Kottayam is a beautiful city located in Kerala. The city is known for its rich natural beauty with lakes and paddy fields. Located close to the Western Ghats, Kottayam sits in the lap of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of big cities. This peaceful place has a lot of treats for travel enthusiasts and tourists looking for peaceful adventure.
Places to visit in Kottayam are plenty. If you are new to the area and want to explore the hidden gems of the city, take a look at these tourist places in Kottayam.
You can reach Kottayam:
By air: Tourists can travel to Kottayam through the Cochin International Airport which is well connected to major cities in India. Additionally, a few international flights also take travellers to the Cochin International Airport from time to time.
By rail: Kottayam is well connected by rail, and the main station here is the Kottayam Railway station. Direct trains to Kottayam are available from New Delhi, Trivandrum, Mumbai, and Mangalore.
Top 10 places to visit in Kottayam
Living in Kottayam and searching “tourist places near me?” Nadukani is an amazing place for trekkers and hikers, only 78 km away from Kottayam. Nestled amid green nature and lush hills, the new trekking trail will take you 3000 ft above sea level on a hill. The hillside and the short trek will reward you with mesmerising scenic mountains and streams meandering through the valleys. The Muvattupuzha River will also be visible from the hilltop. You can rest here for a while and enjoy hot tea/coffee from nearby shacks. Munch on some fritters while watching the sun descend over the horizon. The best route to the destination will be by train from Kottayam railway station to Aluva (AWY) Station.
The island of Pathiramanal is popular among tourist places in Kottayam and located only 26 km away. This island offers a spectacular view of a lake that stretches as far as the eyes go. Bereft of dense population, the island’s serenity and surroundings are unmatched. The island itself holds densely wooded areas with rare trees and plants. These trees are home to some special birds who reside on this island. Overall, the island of Pathiramanal is the ideal destination near Kottayam for botanists, bird watchers, and photographers. You can opt to stay back for a day to witness the beautiful sunset and sunrise from its shores. The best way to travel to Pathiramanal would be via the SH42 and Alappuzha – Madurai Road.
Kottathavalam is a beautiful cave carved out of rock near Kottayam. This cave is located 70 km away from Kottayam within the Murugan Hills at Kurisumala. The cave is said to be the resting place of the Madura Royal family. The cave is a sight to see because of its rich carvings of sculptures of Gods, Goddesses, weapons, and goods. The sculptures of the place will take you back to the past and give you a taste of history. This Kottayam tourist place is one of the best places for picnics and day tours near Kottayam. You can easily reach Kottathavalam from Kottayam railway station and Trivandrum International Airport.
The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary or Vembanad Bird Sanctuary is a major Kottayam tourist place just 15 km away from the city centre. Bird-watching enthusiasts will find this place truly magical. The sanctuary takes you through the banks of the Vembanad Lake, which can be navigated by boat. Kerala’s backwaters are home to hundreds of bird species, some of which have become endangered. A variety of colourful kingfishers on the trees is the perfect sight for wildlife and nature photographers to use. The boat ride itself is a treat, taking you through the serene backwaters of Kottayam. The best way to reach Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary would be to take a cab from the Kottayam railway station..
To get a glimpse of the beauty of Western Ghats, you should visit Illikkal Kallu. Illikkal Kallu is about 56 km away and one of the best places to visit in Kottayam. Located in the Moonnilavu Village, a short trip from Kottayam will take you to these spectacular hills. This side of the Western Ghats rises 6000 ft above sea levels and portrays a majestic rock formation. Surrounded by lush green forests and vegetation, you can stand amidst the clouds and enjoy the untouched beauty of the Western Ghats. You will find a number of hills in the distal distance, lakes and streams snaking through them. The sunset and sunrise at Illikkal Kallu are highly recommended by locals. You can reach Illikkal Kallu from Kottayam through the Pala-Poonjar Road.
Marmala Waterfalls is located only 52 km from Kottayam. This beautiful waterfall is surrounded by a serene ambience and lush green woods. The waterfall plunges into the stone bed from a height of 200 feet. After the fresh rains, the waterfall is at its full capacity and truly a sight to behold. A small trek will lead you to the base of the waterfall, where crowds are always absent. The clean water and the calming surroundings make it the perfect spot for relaxation. This is another great tourist place in Kottayam for picnics and road trips. A large number of public buses travel to Marmala Waterfalls from the Kottayam Bus stand.
Thangal Hills is a cultural, religious, and historical place near Kottayam. Located only 66 km from the centre, Thangal Hills is a popular tourist place in Kottayam frequently visited by Muslims. The Hills contain a Mosque for pilgrims, and at the top of the Hills lies the famous Dargah of Sheikh Fariduddin. Hundreds of Muslim pilgrims and tourists visit this place on special occasions. The hills also offer some brilliant views of the landscape. You can have a small, quaint picnic on the hills and enjoy the beauty of green meadows. You can drive to Thangal Hills from Kottayam by taking the SH14 route
Boat races are a special attraction among tourists in Kottayam. Kottayam’s spectacular boat races are a sight to see, and the competition will surely keep you on your toes. Long snake-like boats take part in these races, and people wear colourful jerseys to mark their team. Festivities surround boat races, so you will find special food and marketing stalls selling souvenirs around the competition area. However, you must keep in mind that boat races only take place around specific seasons in a year. These races are conducted in the July, August and September months.
Shopping in Kottayam is one of the top activities for tourists who visit this place. The local markets are some of the best tourist places in Kottayam. These markets house numerous shops selling textiles, tapestry, jewellery, spices, and much more. South Indian textiles and jewels are luxurious and pristine. The collection available in the markets of Kottayam will surely steal your breath. You can visit the local markets and famous shops to shop around and get the best of Kerala. The flower markets of Kottayam are also the ideal Kottayam tourist places to visit.
Kottayam is pretty famous for its cuisine. The cuisine of Kerala is known for its delicious taste and huge variety not available anywhere. The local restaurants and eateries in Kottayam serve delectable cuisine ranging from pure veg to non-veg food. Fish is the star ingredient because it’s sourced fresh from the local backwaters and lakes. The special lunch and dinner thali is a unique attraction with numerous side dishes and main courses. From breakfast to dinner, Kottayam has specialised food joints for all types of South Indian cuisine.
Is Kottayam worth visiting?
Yes, Kottayam has some serene natural trails and breathtaking landscape. The city has a rich cultural heritage which attracts a lot of tourists.
Is Kottayam a good place?
Kottayam is well suited is a preferred location for HNIs and NRIs looking to lead a quality life. It is famous for its natural beauty and known as trekkers’ heaven. It has excellent rail and road connectivity between cities.
Where is Kottayam and why is it famous?
Kottayam is located in Kerala and nestled between the Western Ghats. The city is famous for its scenic beauty and a large collection of hill stations.