Bordered by the lofty Wstern Ghats on the east, and the Vembanad Lake and the paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west, Kottayam is a land of unique characteristics. Panoramic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands, extensive rubber plantations and a totally literate people have given this district the enviable title: The land of letters, latex and lakes. This land also boasts of the first Malayalam Printing Press which was established by Benjmin Bailey, a Christian missionary in 1820 AD.
Kottayam is the ideal take-off point for visits to Peermede, Munar, Idukki, Thekkady. Ernakulam and the temple city of Madurai. Blessed with Natural attractions like Mountains, Backwaters, Wild life etc.
Places of Interests
- Kumarakam Bird Sanctuary
Situated 16 KM from Kottayam town, Located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake. Is an ornithologist’s paradise, is a favorite haunt of migratory b irds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. A cruise along the Vembanad lake is the best way to experience the sanctuary. It spreads over an area of 14 acres. For tourists Houseboats and speedboats are available for bird watching on lake, like waterfowl, water duck, owl are seen near lake. The best time to visit is between June and August, the migratory birds can only seen here November to February winter season.
- Daivathinte Munamb
Situated 7 KM from Kumarakam, Daivathinte Munamb ( God’s island ), is an enchanting picnic spot which provides boating, fishing and sightseeing experiences. Walking along the banks of the lakes is a memorable experience. Village life of the local people can be observed very closely here. The small island, a little far away from the main shore is fascinating and offers a beautiful view of the sunset.
- Kaippuzha Muttu
Situated 2 KM from Kavanattinkara Boat Terminal. Houseboat making, units, traditional coir making units, coconut processing centers, and duck farms paddy fields, migratory birds etc are some of the scenic attractions of this place.
Situated 3 KM from Kumarakom, Various types of traditional fishing techniques can be seen in this village. During the harvest season, tones of paddy are harvested from this place. Migratory birds and common birds can be seen here. The one hour sightseeing trip through the winding canal in a boat via Naragathara, Muthlymada, Mathrankiayal to Daivathinte Munamb is an unforgettable experience.
1.5 hour boat ride from Kumarakam, Arundhati Roy’s novel. The God of small things; is set in this beautiful village. It is a typical water based village with scenic backwaters and a vivid green network of rivers and canals and vast stretches of green paddy fields and coconut farms. Migratory birds come seeking this verdant landscape every summer and frolic in its natural splendor. Country boat rides through the interior canals is a great way to relax and enjoy nature’s bounties, and the rice fields cover two-third of village.
Situated 4 KM from the Boat Terminal at Kavanattinkara. Unending vast green paddy fields and vegetable farms, toddy tapping, net fishing, country boat rides, screw pine weaving, coconut leaf weaving, traditional coir making unit, duck farms, bird watching, machadikkari has much in store for tourists. This place provides a truly unique village experience. In this summer season, migratory birds like Sioberian stork, darter, egret, heron and common varieties like water hen, crane, skylark etc can be spotted here.
Situated 4 KM from Kavanattinkara. This unique attraction here is the vallaveesal type of Karimeen fishing ( a technique of fishing using tender coconut leaves that are tied in ropes ). Service of at least eight fishermen are required for this type of fish catching.
- Anchu Vilakku
Situated in Chanfanacherry Also known as “ The City of Five Lamps “ This stone lamp post, a typical example of Kerala architecture, was built by the renowned freedom fighter Veluthampi Dalawa. The five lamps on this post are it using kerosene. The lamp signifies the ‘Unity in diversity of local ethnic and religious aspects.
- Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls
Located 18 KM from Kottayam and 2 KM down a mud land from Kumarakom. It is a beautiful picnic spot where streams tinkle as they make their way through the landscape and water roars as they cascade down the mountains from a height of 100 ft. The best time to visit Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls is after Monsoon Septermber onwards. If you are a bird watcher Kumarakom is the right place with its backwaters, wetlands, and green lands, also you can visit nearest Kumarakom bird sanctuary goes well with waterfall trip.
A picturesque location at the top of a hill with endless stretches of meadows girded by huge rocks. A bird’s eye view of the low lying places like Ernakulam and Idukki can be enjoyed from here. The view of enchanting mountains and lakes will give best memories while your trip. The best time to visit Nadukani is October to February, which you can feel amazing sight and makes you fresh and crispy air. The place is easily accessible by road and accommodation facilities also available here.
Situated 3 KM from Vazhikkadavu. It’s a well renowned Christian pilgrim centre where hundreds of devotees from far and near coverage during the holy week and after, to climb the hill in faith, carrying small wooden crosses.
The mausoleum of Sheikh Fariduddin found here makes this place a famous Muslim pilgrim centre. Nearby is the scenic hill station of Kurathikallu and the beautiful Kottathavalam.
Near Murugan hills at Kurisumala. A fight of steps cut in the rocks takes one to this magnificent cave. Legends say that the royal family from Madurai rested here on their way to Poonjar. The rocks within the cave, carved like chairs and couches and the figures of Madurai Meenakshi, Ayyappa, Murugan, Kannad and weapons sculpted on the, are all worth exploring.
- The Vemband Lake, Kumarakam
This 10 acre island on the backwaters in home to many rare varieties of migratory birds from different parts of the world. According to mythology a young Brahmin dived into the vembanad Lake to perform his evening ablutions and the water made way for land to rise from below, thus creating the enchanting island, Pathiramanal ( Sands of midnight ).
- Poonjar Palace
The palace is a glorious testimony to the regal opulence of a bygone era. Within the palace walls is an extraordinary royal collection of antiques and exquisite furniture which include a palanquin, a thoni-carved out of a single piece of wood-for Ayurvedic massages, huge chandeliers, palm leaf engravings.
As the name suggests, the valley of this rock/mountain reflects the morning sun with a mirror like perfection. This is also the highest point in Ilaveezha poonchira.
- Illikal mala
Numerous mountain streams in this peak, 6000 ft. above sea level, flow down to from serene meenachil river. You can also visit Illikkal Kallu the near by attraction. Three hills, each rising to 4000 ft. and above, together form this huge hill. Each of the hills have a peculiar shape.
According to legends, the five Pandava brothers – epic heroes of the Mahabharatha stayed near this rock,2000 ft. above sea level and spread over 2o acres during their exile.
- Kolani Mudi
Yet another peak in the llaveezhapoonichira mountain range with limitless range of mountain views will memorize Munnar Mountains which also has a cave.
Kottayam is known for its religious harmony. There are over 50 temples and 70 churches including a 1000 year old mosque in this district. Besides, Kottayam is also the gateway to the pilgrim centre’s of sabarimala, Mannanam, Vaikom, Ettumanoor, Bharananaganam, Erumeli, Manarcad, Aruvithura,Athirampuzha and the temples of perunna, vazhapalli and Thrikkodithanam near changanacherry.
- Siva Temple, Thalikkotta
- Thrunakkara Mahadevar Temple
In the heart of Kootayam town is this 500 year old temple built by the Thekkumkoor Maharajah. Temple built in the Kerala style of architecture has colorful murals on its walls which are worth exploring.
- St. Mary’s Church, Cheriapalli
Situated 2 KM from Kottayam town. Built in 1579 by Thekkumkoor Maharaja this church displays outstanding architecture which is a blend of Kerala and Portuguese styles. The walls are adorned with beautiful murals made in oriental and western styles on biblical and non biblical themes.
- St. Mary’s Church, Mannarkkad
Situated 8 KM from Kottayam town. This is one of the most important churches of the Malankara Jacobinte Syrian Christians. The ettunoyambu ( 8 day fasting ) is the main annual event when devotees from far and wide congregate to participate in the prayers and rituals.
- St. Joseph’s Monastery, Mannanam
Situated near Medical College. This church was built by the blessed Father Chavara Kuriakose Elias. The mortal remains of this saintly priest are preserved here.
Shiva Temple Vaikom Situated 40 KM from Kottayam town. Associated with the legendary Parasurama, this temples is atypical example of the Kerala style of temple architecture.
Situated 8 KM from the Boat Terminal at Kavanattikara. This remote village is the place where the snake boat race trials are conducted during the festival season in the Malayalam month, Chingam. Winding narrow canals, vast stretch of paddy fields , vegetable farms, migratory and common birds are the other attractions here.
- Attamangalam Church
The wolrd famous Raja Ravi Varma paintings of Saint Parumala Thirumeni can be seen here. The canals around the church and the beautiful surroundings are the other interesting sights here.
Boat Races in Kumarakam
- Kumarakom Sreenarayana Jayanthi Boat Race
The boat races are conducted every year during Chanthayam Nal, the fourth day of Onam. It starts from Kottathod near Kumarakom Market Junction. The procession in the Kettuvallam through Kottathodu is an attractive sight. Kolkali, Thiruvathira Kali, Garudanthookkam, Panchavadyam etc are performed in the Kettuvallam during the procession. The boat races with all types of snake boats are held after the procession.
- Kavanattinkara Tourism Boat Race
This boat race is conducted during Avittom day of the Malayalam month Chingam, Snake boats such as irukkutty, Chundan, Veppu and Kothumpavallam participate in the competition. Hundreds of people gather to witness this boat race.
- Kottayam Thazhathangadi Boat Race
This is conducted during the week of the Malayalam month of Chingam in the River Meenachil. The Chundan snake boat race is an important event. Vanchipattu competition, relay etc are conducted in connection.To enjoy the real beauty of Kottayam you have to visit on the perefct time. Normally in kerala October to February is the season time which the climate fits for all.
Best Time to Visit
To enjoy the real beauty of Kottayam you have to visit on the perefct time. Normally in kerala October to February is the season time which the climate fits for all.
Tips for Travelers
- Kerala festival Onam is on End of august or early September is a good time to visit Kottayam with including many cultural programs lasting 10 days.
- The monsoon seasons starts from June every year and is a time of heavy rains.
- For foreign travellers while you are travelling, you can find out the Saudi riyal rates in Kottayam easy by contacting the near foreign exchange counter.