Visit Kottayam: 5 Top-Rated Attractions in Kottayam (2023)
Kottayam, the City of Letters in God’s Own Country Kerala, is an ancient town located on a stunning hilltop. The city is bordered by the Western Ghats to the west and the mesmerizing Vembanad Lake on the west. Kottayam is known for its natural beauty and rich culture and history. However, Kottayam is much more than the abundance of nature. The city has many laurels to its name, including being the first city to have achieved a 100% literacy rate in India.
Kottayam is referred to as Akshara Nagari owing to the many publishing houses and print media that have made this city their home. Kottayam is also an important commercial hub for crops and spices, especially rubber. You will come across sprawling acres of rubber plantations all over the town.
Kottayam is also famous for the many ancient and beautiful shrines, and pilgrims from all over the country come here to pay their obeisance. With verdant green fields and a stunning landscape, Kottayam is a must-visit place in Kerala.
5 Top-Rated Attractions in Kottayam
Kottathavalam is a unique cave that has been carved out of rock surface. The cave is located on top of the Murugan Hills in Kurisumala. This cave is famous and is considered to be the resting place for the Madurai Royal family. There are many sculptures of various gods and goddesses in the cave, along with a huge collection of sculptures and weapons that were used in ancient times. The cave is an excellent tourist attraction, especially for history buffs, as it gives you an up-close glimpse into the remarkable past of this region.
For adventure lovers, a visit to the Nadukani is a must. Nadukani is a beautiful place nestled in the heart of wilderness and nature. It is located in densely forested hills and offers tourists the perfect trail for trekking.
Located at an altitude of 3000 feet above sea level, on top of a hill, Nadukani provides you some of the most stunning views of the mountains on the northern side and also of the charming River Muvattupuzha.
3. Thirunakkara Mahadev Temple
As mentioned earlier, Kottayam is a place of many beautiful and ancient shrines. The Thirunakkara Mahadev Temple is a famous Hindu shrine and one of the biggest symbols of the Keralan style of architecture. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was established in the 16th century by the king of Thekkumkur.
The Thirunakkara Mahadev Temple is beautifully adorned with several murals that showcase many Hindu themes. The best time to visit this ancient temple is during the festival of Aaraattu, which is celebrated for ten days every year. The festival witnesses many interesting cultural performances of the major art forms of Kerala, like Kathakali, Mayilattom, and Velakali, that are performed by professionals. However, keep in mind that the festival attracts thousands of devotees and tourists alike from all over the country.
4. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is located just half an hour’s drive from Kottayam, around 15 kilometers. Also known as the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a beautiful bird sanctuary that is located on the banks of the mesmerizing Vembanad Lake in the Kerala backwaters. This bird sanctuary is a popular tourist destination, and you will be able to spot many migratory and native birds here. This is the ideal place for all bird watchers and nature lovers. You can even sport birds that have migrated all the way from the Himalayas to escape the chilly weather there during the winter months. Some birds even migrate all the way from Siberia.
The popular birds amongst bird watchers here include cuckoos, owls, waterfowls, herons, egrets, darters, Brahminy kites, moorhens, the water duck, and cormorants. The Indian Cormorants are one of the most commonly found birds here.
Amongst migratory birds, the common birds you can spot here include the Siberian Crane, wood beetle, teal, parrot, larks, and many others. You can also spot the golden-backed woodpeckers, night herons, and spot kingfishers.
You can also take motorboats and houseboats on rent here to watch birds up close. The sanctuary is spread over 14 acres on the shores of the Kavanar River. There are also many walking trails and a butterfly garden located here that are open for tourists.
Pathiramanal is a stunning island located near Kottayam in Alappuzha. Until 1979, this island was the property of the Thaimattatil family. This island is covered with dense vegetation, and the climate is perfect for all regional flora and fauna to thrive. This is also a popular bird-watching paradise.
Sprawled over ten acres of land, this island is perfect for picnics, bird-watching expeditions, and if you want to catch sight of some rare and endangered animals. This island is also a haven for many medicinal plants.
The best time to visit Pathiramanal is between the months of December and March owing to the pleasant weather of this time. It is a good idea to have a pair of binoculars handy while visiting Pathiramanal so that you don’t miss out on spotting any rare birds. Also, since there are no accommodation facilities, you must plan to leave from Pathiramanal before night falls.
How to Reach Kottayam?
Kottayam does not have its own airport. The closest airport to Kottayam is the Kochi International Airport, which is connected to all the major cities of India, including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Coimbatore. Kochi International Airport is 93 kilometers away from Kottayam.
If you want to reach Kottayam by rail, the Kottayam Railway Station is located within the city, and it is connected to all the major cities of Kerala and India.
The state buses of Kerala Road transport Corporation also connect Kottayam to all the other major cities of Kerala and the rest of India. The cities of Kumarakom, Alleppey, Kochi, and Thekkady are all located near Kottayam.
What To Shop For In Kottayam?
Kottayam is a great shopping destination. The city is famous for its many handmade artifacts and handicrafts. The exquisite design and carvings are a must-see as the locals of Kottayam are known for their unique craftsmanship. You should also add some spices to your shopping list when you are in Kottayam.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Kottayam?
Kottayam is known for its pleasant tropical climate. It has hot and humid summers and receives very heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, which starts in June and goes on to the end of September. September to February is the winter season, during which there is a cool breeze blowing through the region. The winter months are the best time to explore Kottayam.