Kottayam Travel Guide

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Meenachilar- view

Meenachilar- view


The name Kottayam is derived from the word "Kotta" which means "Fortress" in Malayalam.

The old town of Kottayam was originally founded on the hilltop now known as Kunnumpuram.  This fortress was called Thaliyil Kotta and was founded by the local chieftain or RAJA known as the Thekkumcoor RAJA. The small hamlet  developed within the walls of the fort and thus was derived the present name from the words "Kottackk Akam" which literally means  "Inside the Fortress".  It is commonly believed that down the ages this gradually assumed its present form, Kottayam.

Kottayam has the distinction of being the first fully literate town ( 100 per cent literacy) in the whole of India. The first English school was started here by the missionaries of the Church Mission Society of the erstwhile Anglican Church( C.M.S.School.)  The C.M.S.College is also one of the oldest Colleges in the state of Kerala. The former President of India Mr.K.R.Narayanan is a disitinguished alumni of this college.

Kottayam has been a centre of learning  and in recognition of this fact the Government  established the Mahatma Gandhi University here. The University has a unique School of Gandhian Studies devoted to research and propagation of the ideals of MAHATMA GANDHI,the man who led India to Independence from the British , Mahatma Gandhi is revered and honoured all over India  today as the Father of the Nation.

The two oldest Newspapers in India are published from Kottayam. The "DEEPIKA" arguably the oldest newspaper in the Malayalam vernacular followed by the "MALAYALA MANORAMA " were both founded and published from Kottayam. The Malayala Manorama claims to have the largest readership among all newspapers in India.  It is now  published from nearly 15 centres all over India.


The Vembanad Lake is one of the largest Inland lakes in Kerala stretching over a vast expanse of nearly 400 square kilometres. This lake spreads from Kottayam in the east to Allapuzha in the south and meets the Arabian Sea at Kochi to the North.  Many of the rivers from the hinterland empty into the Vembanad Lake. A large area bordering the lake was reclaimed for Paddy cultivation. The water is  held back with the help of a network of dikes. Many rivers, canals and rivulets criss cross the areas surrounding the lake . This delightful network of canals and waterways form what is considered one of the truly unique and picturesque experiences for the traveller


As of 2001 India census, [2] Kottayam municipality had a population of 60,725, while Kottayam district had a population of 19,52,901. Males constitute 49% of the population and females 51%. It is one of the very few places which witnessed a negative population growth from 1991 to 2001. <[em> citation needed]

[ edit] Commerce

[ edit] Trading Place

Extensive cultivation of rubber trees in Kerala, especially in vast areas of Kottayam District, in small and large plantations as well as in small lots and even in many housesyards, has made Kottayam a major trading place of natural rubber in India. Quite fittingly, The Rubber Board, a body set up by the Indian government for the development of rubber industry is located at Kottayam. A number of small and medium sized enterprises in and around the town are engaged in the processing of rubber ( latex) and manufacturing of rubber products. Besides rubber, Kottayam is also a trading place of other commercial crops grown in the District and neighbouring areas.

[ edit] Publishing Centre

In 1821 Benjamin Baily, a British missionary, established C.M.S. Press, the first printing press in Kerala, in Kottayam. The town has been in the forefront of Newspaper and Book publishing in the state ever since. Malayala Manorama, the newspaper with the largest circulation of all dailies in Malayalam, was founded here in 1888. Deepika, another Malayalam newspaper, also started publishing from here in the same year. In 1945, a group of writers set up SPCA, (short for 'Literary Workers' Co-operative Society' in Malayalam), a unique co-operative of writers, which became a leading publisher in the State. Kottayam is home to several other books and periodical publishers in Malayalam languages such as D. C. Books, Labour India Publications and Manorajyam etc.

[ edit] Education

The Old Seminary of the Malankara Orthodox Church was the first institution to start English education in Southern India. C.M.S High School, (now Church Missionary Society College High School), was founded by the British missionary, Benjamin Bailey of the Church Mission Society of London. C.M.S College, the first college in Kerala was started in Kottayam in 1817 by the Church Missionary Society.

The leading institution of higher education in Kottayam is the Mahatma Gandhi University, one of the six universities in Kerala. Medical College, Kottayam also consists of a Dental College and a Nursing College. There are also a number of Arts & Sciences Colleges, including Baselius college kottayam, C.M.S. College, the first institution of higher education in the State, as well an engineering college and several nursing schools, located in and around the town. more details visit: http://achayan.net/html/collegelisting.htm

[ edit] Temples, Churches, Mosques

Reflecting the religious make up of the population, Hindu temples and Christian churches dot the townscape. Notable among them are Thirunakkara Mahadeva temple and two churches known as Cheriya Palli and Valiya Palli and Thazhathangadi Muslim Palli( Juma Masjid).

Thazhathangady Juma Masjid situated in the banks of river Meenachil is one of the oldest Mosques in India and is more than 1000 years old. It is very famous for its architectural beauty, and the richness in wood carvings. This mosque was constructed by the followers of the Islamic prophet Muhammad during one of their first voyages to Kerala. The interior of the mosque is built using wood withe marvellous craftings. The mosque is situated just 2&nbps;km from Kottayam town and is on the route to Kumarakom

Thirunakkara Mahadeva temple, at the heart of the town, is a Shiva temple built in the Kerala style of temple architecture, and with interior murals depicting themes from the Hindu epics. It was built at the beginning of 16th century by the then Raja of Thekkumkur. The annual temple festival that culminates in a ceremony called the Aaraattu, attracts large number of devotees.

Kottayam is a major center of Syrian Christians of Kerala. The St. Mary's Church known as Cheria Palli (the Little Church), belonging to the Malankara Orthodox Church was built in 1579 by the Raja of Thekkumkur for his Christian subjects. Similary St Mary's Church of Kudamalloor built by Raja of Chempakassery. These churches features temple architectural influences. The interior murals, painted using vegetable dyes, depict Biblical themes. Another St. Mary's Church, the Valia Palli (the Big Church), actually smaller than the Cheriya Palli, was built in 1550 by Knanaya Christians who immigrated from West Asia. <[em> citation needed] This building is noted for its Persian inscriptions and a Persian stone cross.

The Syro-Malabar rite of the Roman Catholic church has an Archeparchy based in Kottayam. [3] [4]

[ edit] Hospitals, Health care Caritas Hospital Matha Hospital, Thellakom Medical Center Little Lourdes Mission hospital, Kidangoor Indo - American Hospital Bharath Hospital,S.H.Mount Medical Center, Apart from above, Kottayam has a Government medical college, Dental college

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: wiki

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