Kottayam, the land of unique characteristics is well known as a beautiful Kerala backwaters destination with scenic landscapes, beautiful churches, charming bird sanctuaries and significant temples. The city which is an important trading center of spices and commercial crops, especially rubber is located at a distance of 63 km from Kochi, 48 km from Alleppey, 155 km from Trivandrum, 142 km from Munnar and 240 km from Coimbatore.
Here are some attractive tourist places in Kottayam that guarantee a peaceful retreat.
The breathtaking backwater destination, Kumarakom is a small picturesque village, situated 15 km away from Kottayam, at the border of Vembanad lake. The place is famous for the Kumarakom bird sanctuary that offers a range of bird watching spots for avid bird watchers. Kumarakom offers houseboat cruises, fishing and sightseeing experiences, boating in crafts and canoes through its enchanting water ways.
Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls, located 18 km from Kottayam town is a beautiful picnic spot surrounded by rubber plantations. The waterfalls falling in five steps from a height of 100ft is active only during monsoon. In summer the river almost dries up.
Located on the banks of Meenachil river, 33 km from Kottayam, Bharananganam is an important pilgrim centre in South India. The thousand year old St. Mary's Church, also known as Anakkallu Palli holding the mortal remains of St. Alphonsa is located at Bharananganam. Bharananganam is also known as Dakshina Guruvayoor (Guruvayoor of South) because of the presence of Sree Krishna Swami Temple.
Vembanad Lake is an enchanting picnic spot and a perfect back water tourist destination, located 16km from Kottayam town. Bordered by Alappuzha, Kottayam and Ernakulam districts, the lake is renowned for the snake boat races held annual during the time of Onam. The beautiful pathiramanal island and the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is the neary by attraction.
An ideal tourist spot, located around 55kms from Kottayam is a perfect place for trekking. Located at the foot of the hillocks of Mankunnu, Kudayathur Hill and Thonippara near Kanjar, it is one of the best places in Kerala to enjoy both the sunrise and sunset. The near by tourist attractions are Malankara dam, Kannadipara and Kazhukankulimali Waterfalls.
Vaikom famed for the ancient Mahadeva temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated 40 km away from Kottayam on the eastern side of Vembanad lake. The town is also noted for its role in the Indian independence movement for being the venue of Vaikom Satyagraha. Vaikom has a high potential for tourism with lots of backwater and greenery.
Located at a distance of 64 km from Kottayam on the Idukki - Kottayam border Vagamon hill station is the trekkers delight with the series of 3 beautiful hills namely Thangal hill, Murugan hill and Kurisumala. Known as 'Scotland of Asia', Vagamon is a sleepy town with scenic valleys, beautiful green meadows, enchanting pine forests, mists, fogs, tea estates, waterfalls, etc. Vagamon is now becoming a popular hub for Paragliding in the state. Tourist centers such as Thekkady, Peermade and Kulamavu are straightforwardly reachable from Vagamon.
Peermade, is a beautiful hill station located at an altitude of 915 meter above sea level in Idukki district, is 85 km east of Kottayam on the way to Thekkadi. It is a perfect holiday destination and a delightful place for tourists. The nearby attractions here are Kuttikanam, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Pattumala.