM TOURISM | TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT & TRAVEL GUIDE TO KOTTAYAM
Pilgrimage | Backwaters | Nature
#11 of 22 Places to visit in Kerala
Ideal Trip Duration: 2-3 Days
Nearest City to Kottayam: Kochi (63 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Kottayam: September to April
Peak Season: September & December to January
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 places to visit as part of Kerala Tour Packages. 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.
Vaikom Ashtami (Nov),
Ettumanoor Festival (Feb),
Kottayam boat race / Thazhathangady boat race (Sep)