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.
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.
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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.
3. Nadukani – A major picnic spot beside being ethereally beautiful
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.
Suggested Read: 7 Tranquil Hill Stations in Kerala For A Refreshing Summer
4. Island of Pathiramanal – Twisted trails to the world unknown
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.
5. Nattakom and Panachikkad – A glimpse into the rustic village life of Kottayam
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.
6. Kottathavalam – A hill station near Kottayam, 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.
7. Marmala Waterfalls – Deadly combination of danger and 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.
Suggested Read: The Ultimate Guide to Top Tourist Places in Kerala
8 St. Mary’s Orthodox Church – One of the oldest churches near Kottayam
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.
Opening hours: 8 am to 6 pm, daily
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9. Juma Masjid – A 1,000 year old mosque in Kottayam
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.
Opening hours: 6 am to 8 pm, every day
10. Monroe Lighthouse
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!
11. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary – A nature lover’s heaven and bird lover’s paradise
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.
Opening hours: 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 – A glimpse of Kottayam in the olden 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.
PS: The rich antiques displayed in the exhibition are remarkable.
Opening hours: From 9 am to 7 pm, throughout the week
Suggested Read: 8 Quaint Homestays In Kerala For A Cozy, Private Holiday
13. Bay Island Driftwood Museum – A one-of-its-kind museum in Kottayam
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.
Opening hours: 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
14. Mozart Art Gallery – A showcase of twisted, yet novel art of Kottayam
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.
15. Discs & Machines – Sunny’s Gramophone Museum in Kottayam
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.
Opening hours: Only on Saturdays and Sundays, from 2 pm to 7 pm
Pack your bags to Kottayam to experience the God’s blissful own country. Don’t forget to write back to us.
Further Read: 10 Best Places To Visit In Kerala
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