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|— Municipality and town —|
|• Member of Legislative Assembly||Chev. Dr. T. U. Kuruvilla|
|• Chairperson, Kothamangalam Municipality||K P Babu|
|• President, Kothamangalam Block Panchayat||K A Jacob|
|• Municipality and town||37.45 km2 (14.46 sq mi)|
|• Density||3,015/km2 (7,810/sq mi)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Sex ratio||102.05 ♂/♀|
Kothamangalam is a town in the eastern part of Ernakulam district in the Indian state of Kerala, 45 km north east of Kochi City. It is around 12 km northeast of the town of Muvattupuzha. The town is in the foothills of the Western Ghats mountain ranges. The highway NH-49 Ernakulam - Madurai - Rameswaram passes through Kothamangalam.
The town serves as the headquarters of a taluk and a municipality of the same name. Kothamangalam is known as a trading center for spices and forest products. It is also famous for its ancient Christian churches.
According to the historical evidence, Kothamangalam was a place of prominence during the rule of the First Chera Dynasty, the dynasty that ruled Kothamangalam from around 300 BC to the first millennium. Cheras were also known as Kothai. The capital of Chera Kingdom was Karur. This has led some historians like Professor Joseph Mundasseri, Kanakasabha etc. to claim that Thrikkariyoor, a village 3 km north of Kothamangalam could have been the ancient Karur, the capital of Cheras. This claim has not found wide support. Several historians[who?] believe Karur (or 'Vanchi' or 'Muziris') was near the present-day Pattanam (North Paravur).
It is evident from the Sangam literature of the period and the archeological finds from the area prove that the place had, indeed, been an important town during the rule of Chera kingdom. The description of some places mentioned in Silappatikaram fits the description of places adjoining Kothamangalam. The Siva temple at Thrikkariyoor dates back to the early centuries of first millennium. Thrikkariyoor also has one of the earliest Brahmin settlements in Kerala. Chelamalai, near Bhoothathankettu in Kothamangalam, is regarded by some as the Summer Palace of Cheras. Stone ruins are found there and Nanangadis (Burial urns) have been excavated from the place.
Egyptian coins of the 7th and 8th centuries were recovered from places near Kothamangalam in 1962. The ancient trade route to Madhurai was also through Kothamangalam. The popularity of Kothamangalam during the past is evident from the old Malayalam saying, 'Ethappaa Kothamangalam?' which means 'Where is Kothamangalam?' — used in dialogues to indicate that the person to whom this is asked is so ignorant that he does not know where Kothamangalam is.
St. Thomas, the apostle of Jesus Christ, who introduced Christianity to India, is believed to have visited Kothamangalam and converted several families to the Christian faith. St Marys Church (popularly called 'Valiyapally') belonging to the Jacobite Syrian Church is believed to have been established during 4th century AD by a few Syrian families. A division happened among the members of the church and this divided group established one cross near the church. Later, these eighteen families constructed a church like the parent church in the name of St. Thomas. The Marthoman CheriyaPally was built during AD 1455 by some members (initiated by a priest from Chelattu family) of St Mary's Church. This church is the resting place of Catholicos Baselios Eldho, a saint of the Jacobite church. The church is a very popular Christian pilgrimage centre in Kerala.
Later, the importance of Kothamangalam dwindled. Kothamangalam was under the rule of some Karthavu families later Travancore kings until India became independent. Then it became a part of the Travancore-Cochin state and later Kerala when the state was formed in 1957. Kothamangalam taluk was created on January 26, 1972; it included parts of the Muvattupuzha taluk. It was composed of Kothamangalam, Keerampara, Kottapady, Pindimana, Nellikuzhi, Pothanicad, Varappetty, Kadavoor and Pallarimanagalam villages. Later Neriamangalam and Thrikkariyoor were added to the taluk in 1981 and kuttampuzha in 1997 also. Kothamangalam became a municipality in 1978. Later, LATE T.M.MEETHIAN EX.M.L.A.(CPIM),T.M. Jacob of Kerala Congress (Jacob) and Dr. T. U. Kuruvilla of Kerala Congress (Joseph) who were the Members of Legislative Assembly representing Kothamangalam became ministers in the state government.
Kothamangalam is situated in the eastern part of the Ernakulam district. Kothamangalam is known as the Gateway of Highrange. According to the division of the geographical regions of Kerala to High-lands, Mid-lands and Low-lands, Kothamangalam is in a Mid-land region. The general topography is hilly. The Munnar hill station is around 85 kilometres from Kothamangalam.
The river Periyar, the largest river in Kerala, flows through the taluk. The dams built across Periyar at Edamalayar, Lower Periyar (near Neriamangalam) and Bhoothathankettu for hydroelectricity generation and irrigation purposes are located in the Kothamangalam taluk. Kothamangalamar, a small river which flows through the town goes to join Kaliyar and Thodupuzhayar to form the river Muvattupuzha which is the second largest river in Ernakulam district.
The taluk is rich in flora and fauna. Tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests are found in the region. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary located 13 km from Kothamangalam town is the only bird sanctuary in Kerala. Several rare birds like Ceylon Frogmouth, Bourdillon’s Long eared Indian Nightjar, Peninsular Bay owl, Crimson-throated Barbet, Malabar hornbill are found here. The common animals here include leopards, sloth bear, elephant, porcupine etc.
Laterite is the major soil type found in the taluk. Rubber and teak are extensively cultivated in plantations. The other crops include spices like pepper, coconut palms, tapioca, paddy, plantain, pulses and nutmeg. Allied agricultural activities like fishing, diary and poultry are also popular.
The climate of the region is tropical humid, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 32°C. The hottest months are April–May and the coldest December–January. The region receives heavy annual rainfall of around 2500–3600 mm. The rainfall is mainly concentrated from June to October. The best time to visit Kothamangalam is between October and March. The South-west monsoon and the Northeast monsoon bring rains to the region. Neriamangalam the border of Ernakulam and one of the rainiest places is 15 km from Kothamangalam.
Kothamangalam Urban Agglomeration has a total population of 1,14,574 according to the 2011 census, 56,753 being males and 57,821 females. There are 30,067 households in the Kothamangalam municipality. The literacy rate of Kothamangalam Agglomeration is 95.24% which is much higher than National Urban average of 85%. Literacy rate of males and females stood at 97.04% and 93.48% respectively. Total literates in Kothamangalam Urban Agglomeration were 98,398 of which 49,412 were males and remaining 48,986 were females.
The Kothamangalam Municipality was formed in the year 1978 and is the headquarters of the Kothamangalam Taluk. The municipality has an area of 37.45 km² and is divided into 31 electoral wards. Elections to the local self bodies are held once every five years. From the elected Municipal Councilors, a chairman and vice-chairman are elected. The present chairman of the municipality is K.P. Babu and the vice-chairperson is Usha Davoo.
Kothamangalam is part of the Idukki Lok Sabha constituency. It was part of Idukki constituency. Kothamangalam is also represented in the Kerala Legislative Assembly as a constituency. The Grama Panchayats in Kothamangalam Taluk are Nellikuzhi, Kottapady, Pindimana, Varapetty, Pallarimangalam, Kavalangad, Keerampara, Kuttampuzha. The block panchayat is also Kothamangalam.
Places of worship 
The Siva temple at Thrikkariyoor, a village 3 km north of Kothamangalam, dates back to the early centuries of first millennium. Ayyankavu, another village which is located 3 km east of Kothamnagalam, has got several temples of which some of them dates back to the early centuries of first millennium. Famous temples in Ayyankavu includes Elankavu devi temple, Narasimha temple, Ayyankavu sastha temple, Valiyakavu Devi Temple, Cherupurathu Sreekrishna temple etc.
The oldest church is the mariyam veliya pally which was established in AD 498. The Marthoma cheriya pally is a major pilgrim center of the Jacobites. The St. George Syro-Malabar Catholic Cathedral (Puthenpally) is the newest and the biggest of the three churches in Kothamangalam municipality.
Madhura meenakshi Temple is in Kuthukuzhy about 3 km from Kothamangalam. This is local village god of the Viswabrahmin peoples. (Viswabrahmin is the term used in India for a caste of priests, engineers, architects, sculptors, temple builders and artists.)
The St George's cathedral is the diocese church of Roman catholics. The bishop's house is located less than a kilometre from this church and that place is known as kozhipilly.
The education history of Kothamangalam is very closely related to the history of Mar Athanasius College of Arts (MA college), Mar Athanasius College of Engineering (MACE), Mar Basil School, St. George School, Mar Athanasius English Medium School, St. Augustine Girls High School and Yeldo Mar Baselios College
St. George Higher Secondary School and Mar Basil Higher Secondary School are very famous in sports and games besides academic performance.Green Valley Public School, Vimalagiri Public School,Shobhana Higher Secondary School and Mar Athanasius International Highschool are the major Schools providing Secondary Education besides the Government Upper Primary School in Kothamangalam.Mar Athanasius College of Engineering is one of the leading engineering colleges in Kerala State, established in 1961. It is the first engineering college established under Christian management in Asia.
- Kerala Government Statistics
- "Assembly Constituencies - Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies" (PDF). Kerala. Retrieved 2008-10-19.
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