eateries are available serving traditional as well as other delicacies.
The traditional foods along with the local fish recipes are definitely
mouthwatering. The local food is mostly based on coconut-related
cuisines, which is not so common in the rest of India.
number of beautiful hotels and lodges are available for lodging
the tourists. One can easily go for the various options available
according to the budget segment.
among the state’s more mountainous districts, provides some of
Kerala’s finest natural scenes, sandwiched as it is between serene
palm-fringed backwaters on the west and the Western ghats on the
east. Much of this beauty is laid out in all its glory along the
road which winds from Kottayam to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
in Thekkady through plantations of rubber, tea, coffee and pepper.
is also an important commercial centre, thanks to its strength
as a producer of cash crops. Most of India’s natural rubber originates
from the acres of well-kept plantations of Kottayam, also home
to the Rubber Board, one of the country’s primary commodities
the headquarters of several ecclesiastical heads of Christian
churches like those of the Syrian Christian community, Kottayam
is proof of the cultural and religious plurality of Kerala. Today,
as reminders of this facet can be found ancient churches like
the Valia Palli, the Cheria Palli (1579) and the St. Mary’s Church
at Manarcad (1585).
Thirunakkara Mahadeval Siva Temple, built in the indigenous style
and featuring several wall paintings, attracts a large number
of devotees for its annual festival in the third week of March.
Valia Palli (St. Mary’s Church) build in 1550 A.D. for the Knanaya
Orthodox Syrians, is situated in Thazhathangadi, 2 km from the
town centre. It is famous for its 8th century Persian cross and
the Pahalavi inscription on it.
43 km from Kottayam, is a little known scenic spot of rocky plains
where a 100-acre are of flat rock makes a natural granite stadium
to enjoy the sunset and the view of the town below. It is a good
base for trekking.
is an important Christian pilgrimate centre as the place where
the mortal remains of Sister Alphonsa (1916-1946) was interned
in a chapel next to the St. Mary’s Church. This 1000-year old
church features an attractive Grotto of Virgin Mary.
is famous for its legendary 16th century Shiva Temple, a good
specimen of Kerala’s indigenous style of temple architecture,
incorporating clear-cut wood carvings and mural paintings including
an exceptional one of Of Shiva as Nataraja trampling under foot
the spirit of evil represented by a demon. The annual 10-day festival
of the temple occurs in February / March.
banks of the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is a bird sanctuary known
for local varieties like the water fowl, cuckoo, owl and the water
duck as well as migratory Siberian storks. The sanctuary is open
from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the best months to bird-watch are between
June and August. Within the 101 acres of beautifully wooded grounds
is the Kumarakom Tourist Complex, built around the 50-year old
‘Baker’s Mansion’, formerly a small and pretty hotel run by the
KTDC, but now redone in greater style by Taj Kerala Resorts Ltd.
Boats are available on hire for backwater cruises around the lake.
An important Syrian Christian centre, the town of Mannanam, 8
km from Kottayam, sites the St. Joseph’s Monastery, associated
with the name of Fr. Kuriakose Elias of Chavara (1805-71), one
of the saintly figures of the Syrian Catholic Church of Kerala.
Established in 1844, this is one of the oldest printing presses
in Kerala. It printed the Nasrani Deepika, one of Kerala’s oldest
40 km from Kottayam, is famed for the Siva temple which, legend,
says, was constructed by Parasurama, the mythical creator of Kerala.
The 12-day Ashtami festival in November / December is renowned
for its elephant processions, religious discourses and performances
of traditional dance and music.