Weekend Getaways near KottayamWhile Kottayam is a haven for nature lovers and environmental enthusiast alike, it is also the repository of some of the most ancient temples, mosques and churches that have made it one of the most visited pilgrimage centres of the world. Kottayam is a world-renowned treasure trove of the cultural history of southern India. While visiting or planning a sojourn in Kottayam one can also consider a few weekend getaways to include in the itinerary.
Thiruvananthapuram, situated almost one hundred and seventy kilometers away makes for a pleasant drive through verdant green country. While the drive in itself is a worthwhile experience but Thiruvananthapuram in itself has a large claim on history as it is believed to have been a thriving trading station even a thousand years before Christ. The ships of King Solomon, the famed and just. King Solomon had his ships reaching these shores for trading in spices and silks besides sandalwood and ivory.
The shores of Thiruvananthapuram have attracted many a trading ship to its coasts. This land of plentiful spices, ivory and sandalwood had a lot to offer the traders who brought their wares, cultures, language and gold in exchange.
Thiruvananthapuram was one of the first to pass the historic “Temple Entry Proclamation” in 1936. It broke down several socially discriminatory barriers and promoted emancipation from segregation of any type. After Indian Independence in 1947 Thiruvananthapuram was designated the capital of Thiru-Kochi in 1949. It continued to progress. In 1962 the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) sparked off the Indian Space Research Programme under which several units of the space programme were established in and around the city. Till recent times with the creation of the Techno park in 1995 which was to become the country’s first and largest IT park.
There are a number of places to be visited for sightseeing in Thiruvananthapurm. Its beaches are very beautiful, expansive and inviting. The Sanghumukham beach and the Kovalam beach are much sought after by tourists. The Zoo and the Napier museum, the Neyyay Wildlife sanctuary and the Neyyar Dam are exotic ecological niches. Other tourism sights are the Agasthyarkoodam peak, the Kuthira Malika Palace, the temple of Sree Padamanabha Swamy as well as the Ponmudi, Poovar Coast.
How to Reach Thiruvananthapuram from KottayamBy Taxi: Travelling by taking a taxi from Kottayam to Thiruvananthapuram, would probably take around three hours. The taxis charge about INR ten for every kilometer to covered. The total distance to be covered is about hundred and seventy kilometers.
By Bus: The journey takes about three hours. The Thiruvananthapuram bus terminus is about a kilometer from the centre of the city.
By Train: There is a direct train that goes from Kottayam railway station to Thiruvananthapuram Railway station in about three hours. The railway terminus of Thiruvananthapuram is at a distance of just about half a kilometer from the city centre.
Travelling by road the capital of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram is located just about one hundred and seventy kilometers from Kottayam. During this journey one would also cover Kurichi that lies twelve kilometers away from Kottayam. Going further Mannar lies twenty six kilometers further and travelling eleven kilometers onwards one comes to Mavelikkara. Going further onwards for thirty two kilometers one reaches Chervare while another thirty seven kilometers brings one to Kalluvathukkal. Going onwards for another forty six kilometers one reaches Pottakkuzhi and almost immediately, after covering just about four kilometers one reaches the capital city Thiruvananthapuram.
KanyakumariKanyakumari is one of the southern most points of the Indian Peninsula. It is situated about two hundred kilometers from Kottayam. It lies at a distance of about two hundred kilometers. Kanyakumari was earlier called Cape Comorin. Historically, Kanyakumari or Cape Comorin as it was called had thriving trade relations with Alexandra of the Roman Empire. It had been established as a prominent site for pearls, their gathering and trade. The most endearing tourist attraction of the tip of the Indian peninsula is the awe-inspiring sun rise and the multi-hued sunset over the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean. A truly magnificent sight the full moon rise can together be seen simultaneously on the Crimson horizon.
Places of tourist interest in around
The Kanyakumari temple or as is also called the Kumara Amnan temple located on the very shore of the Indian Ocean has been regarded as one of the Shakti Peetha or ‘Seats of Power’ of the Mother Goddess. The temple overlooks the waters and belief has it that the glitter of the deity’s nose ring can be identified from far away at sea.
Two other remarkable points to be visited in Kanyakumari are the Rock Memorial to Swami Vivekananda which had been built by Eknath Ranade in 1970. The other is a remarkable site where a huge 133 feet high statue of Thiruvalluvar, the Saint poet of the Tamil language has been set up. In fact this massive sculpture turn had been set up in the year 2000. It has been acknowledged as probably the tallest statues in Asia. The statue was sculpted by V. Ganapathi Sthapati.
Other memorable legacies of this southern most paradise that the giant rock that bears the foot prints of the Virgin Mother Goddess is also the rock where Swami Vivekananda, the great reformer, is said to have meditated upon for continuous three days. This rock has been called the Sri Padhaparai because of the Goddess foot prints and is presently renowned as the Vivekananda Rock Memorial. Presently especially demarcated for mass meditation has been constructed.
The area is further sanctified because it holds the urn which is the repository of the consecrated ashes of Mahatma Gandhi - the Father of the Nation. The exquisite beauty of the spot is that on the day of the Mahatma’s birthday which falls on 2nd October the first rays of the sun fall directly on this urn almost as if seeking the blessings of the Mahatma and then spreading light and warmth all over the country.
This southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula has been called the Sunset Point which affords a panoramic view of the entire region and the vast expanse of waters. This is also the point where a Viewing Tower has been constructed and there is also a Telescope House facilitates the watching of the heavenly bodies from this vintage point. The tourists have the option of going to all these places over land or any one of the several ferry town that are arranged by the state-owned shipping corporation called Poompuhar.
How to Reach from Kottayam to KanyakumariBy air the nearest airport is the International airport of Thiruvananthapuram which is situated about ninety kilometers from Kanyakumari.
By rail Kanyakumari has a number of rail routes and trains. Each takes about five hours for covering the entire distance irrespectively of the stoppages enroute.
By waterways there is a ferry service also available. There is the presence of three ferries which connect various towns on the coastline.
By road the distance of about two hundred kilometers from Kottaym to Kanyakumari travelling due North takes about four and a half hours. One may take a few halts on the way to savour the rich and scenic beauty of the emerald world.
KozhikodeKozhikode or Calicut as it was known earlier lies at a distance of about three hundred kilometers from Kottayam.
From as early as the seventh century this land of spices has been the coveted tourist and trade destination for far off lands. Till recently it was given the name of ‘City of Sculptures’. Despite its ‘Shilpa Nagaram’ or the largely green environment the city has a multitude of sculptures in various parts of the city. Besides the sculptures there are a large number of historic edifices of religious and national as well as socio-economic significance. Among the religious heritage repositories are the Tali Siva Temple, the Panniyankara Bhagavathy Temple, the Thiruvannur Siva Temple, and Beypore Siva Temple. There is also the Mishkal Mosque. Besides these buildings there are several commercial area worth sightseeing like the Veliyangadi, Mananchira and S.M street as well as the environmental treasures like the Sarovaram Biopark, the Kappad Beach, the Beypore Beach and the Thusharagiri Falls. Besides the vast and beautiful Kozhikode Beach the drive to Kozhikode from Kottayam would be
How to Reach Kottayam to KozhikodeBy road: Head towards Kollam in a southward direction on the them Highway for about half a kilometer. Then exiting the roundabout take a left on the Kottayam to Kumarakom road and travel on it for about ten kilometers. Continue on the Cumbam road for about ten kilometers and then taking a left at the Bund road junction move on the Alappuzha to Madurai road for about three and a half kilometers. Then take the third and a half kilometers.
Then take third exit from the roundabout onto the the Cherthala to Thaneermukkm road for six kilometers. Then taking a sharp turn to the right onto Cherthala road travel about two hundred meters and take a left and then a right to get onto the Nadakkavu road for about one kilometer and then climb onto the National Highway 47 for about forty kilometers. On reaching the Edapally signal junction continue onto the Edapally to Panvel highway for about four and a half kilometers and after a slight right continue for twenty five kilometers approximately.
Passing by Crystal Add take the third left turn. Go for half a kilometer and turn another left and going another half a kilometer regain the Edapally to Panvel highway travelling for about seventy kilometers and at the Chamravattom Junction continue on the Ponnani to Kuttipuram road for four and a half kilometers. Turning right get onto the Tirur-Ponnani road and travel for about thirteen kilometers on it. Turn right onto the Tirur to Malappuram to Manjeri road for about five and a half kilometers.
From here turn left to the Vailathur to Kozhichena road going for about seven hundred meters and then got onto the Tirur to Calicut short or the Karingapara road for about three and a half kilometers. Turning left on the Edapally Panvel highway travel for about twenty five and a half kilometers. Take the second exit at the Ramanattukara Bypass circle and after passing the roundabout for fifteen and a half kilometer then take a left at Malaparamba junction to get onto the national highway 212 after travelling for about four kilometers. Then going slight left at the Manorama Junction on to the Edapally to Panvel highway. After going for about one kilometer turn right onto Kozhikode.
CoimbatoreCoimbatore has been called the ‘Manchester of South India because of its large number of manufacturing units and large industrial process. It lies at a distance of about two hundred and fifty kilometers from Kottayam.
The city is known for its several beautiful places of tourists interest like the Perur Patteeshwar temple, the Thandu Mariamam temple, the Konnianman temple, the Mardumalai Murugan temple, the Vazhai Thottathu Ayyan temple, the Dyanalingam Yogic temple, the ISKCON temple, the Karmadai temple, the Echanaari Ganesh temple beside the several and the mosque are the Churches, Jain temples and Gurudwaras also hold pride of place and need to be seen in their pristine glory in the beauty of their natural setting.
There are many other places of tourist interest in Coimbatore like the G.D Naidu museum and industrial Exhibition, the Kadhi Gandhi Gallery, the Kasthuri Srinivasan Art Gallery besides the H.A Gass Forest museum, and the Textile museum. All these places afford hours of pleasure as one is deeply impressed with the vast volumes of information and antiquity housed in these places. For those inclined towards lighter forms of entertainment there is the Black Thunder Water Park, the Kovai Kondattam amusement park and the Maharaja theme park situated nearby. There are also some natural beauty habitats like the Singanallur Lake which is a popular draw for bird watchers’.
How to Reach Kottayam to CoimbatoreTravelling by road one moves towards South on the National highway 220 for about half a kilometer. Exit from the first roundabout and take the main central Road for about forty kilometers. Taking a right onto the Ambalam Kunnu Junction onto the Kumarakom to Cumbam road for about two kilometers and taking a left to get onto the state highway forty one for three and a half kilometer then turn left at the Vanpillil mill for and get onto the Thodupuzha Ramamangalam road about two and a half kilometers.
At the Mullappady junction bus terminus pass onto the Arakuzha junction and get on the State Highway number eight for about six and a half kilometers. Turning right at the Post office junction get onto the Main Central road at on nearing the roundabout take the second exit to the State Highway number one travelling steadily for around twenty three kilometers. Taking the Kalady to Perumbavoor fr about three kilometers. From here have at the Kalady junction get onto the Main Central road about for about six and a half kilometers take right turn for National Highway number forty seven for a total of about one hundred and thirty five kilometers.
After passing the BPCL petrol pump take a left turn onto the Palakkad road. After going about ten kilometers get onto the Big Bazaar after about two kilometers. Crossing the Big Bazaar take a right to get to the Rangai Gounder Street driving for around one and a half kilometers across the institute of Management on the left to enter Coimbatore.