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Kumarakom, situated 13 Kms away from Kottayam is a sleepy little village on VembanadLake in Kerala. It offers wide variety of flora, exotic sightseeing, boating and fishing experience. The bird sanctuary spread across 14 acres is new and safe home for many migratory birds like Siberian stork, wild duck etc. They live with other birds in flocks such as darters, herons, waterfowls; cuckoos are fascinating sight for the visitors. The beautiful paradise stocked with mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut trees comprises with water ways and canals adorned with white lilies enchants the tourist from world over. The land is famous for it’s painstakingly hand craft each exquisite piece still in a traditional way. VemanadLake is home to several types of marine life exclusively the Chemeen (Prawns), the Konju (Tiger Prawns) and Karimeem.
Elaveezhapoonchira , a hill station which is 60 kms away from Kottayam is gaining tourist importance. Elaveezhapoonchira means valley where leaves dont fall and is names so because the place has no trees. This is also one of the best places in Kerala to witness both the sun rise 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.
Vaikom is situated west of Kottayam district. The place has got historical importace due to ‘Vaikom Satyagraham’ which was a movement in Travancore against untouchability a practice in which ostracizing a minority endogamous group from the mainstream by social custom or legal mean in which Mahatma Gandhi and Periyar Ramasami participated .Mahadeva temple, also known as Thekkan Kashi (Southern Varanasi),is situated here and is famous for Ashtami (vailattashtami).
The Poonjar Palace is a glorious testimony to 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 - for 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.
Situated 64 Km away from Kottayam is a trekkers paradise. Wagamon also has distinction as the most literate district of India.A tourist spot surrounded by the greenery of tea gardens, Hills beautifully covered with green grasses, velvet lawns and the cool mountain air make Wagamon a perfect holiday retreat. Wagamon comprises of stunningly beautiful series of gentle hills, valleys, waterfalls and green slopes and truly a scenic spot for tourists.The chain of three hills - Thangal Hill, Murugan Hill and Kurisumala - makes Wagamon a place worth visiting.
Erumeli is a small town nestled in the evergreen situated 60 km from Kottayam. town. Erumeli is the gateway to the Sabarimala temple, Kerala’s prominent Hindu pilgrim centre located in Pathanamthitta district.Erumeli is a widely known place for its Vavar mosque. Vavar was the friend and companion of Lord Ayyappa, the deity in Sabarimala temple. The pilgrims going this way to Sabarimala used to halt here and give offering to Vavar by way of breaking coconuts on a stone by throwing forcefully on it. The stone is in the precincts of the mosque.
If you are an adventure lover and love thrilling travel experience, then Illikal Kallu in Kottayam is one of the best destinations that you can explore. Said to be the highest peak in the Western Ghats, this peak is placed 3,400 ft above the sea level. You will have to trek a 3 kilometers distance to reach this beautiful destination.
Steep and winding road will take you to Illikal Kallu. Take it as a challenge and be ready to enjoy the most delightful part of Kerala. Illikal can be reached from Kottayam via Pala-Erattupeta- Thekkoya- Adukkom route. Earlier, it was not very easy to reach Illikal, but now, with the help of tourism department, it is easy to reach there even with a private vehicle.
Illikal Kallu consisst of three hills, each of which have peculiar shapes. Of which, one of the hill is known as ‘Kuda Kallu’, which has the shape of a mushroom. This hill is famous for the presence of Neela Koduveli, the medicinal herb. Neela Koduveli is a blue colour flower, which is believed to have supernatural powers. The second hill is known as ‘Koonu Kallu’, with small hunch on sides. Another interesting thing you will find here is the presence of a bridge, which is known as Narakapalam or Bridge to hell.
To reach the top of the hill, you will have to go through the bridge, narakapalam. But it is more adventurous and challenging as the narrow and slippery path may turn dangerous. You may feel the clouds are very closer to you and give a try to touch it with your fingers. The small streams from the hill top, the cool climate, the breeze…wow it will be a different experience. The romantic view of Arabian Sea and sunset from this hilltop is beyond the word of explanation…
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