Geographical hints: - Geographical hints: - Kottayam district was formed in July 1949. Before when Travancore- Kochi joined there were three Revenue divisions: Thiruvanathapuram -Kollam - Kottayam. These were under the administration of ‘Diwan Peshkar’. When the State formed it become 'district' and under the administration of District Collector'. No Seashore. Edanadu on the banks of Vembanattu Lake and High ranges at the border of Idukki district
Situated seventy six kilometres away from Kochi, Kottayam is a place strangely ancient in spirit but fairly modern in atmosphere. This land, located in the erstwhile Central Travancore, is remarkably fertile and brilliantly green. A true topical diversity adorned with backwaters, green paddy fields, rubber plantations and palmgroves as far as the eye can see. The people are healthy, hard working and educated. This is Kottayam, the Land of Letters, Latex and Lakes. Kottayam, provides some of Kerala’s finest natural scenes, sandwiched as it is between serene palm-fringed, the lovely Vembanad lake and the vast paddy fields of ‘Kuttanad’ in the West and the plantations of rubber, tea, coffee and pepper in the east .
Kottayam is known as Land of letters because as a district Kottayam has the highest literacy in India. It was the first town in India which attained total literacy, an event which triggered a mass movement to make Kerala the Country’s first totally literate State. The town is also the birth place of the publishing industry and the home of the fourth estate in Kerala. The first printing press in Vernacular, Malayalam was established at Kottayam by Benjamin Bailey, a Christian missionary in 1820 A.D. Kottayam is also the Mecca of Kerala’s publishing scene, home of dozens of Malayalam Newspapers and Magazines including the State’s first daily ‘The Deepika’ as well as country’s largest selling daily and weekly, the ‘Malayala Manorama’,The national daily,Matrubhumi etc. are publishing from here.
Kottayam is the Land of Latex because the district abounds in extensive rubber plantations which earned for its headquarters the sobriquet ‘Rubber Town’.Rubber controls the economy of the district. Kottayam is also home to the Rubber Board, one of the country’s primary commodities board. A trip from Kottayam to Thekkady, through the zig-zag Kumily road, offers enchanting views of rubber, coffee and tea plantations.
Kottayam is the land of lagoons. It's lakes form the great expanse of water called Vembanad into which a network of riverslike Manimala, Pamba, Achankovil and canals merge providing boating, fishing,canoeing and sight seeing experiences that are unparalled. The vivid blue and green palmfringed backwaters of Kottayam is a perennial source of attraction to the tourists.
Kottayam is the ideal take off point for visits to Peerumed, Munnar, Idukki, Thekkady, Sabarimala and the temple city of Madurai. When the proposed Aerospace comes to a reality,it will be a land mark in the history of the district.
How to get there: Air :-
The nearest international airport is at Nedumbassery, Ernakulam, 90 km. North.Trivandrum, 160 kms south
Kottayam is linked by rail to meet major Indian cities. 2 km from central bus station Road :-
Motorable roads connect Kottayam to important South Indian cities.
KSRTC Ph. No. 2562908.
Ferry Station (Boat Jetty), Kodimatha : Boats are available here, to Alleppey, Nedumudi,
Kumarakom and Kavalam.
A short ride from Kottayam brings you at Kumarkom, on the vast Vembanad Lake, is well known for bird sanctuary specially parrots, egrets, herons, teal, larks, fly catchers, wood beetle and other birds. These are seen here during their respective migratory seasons. Every year hundreds of Siberian cranes come across from far away Siberia to roost and breed before going back.The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is an ornithologist's paradise and a favourite haunt of migratory birds A cruise on the Vembanad Lake, gently rocked by the waves rippling to the rhythm of the swaying coconut palms on the distant banks could be truly exhilarating. Preserving the old style, the beautiful bungalow of Albert George Baker at Kumarakom has now been modified into 'Taj Garden Retreat', a hotel of Taj group with modern living facilities.
An unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with white lilies. Situated on the bank of Vembanad Lake, in this small water world you’ll come across plenty of traditional country crafts, boats and canoes which will take you into the heart of the scenic lake. The resorts nearby offer comfortable accomodation and exclusive leisure options like an Ayurvedic message, yoga, meditation, boating, fishing, angling and swimming.
Kumarakom, an enchanting picnic spot and a fast developing backwater tourism destination, provides boating, fishing and sight-seeing experiences that are truly exhilarating. The Kumarakom Eco-Tourist Village offers bouseboat cruises and holiday packages. The serene lake comes alive during Onam with a spectacular water regatta - the snake boat races. It is indeed amazing to watch oarsmen, at least a hundred in one boat, slice their way through the waters to the fast rhythm of their own full throated singing
Every year, during Onam season, Kavanattinkara and Kumarakom Boat Races are conducted at Kavanar and Kottathodu river respectively. About 50 boats including a few snake boats participate in these races.
With fun, frolic and fanfare on the banks of the back waters, it is thrill and entertainment galore for the tourist to see these long bedecked boats surging forward propelled by hundred oars to the rhythm of country, folk beats. A ride by boat or by country craft from Changanacherry to Alappuzha through Punnamada Kayal will provide an unforgettable sight of some of the paddy fields and stretches of coconut palmgroves
It is yet another picnic spot accessible from Pala and located in the midst of beautiful hillocks. About 3200 feet above sea lelvel the pristine beauty of nature is preserved almost intact here. Elaveezhappoonchira formed of imposing mountain ranges with rocky cliffs is on the eastern periphery of Kottayam district. Getting onto the rocky peak is no easy task.
The first way is to catch the Moolamattem bound bus and get down at Kanjar, 16 km away. From here to Chakkikavu, 7 km in a van and a two - km walk from here to foothills and then climb the mountains. Other way is to get down at Kanjiramkavala, 16 Km from Thodupuzha, and a seven-km trek to Elaveezhappoonchira. A DTPC rest house nearby offers comfortable accommodation.
Kannadipara is the highest point in Elaveezhapoonchira. A valley of rocky mountains that reflects the rays of the sun like a perfect mirror , this is the special distinction that led to Kannadipara (Rock Mirror) getting its name. 3 km from here is the Pazhakakanam Plateau nourished by the Kadapuzha River. Bamboo groves, meadows and wild flowers make this place exotic. An added attraction here is the Kazhukankulimali Waterfalls that playfully cascade down the mountain and greet the river below with a magnificent splash.
Nearest railway station: Kottayam, about 66 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 69 km
Vagamon is about 18 km from Erattupetta, 60 km from Kottayam and 30 km from Pala situated on the Idukki-Kottayam border, at an elevation of 1100 metres above sea level is a trekker’s paradise.
This tourist place also has to offer Thangal para, the indo-Swiss Project and Kurishumala Ashram. Kurishumala Ashram, a sky scraping mountain with a small church on its peak and the Kurishumala Ashramam, a monastery atop another hill. The Ashraman is a small community of ascetics who follow the Christian faith but combines with it the Indian spiritual traditions and Gandhian thought. People of all faith are welcome to visit the place. On Good Friday thousands of people are visiting this place.
Vagamon hill Station is comprised of a beautiful series of hillocks , valleys and cascading water falls.For adventure seekers , there is an option for trekking and para gliding.
Maramala waterfall lie a few kilometers away from Eerattupetta in Kottayam district, Kerala. It is exactly 7 km from Teekoy rubber estate. From here a private vehicle can take you further 2 km after which the road is not motorable. To reach the falls one has to trek through the estate over the rocky path. The waterfall is about 60 meters in height falling into a 12 meter-deep pool and joins the Teekoy river way down.
This waterfall sits on the river Meenachil surrounded by forests and plantations. The gushing falls over the years have etched out a path over a large rocky face and it forms a deep pool underneath, surrounded by big boulders.It might get dangerous around monsoons, best season to visit is during october.
This consists of three hills, each of a peculiar shape, such as Kudakallu (Umbrella shaped rock) . Another hill is the Koonu Kallu or the “Hunch Back rock”. (3400 ft above sea level).And the 3rd one is Wide bridge called Nara-ka-palam (bridge to hell). From the hilltops, the Arabian Sea can be seen in the distant horizon as a thin blue line.Medicinal herbs like Neela Koduveli, believed to have super natural powers grown here.
The beauty and the landscape of illikkal kallu is similar to that of the pillar rocks in Kodaikanal. It is said that the mythical medicinal herb Neela Koduveli grows here. From the hilltops, the Arabian Sea can be seen on the far horizon as a thin blue stroke. The view of the sunset from above the peak in the evening of a full moon day can be sensational: the moon can be seen rising up like another sun, as the orange sun goes down.
This palace is 47km from Kottayam and 18km from Palai. In this palace there is a huge collection of royal antiques and exquisite furniture which includes beautiful chandeliers, a palanquin, jewel boxes, a unique droni (treatment bed) for Ayurvedic massages which is carved out of a single wooden piece, different types of lamps, palm leaf engravings, grain measures, sculptures of Nataraja (the dancing Shiva) and many weapons and statues at this place. A unique conch preserved here is taken out once a year for ritualistic purposes.
There is a temple near the palace is an amazing replica of the Madurai Meenakshi Temple. The walls of this temple bear sculptures which narrate stories from the Puranas ,the legends of ancient India. The large Chuttuvilakku (row of lamps) near the temple also fascinates visitors.
Ayyampara 43km from Kottayam is a little known scenic spot of rocky plains where a 20 acre area of flat rock makes a natural granite stadium to enjoy the sunset and the view of the town below. It is a good place for trekking.
The major attraction of Ayyampara is the rocky area, which is nearly 100 acres of region.It is 2000 feet above from sea level.The magnificent view of the town can be enjoyed from Ayyampara. and also, visitors can watch sunset from this flat rock. This place has a mythological importance and is considered that the Pandavas during their exile lived near this rock. Ayyampara derived its name from the Lord Ayyappa temple located there. The Five Rocks here are said to represent the five Pandava brothers of the Indian epic Mahabharata.
Koottickal, situated in the Western Ghats is 5 km north of Mundakayam in Kottayam district. The majesty of the mountain ranges combined with the beauty of the forest and the artificial lake created by the check-dam of the Manimala river makes the spot linger in your mind. Amruthameda, famous for medicinal plants is nearby. Koottickal is well connected by roads to the main cities. Erumeli, the famous pilgrim centre is only 12 km south, while sabarimala is 60 km away. The waterfall at Vadakkemala, near Koottickal is another attraction.
Kottayam town is the gateway to pilgrim centres of Sabarimala, Vaikom, Ettumanoor,Erumeli. The famous Vaikom Siva Temple, associated with the legendary Parasurama, is just 40 Km.from north of Kottayam town and is a typical example of Kerala Temple Architecture. So also are the Temples of Perunna , Vazhappally and Thrikkodithanam near Changanachery. There is a school imparting training in Temple art forms like Panchavadyam, (orchestra of five musical instruments) Sopanasangeetham, Nagaswaram etc at Vaikom in connection with Siva Temple.
The temple at Ettumanoor about 12Km.from north of Kottayam is famous for the exquisite samples of ancient murals and 'Ezharaponnana' or the 7 ½ elephants finished in gold.
The religious festivals of this district are also famous. Pettathullel at Erumeli (January) Ashtami at Vaikom ( November/December) Ezharaponnana at Ettumanoor ( February/March)Blessed Alphonsa at Bharananganam(July) Ettunompu at Manarcad(September)Chandanakudam at Changanacherry (December) are prominent among them. One will find thousands of Hindus, Muslims and Christians mixing and mingling during these occasions in their quest for peace and salvation
Erumeli is famous for Hindu Muslim religious harmoney . The Mosque at Erumeliabout 60 Km from north-east of Kottayam town is dedicated to Vavar, a contemporary and companion of Lord Ayyappa, a Hindu deity. Every year the unique sight of multitudes of Hindu pilgrims worshipping at this mosque before they trek to Sabarimala to worship Lord Ayyappa.
Erumely is the name extracted from Erumakolli ("killed the buffalo"). A myth tells that Lord Ayyappa killed "Mahishi" in this place on the way to collect a tiger's milk. Mahish means buffalo and "Eruma" in Malayalam and hence the name extract "erumakolli". The village is nourished by Manimala River.
Valiapally (Metropolitan Church) Kavil Bhagavathi (Goddess) Temple and Puthoorpalli Muslim Juma-ath stand shoulder to shoulder in changanacherry town. From the very ancient past the 'CHANDANAKUDAM' the religious festival procession of Muslims with a sacred pot filled with sandal, is being given grand reception every year (December25) by Hindus in front of Kavil Bhagavathi Temple, Changanacherry. What better examples of Hindu-Muslim amity over centuries in this country can one expect
Bharananganam is an important christian pilgrimage centre - the place where the mortal remains of Blessed 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.
It is located in the banks of Meenachil river, 5 km away from Pala and 4 km from Plassanal, in Kottayam district in the state of Kerala. Bharananganam and surrounding places are hilly areas with a lot of vegetation. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people, who cultivate plantation crops such as rubber.
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.Among renowned institutions here is the St. Joseph’s Press. Established in 1844, this is one of the oldest priting presses in Kerala. It printed the Nasrani Deepika,Which later renamed as The Deepika, Kerala’s first daily.
Vaikom, 40 km form Kottayam is famed for the Siva temple which according to legend was constructed by Lord Parasurama, the mythological creator of Kerala.
The sacred ‘Ashtami’ festival of the Mahadeva Temple at Vaikom lasts for twelve days. The festival takes place during the dark lunar fortnight of the Malayalam month of Vrischikam (November-December) which concludes on the Ashtami day. The actual ‘Ashtami’ festivities are on the twelth day. In fact, ‘Vaikom Ashtami’ is considered so auspicious that it is celebrated throughout Kerala. On the ‘Ashtami’ night, many of the deities of nearby temples are ceremoniously brought in a procession to Vaikom temple. Among them, the pride of place goes to Subramanya, Siva’s son presiding over the nearby Udayanapuram temple. The father-son meet and departure is a moving experience to the devotees.
In contemporary history Vaikom’s prominence derives from the Sathyagraha of 1925, blessed by Mahatma Gandhi and aimed at throwing open the temple’s doors to HarijansKannadippara Kannadipara is the highest point in Elaveezhapoonchira. As the name suggests, the valley of this rocky mountain reflects the morning sun with a mirror like perfection. 3 km from here is the Pazhakakanam Plateau nourished by the Kadapuzha River. Bamboo groves, meadows and wild flowers make this place exotic. An added attraction here is the Kazhukankulimali Waterfalls that playfully cascade down the mountain and greet the river below with a magnificent splash.
PUTHUPPALLY ST.GEORGE VALIYA PALLY is one of the oldest and renowned churches of MALANKARA ORTHODOX CHURCH. The name itself proclaims. The patron saint of this parish is St.GEORGE. Situated by the side of coconut palms and a wide stretch of paddy fields, at a beautiful and serene village called PUTHUPPALLY which is about 8 kms from KOTTAYAM Town, this church is the refuge of thousands of people all over the world who seek the intercession of St.George. For more information click here
The Marthamariam Church (St. Mary's Church) at Manarcad is internationally famous. The ancient practice of 8 day fast and the Feast of Virgin Mary's Birth are celebrated between September 1st and 8tDuring the 8-day Fast in September, the helpless and the hapless throng the church to pray to Virgin Mary for cure of diseases, for getting children for the childless, for guarding against calamities and for getting the wishes fulfilled. The pray and beg to their Mother with tearful eyes. They place their offerings before hearth of every year at the church.Manarcad Church is the most important church among the ancient churches of Malankara. The stone inscriptions found at the church reveal that the church was built more than 1000 years ago. Archeologists have found out that the stone inscriptions were memorial stones set up at the tombs in 910 A.D. and 920 A.D. and the writing on them are in Malayalam and Tamil scripts prevalent 600 years ago.Afterwards, on several occasions, the church was rebuilt and renewed.
The Malliyoor Sree MahaGanapathy Temple in Kottayam district, Kerala is a noted pilgrim centre in kerala. Peopoles from all over India and abroad is frequently visiting this temple for kind worship from great lord Ganesh sub named VIGNESHWAR. Ganesha, the first son of Siva and Parvathy, enjoys prime place among all the gods in the Hindu pantheon. He is Parabrahma incarnate, the God of Wisdom and Learning, the Remover of all Obstacles and is worshipped first, before all of any Poojas either in temples or at any Public places. The Malliyoor Sree MahaGanapathy Temple is in comparable in the conception of the presiding deity as Vaishnava Ganapathy, with a young Sree Krishna seated on the lap of Lord Ganesha.
HO : KOTTAYAM-KADUTHURUTHY
BR : KOTTAYAM- CEMENT JUNCTION
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