Kottayam, Kumarakom

Visitor Information

  • Famous for: Towns, legends, latex, letters, monuments, palace backwaters, lakes.
  • Entrance Fee: Entrance fee depends on the places you intend to visit in Kottayam.
  • Visiting Time:  No specific time limit.
  • Visit Duration: No specific visit duration.

The land with numerous titles under its clutch; the place quite famed for her legends and letters. The place which saw the intellectual ferment of the English educated elites, creating a new stir in society. Yes, I am talking about Kottayam– the place which cribbed some of the major events that propelled Kerala into the period of Renaissance.

Photo (Cropped) by Prasad Pillai, CC BY 2.0

Traveler Tips

  • Kottayam is quite vast with beautiful backwaters to plantations and local markets selling indigenous goods. Make sure you have a proper itinerary.
  • Kottayam is all about discovering it at your own pace and there will be a lot of walking to do; so, wear comfortable clothes and footwear.
  • You require proper IDs to gain access to a majority of places in Kottayam.

Things to Do

  • Pay a visit to the Thazhathangady Juma Masjid an important historical site in Kottayam.
  • Plan a picnic on the lovely banks of the Vembanad Lake running parallel to Kottayam, and spend some time with your loved ones.
  • The Illikkal Kallu is perched on the borders of Kottayam amidst the Western Ghats region, and the hard terrain and protruding boulders are just perfect for rock climbing.
  • Vembanad Lake also offers you fun water activities like speed boating, house boating and plenty more.
  • The local markets of Kottayam are abundant with rare and indigenous varieties of goods which you can purchase at unbelievable rates.

Availability of Guides

I would always advise for you to avail the facility of a guide, especially if you are travelling with your family. But you are in a stranger’s land and you must ensure that the guide you have hired is in fact worthy of your time. So, I suggest that you avail the guide from the official tourism department at Kottayam. It is also wise to consult with a tour agency prior to your visit to help you with the plans.

Best Time to Visit

The summers in Kottayam can be quite harsh on you and it is not quite the ideal time. The monsoons with heavy downpours are definitely not a good time to step out and Kottayam is all about exploring. The winters, of course! In contrast to the chilled snowy climate of Northern India, the winters in Kerala which usually begins in November and extends up to February are surprisingly pleasant and a welcome change for tourists.

How to Reach Kottayam

The nearest railway station to Kottayam is the Kottayam Railway Station which is in the central heart of the town. There are three major Bus stations in Kottayam- the KSRTC bus stand, the Nagampadom Bus Stand and Thirunakkara Bus Stand. From here you can travel to any part of the district. The nearest airport to Kottayam is Cochin International Airport which is frequently commuted by domestic and international flights. The airport is only a maximum of 2 hours’ drive from Kottayam.

Interesting Facts and Trivia about Kottayam

  • Kottayam is a district with many titles under its crown. The most prominent one being the ‘land of letters’. In local language, the district is known as the ‘Akshara Nagari’ due to its high literacy rate which it has managed to maintain to this day.
  • When the price of rubber shot up in the international market, Kerala found new love-rubber plantations! The lion share of land in Kottayam was dedicated for the cultivation of rubber. Hence Kottayam acquired a new name- the land of latex.
  • The Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls which has provided a picturesque background for many movies in the Indian film industry is located in Kottayam, just 20 kms away from the main city.
  • Kottayam was the cradle of the uprisings of several social reformers and social reform movements in Kerala.
  • Mannanam, the birth place of Saint Kuriakos Elias Chavara Achen is located in the district of Kottayam.
Pushpagiri Church
Pushpagiri Church, Photo by Prasad Pillai, CC BY 2.0

Nearby Attractions

  • Vaikom Temple
  • Vembanad Lake
  • Kumarakom
  • Thazhathangady
  • Thazhathangady Juma Masjid
  • Subramania Swamy Temple
  • Thirunnakkara Temple
  • Mary’s Orthodox Church
  • Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
  • Bay Island Driftwood Museum
  • Kottayam Local Market
  • Thazhathangady Local Market
  • Mannath township
  • Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls
  • Illikkal Kallu

Nearby Restaurants

  • Aryabhavan Veg Restaurant
  • The Wheels Restaurant
  • 12 to 12 Bar-Be-Que
  • Pizza Hut
  • 12 to 12 Restaurant
  • Green Leaf’s Restaurant
  • Shalimar Restaurant
  • The Astoria
  • Annapurna Vegetarian Restaurant
  • Karimpumkala Restaurant
  • Avess Puttu House
  • Indian Coffee House
  • Chic King
  • KFC
  • Hotel Aiswarya
  • Bed and Breakfast

With ancient forts and monuments, palaces’ dating back to the lineages of Sangam Kings, numerous townships, schools and colleges, pilgrim centers, backwaters, lakes and classy restaurants, Kottayam is a land which entices you each and every second you spend in her cradle.

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

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