Kottayam TourismThe landscape of Kottayam is dotted with panoramic backwater stretches, waterfalls and lush green paddy fields along with tall coconut trees.
Hence it is no surprise that the major tourist spots in Kottayam revolve around these landscapes. There are famous local pilgrimage spots as well which are thronged by devotees from all across India who visit during specific months. There are a large number of temples as well as churches in Kottayam established since olden times.
The most noteworthy places in Kottayam are Kayyoor, Erumeli, Panachikad, Kumarakom, Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls, Pathiramanal, Anchuvilakku, Nattakom and Vembanad Lake. These are few of the many spots which can be visited besides the pilgrimages.
Places to Visit in Kottayam
Kayyoor is a beautiful landscape of green hills at Bharananganam. There is an ancient shrine dedicated to The Pandava brothers (from the epic Mahabharata) installed here. The temple is a strict shrine with only men allowed inside and lighting of lamps done only with ghee (hydrogenated fat).
This is a lush green village around 60 km (37 miles) away from Kottayam. It falls under the Northeast of Kottayam in the Western Ghats. It is from here that lakhs of devotees every year make their way to the most prominent of pilgrimages – Sabrimala temple.
Nattakom and Panachikad
These are special geographic areas with verdant green cover as every year migratory birds such as Egret, Heron, Teal, Darter, Siberian Stork fly down and stay till the end of summer. The various reservoirs add to the charm of these small villages. These are also famous stops for the boat ride tourists who pass through while plying from Kodoorar to Kumarakom. Various recreational activities for tourists such as fishing, ayurvedic treatments and massages, swimming and boating are available here.
Kumarakom is an enchanting maze of canals, waterways and water bodies along side the Lake Vembanad, which is green and dense with mangroves. Here too various migratory birds are found with 91 local species and around 50 types of migratory ones. Read More
This is a scenic and alive picnic spot located in the Kumarakom area and 18 kms (11 miles) from Kottayam. There is a roaring cascade of water through the hillocks which makes its way down to 100 feet. There is a vast expanse of rubber plantation as well in this region. Read More
This is a tiny little island accessible only by boat located between Kumarakom and Thaneermukkom. The places conjures up its name from the words “Sands of Midnight” which is again a hotspot for bird watching. Legend goes that the island was created on account of a young Brahmin who had dived into the Vembanad Lake to perform his evening bath and it gave rise to this tract of land from the water body.
This is a historical place where a stone lamp post was built in Kerala architecture by Veluthampi Dalawa, a renowned freedom fighter. It is located 18 kms (11 miles) from Kottayam. Due to this lamp the surrounding city of Changanacherry is known as the “The City of Five Lamps”.
This is the longest lake in the state running almost the one third of the length of the state. It is a big part of the attraction of the Kerala Backwaters with 84 kms (52 miles) in length and 14 kms (9 miles) in breadth. There are the traditional cargo boats plying as commercial transport along with those which have been modified into luxurious house boats and cruise boats.
These bountiful waters become the centre of activity during Onam during the months of August and September. The regatta, snake boat races with almost a 100 men in each boat pierce their way through the expansive waters with a rhythm set by their ancient and mesmerising songs. The oldest boat race is conducted in Kummanam – the Thazhathangadi boat race which are almost 100 years old. Boat races are also conducted in the other branches of the Lake Vembanad. Read More
Shopping in Kottayam
Kottayam is the destination for traditional woven and handicrafts from South India. It offers many options to take back such as silk sarees, handicrafts made from various local materials. Kottayam is famous for its textiles and boasts of many manufacturing centres of silk and cotton. Also since Kerala is the spice capital of India, you will find one spice market here as well. Read More
Best Time to Visit Kottayam
For tourists to enjoy the sights and sounds of the place without getting overwhelmed by the heat and humidity, September to February are the best months to visit Kottayam. The monsoons from June to September are beautiful months to enjoy the bounty of nature with lush verdant landscape but also brings the problem of various insect activity and swollen rivers to deal with.
How to Reach Kottayam
By Air and Trains: Kottayam is well connected by air by Kochi (93 km away) and Thiruvananthapuram (152 km away). Also a lot of national and international carriers bring passengers to these two main cities. It is easily possible to ply to Kottayam via buses, taxis abundantly available along with a few trains from Angamali (this is the closest place to the airport, however, very few trains stop here), Ernakulam Junction or Ernakulam Town.
There are several buses operating from Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi,Chennai, Kozhikode,Coimbatore, Bangalore, Mangalore to Kottayam. There are state as well as private transport buses available to suit different budgets and conveniences.
By Road: Kottayam is also well connected by road with cities like Alappuzha (Alleppey), Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode, Bangalore, Chennai, Mangalore, Kannur and Coimbatore.
By Water: Another unique and interesting travel option is the backwaters by the frequent ferries from Alappuzha (Alleppey) throughout the day.
It is the longest but the cheapest mode of transport taking two hours to reach Kottayam. The service is run by the Kerala State Water Transport Corporation.
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Kottayam Tourist Information
- District Tourism Office, Kottayam, Kumarakom & Tourist Information Counter,Phone: +91 0481 2524343 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- DTPC, Phone: +91 0481 2560420, Website: www.dtpckottayam.com
- Responsible Tourism Travel Desk, Kumarakom, Phone : +91 0481 2524343, Mobile: 09633992977
- KTDC, Kumarakom, Phone: +91 0481 2525864
- Kottayam KSRTC Bus station, Phone: +91 0481 2562935
- Kottayam Railway Station, Phone: +91 0481 2563535
- Boat Service Information - https://www.swtd.gov.in/index.php?langcode=en&compname=general&compview=alpy_kollam_boatservice
Tips for Tourists in Kottayam
Tourists should take a note to wear light cotton clothing most of the year in Kottayam. Since humidity crosses 60% it helps to keep cool with coconut water and curd along with lunch. There are two ferry stations and during summers the ferries are operated out of the Kodimatha Jetty.