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Famous India > Backawaters of India > Kottayam
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Kottayam

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The place where the sun furtively steps out of the clouds to take a walk in the fields, rain passes by along the winds in the fields and the coconut palms sway in the soft breeze. Blue waters cut across the swathe of green fields and there in this beautiful scenario stands the palm fringed backwaters, the musings of the crimson sun settings being there to add the spark of a beautiful destination called Kottayam.

The life of Kottayam goes back to the time of the Kulasekhara Kings (1090 - 1102) ruled. At that time the region was a part of Vempolinad - the reason why the Vembanad Lake, which share its shoreline with Kottayam, was named so. In 15th Century the trading here was done with Dutch and Portuguese. Many of the Churches of the lakeside are attributed to this time. The city of Kottayam lies in between the Kodoor Lake and the Vembanad River. There is also the famous Bakers Junction and the Kodaimatha Boat Jetty on the Kodoor Road.

Kottayam is not famous for its backwaters but also for its historical monuments and Heritage Structures. There is a lot you can see in Kottayam.


Fast Facts :
  • Location : Kottayam, South Central Kerala, on Vembanad Lake and Meenachil River
  • How to Reach : From Kochi : NH 49 to Thripunithura, SH 15 to Thripunnithura; SH15 to Etturnanur via Keecherry, Thalayolaparambu and Vaikom; MC Road SH 1 to Kottayam.; From Thiruvanathapuram : SH1 (Main Central Road) to Kottayam via Venjaramoodu, Kilimannur, Kottarakkara. Adoor. Pandalam, Chengannur, Thiruvalla and Changanassery
  • Distance : 75 kms South of Kochi and 4 hrs from Thiruvanathapuram by Road
  • Price for Houseboats : Rs 10,000 - 15000 /-
  • Best Time to Go : Indian Winters - Oct to Feb end
Mahadeva Temple
Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple
The leaves banyan tree which stands here for ages signifies this temple. Built by Thekkumkur King is the archetype of traditional Kerala Temple Architecture. Some of the things to see inside the temple are Koothambalam, Anathottil, Praharam and Panchavadyam. The temple is closed between 12: 00 noon to 05 : 00 p.m.

Marys Orthodox Church
Marys Orthodox Church
Built by the Portuguese in 1579 with the patronage of the local King, this Church shows the blend of temple and Portugese Architecture. With the large brick walls and the hanging lamp in the middle of the Church, the paintings showing life of Christ on the walls are as old as the church itself.



Kottayam BackwatersThe Place : Kottayam


Kottayam apart from its famous Backwater Cruises has a lot of places to see. One such place is the Thazatanadi Juma Masjid. In the vicinity of two churches - St. Marys Kanaya Church and St Marys Orthodox Church is the Juma Masjid. The thazatanadi Mosque is one of the Oldest in India and is believed to be more than 1000 years old. Then there is the 800 year old Saraswati Temple whose unique roofless sreekovil makes it a place to see.

Clothes and Jewellery are the main attractions of Kottayam. The KK Road of Kottayam is filled with shops of Jewellery and Silk Saree showrooms. If you are looking for Travancore Saris and Dress material than Kottayam is one of the best places.

Apart from all these are the backwaters of Kottayam. The backwater cruise takes you for a round about of the City and its nearby destinations. As you sit in the cool atmosphere of the Kettuvulumns or the Backwater Houseboats, enjoy the soft breeze and the palm ridges as the boat-house crosses the ridges with palms and people walking towards their daily work. Enjoy the hot coffee or tea as the Houseboat slowly floats on the backwaters. Enjoy reading a book or watching television or take a dip in the backwaters. You can also do fishing for the freshwater in the backwaters for the dinner! The backwater tour generally is for one day, beginning in the afternoon with night onboard and the touring ending after the breakfast at 11 : 00 in the morning the next day. This is the shortest tour. Others are for a maximum of seven days tour.


The Houseboat

Houseboats or Kettuvulumns are the boats made by tying the pieces of wood and that too without using a nail. The wooden planks are made by joining with the coir rope and then coated with black resin made from the boiled cashew nut shells. A kettuvulumn usually has one or two bath attached rooms, an open lounge deck, kitchen and a crew comprising two oarsmen and a cook. Traditional lamps are used as light.

The entire food including the breakfast, lunch and dinner are made and served on board. The modern kitchen of the houseboat serves all the purpose. The entire food is prepared here with the South Indian cuisines on the platter. Taking entirely a vegetarian meal or a non - vegetarian meal depends upon you.


Suggestions
  • The fare includes living in houseboats for the stipulated time, with meals and sight-seeing. Anything extra than this will incur extra charges.
  • Sight-seeing of near by villages will be in Air Conditioned coaches. You can also book the Non Air-conditioned coaches if you are here in the winters, but then you will have to tell at the time of Booking.
  • The Kitchen of the Kettuvulum prepares varied delicacies of South India, they can be either vegetarian or non vegetarian or a combination of both as per your choice. However you have to tell in advance.
  • Wear light clothes like Chiffon, Cottons and semi cottons because of the humidity South India has in its air. Cottons do not absorb moisture and are airy. However if you are here in the rainy season, then you should avoid wearing cottons. If you are here in winters then you might require woolens. Ask for details before packing.
  • Keep your own mosquito repellent ointment as there can be mosquitoes around the water.
  • There is First Aid Kit in every Houseboat. So if you require First Aid Kit at any point of time, ask for it. There is no extra charge for it. Doctor can be called when you are near the shore but there are charges for the Doctor Visit which you will have to bear.
  • Avoid the monsoon season of July - Mid September. It rains heavily here in these months and houseboats do not row at this point of time. Rest of the year, its the season of Kerala Backwater Houseboats.
  • Its a good to keep a umbrella handy as the rains keep on pouring from time to time.
  • Make a chart of the things which you are going to see while on the cruise. Ask your tour operator to guide which places they are going to show while on the tour.
  • For further queries, contact us.

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