- Kottayam district
Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
latd = 9.595
collector= Raju Narayana Swamy
population_total = 1953646
:"This article is about the District of Kottayam, See Kottayam Town also."
Malayalam: കോട്ടയം) is one of the 14 districts in the state of Kerala, India. The district has its headquarters at Kottayamtown, located at 9.36° N and 76.17° E. According to the 1991 census, it is the first district to achieve highest literacy rate in the whole of India. On 27 September 2008, Kottayam district also became the first tobaccofree districts in India. [ [http://in.news.yahoo.com/43/20080923/938/thl-kottayam-to-be-declared-as-tobacco-f.html Kottayam to be declared as tobacco free district soon] Yahoo! India] [ [http://www.thehindu.com/2008/09/27/stories/2008092754790400.htm Kottayam district to be declared tobacco-free] The Hindu]
Bordered by the
Western Ghatson the east and the Vembanad Lakeand paddy fields of Kuttanadon the west, Kottayam has many unique characteristics. Panoramic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands, hills and hillocks, rubberplantations and places associated with many legends given Kottayam District the enviable title: The land of letters, legends, latex and lakes. The district is 15.35% urbanised. [ http://www.censusindiamaps.net/page/India_WhizMap/IndiaMap.htm Urban statistics of the district]
Kottayam literally means the interior of a fort - "Kotta + Akam". Rulers of Munjanad and Thekkumkur had their headquarters at Thazhathangadi in
Kummanamnear Kottayam town.Fact|date=March 2007 Marthanda Varmaof Travancoreattacked Thekkumkur and destroyed the palace and the Thaliyil Fort. The remnants of the palaces and forts are still seen here.
Kottayam has played its role in all the political agitations of modern times. The 'Malayali Memorial ' agitation may be said to have had its origin in Kottayam.Fact|date=March 2007 The Malayali Memorial sought to secure better representation for educated Travancoreans in the Travancore civil service against persons from outside. The Memorial, which was presented to the Maharaja Sri Moolam Thirunal (1891) was drafted at a public meeting held in the Kottayam Public Library. The event marked the beginning of the modern political movement in the state.Fact|date=March 2007
It was in Kottayam that the famous
Vaikom Satyagraha(1924-25), an epic struggle for eradication of untouchability, took place. Scheduled castesand other backward classes in Travancore were denied not only entry into temples, but also access to temple roads. Vaikom, the seat of a celebrated SivaTemple, was the venue of the symbolic satyagraha. It is of immense historic significance that national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, C. Rajagopalachari, Acharya Vinoba Bhave and E.V. Ramswami Naykar, associated with this struggle.Fact|date=March 2007 The ' Nivarthana ' agitation of the early thirties, to secure adequate representation for the non-caste Hindus, Christians and Muslims in the state Legislature, enjoyed considerable support from this district. The district was also a centre of the agitation led by the state Congress for responsible Government in Travancore. The agitation had a triumphant end, with the overthrow of Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, the then Dewan of Travancore.
The present Kottayam district was previously a part of the erstwhile princely state of
Travancore. Earlier, the Travancore state consisted of two revenue divisions viz. the southern and northern divisions, under the administrative control of a 'Diwan Peshkar' for each. Later in 1868 two more divisions Quilon( Kollam) and Kottayam were constituted. The fifth division Devikulamcame next but only for a short period, which in course of time, was added to Kottayam. At the time of the integration of the state of Travancore and Cochin (Kochi) in 1949, these revenue divisions were renamed as districts and the Diwan Peshkars gave way to District Collectors, paving the way for the birth of the Kottayam District in July 1949.Fact|date=March 2007
Kottayam has a tropical climate like that of the rest of Kerala, hence there are no distinct seasons in the area. Humidity is high and rises to about 90% during the rainy season. Kottayam gets rain from two
monsoonseasons, the south-west monsoon and the north-east monsoon. The average rainfall is around 1600 mm per year. The south-west monsoon starts from June and ends in August. The north-east monsoon is in October-November. December, January and February are cooler, while March, April and May are hotter. The highest temperature recorded here was 38.5 °C ( 6 April 1998) and the lowest was 16 °C ( 13 December 2000). [ http://www.kerala.gov.instatistical/panchayat_statistics2001/ktm_shis.htm Climate of Kottayam ]
Kottayam has a vast network of
rivers, backwaters, ancient religious places, and hillstations. Some of the noted tourist places here are: Vembanad Lakehas a great expanse of water which is a part of the interconnected Kerala Backwatersthat run virtually the length of the state. Vembanad Lake is 52 miles (84 km) in length and 9 miles (14 km) in width. Traditional cargo boats called Kettuvallamsare modified into luxurious cruise boats and house boats. These boats gracefully move around the back waters, providing facilities to tourist to enjoy the beauty of the Vembanad Lake in a relaxed pace. Pathiramanal(the midnight sands) is located in the Vembanad Lake is a small beautiful island. This island is accessible only by boat. Kumarakom, located on the coast of Vembanad Lake, is a beautiful village stocked with divine mangroves and coconut groves, lush green paddy fields, gushing waters snaking through the dense forests. Kumarakom bird sanctuary, is home to migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heronand teal. Local birds like the water fowl, cuckoo, owland water henand other common varieties like the woodpecker, sky lark, crane and parrotcan also be spotted here. Ninety-one species of local and 50 species of migratory birds are found here. The best time to watch local birds is June–August and the best time for migratory birds is November–February. House Boats and motorboats are available on hire for bird watching cruises in the Lake. Vagamonis a hill station in the Kottayam- Idukki district.
During the months of August and September, the rivers in and near Kottayam are turned into festival centres. The serene backwaters come alive during
Onamwith a spectacular water regatta -the snake boat races. Oarsmen, at least a hundred in each boat, slice their way through the waters to the fast rhythm of their own full-throated singing. Thazhathangadi boat race in Kummanamis over a century old. Boat races are conducted at Kavanar and Kottathodu rivers in Kumarakom. These vallam kalihave about 50 boats participating, including Chundan, Churulan, Iruttukuthi(ody) veppu, and canoes.
Other nearby tourist destinations:
Thekkady Periyar Tiger Reserve- 104 kilometers away, in the IdukkiDistrict.
Peerumed, about 75 km located in Idukkidistrict
Munnarhill station, about 80 km away
Vaikom, about 50 km away
Kottayamis also a gateway to the pilgrim centres like Sabarimala, Mannanam, Vaikom, Ettumanoor Siva temple, Thirunakkara, Bharananganam, Erumeli and famous Manarcaud church. Kottayam town is linked by rail to other prominent cities in Keralaand also linked to the waterways for scenic travel. The nearest airport is Cochin International Airportwhich is about 88 kilometers away. Kottayam is the first town in India selected by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Indiato be transformed as an Eco City. [http://www.ilfsindia.com/projects1.asp?Category=2&Project=13&subLink=53]
Aside from two public sector companies, Hindustan Newsprint at Velloor and Travancore Cements at Nattakom, industries in the district consist mostly of small and medium scale units. The main activity are in publishing (newspapers and books) and processing of rubber (
latex) and manufacturing of rubber based products. Rubber based industries in the district include a unit of MRF Ltd. (Madras Rubber Factory) in Vadavathoor, Midas Rubber Ltd. at Ettumanoor, Intermix factory (Neezhoor) and Rubco at Pampady.
Confined more or less to the Vaikom area of the district, is a thriving
coirprocessing industry, processing coir and making coir products. Consisting of more than twenty co-operatives, it employs around 20,000 people. In the hand loom sector, eight co-operative societies provide employment to 2100 persons. The district has a rich forest wealth with good availability of softwoodand other varieties of timberproviding raw material for a number of small enterprises in the production of plywood, packing cases, splints, veneers and furniture.
The first printing press in Kerala
(C.M.S Press)was established here in 1821 by Rev. Benjamin Baily, a British missionary. Maiden printed Malayalam-English and English-Malayalam dictionaries were published from Kottayam in 1846 and 1847 respectively. The first and only cooperative society of writers, authors and publishers (SPCS), for publishing books and periodicals was set up here in 1945. Kottayam is the hometown of a vast number of books and periodicals and is the centre of publishing business in the state. Popular publishing houses like Malayala Manoramapublications, Labour India Publications Ltd, Mangalam Publications, Deepika, D. C. Books, V Publishers, Vidhyamitram, Kerala Kaumudidaily and kerala kaumudi flash are also publishes from here. Kottayam city hosts a number of book exhibitions every year.
The Old Seminary of the Malankara Orthodox Church at Chungam, Kottayam is the first institution to start English education in South India.Fact|date=April 2007 C.M.S High School (which later became
Church Missionary Society College High School) was founded by the British missionary Rev. Benjamin Bailey. The first college in the state ( C.M.S College) was started at Kottayam in 1840. It is also the second college in India established by the British empire.Fact|date=April 2007 CMS college was previously known as "grammar school".
Kottayam is a major centre of education.
Mahatma Gandhi University, one of the six universities in Kerala is located here. Other prominent educational institutions located in Kottayam include C.M.S College, Baselios College, B.C.M College, Government College Nattakom and K.G College. Medical College, Kottayamone of the government medical colleges, is located at Gandhinagar close to Kottayam. Government Dental College, Kottayam, the third and the latest Dental College is also located in Gandhinagar. Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology, the government engineering college named after former prime minister of India Mr. Rajiv Gandhiis situated in Pampady. There are also a number of other engineering colleges situated in the district. Theophilus college of Nursing, Kangazha is the first Self-financing Nursing College to be started in the private sector.
Kottayam has a Technical Higher Secondary School and College of Applied Science managed by IHRD located at
Pallikoodam, (which means "holy place of learning" or "school") is situated in Kalathilpadysuburb of Kottayam.
The famous school Girideepam("light on the hill")is located here in kottayam
Kottayam town is the first town in India to have achieved 100% literacy (a remarkable feat achieved as early as 1989.
Hospitals, Health care
Medical College, Kottayam
* Matha Hospital, Thellakom
* Medical Center
* Little Lourdes Mission hospital, Kidangoor
* Indo - American Hospital
* Bharath Hospital
* [http://mgdmhospital.googlepages.com/home MGDM Hospital]
* Mangalam Hospital
* S.H Medical Center
* Bharat Hospital
* Karipal Hospital
* Marian Medical Centre, Pala
* Cherupushpam trust Hospital Pala
* Apart from above, Kottayam has a Government medical college and Dental college
* St.Marys Hospital Manarcad
K R Narayanan, the former President of Indiahails from Kottayam district. Currently Kottayam is represented in the Lok Sabhaby Suresh Kurup of CPI M.
Members representing constituencies in Kottayam in the Kerala state Legislative Assembly
* Kanjirappally: Alphonse Kannanthanam [L.D.F]
* Vazhoor: Prof.N. Jayaraj [U.D.F]
* Changanacherry: C.F. Thomas [U.D.F]
* Kottayam: V N Vasavan [L.D.F]
* Ettumanoor: Thomas Chazhikadan [U.D.F]
Oommen Chandy(Ex Chief Minister) [U.D.F]
* Poonjar: P.C.George [L.D.F]
* Vaikom: Ajith [L.D.F]
Like the rest of Kerala, Hindus, Christians and Muslims form a significant part of the population. The Percentage being 48.76%, 45.83%, 5.35% respectively. (Census 2001)
Kottayam, Thiruvalla and Chengannur are the railway stations for pilgrims heading to the Hindu holy site of
Sabarimala. During December and January of each year pilgrims from all over India head to Kottayam and its vicinities to start their final journey to the Sabarimala Temple. The temple is located around 110 km from Kottayam, in the district of Pathanamthitta. Panachikad Temple, one of the famous Saraswathy temples in Kerala is located nearly 12 km away from Kottayam. The Siva temple at Thirunakkarais in the heart of Kottayam town. Three festivals are celebrated here in Thulam (October-November), Mithunam (June-July) and Meenam (March-April) of which the last one is the most important. The Aaraattu, conducted on the last day of the festival, is the festival of Kottayam, irrespective of caste and creeds. Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple is another important temple located near Kottayam town. ThirunakkaraSrikrishna temple, Pallipurathukavu Devi Temple are other important temples located in the town. KodungoorDevi temple, Kavinpuram Devi Temple(Ezhacherry), Chirakadavu Mahadevar temple, PonkunnamDevi temple, Cherubally Devi temple, Kidangoor SubramanyaswamyTemple and Vaikom Mahadevar temple are other famous Hindutemples near Kottayam.
Kottayam has a rich culture. One of the oldest mosques in Kerala
Thazhathangady Mosqueis situated in Kummanamat 3 kilometers from Kottayam town. This mosque is considered to be around 1500 years old and was built by early Arab travelers who landed in Kerala during the time of the Cheramanempire.A number of old and sacred Christian churches are also located in Kottayam. Old Seminary, a prominent religious institution belonging to the Malankara Orthodox Church and a seminary for aspiring priests for Syrian Christians in Kerala, is also located in Chungam, Kottayam. The Cheria Pally, an ancient Church belonging to the Malankara Orthodox Church is a well preserved church with wall murals dating back to ancient times. These unique wall murals have been painted using vegetable dyes. The Valia Palli has Persian inscriptions and a stone cross and belongs to the Knanaya Jacobite Church. St. George Church, Puthupally, and the [http://www.vakathanamchurch.org Vakathanam Palli] are two renowned and ancient churches frequented by pilgrims. Cherpunkal Church is a famous Church in the name of Infant Jesus. Lots of people visit the church every First Friday. St Mary's Jacobite Syrian Church, Manarkaduis another very important and famous Christian church in Kottayam. This church is located at Manarcadu, near Kottayam.
Towns & Villages in Kottayam District
Arpookara, Athirampuzha, Aymanam, Ayarkunnam, Ammayanoor, Chungam, Mutholy, Changanassery, Cherpunkal, Chingavanam, Ettumanoor, Edakkunnam, Erumely, Erattupetta, Kaipuzha, Kallara, Kanjirappally, Kangazha, Karukachal, Kodungoor, Koottickal, Kanakkary, Kothanalloor, Kumarakom, Kumaranalloor, Kurupanthara, Malloossery, Manarkadu, Mundakkayam, Neendoor, Palai, Pallickathode, Pampady, Ponkunnam, Poovarany, Poonjar, Puthuppally, Puthuvely, Vaikom, Kidangoor, Vakathanam, Parampuzha, Thiruvanchoor, Peruva, Uzhavoor, Marangattupilly, Kadappoor, Kalikave, Kuravilangad, Kaduthuruthi, Muttuchiraetc. .
List of Educational Institutions in the district
* [http://www.kvrbkottayam.org Kendriya Vidyalaya,Rubber Board, Kottayam]
* CMS LP School Arpookara
* [http://www.navodayakottayam.com Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Kottayam]
* [http://www.cepihrd.ac.in College Of Engineering poonjar]
* M.D Seminary School, Kottayam
Mahatma Gandhi Universityand its Departments
* N.S.S. College Perunna, Changanacherry
* S.V.R.N.S.S. College,(
Medical College, Kottayam
* Govt. Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology, Pampady,Kottayam
* College of applied science (under IHRD), Puthupally
C.M.S College, Kottayam
* College of Engineering, Kidangoor
* Holy Family High School, Parampuzha
* Baselius College, Kottayam
* [http://www.bcmcollege.org B.C.M College for Women, Kottayam.]
* [http://www.bvmcollege.com B.V.M. College, Pala]
* S.B College, Changanassery
* St. Dominic's College, Kanjirapally
* K.E College, Mannanam
* Bappuji Central School Peruva
* [http://www.augusthinosecollege.org/ Mar Augusthinose College Ramapuram.]
* [http://www.dbck.org/ D B College Keezhoor.]
* K.G College, Pampady
* Government College, Nattakom
* [http://theophiluscollegeofnursing.com Theophilus College of Nursing, Devagiri, Kangazha, Kottayam.]
* [http://pgmcollege.googlepages.com/home P G M College, Devagiri, Kangazha, Kottayam.]
* Devamatha College, Kuravilnagadu
* Depaul English medium &public h.s.s school kuravilangadu
* Emmanuel's HSS Kothanalloor
* [http://pgsonkangazha.googlepages.com/home P Geevarghese School of Nursing, Devagiri, Kangazha, Kottayam.]
* [http://mgdmhospital.googlepages.com/laboratory School of Laboratory Technology MGDM Hospital, Devagiri, Kangazha, Kottayam.]
* St. Thomas College, Pala
* Alphonsa college Pala
Labour India Gurukulam Public School
* [http://www.teacherscollege.in/ Labour India College for Teacher Education]
* St. George's College Aruvithura
* [http://www.ihrdkerala.org/mptmattakkara.html Model Polytechnic College, Mattakkara]
* D.B college, Thalayolaparambu
* St.mary's H.S school, Vaikom
* Govt. Boys H.S Vaikom
* Govt. Girls H.S Vaikom
* Govt. Polytechnic Collage Pala
* Govt. L.P.S Mevada
* ST. Johns Nephumsians HSS Kozhuvanal
* St. Antony's High School Mutholy
* St Joseph's Girls Hight School Mutholy
* St. Gerge's LPS Mutholy
* St. Dominic's Higher Secondary School Kanjirappally
* St. Antony's Public School and Junior College Kanjirappally
* Govt.Polytechnic College,Nattakomst johns higher secondary school, nedumkunnamgovt higher secondary school , nedumkunnamst. tersas high school, nedumkunnamst johns bed college, nedumkunnamst johns itc, nedumkunnam
* [http://www.kottayam.nic.in Official website of Kottayam District]
* [http://www.kottayam.com Portal site for Kottayam District]
* [http://www.keraladays.com/Kottayam.htm Kottayam District information portal]
* [http://www.kottayamtemples.com Temples in Kottayam District]
* [http://www.kottayamairport.com Kottayam Airport]
* [http://www.achayan.com Kottayam Achayan]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.