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This district of Kerala is located on the southern mainland and on the western coast of India. It is very well known as the literary capital of Kerala and housed the first Malayalam Printing Press. Kottayam is bordered with the Ghats on the Eastern and Northern sides that are also some of the most scenic charms. Equally pleasing for the eye is the beautiful architecture that reflects in the grand monuments. Also, you will see here numerous refreshing beaches and blissful backwaters. This district has become a hub for foreign and indigenous tourists. In addition to the beauty of the place, the list of what all you can do here will never end. From fishing, boating, sightseeing, exploring the culture, backwaters etc. to sitting at the beach watching the sunrise or the sunset- all of what you ever dreamed of can be experienced here. Some of the places that you must pay a visit to when on a trip here have been given below:

Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple

This is located about twelve kilometres to the north of Kottayam. The temple has several murals works that make the temple even more interesting and attractive. Furthermore, the headstone of the temple, that is also referred to as the Gopuram has an exquisite painting of the Lord Shiva in his form as the Nataraja. In addition to this, another sight at the temple is the ‘ezhara ponnana’- this structure is a sculpture of seven and a half elephants that has been so diligently and skilfully been carved out of gold. In fact, if you visit Kottayam around February or March, it is noteworthy that you attend the Ezharaponnana Utsavam- a festival in the honour of this sculpture which is celebrated with full might.

Munnar

More often than not, Munnar, owing to its beautiful pleasant climate and the appealing green cover, is considered as the best hill station in Kerala. It is located at a distance of about seventy kilometres from the city of Idukki. It is the centre of tea trade in the State and the highest peak in the Southern part of India. This hill station is located at sixteen hundred feet above the sea level and was used by the British as a resort in course of the summer season. The tea plantations in the region offer not only a picturesque view to the tourists that acts as their safe haven of peace and tranquillity but also offers adequate opportunities for trekking, holidaying etc. A large variety of flora and fauna are found here, some of which include the elephants and the Nilgiri Tahrs. Fauna on the other hand includes the exotic Neelakurinji that blossoms once in every twelve years in these hills. You must also visit The Top Station that is located at a distance of only about fifteen kilometres from the hill station Munnar. This vintage point in the state pulls the tourists towards itself with the splendored views and landscapes.

Bharananganam Church

This church holds great significance in the lives of Christians and is one of the most important pilgrim centres of the Southern India. This is where Sister Alphonsa’s death anniversary is venerated every year for this church was chosen as the special spot that would preserve the mortal remains of Sister. This has been, and continues to be one of the major tourist attractions in and around Kottayam. In addition to the above, various other churches located in the district include The Mannanam Church- this church is also a notable one for it houses and preserves the mortal remains of Fr. Kuriakose Elias Chavara; The Manarcaad St. Mary's Church and the Pala Valiyapally; The Kottayam Vimala Giri church, that is not only the cathedral of the Diocese of Vijayapuram but also has the highest church steeple (172 feet) in the whole state.

Rajamalai Wildlife Sanctuary

This wildlife sanctuary is located at a distance of seventeen kilometres from Munnar and is home to the most exquisite array of flora and fauna. If your luck has it, you may spot one of the rare Tahrs found in the area. If you are an adventure loving person, you may also opt for the trekking option and explore the wildlife sanctuary on foot with the help a guide. In addition to this and the Thekkady (Periyar Tiger Reserve), you must also organize an excursion to the Ernakulum National Park that is only nineteen kilometres away from the hill station Munnar. Since these sanctuaries are only at a distance of two kilometres from each other, you can plan the trip in a way that you manage to pay a visit to both of them on the same day.

Panachikkad Saraswathy Temple

This temple is only about eighteen kilometres from Kottayam and dedicated to the Goddess of learning in the Hindu mythology, Goddess Saraswathi. Extremely famous for divinity, this temple attracts thousands of devotees from all over the world every year. Many make it a point to visit the deity in the month of Thulam (in the traditional calendar of Kerala) that falls usually around the months of September or October as the famous Sarawati Pooja is hosted this month. Apart from this temple, many others that are equally celebrated by the devotees in and around the area are Suryakshethram, Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple, Kudamaloor temple, Thalikota temple, Subramanya Temple. Poonjar Palace: This palace provides the tourists with a chance to get an insight into the lifestyle of the royal families of Kerala. The palace due to its royal architecture and magnificent building exudes elegance. The fort showcases the skill of the workers and architects who indulged in the making of this palace through the detailed carvings of boats, palanquins, chandeliers, lamps, idols etc.

Erumeli mosque

This is one of the most famous Muslim pilgrimages in the state. The mosque gets its name from a good friend of Lord Ayyappa, called Vavar. This mosque condemns the Hindu-Muslim conflicts and stands as a mark of the unity of two communities. If you visit Kottayam around the month of January, you must witness the Chandanakkudam festival that is celebrated here every year in this month. The festival is admired by the pilgrims and devotees and celebrated with full zeal and zest. The procession taken out on this day is stunning with the decorated elephants and Panchvadyam. Other mosques in the area that also equally prominent and worthy include the Erattupetta mosque, The Pazhayapally and Puthuppally mosques at Changanassery and the mosque at Thazhathangadi, famous for its ancient ambience.

Kumarakam

This is one of the most eminent and desired destinations of Kerala due to the gorgeous backwaters. This is located at a distance of about sixteen kilometres from the town and is a perfect village location on the shore of the backwaters. Not only is the location absolutely perfect, it is also the most appropriate location for a getaway from the hustle-bustle of the rushed metro life.

Vembanad Lake

More attractive than any other site in Kerala is even a two day holiday on the Vembanad Lake in Kumarakam. Spending a few days in the houseboats here, will give you a chance to explore various opportunities such as boating, fishing etc. A cruise in the lake will take you around the large masses of forests and water. This is definitely an experience that you cannot afford to miss and will remember for many more lifetimes to come. A bird sanctuary is also located in this area that deserves a visit from you and your family. A visit to this fourteen acre bird sanctuary located on the Vembanad Lake’s banks would be great.

Aruvikkuzhi waterfalls

Apart from the beautiful lake, Kumarakom also has the Aruvikkuzhi waterfalls, at a distance of eighteen kilometres from Kottayam. These waterfalls offer a picturesque view to the tourists and literally add life to this district. Make sure to pay a visit to this lovely picnic spot.

Vazhikkadavu

Located on the outskirts of Kottayam, it is an incredible place to spend a weekend in. Apart from the most beautiful scenery, this place is ideal for spending quality time with your loved ones in the middle of vibrant orchids, that is if you visit either at the end of the year or at the beginning of the year. However, even if it is not possible to ensure that you visit around this time, the place during the rest of the year is also as mind-blowing as ever. The beauty of the place is enhanced by the Meenachil River that flows through the hill station into the valley.

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