Kottayam

76 km south-east of Cochin, Kottayam is a prominent commercial center with palm-fringed backwaters on the west and the scenic Western Ghats to the east. It is one of the most beautiful villages in Kerala.

Sightseeing

Vaikom: 40 km from Kottayam and 29 km from Ernakulam. The mythical sage founder of Kerala, Parasurama is believed to have constructed the famous temple here, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The festival in November-December lasts for 12 days and the "Panchavadyam" is an important musical performance. 3 km north of Vaikom, is a temple dedicated to Lord Subramanya at Udayanapuram. It is known for its interesting stone sculptures and wood carvings.

Thirunakkara Shiva Temple: is built in the indigenous Kerala style. The Dancing Hall here is one of the best in the state. The temple, also has a wealth of paintings on its walls. The main festival, Phalguna Utsav is celebrated during March.

St. Mary's Church (Valiapally): is famous for the Persian Cross and Phalvi inscriptions. The Church is believed to have been built in 1515.

St. Mary's Church (Cheriyapally): is noted for its exquisite murals and paintings of Biblical themes.

Mannanam: 8 km west of Kottayam, this is an important center for Christians. St. Joseph's monastery here is an old institution and is associated with Fr. Kuriakose Elias of Chavara (1805-71), who has been recently pronounced "blessed".

Bharanangnanam: 5 km east of Palai, the church here is an important pilgrim center for Christians, associated with Alphousa, who has been recently pronounced "blessed".

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: 12 km west of Kottayam, on the banks of Vembanad Lake, the sanctuary sprawls over 14 acres. It is an ideal place for backwater cruises. The lake also provides facilities for boating, yachting, fishing, surf riding & swimming. Kerala Tourism Development Corporation rents boats for backwater cruises in the surrounding lake. KTDC also provides accommodation.

Ettumanoor: 12 km north of Kottayam, the Shiva Temple here exhibits Kerala temple architecture. The annual festival of the temple falls in February/March and lasts for 10 days.

Thrikkodithanam Temple: 23 km from Kottayam, it is believed that this is one of the five temples where the original Vishnu image worshipped by the Pandvas is kept. The "Deepam" festival celebrated in November-December is its most important festival.

Pund Areekapuram: a small temple near Thalayola-paramuba on the Kottayam-Vaikom route.

Erumeli: 60 km from Kottayam, is an important pilgrim center for Hindus and the Muslims. The Dharma Sastha temple here is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. Pilgrims going to Sabarimala alight here.

Accomodation

Anjali Hotel
K.K. Road
Kottayam 686001
Tel: (0481) 563661
Fax: (0481) 563669

Hotel Green Park,
Nagampadam
Kottayam 686001
Tel: (0481) 563311

Hotel Aida
M.C. Road
P.B. No. 622 Kerala Kottayam
Tel: (0481) 568391
Fax: (0481) 568399

The Ambassador Hotel
K.K. Road
Kottayam 686001
Tel: (0481) 563293

Kerala