12 Best Things To Do In Kottayam, India

things to do in kottayam india
| 4 min read

If you are a history lover who travels to discover new places, then you will fall in love with the charm of Kottayam in Kerala, India. Kottayam has charming backwaters, paddy fields, highlands, and rubber plantations that attract tourists in large numbers every year. The lakes and hill stations in Kottayam are famous as are the old churches known for their exquisite architecture. The Hindu temples in Kottayam draw large crowds from all over India and abroad. Read on to learn about the best things to do in Kottayam, India.

1. Visit the old structure of Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple

Thirunakkara Siva temple
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user RajeshUnuppally used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Thirunakkara Mahadevar Temple is one of the oldest temples in Kerala, about 500 years old, and is a popular destination in Kottayam City. It is an ancient Lord Shiva temple that showcases South Indian architecture in its walls etched with unique sculptures and impressive murals featuring various Hindu epics and mythology. These images immortalize the stories of Lord Shiva and the Dashavathara (ten avatars of Lord Vishnu).

The temple also attracts huge crowds because it houses the Koothambalam, a traditional temple theatre venue for cultural art and dance performances. It sits in a 1.6 hectare (4 acres) serene complex that is abundant with age-old trees and a variety of plants.

Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple

Address: Temple Rd, Thirunakara, Kottayam, Kerala 686001

Visited this place?

2. Marvel the great architecture of Thazhathangady Juma Masjid

Thazhathangadi Jama Masjid
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user RajeshUnuppally used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Situated along the banks of the Meenachil River in Thazhathangady, Juma Masjid is a mosque marveled for its architectural affluence. It is believed to be a century-old structure, one of India’s oldest mosques that operates today.

The Kerala architecture style is more evident in the inner courtyard, the wood carvings on the roof, and the latticed windows. These altogether make the structure pose a strong resemblance with a king’s palace, adding to the overall charm of the place. The rear half of the mosque was demolished and reestablished with iron pillars and metal finishes in 2012.

Thazhathangady Juma Masjid

Address: Thazhathangadi, Kottayam, Kerala 686005

Opening hours: 7am - 6pm (daily)

Visited this place?

3. Catch a blockbuster film at Dhanya Remya Theater

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Catch your favorite Bollywood and Hollywood films in the silver screens of Dhanya Remya Theater. This establishment in central Kottayam features two movie theaters that use high-quality sound systems. It is capable of showing movies in 3D format and is greatly patronized by film enthusiasts in the city and nearby areas.

The theaters provide good seats and can accommodate a pretty large crowd. Dhanya Remya Theater’s location is roadside and provides ample parking spaces to driving guests. There is a little snack bar beside the ticketing booth for your light meal needs.

Dhanya Remya Theater

Address: SH 1, Kottayam, Kerala 686001

Visited this place?

4. Chase the majestic Marmala Waterfalls

Marmala Waterfalls
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user athulvis used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The enchanting Marmala Waterfall is a hidden attraction located in a private estate near Erattupetta in Kottayam district. Plummeting crystal clear waters from a 60-meter (197-feet) height, Marmala Waterfall beguiles adventurers with awe-inspiring views and mists. The free-falling water splashes into a 12-meter (39.4-feet) deep pool that feeds Teekoy river. As the pool is essentially deep, swimming is not recommended in the area but the river serves as a great spot for bathing and plunging.

The surrounding area of the waterfall is rich in biodiversity and covers a forest idyllic for solitude and escape. The place also provides trekking opportunities but the rough terrain, slippery trails, and rocky obstacles make it only obtainable for professional trekkers and mountaineers.

Marmala Waterfalls

Address: Marmala Rd, Vellani, Erattupetta, Kerala 686580

Visited this place?

5. Spend some family time at Kottayam Water Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Inaugurated in 2015, Kottayam Water Park is one of the most visited parks in Kerala where families and friends while away leisure time. It is operated and maintained by the local government’s tourism department and serves as an attraction for water activities. Speed boating, pedal boating, and banana boat rides are some of the popular pursuits in this park.

There is an approximately 300-meter (984-feet) walkway and ample trees along the Kodoor riverside that provide an ambiance and shade for the visitors. Big passenger boats can be hired to tour nearby destinations, advance coordination with the officials is required to assure availability. Variety stores are also available at the location for snacks and refreshments.

Kottayam Water Park

Address: HGH9+5M6, Kodimatha, Kottayam, Kerala 686001

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm (closed on Sun)

Visited this place?

6. Cool off at the hill station in Vagamon


Posted by Idukki (paradise in god's own country) on Thursday, 9 March 2017

Vagamon is a hill station located in Kottayam of the state of Kerala in India. It has a cool climate throughout the year. It is a tiny plantation town and has a never-ending line of tall green hills, ravines, and rivulets. It has a chain of three beautiful hills: Thangal Hill, Murugan Hill, and Kurismala, which give an enchanting feeling to this beautiful hill station. It is a perfect tourist place and is surrounded by green tea estates, waterfalls, pine forests, and different varieties of flowers making it the ideal getaway for tourists. Tourists can take a walk on the narrow zigzaging roads winding up the hills and experience peace and tranquillity here. Tourists can also take advantage of trekking and paragliding or rock climbing here.

Vagamon Hill Station

Address: Kottayam

Website: Vagamon Hill Station

Visited this place?

7. Visit the famous Vaikom Temple

വൈക്കം മഹാദേവ ക്ഷേത്രത്തിലെ ഒൻപതാം ഉത്സവനാളിൽ നടന്ന ആനയൂട്ട് .

Posted by Vaikom Mahadeva Temple Vaikom kerala on Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Vaikom Temple in Vaikom in the Kottayam district of the state of Kerala is the oldest temple in Kerala and is one of the main pilgrimage centres as well. Tourists throng here during the Vaikkath Ashtami celebrations in November and December. It is one of the few temples in India that is revered both by the Shaivaites and the Vaishnavaites. The Hindu god Shiva is fondly called Vaikkathappan here, the Shiva Linga is believed to be from ancient days, and worshipping or pooja here has not been broken since its inception.

Vaikom Temple

Address: Kottayam

Website: Vaikom Temple

Visited this place?

8. Honeymoon at Illikkal Kallu

Illickal Kallu in Kottayam in Kerala state in India is a popular tourist spot. The hills here are approximately 6,000 feet (1,828.8 m) above sea level making it one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats. The nearby tourist spots like Wagamon, IIlaveezhapoonchira, and Thangalpara are the nearby tourist places near Illikkal kadu. You will need to trek the hills to reach the top. Come with your own vehicle or hire a vehicle from the railway station or hotel you are staying in because there is no public transportation here. It is a beautiful place, especially for honeymooners and visitors will have to carry in their own food and water as there are no nearby hotels or restaurants.

Illikkal Kallu

Address: Kottayam

Website: Illikkal Kallu

Visited this place?

9. Pay respects at the Church and Tomb of St. Alphonsa

St.Alphonsa Tomb at Kerala

Posted by FMC on Thursday, 7 February 2013

The Church and Tomb of St. Alphonsa are at Bharananganam in Kottayam. The mortal remains of St. Alphonsa are buried in this church and it is now a famous pilgrim site. It is also known as the Vatican if Asia due to the elevation of St. Alphonsa. Thousands of devotees and tourists come here to this holy shrine during the annual Feast of St. Alphonsa. It is a tomb and church and Catholics flock to this place in huge numbers. In fact, it is not only Catholics who flock here, but people from all religions who come to receive healing.

Tomb of St. Alphonsa

Address: Bharananganam

Website: Tomb of St. Alphonsa

Visited this place?

10. Visit the Bay Island Driftwood Museum

Bay Island Driftwood Museum

Posted by bookmydestiny.com on Saturday, 4 June 2016

The Bay Island Driftwood Museum is located in Kumarakom, a village on Vembanad Lake in the lovely backwaters of the state of Kerala. It has canals where houseboats carry people across the waters. The Bay Island Driftwood Museum displays various sculptures created from driftwood. Visitors will find huge collections of root sculptures of different shapes and designs. Pieces of driftwood, like twisted tree trunks, stumps, and roots, have been deposited on the seashores because of frequent storms. These are then transformed into interesting sculptures. Thousands of visitors come here every year to marvel at these artistic creations.

Bay Island Driftwood Museum

Address: Kumarakom

Website: Bay Island Driftwood Museum

Visited this place?

11. Worship at the Kottayam Cheriaypalli (St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church)


Posted by Kudamaloor Desam on Monday, 22 September 2014

The Kottayam Cheriapally or St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church is a very ancient Orthodox Syrian Church located in Kottayam. It is one of the oldest churches in Kerala, India. It was built in 1579 and the church is still well preserved. It was built in the European architectural style with galleries, pillars, cornices, and pediments. The church walls are beautifully adorned with murals made in both Eastern and the Western styles on Biblical and non-Biblical themes. It is a very ancient and beautiful church; people flock here from all over India and the world to worship here.

Kottayam Cheriaypalli

Address: Kottayam

Website: Kottayam Cheriaypalli

Visited this place?

12. Trekking at the Elaveezhapoonchira

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Elaveezhapoonchira is one of the least explored mountain terrains in India. It is located in Kottayam in Kerala. It has an outstanding view from the top of the peaks, but one has to be careful in travelling to this place as the road is very narrow, unpaved, and rocky. Only jeeps can be used to reach here, and they should be hired from the nearby town of Kanjar. Poonchira is a small lake below and during monsoons, the whole valley turns into a lake, which looks very beautiful. Visitors leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after being in the lap of nature.


Address: Kottayam

Website: Elaveezhapoonchira

Visited this place?

Magical Kottayam awaits you!

Vagamon meadows
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Visakh wiki used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Kottayam is truly a vacationer’s paradise. Nature has blessed Kottayam with hill stations, lakes, ancient churches, and temples. The Driftwood Museum is a one-of-a-kind museum and you’ve got to visit it at least once to see its wonders. The unexplored mountain ranges of Elaveezhapoonchira beckon all those who need to rest and are tired with the busy world. So pack your bags and head to Kottayam, Kerala where you can sit in the lap of nature and truly relax!

Visited this place?
Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Michelle, formerly an investment banker, now revels in her role as a full-time mom with an unwavering passion for life. Her bags are perpetually packed, ready to embark on adventures and explore...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Kottayam
Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top
Visited any of these places? Click this button to activate our "Add a Tip" feature to share your experience.