A House boat is a country craft better known as 'Kettuvallom' in Malayalam language. These boats were used for the transportation of goods from the isolated villages to the towns. With the emergence of more sophisticated transportation, the 'Kettuvalloms' became less popular. Now these 'Kettuvalloms' are back again as a major tourist attraction with lots of modification in the architecture. It is about 70 feet long and has a width of about 14 feet in the middle and tapers at the ends. The boats are made up of local wood and other eco-friendly materials.All these 'Kettuvalloms' are being made out of Bamboo mats, bamboo poles, coir ropes, coconut fibre, coir mats etc. The main wood used to manufacture these 'Kettuvallom' is known as Arotocarpus [Anjili in Malayalam].
The boats are fully furnished to attract the tourist. Some have single apartment for two persons and some have twin apartments for four persons. Apart from furnishing they have sun bathing deck, a spacious living room with front view, comfortable bamboo chairs suitable for a chit-chat, a well built kitchen and European model toilets for the convenience of the tourist. Traditional lanterns are used as light for illumination, well designed furniture are arranged inside to have a comfortable stay. Each house boat has three crew members (Captain, Cook and Engine driver).
All the basic needs are well arranged within the House Boats. One could feel at home and enjoy the natural panorama of Kerala beauties. Visit Kerala, your stay will be a memorable experience to one and all who visit our place...Facilities available on Board
You can see the village life at close quarters, unaffected by chaos and bustles of the outside world. A cruise passes through water bound villages, zigzag canals and beautiful waterways. It is a real feast for your eyes...
|Kottayam is a city in the Indian state of Kerala. It is located in central Kerala and is also the administrative capital of Kottayam district. Kottayam has an estimated population of 60,725, according to the 2001 census. The city is an important trading center of spices and commercial crops, especially rubber. Major Kerala print media such as Malayala Manorama group and Deepika are headquartered in the city. Also a pioneering centre of Modern Education in Kerala, the city became India's first city to achieve over 90% literacy in 1989 and the district became the first tobacco free districts in India.
Kottayam town is located at 9°35'N 76°31'E9.58, 76.52.It has an average elevation of 3 meters (9 feet) from the sea level
Thazhathangady Juma Masjid by the Meenachil river is one of the oldest mosques of India and famous for its wooden carvings and architecture.
It is believed that the name Kottayam originated from the Malayalam words 'Kotta' meaning fort and 'akam' meaning 'inside', giving the word meaning 'interior of the fort'.
Kottayam was ruled by the Rajas of the independent little kingdom of Thekkumkoor who ruled from Thazhathangadi, a place in the present day Kottayam, till mid-18th century. At that time, Marthanda Varma, the king of Travancore annexed Thekkumcore and surrounding areas of Kottayam to the Kingdom of Travancore. During the British rule of India, Kottayam continued to be ruled under the Princely State of Travancore. In 1947, when India became independent, Kottayam became a part of the state of Travancore-Cochin, formed from the former Princely states of Travancore and Cochin Later it became a part of Kerala when the state was formed in 1957. Kottayam became the headquarters of the district bearing the same name.
The citizens of Kottayam played an important in the early social struggles in Kerala. In 1891 a protest movement, known as the 'Malayali Memorial Agitation', took place seeking a better representation of Travancoreans, compared to outsiders, in the Travancore civil service. It is believed to have started in Kottayam. This movement had a big influence in beginning the modern political movements of Kerala during the 'Nivarthana struggle' which took place in the 1930s in Kerala seeking the representation of Hindus of the lower castes, Christians and Muslims in the Travancore Legislature, Kottayam played a major role. The famous Vaikom Satyagraha of 1924 by Mahatma Gandhi, against un touchability occurred in Vaikom near Kottayam. It was the first systematically organized agitation in Kerala against orthodoxy to secure the rights of the depressed classes.
Geography and Climate
Kottayam town is situated in the basin of Meenachil river which is formed from several streams in the Western Ghats in Idukki district .It flows through the Kottayam district and joins the Vembanad lake. As per division of places in Kerala as Highlands, Midlands and Lowlands based on altitude, Kottayam is considered to be part of the Midlands. The general soil type is alluvial soil. The vegetation is mainly tropical evergreen and moist deciduous type.
Kottayam's proximity to the equator results in little seasonal temperature variation, with moderate to high levels of humidity. Annual temperatures range between 20 to 35 °C (68–95 °F) From June through September, the south-west monsoon brings in heavy rains as Kottayam lies on the windward side of the Western Ghats. From October to December, Kottayam receives light rain from the northwest monsoon, as it lies on the leeward side. Average annual rainfall is 315cms.
As of 2001 India census, Kottayam Urban Agglomeration had a population of 1, 72,878, while Kottayam district had a population of 19, 52,901. Males constitute 49% of the population and females 51%. It is one of the very few places which witnessed a negative population growth from 1991 to 2001.
Kottayam is a major trading center of natural rubber in India. Rubber trees are extensively cultivated in central Kerala, especially in vast areas of Kottayam District, in plantations, both large and small. The Rubber Board, a body set up by the Government of India for the development of rubber industry is also located at Kottayam. A number of small and medium sized enterprises in and around the town are engaged in the processing of rubber latex and manufacturing of rubber products. Besides rubber, Kottayam is a trading place of other commercial crops like spices cultivated widely in the surrounding areas. Plantation Corporation of Kerala also has its headquarters in Kottayam.
Kottayam is also known as a business centre. The stretch of Kottayam-Kumily Road (KK road) that passes through the town is a major shopping centre. Baker Junction and Kanjikuzhy are also considered as the commercial and residential hubs of the town.
Tourism has a major contribution to the economy of the place, as many tourism related businesses thrive in the town. Kumarakom, one of the most famous tourist destinations in Kerala, is only 14 km from the town. Vagamon is another place worth a visit, and borders the districts of Kottayam and Idukki.
Also Kottayam, is a sought after place for religious tourism, and especially after the beatification of first Indian Roman Catholic saint, St.Alphonsa, lot of people are visiting, the places, where she was born and brought up, and spent her life, like Bharananganam.
Kottayam has its place of honour in the cultural map of Kerala. The culture of Kottayam is influenced mainly by the large presence of the Syrian Christian community. The Syrian Christians of Kottayam are popularly known as Achayans. The cuisine of Kottayam is Keralite Cuisine, characterized by the use of parboiled rice as the staple food and the presence of coconut and spices in abundance.
Margamkali and Arjuna Nritham are popular dance forms. Margamkali, which consists of group dance and martial arts like Parichamuttukali popular among the Syrian Christian community. It is performed by men and women separately. In the past, it was performed during Syrian Christian weddings. Arjuna Nritham also known as Mayilpeeli Thookkam performed by men was also popular.
Besides these, popular South India dance forms like Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattom and Kuchipudi and the classical Carnatic Music are also learned by a large number of young people, mainly as a hobby and extracurricular activity.
Kottayam is also famous for athletics, as the place has produced several athletes who represented India.
A Municipal park is located in Sastri road.There are several movie halls which screens Malayalam, English, Tamil and Hindi movies. There are also restaurants that cater to Kerala, Tamil and North Cuisines.
Malankara Orthodox St. Mary's Church, also known as Cheriapally (Little Church); originally built in 1579.
Reflecting the religious make up of the population, a large number of Hindu temples and Christian churches dot the townscape. Notable among them are Thirunakkara Mahadeva temple and two churches known as Cheriya Palli and Valiya Palli and Thazhathangadi Juma Masjid).
Thazhathangady Juma Masjid situated in the banks of river Meenachil is one of the oldest Mosques in India and is more than 1000 years old, famous for its architectural beauty, and the richness in wood carvings. This mosque was constructed by the followers of the Islamic prophet Muhammad during one of their first voyages to Kerala. Thirunakkara Mahadeva temple, at the heart of the town, is a Shiva temple built in the Kerala style of temple architecture, and with interior murals depicting themes from the Hindu epics. It was built at the beginning of 16th century by the then Raja of Thekkumkur. The annual temple festival that culminates in a ceremony called the Aaraattu, attracts large number of devotees.
Kottayam is a major center of Syrian Christians of Kerala. St. Mary's Church, the Valia Palli (the Big Church), built in 1550 by Knanaya Syrian Jacobite Christians who emigrated from West Asia is considered as the first Christian church in Kottayam town. This building is noted for its Persian inscriptions and a Persian stone cross. Another St. Mary's Church known as Cheria Palli (the Little Church), belonging to the Malankara Orthodox Church was built in 1579 by the Raja of Thekkumkur for his Christian subjects. These churches feature temple architectural influences. The interior murals, painted using vegetable dyes, depict Biblical themes.
The Syro-Malabar rite of the Roman Catholic church has an Archeparchy based in Kottayam Some of the important Catholic churches in Kottayam include Lourdes Forane church, Good Shepherd church, Vimalagiri cathedral and Christhuraja cathedral. Pope John Paul II visited Kottayam, during his visit to India in 1986. He announced the beatification of Father Kuriakose of Chavara and Sister Alphonsa, who hails from Kottayam district, at Kottayam.
The mortal remains of Saint Alphonsa are kept in a chapel next to St. Mary's Church Bharananganam, which is in the district. Pilgrims from different parts of South India, especially Kerala and Tamilnadu, visit the tomb for blessings. Thousands of devotees have been visitting this holy shrine, next to the church , to pray and seek her blessings, and the number is even more as she was elevated to sainthood in 2008, October12.
Kottayam is considered as the nerve center of Malayalam literature and publishing media. Unnuneeli Sandesam, a beautiful and famous poetry work, is supposed to have been written by one of the Vadakkumkur Rajas. In 1821, Benjamin Bailey, a British missionary, established C.M.S. Press, the first printing press in Kerala, in Kottayam. The town has been in the forefront of Newspaper and Book publishing in the state ever since.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Malayalam literature was enriched by the works of Christian Missionaries. Varthamana Pusthakam (1778) written by Parammekkal Thoma Kathanar, on a travel to Rome, is the first travelogue in Malayalam. The first Malayalam English Dictionary and Malayalam Dictionary were published from Kottayam in the year 1846 and 1865 respectively.
The first autobiography in Malayalam by Vaikom Pachu Moothathu was published from Kottayam in 1870. The first Malayalam Bible was also published from Kottayam.
Jnananikshepam was the first newspaper published by the natives of Kerala, and it was brought out from CMS press at Kottayam in 1848. Nasrani Deepika was started in 1887 by the Carmelities of Mary Immaculate(CMI) missionaries at Mannanam near Kottayam. The newspaper still continues to be published under the name Deepika and is a leading Malayalam daily. Malayala Manorama, India's largest circulating regional daily, was founded here by K.C Mammen Mapila in 1888.The part played by newspapers published from Kottayam, like Malayala Manorama,Deepika and Bhashaposhini, a literary magazine from Malayala Manorama Group in the cultural and literary development of Kerala is immense.
Today, five major Malayalam newspapers - Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhoomi,Deepika, Madhyamam and Mangalam- and around thirty periodicals are published from Kottayam. Kottayam is also home to several book publishers in Malayalam such as D. C. Books, Labour India Publications and Current Books. Almost 70 percent of books published in Kerala are from Kottayam.  In 1945, a group of writers set up Sahithya Pravarthaka Sahakarana Sangam , which stands for 'Literary Workers' Co-operative Society' in Malayalam.It was the first co-operative enterprise of writers, Novelists and Poets.
The Old Seminary of the Malankara Orthodox Church was the first institution to start English education in Southern India. C.M.S High School, (now Church Missionary Society College High School), was founded by the British missionary, Benjamin Bailey of the Church Mission Society of London. C.M.S College, the first college in Kerala was started in Kottayam in 1817 by the Church Missionary Society. The Baker Memorial Girls High School in Kottayam, founded by Amelia Dorothea Baker in 1820, is one of the oldest girls' schools in India.
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