Kottayam is blessed with nature’s bounty in abundance. It is the pride of God’s own country with its beautiful churches, charming nearby hill stations, significant temples, and refreshing waterfalls. The Western Ghats and the backwaters add to the beauty to this undisturbed, rustic town of Kerala. The numerous plantations – rubber, coconut, palm, spices and the flora make for lush green landscapes that are totally stunning. All these factors, aside from it being strikingly beautiful, make it as one of the must visit destinations in Kerala.
Though a handful, the tourist places in Kottayam guarantee a peaceful retreat. It is not one of most famous towns of Kerala, but is no less beautiful than the likes of Munnar, Alleppey or Kanyakumari. If you gotta see it to believe it, here’s a round up of quaint and charming places to visit in and around Kottayam.
30 Best Tourist Places In Kottayam
This list of places to visit in Kottayam will make you wonder how many beautiful places exist on the face of earth. Make sure that you explore all of them on your vacation.
- Vaikom – Home To Many Secluded Haunts
- Elaveezha Poonchira – Nature At Its Best
- Nadukani – Major Picnic Spot With Ethereal Beauty
- Island Of Pathiramanal – Unexplored Twisted Trails
- Nattakom & Panachikkad – Glimpse Into The Rustic Village
- Kottathavalam – Popular For Short Road Trips
- Marmala Waterfalls – Deadly Combination Of Danger & Beauty
- St. Mary’s Orthodox Church – The Oldest Church
- Juma Masjid – A 1,000-Year Old Mosque
- Monroe Lighthouse – Catch Magnificent Views
- Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary – Haven For Nature & Bird Lovers
- Poonjar Palace – Glimpse Of Kottayam At Old Times
- Bay Island Driftwood Museum – One-Of-Its-Kind Museum
- Mozart Art Gallery – Showcases Twisted & Novel Art
- Discs & Machines – Sunny’s Gramophone Museum
- Illikkal Kallu – Ideal For Trekkers & Nature Lovers
- Neendoor Subrahmanya Swami Temple – Pay A Visit
- Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple – Admire The Beauty
- Tomb Of Saint Alphonsa – Most Revered Place To Visit
- Clay Art Cafe – Relish Tasty Cakes With Artwork
- Thirunakkara Mahadev Temple – Watch The Murals
- Malliyoor Sri Maha Ganapathi Temple – Explore It
- Thangal Para – A Beautiful Hill
- Thiruvarpu Temple – A Revered Temple
- Panachikkadu Temple – Dedicated To The Goddess Of Wealth
- Pallippurathu Kavu – An Ancient Shrine
- Subrahmonia Temple – Of The Travancore Kingdom
- Saraswathy Temple – Explore The Indian Mythology
- Chottanikkara Temple – Temple Of Myths & Legends
- Kumaranalloor Bhagavathy Temple – A Rare Architectural Complex
1. Vaikom – Home To Many Secluded Haunts
Vaikom is one of the popular places around Kottayam mainly due to its variety of tourist attractions. It is home to some of the most scenic backwaters of Kerala like Kumarakom and houses rich historical places and heritage temples that add an old-world charm to it. Its serenity and simplistic beauty are unbeatable. If you are looking for some ‘me or us’ time, Kottayam is littered with several secluded, yet calming haunts where you can let sit back and simply enjoy the view.
Location: Kottayam, Kerala
2. Elaveezha Poonchira – Nature At Its Best
Surrounded by three hills – Mankunnu, Kodayathoormala and Thonippara – Elaveezha Poonchira is a must see tourist place in Kottayam. Known for its magnificent views and lush greenery, Elaveezha Poonchira is dotted with exquisite waterfalls and secret alcoves. It is famous among trekkers for its terrain and is the perfect picnic spot, hardly an hour away from the main Kottayam town.
Location: Melukavu Village, Kottayam, Kerala
3. Nadukani – Major Picnic Spot With Ethereal Beauty
Nadukani is one of the popular hill stations near Kottayam and is a major picnic spot. Nadukani offers wonderful views of the landscapes covered in dense forests, Nilgiri mountains, Muvattupuzha river, mystical valleys, and colorful flora. One of the popular tourist places near Kottayam, Nadukani has emerged as the new go-to spot for youngsters and couples looking for refuge. Take buses or private taxis to reach Nadukani from Kottayam. At the end, the trip would be truly worth it.
Location: Kottayam, Kerala 686001
Timings: Open 24 hours
4. Island Of Pathiramanal – Unexplored Twisted Trails
Located in the popular Vembanad Lake, this quaint island is one of the most fascinating islands in Kerala. The journey to reach the striking island is one of the most mesmerizing ones complete with sights of rare birds, swaying coconut palms, and whispering waters.
And let’s just not talk about the stimulating allure of the island. Its unspoilt beauty and hidden paths take you through a mystical world that you really crave to see while on a break from the tiring work-home routine. The lush farmlands get converted to thick forests, and thick forests to paddy fields. The varied vegetation on the island is awesome. You could also choose from some of the best resorts near Kottayam if you want a luxurious staycation.
Location: Muhamma, Kerala 688555
Timings: 9 AM to 8 PM
5. Nattakom & Panachikkad – Glimpse Into The Rustic Village
Two of the most offbeat places to visit in Kottayam, Nattakom and Panachikkad are the secluded villages located mere few kilometers from main city. These villages are known for their scenic landscapes, migratory birds, and remarkable reservoirs.
Some of the best temples in the area are based in these villages. Villages of heritage as well as religious importance, Nattakom and Panachikkad are must visit places near Kotayam. Visit them if you’re looking for a secluded desi getaway in the midst of nature and its warm natives.
Location: Kottayam, Kerala
6. Kottathavalam – Popular For Short Road Trips
Located about 70 km from Kottayam, Kottathavalam is a popular hill station and a favorite among those looking for a long drive through the mountaineous roads. The terrain has rock cut trails, passing through which you may feel a sense of exhilaration and thrill. Many small and huge temples adorn the pathways.
In fact just a little detour takes you to a 1,000 year old temple. Kottathavalam is a perfect mixture of attractions like roads perfect for a long drive, beauty, spirituality and thrill to draw you in. This is one of the top tourist places in Kottayam for one day trip.
Location: Kurishumala, Murugan Hills, Kottayam, Kerala
7. Marmala Waterfalls – Deadly Combination Of Danger & Beauty
Located in Erattupetta near Kottayam, Marmala waterfall is one of the places to visit if you’re looking for some adventure. It’s difficult to reach the waterfalls as only jeeps can traverse the narrow trodden paths.
However, all the hardship is worth the sweat for the adventure-seeking tourists. The difficult journey adds to the overall charm of these mystical falls. The beauty and the calm make up for the dangerous paths, it is also one of the best waterfalls near Kottayam to visit.
Location: Marmala Rd, Vellani, Erattupetta, Kerala 686580
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Suggested Read: The Ultimate Guide to Top Tourist Places in Kerala
8. St. Mary’s Orthodox Church – The Oldest Church
Located about 4 km from the main city in Cheriyapalli, St Mary’s Orthodox Church is one of the popular places to visit in Kottayam. Built in the Portuguese style of architecture, the walls of the church have murals from the Bible. The heartfelt depiction of monumental scenes on the walls will leave you in awe. You can also get a glimpse of local Kerala style of architecture in the refurbishing.
Location: Oppotil junction, Kottayam – Kumarakom Rd, Kottayam, Kerala 686001
Timings: 8 am to 6 pm, daily
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9. Juma Masjid – A 1,000-Year Old Mosque
Located on the banks of the Meenachil River, Juma Masjid in Kottayam is known for its wonderful architecture and beautiful wooden carvings. The influence of native Kerala architecture can also be seen.
With its grandeur more like a palace, the mosque is believed to be one of the oldest ones in the country. The religious briefings, calming aura and otherworldly surrounding beauty of Juma Masjid are truly impressive.
Location: Tourist Banglow Rd, opposite Joy Alukkas, Eerayil Kadavu, Kottayam, Kerala 686001
Timings: 6 am to 8 pm, every day
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10. Monroe Lighthouse – Catch Magnificent Views
Located in Pallom at a distance of around 8 km from Kottayam, Monroe Lighthouse offers a magnificent view of Kottayam, including the backwaters of beautiful Vembanad. Visit this lighthouse for some splendid views of the lush green paddy fields, and do carry a camera – the sunset here is magical! You could choose from best hotels near Kottayam for a comfortable stay and make the best of your vacation in Kerala.
Location: Kottayam-Kumily Rd, Near, Collectorate, Kottayam, Kerala 686002
Timings: 10 am – 8 pm
11. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary – Haven For Nature & Bird Lovers
Located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a paradise for bird lovers. It’s a perfect place to relax in the midst of nature. Apart from a number of colorful species of migratory birds, there are several small animals like deers and does spread across. The natural habitat is also delightful to the soul; its serenity and refreshing aura is an attraction to many.
Location: Kavanattinkara, Kumarakom, Kerala 686563
Timings: All days of the week from 6.30 am to 5 pm
Entry fee: INR 50 per head for Indians and INR 100 per head for non-Indians.
12. Poonjar Palace – Glimpse Of Kottayam At Old Times
Poonjar Palace is a beautiful palace boasting of elegance and opulence of the royal kingdom that it was once upon a time. Though not very well-maintained, it impresses with its intricate wooden carvings.
One of the top tourist places in Kottayam, Poonjar Palace is worth a visit. If not for historical importance, then definitely for its architecture. The rich antiques displayed in the exhibition are remarkable.
Location: PHC Rd, Panachippara, Poonjar, Kerala 686581
Timings: From 9 am to 7 pm, throughout the week
13. Bay Island Driftwood Museum – One-Of-Its-Kind Museum
Bay Island Driftwood Museum in Kottayam houses a large collection of articles carved from either driftwood or any other wood recovered from the water. The different themes and patterns of the exhibits are striking. Art-lovers and fascinated tourists make it a point to include the Bay Island Driftwood Museum in their itinerary. If you count yourself among them, make sure that you don’t miss it.
Location: Chakranpadi, Vayitharamattom, Kumarakom, Kerala 686563
Timings: From 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays, and from 11.30 am to 5 pm on Sundays. Mondays are weekly offs.
Entry fee: Entry to the museum is by ‘Pass’ only
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14. Mozart Art Gallery – Showcases Twisted & Novel Art
The Mozart Art Gallery is a privately owned gallery that showcases the artworks of Kerala. Exhibits here are made of metal, rusty utensils, cast-away wooden artifacts, and sometimes, a mixture of all these things. Drawing inspiration from religious and mythological references, the artifacts and classic paintings display striking detailing making it one of the best places to see in Kottayam.
Location: 3442, Aymanam – Kallumkathara Rd, Aymanam, Kerala 686015
Timings: 9.30 am – 5.30 pm
15. Discs & Machines – Sunny’s Gramophone Museum
Sunny’s Gramophone Museum is a unique museum in Kottayam, specifically for the music enthusiasts. It houses a large collection of gramophones, records, antique music equipment, and vinyls. The museum also preserves historic accounts relating to the origin of music and the use of gramophones. It is one of the best tourist places in Kottayam if either antiques or gramophones interest you.
Location:Ampara – Plassanal Rd, Plassanal, Kerala 686579
Timings: Only on Saturdays and Sundays, from 2 pm to 7 pm
16. Illikkal Kallu – Ideal For Trekkers & Nature Lovers
Nestled at a height of 6,000 feet above the sea level in the Western Ghats, Illikkal Kallu is one of the top Kottayam tourist places. People from all over India come to witness this natural tourist attraction as half of the rock has fallen apart and now what is left is the other half part of it which stands sturdy. The place is also surrounded by greenery, panoramic vistas, and a utopian atmosphere. If you are a nature lover and love to explore offbeat places then you must include Illikkal Kallu in your list.
Location: Illikkal Kallu Rd, Erattupetta, Kerala 686652
Timings: 8 am – 5:30 pm
17. Neendoor Subrahmanya Swami Temple – Pay A Visit
Settled in Neendoor in the Kottayam district of Kerala, this temple is dedicated to Lord Subramanyaswamy who is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Muruga. It is built in the Kerala style of architecture with Laterite stones, teak woods, and Terracota tiles as they were present there in abundance making it one of the best temples in Kottayam.
On visiting this temple, you will find a monolith carved Deepa Sthamba on the entrance. Explore the temple with curious eyes and you will find interesting carvings on it. After visiting this place, you will have no doubt about how it was included in the list of top places to visit in Kottayam.
Location: Neendoor Kottayam Kerala 686602
Timings: 5 am – 10 am, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
18. Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple – Admire The Beauty
Another tourist place near Kottayam is Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple which is located at a distance of 10 kilometers only. It is counted among the oldest temples of Kerala which is why it is revered holy place for the locals.
As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and if you look closely you will find many wood carvings and murals that were made in the 16th century. The roof of this temple is covered with copper plates, beautiful paintings, and a magnificent gopuram.
Location: Ettumanoor Temple Rd, Ettumanoor, Kerala 686631
Timings: 4 am – 12 pm, 5 pm – 8 pm
19. Tomb Of Saint Alphonsa – Most Revered Place To Visit
This tomb holds the mortal remains of an Indian religious educator, St. Alphonsa (1910-1946), who was born as Anna Muttathupadathu. She is said to be the first Indian woman to be canonized by the Catholic Church as a saint.
Every year on 28th July, the church is teeming with devotees who pay homage to the sister on the death anniversary. You will also find a museum adjacent to the chapel which displays her belongings including umbrella, cot, and her books. If you are the religious kind of person then you must visit this chapel as it is one of the most revered places to visit in Kottayam.
Location: Bharananganam, Kerala 686578
Timings: 5 am – 12:55 am
20. Clay Art Cafe – Relish Tasty Cakes With Artwork
Now, if you want to witness the creative side of Kottayam then you cannot miss out on the famous Clay Art Cafe. It is an amalgamation of an art gallery as well as a cafeteria which you can find on the K.K.Road. Its structure has been made in the traditional way with mud and bamboo thatch for roofing.
If you are interested in watching some artwork live then you can see live clay modeling on-demand. After exploring the masterpieces, you can relish some tasty milkshakes and coffee as it is included in top things to do in Kottayam. It is one of the coolest places to visit in Kottayam with friends.
Location: Clay Art Cafe, Ponkunnam P.O, Kollam -Theni Hwy, Ponkunnam, Kerala 686506
Timings: 9:30 am – 9 pm (Mon-Sat), 11 am – 9 pm (Sunday)
21. Thirunakkara Mahadev Temple – Watch The Murals
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Thirunakkara Mahadev Temple is a resemblance of Kerala-style architecture. The establishment of this temple can be dated back to the 16th century when the King of Thekkumkur ordered to build this temple. You will find beautiful murals adorned in this temple which display different Hindu traditions.
On the festival of Aaraattu, several cultural performances are organized including Mayilattom, Kathakali, and Velakali. The celebration goes on for 10 days and several people from all over the world come to witness it. So, make sure to include Thirunakkara Mahadev Temple in your list as it is one of the most religious tourist places in Kottayam.
Location: Temple Rd, Thirunakara, Kottayam, Kerala 686001
Timings: 4 am – 11 am, 5 pm – 8 pm
22. Malliyoor Sri Maha Ganapathi Temple – A Grand One
The list of temples in Kottayam is never-ending. Another amazing place to visit with your family is Malliyoor Sri Maha Ganapathi Temple which is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is believed that this temple exists before the regiment of Perumals in the region. The most amazing part of this temple is the idol.
The idol of Ganesha is different from what we usually see in the temples. On the left lap of Ganesha sits little Krishna which symbolizes the unity of two sects – Vaisnavas (believers of Lord Vishnu) and Saivas (believers of Lord Shiva). This is the reason why people never miss to explore this temple which is counted among the top Kottayam tourist places.
Location: Manjoor, Kuruppanthara, Kottayam, Kerala 686603
Timings: 5:30 am – 8 pm
23. Thangal Para – A Beautiful Hill
Thangal Para is a hill in Kerala which has come to be one of the best places to visit in Kottayam. This is an important pilgrimage spot for Muslims. There is a mausoleum of Sheikh Fariduddin. Thangal Para is visited by thousands of devotees, especially during the Urs festival making it one of the best Kottayam tourist places.
Location: Vagamon, Kottayam, Kerala
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
24. Thiruvarppu Sree Krishna Temple – A Revered Temple
Thiruvarpu Temple is one of the highly revered temples in the town. This is one of the popular places to visit in Kottayam among devotees and tourists. The temple is dedicated to Hindu Lord Krishna. It is visited by worshipers and tourists in large numbers during a special 10-day festival, Vilakkeduppu, which is held in April, every year, it is certainly one of the best Kottayam tourist places to visit.
Location: Thiruvarpu, Kottayam, Kerala 686020
Timings: 2.30 am – 12 pm, 5 pm – 7 pm
25. Panachikkadu Temple – Dedicated To The Goddess Of Wealth
Panachikkadu Temple is also known as Dakshana Mookambika Temple. This shrine is dedicated to Hindu goddess, Laxmi who is worshipped as the the goddess of wealth, prosperity and goodluck. The temple’s architecture is simple but beautiful. It has become one of the best places to visit Kottayam.
Location: Eravinalloor Panachikkad Temple Rd, Panachikkad, Kuzhimattom P.O, Kerala 686533
Timings: 5.30 am – 10.30 am, 5 pm – 7.30 pm
26. Pallippurathu Kavu – An Ancient Shrine
If you’re looking for the best Kottayam tourist places, this temple is a must visit. Pallippurathu Kavu is an ancient shrine where devotees come to worship the Goddess Durga. The temple is famous for its annual festival held annually on the 10th day of Pathamudayya. It is when most devotees come to worship the deity during the Kumbhaka festival.
Location: Pallippurathu Kavu temple, Kottayam, Kerala
Timings: 7 am – 9 pm
27. Subrahmonia Temple – Of The Travancore Kingdom
Located in Perunna village, it is considered to be created by Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma of Travancore Kingdom that dates back to the 18th century and one of the best places to visit in Kottayam. The temple houses the idols of Devasenapthi, an incarnation of Lord Murugan and idols of Lord Krishna, Lord Ganapathi and Lord Ayyappa. The temple gets crowded during Dhanu.
Location: Subrahmonia Temple, Kottayam, Kerala
Timings: 7 am – 7:30 pm
28. Saraswathy Temple – Explore The Indian Mythology
This temple is dedicated to the Goddess Sarawathy who is known to be the goddess of education, learning and arts. The temple is located in Panachikkad Village. This beautiful temple is home to some of the most stunning paintings and intriguing sculptures that are a visual representation of the Indian mythology and speak volumes about the ancient history. This temple is also referred to as Mookambika Temple where an annual ritual ceremony is held of Vidhyarambham making it one of the best places to visit in Kottayam.
Location: Saraswathy Temple, Panachikkad village, Kottayam, Kerala
Timings: 5:30 am – 10:30 am; 5 pm – 7:30 pm
29. Chottanikkara Temple – Temple Of Myths & Legends
One of the best places to see in Kottayam, the Chottanikkara temple is one of the most stunning temples in terms of architectural design and its religious significance. The temple is located about 50 km from Kottayam in Kerala. It is one of the most prominent temples in Hindu religion that has lots of myths and legends attached to it. The temple is home to Goddess of Power, Sree Mahamaya Bhagwati (Aadiparashakthi), popularly known as Chottanikkara Devi.
Location: Chottanikkara, Kochi, Kerala 682312
Timings: 4 am – 9 pm
30. Kumaranalloor Bhagavathy Temple – A Rare Architectural Complex
One of the best places to see in Kottayam, the Kumaranalloor Bhagavathy temple has a unique architectural complex structure that is ancient and sprawling over an area of 15,000 sq m. The temple has a rare nalambalam and sreekovil (sanctum sanctorum) structure that enshrines Goddess Bhagwathi. This ancient temple is almost 2000 years old and is one of the 32 gramams made by Lord Parshuram.
Location: Kumaranalloor, Kottayam, Kerala 686016
Timings: 4 am – 12 noon; 5 pm – 8 pm
Pack your bags to Kottayam to experience the God’s blissful own country. From temples to forts, there is no dearth of tourist places in Kottayam to explore. You will not get bored with what all this place has to offer. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your vacation to Kerala with your friends or family this very minnute.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Tourist Places In Kottayam
A. Kottayam is famous for its three ‘L’s – Literacy, Lakes, and Latex production. You’ll be met with plenty of ancient temples, serene lakes, and bustling markets here where you can buy authentic Kerala handicrafts.
A. Kottayam is popular as the Akshara Nagari (city of literacy) as well as Chuvar Chitra Nagari (the city of murals). Bounded by Vembanad Lake on one side and the enchanting hills of southern Kerala on the other, Kottayam serves as an important center of trade and commerce as well as education and literature.
A. The wintertime from September to February that brings in a cool breeze and scenic splendor is considered to be the best time to explore the town of Kottayam as well as other places in Kerala.
A. A duration of two days is sufficient to explore the places in Kottayam.
A. Illikkal Kallu is located at a distance of 60 km from Kottayam. Hop into a state-run bus operating on the Kottayam-Erattupetta route and get down Erattupetta to ride the rest of the way to Illikkal Kallu by taxi. You can also take a taxi from Kottayam to drive you all the way to this pretty town.
A. Meenachil River, Muvattupuzha River, and the Manimala River are some of the most important rivers in the Kottayam district.
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