Kottayam is a city in the south Indian state of Kerala . It is a picturesque little city that is bordered by the Western Ghats on the east and the Vembanad Lake and paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west.
Kottayam has many historical, religious as well as other kinds of attractions. Here are some of the popular spots to check out in Kottayam:
- Kottathavalam – A cave wonderfully carved out of rock surface, lying on the top of a hill.
- Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary – Also known as Vembanad Bird Sanctuary; a habitat to about 91 species of local birds and 50 species of migratory birds. Great to visit for sightseeing, bird watching, doing some nature and wildlife photography or simply spending time close to nature.
- Illikkal Kallu – A huge naturally carved rock hill, located at a height of 6000 ft above the sea level of Western Ghats (“Kallu” means rock or stone).
- Island of Pathiramanal – a beautiful island, with an impressive bird population, and greenery.
Some of the popular historical spots to visit in Kottayam.
- Kottayam Cheriapally - a Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
- Ganapathiyar Kovil – a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha
- Vaikom Mahadeva Temple – A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva
- Thazhathangady Juma Masjid
- Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple
- Saint Chavara Pilgrim Centre
- St. Dominic’s Cathedral
Festival time in Kochi is colorful and full of fun and frolic. Some popular festivals celebrated in Kochi are:
- Ettumanoor Ezhara – A shiva temple festival, celebrated in January.
- Onam – This is one of the most important festivals in Kerala state, and is also celebrated in Kochi majestically. Street parades happen with dancers dressed like animals, and people decorate homes and streets with flowers in the form of Rangolis (also called Pookalam).
- Aluva Shivarathri – A festival dedicated to Lord Shiva. People usually fast during daytimes and pray to Lord Shiva during this festival. In Kerala, it is celebrated during the months of February/March.
- Ramadan – A Muslim festival, this marks the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslim people as a month of intermittent fasting and prayer.
Kottayam also has a few good museums and galleries that capture its heritage and culture. Here are some of the best ones to check out:
- Bay Island Driftwood Museum
- Clay Art Cafe
- Sunny’s Gramophone Museum
- Mozart Art Gallery
Kottayam has many exotic shopping options like silks, cotton clothing, handicrafts, and unique local spices and munchies. Here are some places to shop at in Kottayam:
- Ellimottil stores
- Mall of Joy
- Kottayam City Centre
- Holy Family Shopping Centre
- W Mall
Kottayam’s food scene is mostly filled with Keralite specialties, most of which use coconut and coconut products (coconut milk, coconut oil), rice and bananas (ripe or unripe). Some of the special dishes that are a must-try in Kottayam are:
- Pathiri – a soft thin flatbread made with rice flour.
- Puttu and Kadala Curry – Puttu is a cylindrical steamed cake made with a mixture of broken rice and shredded coconut; it is usually served with a spicy black chickpeas curry cooked in Kerala style (spices and coconut oil).
- Avial – A mixed vegetable dish with gravy of yoghurt and coconut.
- Olan – A dish made with ash gourd, dry beans and thick coconut milk.
- Banana Pulissery – Ripe banana cooked in a gravy of coconut, spices and curd and tempered with curry leaves and mustard.
- Banana Chips – Ripening bananas sliced, fried crisp, and with salt and spice.
Some popular restaurants in Kottayam to eat at are as follows:
- Green Leaf’s
- Hotel Indraprastha Restaurant
- Third Place
- Anand Restaurant
Kottayam has many good hotels for a comfortable stay. Here are some of the best places to stay at in Kottayam:
- Hotel aida
- Lakesong Resort
- Hotel Arcadia
- The Windsor Castle Leisure Hotel & Ayurvedic Resort
- Puthens Clifton Inn
- Lily pad on the Vembanad
- Hotel Abad Wp (Lake View Cottage)
Kottayam STD Code – 0481 (to be used before dialling numbers from a number that is not locally registered).
Common emergency numbers:
- Women Helpline – 1091
- Crime Stopper – 1090
- Child Helpline – 1098
- State Disaster Management – 1070
Malayalam is the official language in Kottayam.
- Welcome - Swagatam
- Hello - Namaskaram
- How are you? - Engnganuntu karyangngal?
- What's your name? - Ninte perentha?
- My name is - Ente per ... n
- Where are you from? - Angu evidennanu?