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
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
Climate - Tropical humid.
Cool and pleasant in the high ranges and the cardamom hills.
Rainfall (Annual) - 346
Clothing - Tropical
Tourist Season - September
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