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Kottayam is a major town in Kerala and one among the more mountainous districts. Kottayam provides some of Keralas finest natural scenes sandwiched between serene palm-fringed backwaters on the west and the Western ghats on the east. Much of this beauty is laid out in all its glory along the road which winds from Kottayam to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady through plantations of rubber, tea, coffee and pepper. Kottayam is an important commercial centre of Kerala, India, thanks to its strength as a producer of cash crops. Most of India's natural rubber originates from the acres of well-kept plantations of Kottayam, also home to the Rubber Board, One of the country's primary commodities board.

Kottayam came into limelight when it was declared the first fully literate municipal town of India, an event that triggered a mass movement to make Kerala the country’s only state to achieve total literacy. Kottayam is also the birthplace of the state’s publishing industry, and is home to a number of globally renowned newspapers and magazines including Malayala Manorama (India’s largest circulated daily), The Week, Mathrubhumi, and Deepika. Some of the historical places, tourist places and other places of interest are listed below

Place of Interest Description
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary 12 kms west of Kottayam town is this small village Kumarakom, which has a beautiful bird sanctuary on the banks of the Vembanad Lake and is an ideal place for backwater cruises. The 14-acre sanctuary is an ornithologist's paradise and a favourite haunt of migratory birds like Siberian stork, Egret darter, Heron and Teal. There are also different varieties of local birds like waterfowl, wild duck, cuckoo, owl, water ducketc. The sanctuary is open from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm and the best months to bird watch are between June and August. Close to the sanctuary, in the beautifully wooded ground near the backwaters, is coconut lagoon heritage resort, which is one of India's most discrete holiday destinations. Guests stay in genuine 'Tharawad' (traditional wooden) cottages and love this unique culture.
Elaveezhapoonchira (mountains) Elaveezhapoonchira, formed of imposing mountain ranges with rocky cliffs is on the eastern periphery of Kottayam district. It is a beautiful picnic spot, accessible from Pala, located in the middle of hillocks. About 3000 feet above sea lever, the pristine beauty of nature is preserved almost intact here. There is also a famous ancient mosque at Thazhathanangady near Thalikotta Palace, which attracts many devotees.
Vembanad Lake 16 kms from Kottayam town, is a vast network of rivers and canals, which empty into the great expanse of water called the Vemanad Lake, which is situated in Kumarakom village. The lake is an enchanting picnic spot and a fast developing backwater tourist destination. It provides boating, fishing and sight seeing experiences that are truly exhilarating. The Kumarakom tourist village also offers houseboat cruises and holiday packages.
Wagamon (Trekker's Paradise) Situated at an elevation of 1100 metres above sea level, Wagamon is called the trekker's paradise because it is an ideal place for trekking and a beautiful tourist spot surrounded by the greenery of tea plantations, meadows, valleys and dales. It is about 60 km from Kottayam. The other attraction of this place is Kurisumala, a sky-scraping mountain with a small church on its peak. There is also a monastery on this hill, called Kurisumala Ashramam, which has a small community of ascetics who follow Christian faith but combines with it the Indian spiritual traditions and Gandhian thoughts. People of all faith are welcome to visit this place.
Maramala Waterfalls This lies a few kms away from Eerattupetta. It is exactly 7 kms from Teekoy rubber estate. From here a private vehicle can take you further 2 kms after which the road is not motor able. To reach the falls one has to trek through the estate over the rocky path. The waterfall is about 60 metres in height, falling into a 12-meter deep pool and joins the River Teekoy way down.
Vennimala Vennimala is a serene and beautiful place located in the Puthuppalli village panchayath of Kottayam district .Vennimala, a stone's thrown away from the bustling Kottayam Town is the serene and beautiful hill top destination, Vennimala is located nearly 15 km from the Kottayam town and can be assessed easily through the Kottayam- Kumili road.
Kesari Waterfalls The Kesari waterfalls, also known as Valanjamkanam falls, lies between Kuttikanam and Murinjapuzha on the Kottayam-Kumaly route. Valanjamkanam is a 3 hr. journey from Kottayam by any bus to Kumaly; trek to Kuttikanan offers additional adventurous spirit and closeness to nature.
Panchalimedu Situated 7 kms from Muundakkayam - Kuttikanam stretch on the Kottayam - Kumali road, lies Panchalimedu at an altitude of about 2500 feet above sea level. A 3-hour trek from Valliankavu, also connected by bus service from Kottayam. According to legends, the Pandavas had stayed here and the pond beside a small temple is where Panchali, their wife is said to have had bath.