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Kottayam - The land of letters, latex and lakes


This historical town derives it's name from the malayalam word "kottayakam" - meaning "Within the fort". It was the seat of the Munjunad Rajas and  later in the 12th Century, the Tekkumkur Rajas. Among the state's more mountainous districts, it lies sandwiched between the palm fringed backwaters on the west and the Western Ghats on the East. 12 km west of Kottayam, on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, lies a small village - Kumarakom, a captivating bird sanctuary known for it's local varieties like the water fowl,cuckoo and migratory birds like the Siberian Stork. 


Kottayam is also an important commercial centre thanks to it's plantations of rubber, tea, coffee and pepper.  


Kottayam Vimalagiri ChurchKottayam is proof of the cultural and religious plurality of Kerala.  It serves as the headquarters of several ecclestiastical heads of christian churches like those of the Syrian Christian Community. It houses several ancient churces like Puthenpally, Valiapally-(1550 A.D), Cheriapally(1579 A.D) and St.Mary's Church, Manarcad (1585) 

Bharananganam is another important christian pilgrimage centre. It houses the mortal remains of Sister Alphonsa (1916-1946).  Situated in the heart of  Kottayam town is the picturesque Thirunakkara Mahadeva Siva Temple.Ettumanoor,13 km away is famous for it's legendary 16th century Shiva Temple.Vaikom, 40 km away from kottayam, is famed for the Siva temple, which according to legend was built by Parasurama - the mythical creator of Kerala. The 12 day Ashtami festival falls in November/December. 


Kottayam is famous for it's cultural achievements.It was the first town in Kerala to achieve total literacy in India, an event that triggered a mass movement across India.  It is also the mecca of the publishing scene. It houses dozens of magazines and newspapers including Kerala's first newspaper - Deepika (Founded - 1887) as well as the country's largest selling daily and weekly from the Malayala Manorama Group, kottayam. It is also the birthplace of a unique institution - the Sahitya Pravarthaka Sahakarana Sangham, perhaps the first ever co-operative of writers.  


District Area - 2203 sq km 
Climate - Tropical humid. Cool and pleasant in the high ranges and the cardamom hills. 
Rainfall (Annual) - 346 cm 
Clothing - Tropical 
Tourist Season - September to March 

Travel Stuff 

The nearest airport is at Kochi, 75 km away.  It is linked by rail to most indian cities. The  railway station  is 3 km away from the City centre.  The main ferry station is also 3 km away and offers scenic backwater cruises to Mannar, Alleppy, Champakulam, Kavalam, Mankombu and Ambalapuzha.  


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Andhra Pradesh :: Arunachal Pradesh :: Dardar & Nagar Haveli :: Delhi :: Goa :: Gujarat :: Himachal Pradesh :: Jammu & Kashmir :: Karnataka :: Kerala :: Lakshadweep :: Madhya Pradesh :: Maharashtra :: Orissa :: Pondicherry :: Punjab :: Rajasthan :: Tamil Nadu ::Uttar Pradesh :: Uttaranchal :: West Bengal

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