Kottayam is the first town in India to achieve 100% literacy rate. The presence of renowned newspapers and publishing houses along with famous colleges the city got its second name as the letter capital of Kerala. Situated between the backwaters and western Ghats the city is also well known for its spices and rubber trade. The Thirunakkara Shiva Utsavam festival is celebrated at Shiva temple every year in march.The city is blessed with nature and is accomplished with hill stations, ancient and modern churches, temples and beautiful waterfalls. Lush green environment and the nature’s beauty makes the place a must visit destination if you are travelling to Kerala.
St.Mary’s Orthodox Church
St.Mary’s orthodox church was built by Maharaja Thekkumkoo in 1579. The church is also known as Kottayam Cheriapelli. There is a blend of Kerala and Portuguese style in the architecture of the church. The walls of the church are embellished with biblical as well as non-biblical artwork that will make you speechless. The figures of angels and St.Mary sculptures are made of stones but carved in woods. Mother Mary statue is situated on the southern side of the church wall. The baptism basin is carved from a single stone. The church is a beautiful piece of architecture with huge doors, stone and granite work, adorable carvings and much more.
The mosque is about 1000 years old and is declared as a protected monument by kerala government. It is located on the banks of river Meenachil and decorated with stunning architecture and beautiful wooden carvings. The muslim shrine courtyard is shaped square and there is a pond inside where the devotees use to take a dip before going for prayers. As the mosque was devastated several years ago due to some reasons, it was refurbished in 2012 with strong aluminium sheets, iron columns and stone pillars. A mix blend of Islamic mythology and Indian architecture the place attracts all communities.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Spread over an area of 14 acres and surrounded by river Kanavar and Vembanad lake, the place has a panoramic sight. Filled up with lush green environment the place is full of natural vegetation and green paddy fields which provides the homely ambiance to both native as well as migratory birds. The species of birds that are the attraction of the place are cuckoo, heron, egret, cormorant, moorhen, darter, brahminy kite, waterfowl, Siberian crane, teal bird, flycatcher, etc. There are some parts that are not accessible easily so one can hire a motorboat to visit those places.
Panachikkad Saraswathi Temple
The beautiful temple of goddess Saraswathi was built 1000 years back by a native Brahman family. The temple is also renowned as the Mookambika of south. The temple look beautiful as it is surrounded by lush greenery and has its architecture in Kerala style with stone and woods used in it. The deity is situated in a pond that is present in the temple. There are many open places in the temple that are meant for conducting traditional songs and dance festival. During the festivals the place is decorated with colorful lights and sound that makes the temple look adorable and a must visit during festive season.
Vaikom Mahadeva Temple
The lord Shiva temple located in Kottayam at Vaikom and is among the oldest and ancient temple in the state. The Shiva Linga present in the temple is believed to be from the Treta Yug. The temple celebrates many local as well as Indian festivals. The temple is spread in a vast eight acres of land. The two chambers Mukhyamandapa and Garbhgraha are made with woods and stones respectively. The walls are decorated with stones and woods depicting the stories from Puranas. The enormous Nandi is carved out of a single stone and the Shiva Linga present is six feet high made of black stone. The temple is an interesting place to be experienced when on the trip to kerala.
Poonjar palace exhibits royal richness of the ancient period. The palace was constructed 600 years ago by Poonjar Maharajas. Use of woods in the palace shows the traditional architecture of kerala. Wooden carved palace has a museum that exhibits the wooden furniture of ancient times, statues, sculpture of dancing Shiva, weapons, rock-cut lamps and many such antiques. The place is best for art and history lovers and shows how the royal family had lived their lifestyle.
- By roadKottayam is connected to all major towns and cities in India. Due to excellent networks of roads there are regular buses from major cities to Kottayam and one can also travel by their own car or taxis.
- By TrainThere are regular trains to Kottayam and from kottayam to different cities.
- By PlaneKottayam does not has any airport. Nearest domestic airport is 51 km away from Kottayam at Kochi and nearest international airport is 127 km away from Kottayam at Thiruvananthpuram.
- State: Kerala
- District: Kottayam
- Famous for: Pilgrim and leisure travelling
- Population: 1953646 (2011 census)
- Languages: Malyalam and English
- Best time to visit: Aug-Feb
- Pincode: 686005
- Std code: +91481