Kottayam - The beauty of plantations and backwaters
Kottayam, among the state’s more mountainous districts, provides some of Kerala’s finest natural scenes, sandwiched as it is between serene palm-fringed backwaters on the west and the Western ghats on the east. Much of this beauty is laid out in all its glory along the road which winds from Kottayam to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady through plantations of rubber, tea, coffee and pepper.
Kottayam is also an important commercial centre, for it is a producer an array of cash crops. Most of India’s natural rubber is prodiced in acres of well-kept plantations of Kottayam. It also houses the headquarters of Rubber Board, one of the country’s primary commodities board.
Kottayam is equally known for its cultural heritage. It was the first town in India to attain cent percent literacy, an event which triggered a mass movement to make Kerala the country’s first cent percent literate state. Kottayam is also the "Town of Letters" wherefrom dozens of Malayalam newspapers and magazines, including the state’s earliest, The Deepika (founded in 1887) and the country’s largest selling daily and weekly from the Malayala Manorama group. Kottayam is also the birthplace of a unique institution, the Sahitya Pravarthaka Sahakarana Sangham, perhaps the first-ever co-operative of writers venturing into publ;ishing.
Kumarakom is an breathtakingly beautiful paradise stocked with divine mangroves and coconut groves, lush green paddy fields, gushing waters snaking through the dense forests and the magnificent delicate fluttering blossoms. The place is located on the Vembanad Lake. This illustrious land is recognized for its traditional country crafts. There are exquisite boats and canoes that take you on a cruise round the lake. Fantastic resorts are available nearby that offer leisurely accommodation with an ever increasing line of facilities provided like Ayurvedic massage, yoga, meditation, boating, fishing, angling and swimming.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
This fabulous bird sanctuary is on the banks of the Vembanad lake house. An ornithologist's delight, this place is the favourite haunt of the migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. Among the other species are the woodpecker, skylark, crane, water hen and parrots. To get the right feel of the place, once should cruise along the lake. Take a look at Pathiramanal too, which is a delightful island on the lake and can be accessed by boat from here.
Vembanad Lake is an intermingled and immense network of rivers and canals, it is so to say, just another paradise. It incidentally forms the joining point of all the rivers. This makes it a wonderful picnic spot. It is slowly being commercialised and developed into a backwater destination. The lake has in store for you, certain thrilling activities like boating and fishing. Nearby is the Kumarakom Tourist
Village that offers houseboat cruises and holiday packages. The otherwise quiet and peaceful lake comes alive bustling with joy at the dawn of Onam. It forms the centre of attraction during that time as the snake boat races are held there. The vigour of the boatmen, their cheerful and competitive spirit and the enthusiasm of the silent watchers is worth the money spent on a trip to this place.
Changanasserry is a beautiful town, located 23 km. from Kottayam. Here, the Thrikkodithanam temple has 18th century old inscriptions of great historic value. The 'Deepam' festival is celebrated here in the months of Nov.-Dec.
Pathiramanal is a 10 acre island. Situated on the backwaters, it plays abode to rare varieties of migratory birds from different parts of the world. Sprucing up the beauty of the region are these quaint reservoirs named Nattakom and Panachikad Reservoirs and are set amidst a green carpet. This thriving landscape makes it pleasing for the migratory birds to have a little fun every summer. A boat ride from Kodoorar in Panachikad to Kumarakom is a great way to relax and enjoy nature's bounties. Facilities here range from Ayurvedic massages to boating, fishing and swimming.
The Pandavas, of the Mahabharata, during their exile, were believed to have stayed near this rock, 2000ft. above sea level. The land is spread over an area of 20 acres. The name is believed to have its origin from the Lord Ayyappa temple situated here. Standing on four pillars and placed below a flat but huge piece of rock that forms the roof, The temple, or so to say, a rock cave, can accommodate just around 15 people. Thousands throng to this place to get the deity's blessings and more than anything, to watch the pleasing sunset.
Kottayam travel guide offering popular tourist attractions and useful information on travel.
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