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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 the earth. Make sure that you explore all of them on your vacation.

1. Vaikom – Home To Many Secluded Haunts

The serene Vaikom Beer House in Kottayam

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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
Timings: NA
Speciality: The secluded location and simplistic beauty
Entry fee: INR 250 per person

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2. Elaveezha Poonchira – Nature At Its Best

Elaveezha Poonchira is one of the best places to visit in Kottayam

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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
Timings: NA
Speciality: The lush greenery and scenic views
Entry fee: NA

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3. Nadukani – Major Picnic Spot With Ethereal Beauty

The beautiful hill station of Nadukani is one of the top tourist places in Kottayam

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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 colourful 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. In the end, the trip would be truly worth it.

Location: Kottayam, Kerala 686001
Timings: Open 24 hours
Speciality: The landscapes covered in dense forests
Entry fee: INR 15 per person (adults)

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4. Island Of Pathiramanal – Unexplored Twisted Trails

A mysterious trail in the Island of Pathiramanal

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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. It is one of the best tourist spots in Kottayam.

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
Speciality: The unspoilt beauty and hidden paths
Entry fee: No entry fee

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5. Nattakom & Panachikkad – Glimpse Into The Rustic Village

A beautiful temple in the village of Nattakom

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Two of the most offbeat places to visit in Kottayam, Nattakom and Panachikkad are the secluded villages located mere few kilometres from the 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 Kottayam. Visit them if you’re looking for a secluded desi getaway in the midst of nature and its warm natives.

Location: Kottayam, Kerala
Timings: NA
Speciality: Scenic landscapes, migratory birds, and remarkable reservoirs
Entry fee: NA

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6. Kottathavalam – Popular For Short Road Trips

Amudi peak in Kottathavalam is one of the highest peaks in the state

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Located about 70 km from Kottayam, Kottathavalam is a popular hill station and a favourite among those looking for a long drive through the mountainous 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
Timings: NA
Speciality: Popular hill station
Entry fee: NA

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7. Marmala Waterfalls – Deadly Combination Of Danger & Beauty

Marmala Waterfalls are one of the best tourist destinations near Kottayam

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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
Speciality: narrow trodden paths and the stunning views of the waterfall
Entry fee: NA

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8. St. Mary’s Orthodox Church – The Oldest Church

St. Mary's Orthodox Church is one of the oldest churches in Kerala

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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 the local Kerala style of architecture in refurbishing. It is amongst the top Kottayam tourist places.

Location: Oppotil junction, Kottayam – Kumarakom Rd, Kottayam, Kerala 686001
Timings: 8 am to 6 pm, daily
Speciality: Portuguese style of architecture
Entry fee: NA

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9. Juma Masjid – A 1,000-Year Old Mosque

Juma Masjid is one of the oldest mosques in Kerala

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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 the otherworldly surrounding beauty of Juma Masjid are truly impressive. It is one of the best tourist spots in Kottayam.

Location: Tourist Bangalow Rd, opposite Joy Alukkas, Eerayil Kadavu, Kottayam, Kerala 686001
Timings: 6 am to 8 pm, every day
The architecture
Entry fee:
No entry fee

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10. Monroe Lighthouse – Catch Magnificent Views


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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 the 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
Speciality: offers a magnificent view of the backwaters of beautiful Vembanad
Entry fee: NA

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11. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary-Haven For Nature & Bird Lovers

A flight of birds playing in Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

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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 colourful 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
Speciality: A variety of migratory birds
Entry fee: INR 50 per head for Indians and INR 100 per head for non-Indians.

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12. Poonjar Palace – Glimpse Of Kottayam At Old Times

The beautiful heritage gracing the Poonjar Palace in Kottayam

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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, making it one of the best tourist spots in Kottayam.

Location: PHC Rd, Panachippara, Poonjar, Kerala 686581
Timings: From 9 am to 7 pm, throughout the week
Speciality: the intricate wooden carvings
Entry fee: NA

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13. Bay Island Driftwood Museum-One-Of-Its-Kind Museum

Bay Island Driftwood Museum is one of the best museums in Kottayam

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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
From 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays, and from 11.30 am to 5 pm on Sundays. Mondays weekly off.
Speciality: a large collection of articles carved from driftwood
Entry fee: Entry to the museum is by ‘Pass’ only

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Mozart Art Gallery is a popular museum in Kerala

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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 artefacts, and sometimes, a mixture of all these things. Drawing inspiration from religious and mythological references, the artefacts 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
Speciality: The classic paintings and unique exhibits
Entry fee: No entry fee

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15. Discs & Machines – Sunny’s Gramophone Museum

A collection of gramophones at Discs & Machines - Sunny's Gramophone Museum

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Sunny’s Gramophone Museum is a unique museum in Kottayam, specifically for 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
Only on Saturdays and Sundays, from 2 pm to 7 pm
Speciality: The museum is dedicated to music enthusiasts
Entry fee: No entry fee

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16. Illikkal Kallu – Ideal For Trekkers & Nature Lovers

Illikkal Kallu

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Nestled at a height of 6,000 feet above 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
Speciality: panoramic views and lush greenery
Entry fee: NA

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17. Neendoor Subrahmanya Swami Temple – Pay A Visit

Neendoor Subrahmanya Swami Temple

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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
Speciality: Intricate carvings of the temple
Entry fee: NA

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18. Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple – Admire The Beauty

Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple

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Another tourist place near Kottayam is Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple which is located at a distance of 10 kilometres only. It is counted among the oldest temples of Kerala which is why it is a 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
Speciality: The wood carvings and mural
Entry fee: No entry fee

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19. Tomb Of Saint Alphonsa – Most Revered Place To Visit

Tomb Of Saint Alphonsa

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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 an umbrella, cot, and 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
Speciality: This tomb holds the mortal remains of an Indian religious educator, St. Alphonsa
Entry fee: No entry fee

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20. Clay Art Cafe – Relish Tasty Cakes With Artwork

clay art cafe

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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)
Speciality: The cafe has some of the tastiest delicacies to relish
Entry fee: NA

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21. Thirunakkara Mahadev Temple – Watch The Murals

Thirunakkara Mahadev Temple

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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
Speciality: The Kerala style architecture
Entry fee: NA

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22. Malliyoor Sri Maha Ganapathi Temple – A Grand One

Malliyoor Sri Maha Ganapathi Temple

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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 exploring this temple which is counted among the top Kottayam tourist places.

Location: Manjoor, Kuruppanthara, Kottayam, Kerala 686603
Timings: 5:30 am – 8 pm
Speciality: The different idols of Lord Ganesha
Entry fee: NA

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23. Thangal Para – A Beautiful Hill

huge rock viewpoint

Thangal Para is a hill in Kerala that 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
Speciality: The scenic beauty
Entry fee: No entry fee

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24. Thiruvarppu Sree Krishna Temple – A Revered Temple

Burning incense sticks for prayer

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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
Speciality: It is one of the highly revered temples in the town
Entry fee: No entry fee

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25. Panachikkadu Temple – Dedicated To The Goddess Of Wealth


Panachikkadu Temple is also known as Dakshana Mookambika Temple. This shrine is dedicated to the Hindu goddess, Laxmi who is worshipped as the goddess of wealth, prosperity and good luck. 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
Speciality: The architecture of the temple
Entry fee: NA

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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
Speciality: Famous for its annual festival
Entry fee: NA

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27. Subrahmonia Temple – Of The Travancore Kingdom

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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 is 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
Speciality: Ancient temple
Entry fee: No entry fee

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28. Saraswathy Temple – Explore The Indian Mythology

goddess temple

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 Indian mythology and speak volumes about 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
Speciality: The stunning paintings and the intriguing sculptures inside the temple premises
Entry fee: NA

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29. Chottanikkara Temple – Temple Of Myths & Legends

Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple

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 the Hindu religion that has lots of myths and legends attached to it. The temple is home to the Goddess of Power, Sree Mahamaya Bhagwati (Aadiparashakthi), popularly known as Chottanikkara Devi.  

Location: Chottanikkara, Kochi, Kerala 682312
Timings: 4 am – 9 pm
Speciality: The architecture of the temple
Entry fee: NA

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30. Kumaranalloor Bhagavathy Temple – A Rare Architectural Complex

Parashurameshvara Temple Bhubaneswar

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
Speciality: The ancient architecture
Entry fee: NA

Further Read: 5 Villas In Kottayam For A Lavishly Blissful Staycation

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

What is special in Kottayam?

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.

What is Kottayam known for?

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.

What is the best time to visit Kottayam in Kerala?

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.

How many days should I stay in Kottayam?

A duration of two days is sufficient to explore the places in Kottayam.

How do I get to Illikkal Kallu by bus?

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.

How many rivers are there in Kottayam district?

Meenachil River, Muvattupuzha River, and the Manimala River are some of the most important rivers in the Kottayam district.

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