A temple with a thousand legends, the Vaikom Temple, Kottayam is a must-visit while on a tour to Kerala. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is one of the most famous pilgrimage centers in Kerala, thronged by the faithful all through the year. Arguably the oldest Shiva Temple in the world, the Vaikom Temple in Kottayam also has a number of stories of India’s struggle for freedom attached to it, which has further helped the temple to become one of the major tourist attractions of Kottayam.
The architecture of the Vaikom Temple, Kottayam spellbinds all the visitors to the land with a charm that is truly divine. Surrounded by a courtyard that stretches to almost 8 acres, the boundaries of the temple are marked by four Gopuras or towers.Facing the East, the temple is easily recognized by its Golden Flagstaff, which flows proudly, welcoming all the devotees to the temple.The temple has been patronized by a number of well-known personalities over the years, a celebrated list which includes names like Parasuraman (the incarnation of Maha Vishnu), Vyaghrapada Maharishi, Srimad Adi Shankaracharya, Villwa Mangalathu Swamiyar and a number of others.
Vaikom is a town located in the district of Kottayam in Kerala. It was also a destination of Satyagraha during the Indian Independence Movement. It is the oldest city in Kottayam and lies very close to the famous tourist spot of Kumarakom. Vaikom Temple lies at the heart of the town and becomes very prominent during its Vaikom Ashtami celebrations during the month of November. This temple was constructed in the year 1594. It is also enclosed by a courtyard which is spread across 8 acres of land.
The history of Vaikom can be traced back to the time when there existed a kingdom known as Venmalanadu of which Vaikom is a part. Later, Venmalanadu was broken down into Vadakkumkoor and Thekkumkoor. Vaikom became a part of the dynasty of Vadakkumkoor.
In 1742, Vaikom became a part of the Travancore after the Maharaja of Travancore took over Vadakkumkoor and merged it into his kingdom. However, Vaikom became famous due to the Satyagraha which was held in there during the Indian Independence Movement. It has a population of approximately 22637 and a literacy rate of 92%.
(6 k.m from Vaikom), this is one among the oldest Roman-Syrian Catholic Churches in Kerala & contains very ancient and rare architecture. This church is situated near the bank of Vembanad Lake. According to mythology a young Brahmin dived into the Vembanad Lake to perform his evening ablutions and the water made way for land to rise from below
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.
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.
Munnar – breathtakingly beautiful – a haven of peace and tranquility – the idyllic tourist destination in God’s own country.
Set at an altitude of 6000 ft in Idukki district, Munnar was the favored summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. Unending expanse of tea plantations pristine valleys and mountains exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests aroma of spice scented cool air yes! This beautiful destination has all these and more. It’s the place you would love to visit it’s the place you would wish never to leave.
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