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Kottayam is a land of striking beauty with long stretches of serene backwaters, sprawling paddy fields, rubber plantations and a population of literate people and hence is cited as the ‘land of letters, latex and lakes’. It is bounded by the Western Ghats on the east the Vembanad Lake on the west. The famous Vembanad Lake marks Kottayam backwaters as a renowned tourist destination. The famous backwater cruises in Kottayam include sailing in Kettuvalams in the Vembanad Lake and the Punnamada Lake and viewing the mundane activities of rustic life of the locales while passing through the villages. Boats of varying sizes and shapes are available in the big and small wharfs that are engaged in the backwater tours.
Places of interest
The Chandragiri backwater cruises at Kottayam offer boat tours to the nearby islands and palm woodlets. The boarding point is Chandragiri Bridge which is located near the ancient Kizhur Sastha Temple. The varied places of interest in the backwater destination of Kottayam are: The Vaikom Shiva Temple, located 40 km away from the city, believed to be related with the legendary figure- Parashurama. Other temples are the Temple at Ettumanoor, and the Temples of Perunna, Vazhappally. You can visit the other pilgrim centres of Mannanam, Sabarimala, and Bharananganam in Kottayam.
The Mosque at Erumeli, located about 60 km north-east of the backwater destination of Kottayam, is dedicated to Vavar, a companion of Lord Ayyappa, a Hindu deity.St Marys Forane Church is the 9th century church located at Athirumpuzha, near the backwater destination of Kottayam and encloses a unique crucifix which depicts Jesus Christ without a single wound. You can also visit the St Marys Church in Valiapally, St Marys Orthodox Church at Cheriyapally and the St Josephs Monastery at Mannanam.
You can also view the ruins of the fort and palaces of the local rulers of Kottayam. You can also make a tour to the Kumarakom Backwaters, located 16 km away and which houses a famous bird sanctuary.
For more details on The Land of Letters, log onto kottayam.com
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