Kottayam is known as the center of Kerala’s spice and rubber trade, where scenic canal cruises connect to nearby Alleppey. Its city center is dotted with beautiful churches, hill stations and temples, while the surrounding region reveals waterfalls, backwaters and rustic towns.
Things to do in Kottayam
Once home to one of Kerala’s famous princes, Prince G.V Raja, the Poonjar Palace is an opulent building full of antique treasures. Take a guided tour to see its period furniture, dazzling chandeliers and palm leaf engravings.
If you’re interested in seeing unique art pieces, visit the Bay Island Driftwood Museum to browse its sculptures in the shape of birds, reptiles and fish. Art lovers can marvel at the pieces sculpted from centuries-old driftwood, such as tree trunks, stumps and roots, that have been formed into innovative art.
Nature lovers can hike to the 1,828-metre-tall Illickal Kallu, one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats. Experienced hikers should put Elaveezhapoonchira on their itinerary, as its challenging trails reveal beautiful views of valleys below.
Visit the backwaters of Kerala in Vaikom to see its collection of historical landmarks and heritage temples, such as the Vaikom Temple. Admire the holy banyan tree inside the temple and marvel at the intricate details of the colorful sculptures. You might also want to time your visit for the annual Vaikom Ashtami festival.
Getting around Kottayam
You can access Kottayam by flying into Kochi International Airport, 93 kilometers away, or traveling by train, boat or bus from nearby cities. The best way to get around Kottayam is by bus, auto-rickshaw or taxi.