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Kottayam is a place known for its warm and friendly, literate and cultured people. Kumarakom, situated 13 Kms away from Kottayam is a sleepy little village on Vembanad Lake in Kerala. It offers wide variety of flora, exotic sightseeing, boating and fishing experience. The bird sanctuary spread across 14 acres is a safe home for many migratory birds like Siberian stork, wild duck etc. They live with other birds in flocks. Birds such as darters, herons, waterfowl, cuckoos etc are a fascinating sight for the visitors. The beautiful paradise stocked with mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut trees, comprising of water ways and canals adorned with white lilies, enchants the tourist.

Elaveezhapoonchira , a hill station which is 60 kms away from Kottayam is gaining tourist importance. Elaveezhapoonchira means a valley where leaves don’t fall and is named so because the place has no trees. This is also one of the best places in Kerala to witness both the sunrise and sunset.

Locked between three beautiful hillocks Mankunnu, Kudayathoormala and Thonippara, Poonchira is a place of picturesque charm. Legends say that the pool here was a bathing place for Panchali, the heroine of Mahabharata. The beautiful valleys of Poonchira spread across thousands of acres and the verdant landscape punctuated by the gigantic hills, is a unique feature of this land. During monsoon season, the water that gets accumulated over a wide area looks like a placid lake, reflecting the rain clouds and the majestic mountains. The pristine beauty of nature is preserved almost intact in this small region.

The Poonjar Palace is a glorious testimony of the regal opulence of a bygone era. Within the palace walls is an extraordinary royal collection of antiques and exquisite furniture including a palanquin, a thoni - carved out of a single piece of wood .The place is also known for its Ayurvedic massages, huge chandeliers, palm leaf engravings, jewel boxes, varieties of lamps, sculptures of Nataraja (the dancing Siva), grain measures, statues and weapons. A unique conch preserved here is taken out once a year for ritualistic purposes.

For more on the land of lagoons and letters, log on to kottayam.com

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