|Location||In Kerala, India|
|Significance||Known for handlooms, spices and
|Climate||Tropical warm and humid climate
throughout the year
‘Kottayam‘ consists of two words – Kotta meaning fort and Akkam meaning inside, which itself suggests that Kottayam was once a fortified city of Kerala. One of the exotic backwaters sites of Kerala, Kottayam is a hilly region with scenic landscapes, backwaters, bird sanctuaries, temples and churches. Its unique physiography consists of high, mid and lowlands and it is one of the few places in the world, which are below the sea level. It has Ernakulam to its north, the beautiful hills of Idukki to its east, the exotic backwaters of Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta to its south and Vembanad Lake to its west, making it one of the most beautiful cities in Kerala. It is also one of the main pilgrimage centre for Christians in Kerala with its lovely churches.
It is an ideal disembarking point for visits to Peermedu, Munnar, Idukki, Thekkady, Ernakulam and the temple city of Madurai. Since the time of second Chera Empire, Kottayam has been regarded as one of the most important places of Kerala politically. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary featuring Indian elephants,tigers and bisons is not very far from Kottayam. The Thirunakkara Shiva Temple at Kottayam is a storehouse of the typical Keralan temple culture with beautiful wall paintings. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the shores of Vembanad Lake is also famous for the seasonal migratory birds here. Pathiramal meaning ‘the midnight sand,’ is a lonely delightful island in the lake. Backwater cruises of Kottayam are accessible from here. Kottayam is an important commercial centre of Kerala as a producer of cash crops, especially rubber.