The ‘AksharNagari’ or the ‘Land of Letters’ in God’s Own Country wears a number of hats! Be it the diverse history, art and craft, cultures and traditions, this pictorial city in Kerala is a heaven for the tourists.
Located in the basin of the mystical Vembanad Lake, this magnificent city also serves as a sought after backwater destination in Kerala. Also, as the perennial streams from the Western Ghats flows down and meet this gorgeous lake, Kottayam serves all the purpose of a backwater lover throughout the year. Whether planning a Kerala trip with family members, friends, or colleagues, visitors can make it to this pictorial city, hire houseboats, cruise across the turquoise backwaters, and unravel the magical charm and appeal of Kottayam.
Kottayam is one of the 14 districts in the state of Kerala, India. Bordered by Western Ghats on the east and the Vembanad Lake and paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west, Kottayam is a land of unique characteristics. 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 literally means the interior of a fort – Kotta + Akam. Rulers of Munjanad and Thekkumkur had their headquarters at Thazhathangadi near Kottayam town Marthanda Varma of Travancore attacked Thekkumkur and destroyed the palace and the Thaliyil Fort. The remnants of the palaces and forts are still seen here
The important rivers of the district are the Meenachil river, the Muvattupuzha river and the Manimala river. The river is formed by several streams originating from the Western Ghats in Idukki district. The important towns in the basin are Pala, Poonjar, Ettumanoor and Kottayam.
What To See And Do
Vennimala is a serene and beautiful place located in the Puthuppalli village panchayath of Kottayam district .Vennimala, a stone’s thrown away from the bustling Kottayam Town is the serene and beautiful hill top destination, Vennimala is located nearly 15 km from the Kottayam town and can be assessed easily through the Kottayam- Kumili road.
It is believed that Lord Rama and Lakshmana during their period of exile visited this hillside. At that time numerous sages meditated in the caves of Vennimala. Cheraman Perumal illustrated emperor of ancient Kerala consecrated this temple and stayed in this place. He was taken to the beauty of this place and stayed here and built a palace. He earmarked the hill as a sacred and protected place. Sadly, the palace doesn’t remain today. The temple celebrates twenty Eight days of annual festival every year. The place also was the residence of Tekkumkoor dynasty.
The hill had more than sixty large and small ponds scattered throughout the forest. Even today about a dozen such ponds are remaining with sparkling fresh water even in hot summers. Vennimala is covered by lush green vegetation and rubber plantations.. Another major attraction here is a huge cave on one side of the hill, half a km from the temple. It is believed that this cave, runs for over a kilometer to the temple premises, though it has been closed by fallen rock.
Matrumala is located in Kooropada village and is about 8 km from Vennimala. The place can be accessed from Kottayam through Pampadi. Matrumala is a hill top that offers stunning views of the entire surroundings.The place got its name as it has a small temple on its top dedicated to Goddess. The temple is believed to have been built by Parasurama, the legendary creator of Kerala who installed idols of the seven Goddesses (Saptamathas) here. A muddy winding road leads to the hill top that can be approached by either vehicle or on foot.
Where To Stay
Many good hotels and Resorts are available in Kottayam.
How To Get Around
The nearest airport from Kottayam is at Kochi which is 61 km away.
Kottayam is well connected by rail
Excellent road network