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.
1. Cool off at the hill station in Vagamon
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
Website: Vagamon Hill Station
2. Visit the famous Vaikom Temple
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.
Website: Vaikom Temple
3. 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.
Website: Illikkal Kallu
4. Pay respects at the Church and Tomb of St. Alphonsa
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
Website: Tomb of St. Alphonsa
5. Visit the Bay Island Driftwood Museum
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
Website: Bay Island Driftwood Museum
6. Worship at the Kottayam Cheriaypalli (St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church)
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 Oriental 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.
Website: Kottayam Cheriaypalli
7. Trekking at the Elaveezhapoonchira
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.
Magical Kottayam awaits you!
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!
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