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What do you think the first thing someone says Kerala? God’s Own Country, right? Well, Kottayam is blessed with some of the beautiful sceneries, hill stations at just a stone throw distance away, temples, churches, mosques, backwaters, and of course the mighty waterfalls. The Western Ghats are undoubtedly the best in India and with that, when you have lots of green beauty and the stunning plantations like coconut, palm, spices, and rubber. You will fall in love with the immediate sight you set at them. All of these are some of the most striking features you have to see and if you are wondering what to do in Kottayam, do not worry about that part.

We guarantee you that we will tell you things to do in Kottayam as if you are not a tourist but a local. No, you have to know how to see each place you are visiting when you are here. If you have been to Kerala already and have visited some of the other beautiful places like Munnar, Alleppey, and Kanyakumari ( It is in Tamil Nadu), you will know the level of beauty we are talking about. Kottayam is not less than any of these and thus here is a list of all the things to do in Kottayam.

11 Best Things To Do In Kottayam

These are some of the best things in Kottayam which will definitely be an exciting add on to the vacation.

1. Vaikom: Enjoy The Secluded Beauty

Beautiful view of Vaikom

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If you are looking for a place where you want peace, secludedness, and calm, you have to visit this place. The simple beauty it offers is irresistible and to see the most beautiful backwaters is simply mesmerizing. If you are looking for some alone time for yourself, then Vaikom is the right place for you to spend your holiday. You have the Vaikom Beach, the Vaikom temple to visit if you are making the most out of this place.

Ideal for: Solo travelers, Couples, Family too.
Activity cost/ticket fee: Free
Entry timing and closing timings: All-day
Location: Kottayam

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2. Elaveezhapoonchira: Experience The Beauty Of Nature

Hills View

Image Credit: Prasanths for wikipedia

Do you want nature to be at its best? Then, you have to go to Elveezha Poonchira. It is surrounded by three hills- Mankunnu, Kodayathoormala, Thonippara. If you are making your way to Kottayam, you cannot miss this place and it is a must-see. You will love its magnificent views and lush greenery and this has the most beautiful waterfalls and alcoves. Elveezha Poonchira is a perfect picnic spot so if you happen to stay nearby, you can grab some packed lunch and come here to have a picnic. This is not even an hour away from Kottayam City. This place is ideal for trekking too! This is a great place for newly married couples too.

Ideal for: Family, Friends, and Adventure Junkies.
Activity cost/ticket fee: Free
Entry timing and closing timings: All-day
Location: 57 km away from Kottayam.

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3. Nadukani: The Perfect Picnic Spot

Nadukani Mountains

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If you are a patron of ethereally beautiful places, then you need to go visit Nadukani. Another popular hill station near Kottayam, this is a major picnic spot. It offers wonderful views and major landscapes are covered with dense forests. So, you get to see a lot of greenery. Apart from that, Nadukani emerged as one of those new offbeat places which every college-going kid wanted to go and all the couple who wanted to seek some refuge.

Ideal for: Family, Youth, and Couples
Location: You can take taxis or buses to go to Nadukani from Kottayam. If you have a self-drive vehicle, then that would be great too!

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4. Island of Pathiramanal: For A Tropical Vibe

Island of Pathiramanal

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Kerala is truly the land of twisted trails to the world who have just discovered it. We are talking about the Island of Paathiramanal, which is located in the Vembanad Lake. It is one of the many fascinating islands in Kerala. We cannot stop talking about the number of green sceneries you will come across and you will have everything you ever wanted to see: rare birds, swaying coconut palms, whispering waters and whatnot. You will love to come back here once you go visit this place. It is actually a great break from the tiring work you do! So get to see the thick forests, paddy fields, green farmlands on this island.

Ideal for: Stressful Professionals who like to take a break from their usual work schedule.
Location: 31 km drive from Kottayam.

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5. Visit Nattakom and Panachikkad: Take A Village Tour

Nattakom and Panachikkad

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If you want a glimpse of how villages in Kerala are, you need to visit these two places: Nattakoma and Panachikkad. One of the best things to do in Kottayam Kerala is to go visit these villages, observe their lifestyle and see how close they are to nature. These villages are located just a few kilometers away from the main city. You see, these villages are known for their simplistic life, scenic beauty and then a few amazing reservoirs. You will also have the chance to pray to the gods in this village. You can have a great time here detoxifying yourself and then make this your favorite getaway!

Ideal for: Family, College Students.
Location: villages in Kottayam.

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6. Kottathavalam: To Visit A Hill Station

Kottathavalam in Kottayam

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Quite famous as a hill station, this is popular among those who love to pass time with long drives through those mountainous roads. While you make way to Kottathavalam from Kottayam, you will see a lot of temples in the path. In fact, this is a little detox trip you can think of. You will find out that this place is simply amazing and it has that perfect mixture of alluring beauty, roads just made for long drives, finding yourself and spirituality.

Ideal for: Long family drives, couples, college students
Location: 70 km away from Kottayam. If you are in and around Vagamon, you have to visit this place.

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7. Marmala Waterfalls: Gaze At The Beauty

Marmala Waterfalls View

Image Credit: Saravananreddy for wikipedia

When in Kottayam, you need to make sure to go to these dangerous and beautiful waterfalls. If you are looking for some great adventure, then challenge yourself to reach these waterfalls. You need to go in Jeeps as it is difficult to travel in those narrow paths. However, it is all worth the effort to reach this beauty. The calm and dangerous path to the waterfalls is what makes it all worth it!

Ideal for: Adventure seekers, friends.
Location: Marmala Rd, Vellani, Erattupetta, Kerala 686580
Timings: 6 AM – 6 PM

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8. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Don’t Afford To Miss It

Bird Sanctuary in Kottayam

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If you like nature and bird watching, then you need to visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Located on the banks of Vembanad Lake, it is a paradise for all the bird lovers. You can relax here with the deer, does, birds around you. The sanctuary will surely entwine you in its greenery and the fauna. It is a delight for the soul in us and has the aura we all wanted.

Ideal for: Nature lovers, family and photography enthusiasts.
Entry Fee: INR 50 for students, INR 100 for Non-Indians
Opening hours: 6.30 AM- 5 PM

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9. Poonjar Palace: Witness The Ancient Treasures

Poonjar Palace in Kottayam

Image Credit: Praveenp for wikipedia

Poonjar Palace can really show us how Kottayam was in the old times. This is the testimony to the regal opulence of the previous era. You have the best wooden carvings, architecture to marvel at and some ayurvedic messages written on the wood. There are huge chandeliers, leaf engravings, lamps, and weapon statues too. You have a lot of things to decode here so don’t make a mistake of not visiting this place. It is ethereal and truly beautiful.

Ideal for: History and Architecture enthusiasts, Family, Friends
Opening hours: 9 AM – 7 PM
Location: PHC Rd, Panachippara, Poonjar, Kerala 686581

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10. Bay Island Driftwood Museum: It’s Not Common

Driftwood Museum

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As we said, Kottayam is full of surprises. Well, this is one of the fun things to do in Kottayam where you can see a large collection of articles that are made and carved from the driftwood which were brought tor recovered from the water. The different themes, the different ways it has been carved make it so beautiful! All the art lovers and enthusiasts, take a bow! You will really love to visit this museum.

Ideal for: Family, Art Lovers
Entry Fee: It is by Pass only. ( INR 50)
Opening hours: From 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays, and from 11.30 am to 5 pm on Sundays.
Location: Chakranadi, Vayitharamattom, Kumarakom, Kerala 686563

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11. Sunny’s Gramophone Museum: Witness The Antiques

Gramophone Museum

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Out of all the beautiful and scenic places, you have to visit these old discs and machines museum in Kottayam. One of the best things to do in Kottayam city is going to Sunny’s Gramophone Museum. It has the largest collection of some of the vintage gramophones, records, music equipment and also the types of vinyl. This museum also has some of the best historical accounts related to the use of gramophones. If you are someone with some antique interests, then this museum might be your first stop in Kottayam.

Ideal for: Old school music enthusiasts
Opening hours: 2 PM- 7 PM and it is open only on Saturdays and Sundays.
Entry Fee: Free entry
Location: Ampara – Plassanal Rd, Plassanal, Kerala 686579

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Thus, here are some of the best things to do in Kottayam and near Kottayam. However, you cannot afford to miss the two great holy places apart from the mighty temples. You have the St. Mary’s Orthodox Church which is one of the oldest churches in Kottayam. The depiction of all the historical scenes is too beautiful. You will surely get a taste of the Mallu Christians! You can see that it is open daily from 8 AM to 6 PM. Also, the Juma Masjid in Kottayam is an almost 1000-year-old mosque. It is known for its wonderful architecture and visual grandeur. You can see the influence of the old and native Kerala architecture in the masjid. Apart from that, you will find religious briefings, calming aura, and wooden carvings. Even this mosque is open from 8 AM – 6 PM. You can reach Kottayam from any of the major cities because it is well connected with major cities and towns in Kerala. Don’t ever miss the chance to visit this place when you plan a vacation in Kerala and get the chance to fall in love at first sight.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Kottayam

Where is Kottayam and why is it famous?

Kottayam is a town in Kerala lying in the south-central region. The destination is nestled between the Vembanad Lake and the Kerala hill country. Kottayam is known as a hub for trade and commerce. Besides this, the destination is known for its temples, churches, and refreshing waterfalls.

What are the best things to do in Kottayam?

Trekking in Nadukani, exploring churches, seeking blessings at the temples, visiting the waterfalls around Kottayam are some of the free things to do in Kottayam. You can also visit the free museums and activities that happen at night.

Can I visit Kottayam during the current Covid situation?

Yes, you can plan a trip to Kottayam during the current Covid situation. However, you need to follow government protocols including wearing a mask when in public, sanitizing hands at certain intervals, and maintaining social distancing.

How do I get to Illikkal Kallu?

This place is 60 km away from Kottayam. You have a lot of state-run buses that operate from Kottayam to Errattupetta. You can take a bus to Mankombu and head towards Illikal Kallu.

How populous is Kottayam?

Kottayam is the 8th most populous city in Kerala after Trivandrum, Kochi, Kozhikode, Kollam, Thrissur, Kannur, Alappuzha.

What is the meaning of Kottayam?

The name “ Kottayam” derives its name from the Malayalam words Kotta which means fort and then akam means inside. Thus, it means the interior of the fort or Kottayakkam.

Which city is called as City of Letters?

Kottayam is called the city of letters. It is also known as Akshata Nagari because it was the first city to print media. Apart from that, the first town in India to receive a 100% literacy rate.

How far is Ernakulam from Kottayam?

Kottayam is around 67 km away from Ernakulam. There are more than 25 direct trains from Kottayam to Ernakulam. Some of them are Mangalore Express, Cape Mumbai, TVC Chennai, Amritha Express, etc.

How far is Kumarakom from Kottayam?

The distance between Kumarakom to Kottayam is just 15.5 km. You can board a state bus or hire a taxi to travel between these places.

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