Kottayam, located in the southern part of Kerala, is known for its lush landscapes, religious diversity, and historical significance. Here are some of the top tourist destinations in Kottayam:
Kumarakom, situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake, is a popular backwater destination. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, with its rich avian diversity, makes it a paradise for birdwatchers. Houseboat cruises, fishing, and Ayurvedic wellness treatments are also popular activities here.
- Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple:
This ancient Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is renowned for its exquisite wood carvings and the annual festival called “Ezharappallikal.” The temple attracts devotees and tourists alike with its architectural beauty and spiritual ambiance.
- Vembanad Lake:
Vembanad Lake, the longest lake in India, is a mesmerizing stretch of backwaters and lagoons. Apart from houseboat cruises, the lake offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and witnessing captivating sunsets.
- Vaikom Mahadeva Temple:
One of the oldest and most significant Shiva temples in Kerala, Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is known for its classic Kerala temple architecture and religious importance. The temple is a prime example of the traditional Kerala style of temple construction.
- Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple:
Located in the heart of Kottayam town, this ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is renowned for its intricate wood carvings and mural paintings.
- Illikkal Kallu:
Illikkal Kallu, a majestic monolith, offers a thrilling trekking experience. The hilltop provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, making it a popular spot for adventure seekers and nature lovers.
- Bay Island Driftwood Museum:
Situated near Kumarakom, this unique museum showcases a fascinating collection of driftwood sculptures crafted from wood collected from the shores of Bay Island in the Andaman Sea.
- Poonjar Palace:
Poonjar Palace, an architectural gem, displays a rich collection of antiques, royal artifacts, and traditional Kerala furniture. The palace also houses a unique Nava Ratna (nine gems) temple.
Ezhumanthuruthu is a serene island village surrounded by the Meenachil River, making it a picturesque spot for a tranquil getaway. The lush greenery, tranquil backwaters, and traditional village life make it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts.
- St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Manarcad:
This ancient church, dedicated to Mother Mary, is famous for its annual feast called “Manarcad Perunnal.” The church’s rich history and religious significance attract devotees from various parts of Kerala.
Kottayam’s mix of natural beauty, religious landmarks, and cultural heritage offer a captivating experience for travelers. From exploring the backwaters to visiting ancient temples and heritage sites, Kottayam promises a delightful journey into the heart of Kerala’s unique charm.