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Kottayam City Guide

KottayamThe Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom (16 km from Kottayam town):
Also called a land of lakes, Kottayam is a vast network of rivers and canals which empty into great expanse of water called the Vembanad lake. The lake, an enchanting picnic spot and a fast developing backwater tourism destination, provides boating, fishing and sight seeing experiences that are truly exhilarating. The Kumarakom Tourist Village offers houseboat cruises and holiday packages.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary (16 km from Kottayam town):
Located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is an ornithologist's paradise and a favourite haunt of migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. A cruise along the Vembanad lake is the best way to experience the sanctuary.

Pala and Kanjirapally :
Pala and Kanjirapally nourished by the Meenachil and Manimala rivers respectively, these two towns are centres of rubber plantations.
Siva Temple,Vaikom (40 km north of Kottayam):
Associated with the legendary Parasurama, this temple is a typical example of Kerala Temple Architecture.

Thirunakkara Mahadevar Temple:
In the heart of Kottayam town.

Thalikotta Temple:
The ancient temple was the place of worship of the Thekkumkoor royal family. The Kudamaloor Temple is equally famous. The Thazhathangadi Mosque built on the Meenachil river is one of the oldest in India. The C.S.I. Cathedral Church built over 175 years ago is a monument from the British Era. The Old Seminary, Marthoma Seminary and Vadavathoor Seminary proclaim Syrian and Roman traditions. The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church has its headquarters at Devalokam, Kottayam. The mortal remains of the Blessed Father Chavara are entombed at the St.Joseph's Monastery Church at Mannanam. Thousands gather at this holy shrine during festivals.

Mahadevar Temple, Ettumanoor (12 km north of Kottayam town):
Mahadevar Temple is famous for murals and ezharaponnana (the 71/2 elephants finished in gold) Festival: Ezharaponnana utsavam (February/March)

The Vavarambalam, Erumeli (60 km north-east of Kottayam town):
This mosque is dedicated to Vavar, a contemporary and companion of Lord Ayyappa, the deity of the Sabarimala Temple. The mosque is famous for the centuries old custom of multitudes of Hindu pilgrims worshipping here before their trek to Sabarimala to worship Lord Ayyappa. Festival: Pettathullal (January)

St. Mary's Church, Bharananganam, Pala:
The mortal remains of the Blessed Alphonsa are entombed at this church which is now a famous pilgrim centre. Thousands gather at this holy shrine during the annual festival: Feast of the Blessed Alphonsa (July) * Ettunoyampu, Manarcad (September)

St. Mary's Church, Kuravilangad:
Built in 355 A.D on the high ganges of Kuravilangad town, this church has an old bell which bears a hitherto undeciphered inscription.

Valiapalli & Cheriyapalli (2 km from Kottayam town):
These two churches dedicated to St. Mary were built in 1515 AD and 1579 AD respectively. The Valiapalli is known for its Persian cross and Pahalavi inscriptions. The Cheriyapalli houses some of the most exquisite murals and paintings based on Biblical and non Biblical themes.

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