is bordered by the lofty and mighty Western Ghats on the east and the Vembanad
Lake and paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west, Kottayam is a land of unique
Panoramic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands, hills and hillocks,
extensive rubber plantations, places associated with many legends and a totally
literate people have given Kottayam District the enviable title: The land
of letters, legends, latex and lakes. Kottayam Town is the first town in India
to have achieved 100% literacy (a remarkable feat achieved as early as in
The Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom (16 km from Kottayam town):
Also called a land of lakes, Kottayam is a vast network of rivers and canals
which empty into great expanse of water called the Vembanad lake. The lake,
an enchanting picnic spot and a fast developing backwater tourism destination,
provides boating, fishing and sight seeing experiences that are truly exhilarating.
The Kumarakom Tourist Village offers houseboat cruises and holiday packages.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary (16 km from Kottayam town):
Located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is
an ornithologist's paradise and a favourite haunt of migratory birds like
the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. A cruise along the Vembanad
lake is the best way to experience the sanctuary.
Pala and Kanjirapally :
and Kanjirapally nourished by the Meenachil and Manimala rivers respectively,
these two towns are centres of rubber plantations.
Siva Temple,Vaikom (40 km north of Kottayam):
Associated with the legendary Parasurama, this temple is a typical example
of Kerala Temple Architecture.
Thirunakkara Mahadevar Temple:
in the heart of Kottayam town.
The ancient temple was the place of worship of the Thekkumkoor royal family.
The Kudamaloor Temple is equally famous. The Thazhathangadi Mosque built on
the Meenachil river is one of the oldest in India. The C.S.I. Cathedral Church
built over 175 years ago is a monument from the British Era. The Old Seminary,
Marthoma Seminary and Vadavathoor Seminary proclaim Syrian and Roman traditions.
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church has its headquarters at Devalokam, Kottayam.
The mortal remains of the Blessed Father Chavara are entombed at the St.Joseph's
Monastery Church at Mannanam. Thousands gather at this holy shrine during
Mahadevar Temple, Ettumanoor (12 km north of Kottayam town):
Mahadevar Temple is famous for murals and ezharaponnana (the 71/2 elephants
finished in gold) Festival: Ezharaponnana utsavam (February/March)
The Vavarambalam, Erumeli (60 km north-east of Kottayam town):
This mosque is dedicated to Vavar, a contemporary and companion of Lord Ayyappa,
the deity of the Sabarimala Temple. The mosque is famous for the centuries
old custom of multitudes of Hindu pilgrims worshipping here before their trek
to Sabarimala to worship Lord Ayyappa.
Festival: Pettathullal (January)
St. Mary's Church, Bharananganam, Pala:
The mortal remains of the Blessed Alphonsa are entombed at this church which
is now a famous pilgrim centre. Thousands gather at this holy shrine during
the annual festival: Feast of the Blessed Alphonsa (July) * Ettunoyampu, Manarcad
St. Mary's Church, Kuravilangad:
Built in 355 A.D on the high ganges of Kuravilangad town, this church has
an old bell which bears a hitherto undeciphered inscription.
Valiapalli & Cheriyapalli (2 km from Kottayam town):
These two churches dedicated to St. Mary were built in 1515 AD and 1579 AD
respectively. The Valiapalli is known for its Persian cross and Pahalavi inscriptions.
The Cheriyapalli houses some of the most exquisite murals and paintings based
on Biblical and non Biblical themes.
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