Tourist Places near KottayamThere are a number of places of tourist interest near Kottayam that afford a splendid visual delight to all those who are willing to venture out and explore the natural beauty.
Located at a distance of about sixteen kilometers from Kottayam town is this rare jewel in the crown of Nature. It is the internationally acclaimed wetland renowned for its conservation efforts. About ten rivers empty into the Vembanad Lake with about six of them originating is Kerala itself. The tourist can find a large variety of activities to indulge his or her fancy while visiting the expansive lake. The Vembanad Lake hosts the spectacular Onam festival which is known the world over for its snake boats and the rhythmic crew which puts body and soul in to winning the boat race, which in itself, is an extravaganza. The Vembanad backwaters are comprised of innumerable little streams and rivulets all interwoven into an intricate network that has been declared as a national water transportation system. There is yet another aspect to the beauty and appeal of the Vembanad Lake and that is the large variety of migratory birds flocking to these wetlands. The place is virtually chock a block with a number of varieties of migratory birds.
PathiramahPathiramah is an island, which according to legend arose from the Vembanad Lake once when a young Brahmin had taken a dive into its waters while performing abulations before the evening prayer. The very name of the island denotes ‘midnight sands’. Being an island it is approachable only by boat. It affords hours of pleasure for the avid bird watchers because the island is home to a stupendous variety of migratory birds making it indisputably the bird watchers' paradise.
Arurikkuzhi waterfallsThe Arurikkuzhi waterfall is located less than twenty kilometers away from Kottayam. A winding mud path takes one to the five-tiered waterfalls which is a visual delight as the tourists amble along savouring in the deep green richness of the rain forest in the back drop and the verdant tea and rubber plantations in the foreground. It is an ideal picnic spot. An extra afternoon can be spent drinking in the bounty of Nature.
Kumarakom is another beautiful spot near Kottayam. It is situated just about ten kilometers away. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a singular attraction which has ornithologists thronging to it at suitable times of the year. It has more than twenty thousand varieties of domestic and foreign birds. This somnolent little township has several activities to involve the visitor while also simultaneously having a health promotive impact on the tourists. They can enjoy ayurvedic massages through the traditionally practiced ‘Panchkarma’ or massage therapy.
Along with yoga, meditation and the other modern relaxing occupations like fishing and boating. There are a number of water-worthy vessels like canoes, rafts, boats, motor boats and even houseboats. Kumarakom boasts of a fabulous variety of beautifully constructed houseboats. These houseboats can be hired for a weekend’s stay wherein the visitors can leisurely cruise along the interconnected waterways. In fact it would be an idyllic pastime for the bird watchers who can spot any of a large variety of birds like the teal, heron, Siberian stock, egret, duck, heron and darter among a whole range of others.
AnchuvilakkaAnchuvilakka is a remarkable memorial to the bravery and skill of the bygone generations. The Anchuvilakku is a lamp post that stands like a silent sentinel to the centuries of activities on the waterfront. This lamp post is made up of stone and is constructed proximal to the boat jetty at Changancherry. The lamp post was constructed and installed by Valuthampi Dalawa, a much celebrated freedom fighter to guide the boats in on dark nights. There are five lamps that can be lit by kerosene on this lamp post. This lamp is a remarkably typical example of the Kerala style of architecture of that era.
ErumeliErumeli is virtually the entrance point for the internationally renowned pilgrimage to the Sabrimala Temple of Ayyappa. Erumeli in itself is also a significant pilgrimage centre for both Hindus as well as Muslims. Erumeli is located at a distance of about sixty kilometers on the north eastern side of Kottayam. There is an ancient temple known as the Sree Dharamasastha Temple at this holy place. It is dedicated to the Lord Ayyappa. It rises like a pearl above the several teak plantations that stretch out as far as the eye can see all the way to Kanakpalam which is located nearby.
KayyoorKayyoor, which is a part of the Bharanagarnam panchayat, is located in the rich green hill range which is rich with all forms of flora. This natural niche is most inviting for the wandering traveler. It has been recognized as a richly healthy promotive site for detoxification and rejuvenation of the body in an oxygen rich healthy environment. Kayyoor is also famous for the ancient temple which has been dedicated to the Pandava brothers. There are two features unique to this temple. Firstly, the lamps in the temple are lit only in pure ‘Ghee’ or clarified butter and secondly women are not allowed inside the temple precincts. Although this is an ancient restriction, it remains in place till this date.
Nattakom and PanachikadNattakom and Panachikad are two villages that are the epitomes of scenic beauty and health in this natural niche of green forests and plantations. The expansive waterways amidst the rubber and tea plantations provide for easy transportation. The highpoint of relaxation in this beautiful tourism site is a pleasant boat ride from Panachikads’ locality Kadoorar all the way to Kumarakom. Such rare pleasures can hardly be found anywhere else. In fact these two villages are offering a wide variety of health promotive practices like ayurvedic massage, fishing, boating, swimming and a wide range of health and relaxation as well as regenerative indulgences that pamper the human body and soul. These two villages have several forms of recreation on offer for tourists from all walks of life.
IIaveezhapoonchiraIIaveezhapoonchira is a wondrously green valley stretching across a wide expanse of mossy acres of land offers several picnic spots. The most favoured picnic spot is located amidst the Kanjar hillocks. This valley is formed by the basins of three large, undulating hills that rise more than three thousand feet. This valley has a unique appearance that there are no trees in the entire valley which justifies its name that literally implies ‘valley without any fallen leaves’. Besides its natural bounty, the valley has a special feature which is that after the monsoon when several seasonal streams rush down to the valley where a glittering jewel of a lake is formed by the collected water. Thus, the valley is full of natural surprises and there are several activities to be indulged in like trekking, bird watching, boating or simply just relaxing on the grassy valley floor. This is one unique site for viewing the sunrise and sunset over the pleasantly scenic hilltops.
VagamonVagamon is a beautiful hill station that has the unique distinction of being developed into one of India’s first initiative on eco-tourism. This hill station also has the livestock breeding centre of Kerala located at this site. The hill station is situated on the Idukki-Kottayam border and has a vast green expanse of tea gardens and natural plantations. An entire day could go by savouring the natural beauty of this lovely environment.
Mankallu MudikalMankallu Mudikal are a formation of a row of three, flat-roofed hills that offer ample lush green grasslands for treks and relaxation. When seen aerially the three hilltops resemble the placement of three over stones or a clay over with three shoulders on which dishes are balanced oven a fire. A somnolent walk along the hilltops gives one the feeling of walking in the clouds as there are no trees on the surface and the moisture laden fluffy clouds hang low. It is a unique feeling of being enveloped by soft, fluffy, soothing clouds.
IIIickal KalluIIIickal Kallu is a collection of three hills that rise to a lofty height of about four thousand feet above the sea level. The distinctive feature of these hills is their unique shape. One of the hills rises like a mushroom or an umbrella and has been called the ‘Kuda Kallu’. The other hill is shaped like a hunched back and has been called the Koonu Kallu. This particular hill has another significant feature called the ‘bridge to hell’ or Narakapalam which is a natural feature across this particular hill and just about half a foot wide. The lofty height of the hills affords a panoramic view of the Arabic sea which appears as a fine blue line on the faraway horizon.
Another scenic highpoint of this beautiful tourism site is the fabulous sunset on the full moon evenings. The sensational sight of a full silvery moon rising and the orange globe of the sun setting simultaneously behind the hilltops is a memorable and fantastic vision that lives with one for eternity. A unique feature of these hills is the blue colour imparted to their sides due to the growth of the herb ‘Neela Kodduveli’ which is believed to have amazing supernatural powers. Its presence is said to grant increasing wealth and a bountiful harvest. Overall, this tourist haven is a package of delights that has the ability to satiate the hungriest soul.
KannadiparaKannadipara has a natural fort that virtually grew on the eastern side and is constructed on a steep rocky interface. In fact the entire mountain is rocky and appears most inviting. Just about three kilometers away is the Pazhakakanam plateau across which rises the Kadapuzha River. It feeds the lush bamboo groves while dotting its rich green meadows with a riot of wild flowers. These beautiful scenic treasures are further complemented by the presence of the Kazhukankulimali waterfalls. It skips down the hillsides in a playful skip and jump that ends in a sharp fall into the river below.
VazhikkadavuThe Vazhikkadavu hill station borders the district and is mainly composed of a rocky terrain. It offers a different form of landscape strewn with rocks and stones. Some of the rocks are lofty and tall while others are wide and well-rounded offering innumerable options for sitting, lying down or simply relaxing. Threading across these rocks and stones is the silvery Meenachil River. A special surprise is sprung on the visitors and locals alike during the December months in this region. For the duration of this month the entire region is covered with a flamboyant blossoming of orchids and the floor is carpeted with wild flowers. It is a most beauteous and unforgettable experience to visit this region in December.
MatrumalaDeriving its name from one of the goddesses, Matrumala is a peculiar village situated in Kottayam. The place has an eye-pleasing temple which is considered to be built by Parasurama, the mythological creator of Kerala who established the idols of the seven goddesses here. It is situated at a distance of 17 km on NH 220.It is reachable by road within 30 min. Bus/taxi service is available.
Vennimala – The victory hillAt a stretch of about 15 km from the Kottayam town, one can reach the Vennimala hill via the Kottayam-Kumil road. It is a beautiful and a poised hill top destination. The serenity of the hill speaks for itself.
This pleasant tourist spot is land of many ancient temples like the Lekshmana temple and an old Sreerama Temple. These temples are envisaged to be very high in the Indian mythological epic of Ramayana. The tale says that both Lord Rama as well Lord Lakshmana came to this spot while they were sentenced to an exile. The temples were also the home of the acclaimed Tekkumkoor dynasty.
This placid hill station is rich in rubber plantations and green vegetation. It is also marked by innumerable small and big fresh water ponds. Even today the hill station has managed to preserve numerous eye-pleasing fresh water ponds scattered in and around the station.
One cannot miss the huge cave boasted by the hill which is one-half a kilometer from the temples.
It is situated at a distance from Kottayam on NH 220 is 15 km. It is reachable in 20 min by car. State and private Bus services from K.K.Road Kottayam are available.
KallaraKallara is a small fanciful village in Kottayam which is situated towards the northwest direction. One can access this quaint village by either catching a train or via road. Kallara and its neighboring villages are embellished by unending sumptuous paddy fields transversed by innumerable canals that drain the excess water into the mighty Vembanad lake.
In the old days, a large amount of freight was moved rowing boats across these canals. The canals also link Kallara to Kumarakom towards the south and Vaikom towards the north.
The scenic beauties in the village include Kapikkad, Ayamkudi, Pazhampetti, Karikkal and Mundar. The village is adorned with numerous archaic churches and temples.
Ezhumanthuruth in Kallara has backwaters with many pretty islands within the backwaters. One of the peculiar attractions in the village is the production of screwpine products. Called as “tazha” in the local dialect, Kallara has thousands of screw pine plants growing near the boundaries of the canals.
The screwpine products include cushions, mirrors, file holders, footwear, hats etc. The tourism in the village is growing humongous as people are flocking in to enjoy the scenic beauty, the backwaters as well to have a delightful shopping experience. It is situated at a distance of 20.8 km from Kottayam.
Reachable via Athirampuzh Medical College Road by car in 30 min.
RamapuramRamapuram is a yet another calm and a beautiful village in Kottayam. It is located at about 15km from the Pala town. Carving its own space into the rich culture of Kerala, Ramapuram was the birth place of the pioneer of Vanchipattu, Ramapurathu Warrier. Hence the name of the village!
This village is also the home of a contemporary hero in the form of Lalithambika Anthrajanam, the globally acclaimed Malayam Novelist.
The temples residing within the village are true to the name of the village as their chief god is Sri Rama. The unique trait of Ramapuram is Lord Rama along with his three brothers, Lord Bharatha, Lord Lakshmana and Lord Sathrughna visited thiese temples and vicinity. It is situated at a distance of 37 km from Kottayam. Reachable by Bus/ car in 1 hr via Main Central Road.
PanchalimduLocated at the periphery of Kottayam, Panchalimdu is situated at a height of 2500 ft above the sea. The place is worth a visit, after a 3-hour trek from Valliankavu, owing to the very popular temple of the community of Mala Araya. The legends say that this temple had housed the Pandavas with Panchali having bathed at the pond. It is situated at a distance of 3 km from Valliankavu. Trekking time is 3 hrs.
KootickalKootickal is a quaint suburb located in the mighty Western Ghats and can be accessed at a stretch of just 5 kilometers towards the north of Kottayam. The majestic mountain with a blend of a lush green forest and an artificial lake is a feast to one’s eyes. The artificial lake is a result of a check-dam of a river called Manimala.
Kootickal is quite well known for the charming Vadakkemala waterfalls. Karimbukayam-Meloram on the Manimala river is a yet another alluring spot.
Maniyamkunnu is another appealing attraction of Kootickal. The confluence of grand mountains sloping down to meet the sparkling rivers hypnotizes the viewer. It is situated at a distance of 57 km. Reachable via NH 220. Reachable by bus/taxi/rail in 1 hr 30 min.
Kayyoor – NadukaniIt is a spell-binding scenery painted in the form of a long chain of lofty hills located in the Bharananganam panchayat. This landscape occupies a special position in the Indian culture as it dedicates a whole lot of six acres to the shrine of the Pandava brothers of Mahabharatha.
It also hosts the famous Lord Shankara Narayana temple, where the lamps of only “ghee” are lit. Women are not allowed in the premises of the temple.
The word Nadukani implies the entire view. True to its name one can the complete surroundings from this hill top. It is situated at a distance of 39 km from Kottayam. Reachable via NH32 within 1 hr by road. Bus/taxi service is available.
MarmalaAttributed as the “enchantress of the jungle”, the waterfalls of Marmala are simply breathtaking. One can miss a few heartbeats seeing the water gushing down a height of 200 feet and joining the Teekoy river.
The waterfalls are about 7 kilometers from the renowned Teekoy rubber plantations and also just a few kilometers away from the Erattupetta. It is situated at a distance of 58 km via Erattupetta/Peerumedu Road/ SH14. Reachable in 1hr 38min. Buses Taxis are available.
AruvikachalAruvikachal is amongst the highest waterfalls of Kerala running down from a height of 235 feet. Situated in a quaint village of Poonjar Thekkekara, this majestic waterfall can be reached from Earttupeta. One can find some more splendid scenic landscapes around Aruvikachal like Parayambalam, Puliyallu, Adivaram, Muttanallu etc. It is situated at a distance of 47.5 km from Kottayam. Buses to Ettumanoor/Poonjar are available. Reachable by car in 1 hr 15 min.
AlapraKnown for its rich tradition and enough tranquility, Alapra is a small town in the south-eastern tip of Kottayam. Alapra is enveloped by thick green forests from all sides, thus, making it one of the most splendid destinations of Kottayam. The tranquil forest, sparkling fresh water streams, beautiful cascades all contribute to the beauty of Alapra.
One particular feature of Alapra is the location of a small temple in between the thick vegetation. The Thacharickal Bhagavathi temple is the one and the only place in the entire Kottayam district witnessing the Padayani folk art.
The Ponthapuzha forest of Alapra is a feast to a wildlife lover as it is the home of many wild animals like a wild bear, pythons, fox etc. It is at a distance of 43 km from Kottayam on NH 220. Reachable by car in 1 hr. Regular buses are available.
PallamLocated about 5 kilometeres towards the south of Kottayam, Pallam is famous for its amazing backwaters. One can reach the place via the Central Main Road. The suburb has a very typical “Keralish” feel to it with small villages accompanied by awesome backwaters.
A boat ride in these backwaters is a great way to take a refuge from the worldly chores. Pallam also hosts a very old lighthouse, built in around 1813 A.D. Quite popular for its unique architecture the lighthouse stands tall facing the tranquil backwaters. It is situated at a distance of 8 km from Kottayam.
Reachable by bus/taxi/own car within 15 min.
KudamaloorIf you are yearning to be in the lap of nature, Kudamaloor is the place to be. Doing justice to the pristine natural beauty of Kerala this ancient village is located on the banks of river Meenachil. Kudamaloor was the much important headquarters of the Chembakasseri Kings. It is a land of temples, supporting more than ten of them. The temples are a cradle of the true Kerala art, culture and architecture. They are adorned with murals. They are also known for their religious ceremonies which are quite typical to Kerala.
The Valiyamadom Nalukettu standing in the vicinity of the village is the residence of the royal family.
It is situated at a distance of 6 km on medical college by-pass road. Reachable in 10 min by car/bus/hired taxi.
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