|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2012)|
|Nickname(s): Akshara Nagari (City of Alphabets)|
|• Municipal Chairman||MP Santhosh Kumar|
|• Total||2,208 km2 (853 sq mi)|
|Elevation||3 m (10 ft)|
|• Density||160/km2 (420/sq mi)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Sex ratio||0.975 male(s)/female(s) ♂/♀|
Kottayam is a city in the Indian state of Kerala, spread over an area of 55.40 km2 and it is the administrative capital of Kottayam district. Kottayam is located in south-central Kerala and has a population of 357,533 according to the 2011 census.
The city is an important trading center of spices and commercial crops, especially rubber. Major Kerala print media such as Malayala Manorama, Deepika and Mangalam are headquartered in the town. Also a pioneering center of modern education in Kerala, Kottayam became India's first city to achieve 100% literacy in 1989 and the district became the first tobacco free district in India on September 28, 2008. The city of Kottayam is also known as Akshara Nagari (അക്ഷര നഗരി) (City of Alphabets) in honour of its contributions to print media and literature. It is known as the Land of letters, lakes and latex, and it was recently also titled 'the Mural City'.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography and Climate
- 4 Transport
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Economy
- 7 Sub Divisions
- 8 Culture, Literature and Sports
- 9 Religion
- 10 Media
- 11 Education and research
- 12 Hospitals and Health Care
- 13 Politics
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Kottayam district has acquired its name from the Kottayam town which is the headquarters of the district. It is believed that the name Kottayam is derived from the combination of Malayalam words kott (fort) and akam (inside), and could be translated as "the interior of the fort".
The kings of the independent little kingdom of Thekkumkoor ruled Kottayam from Thazhathangady till the mid-18th century. Later, Marthanda Varma, who was king of Travancore, annexed Thekkumcore and the 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.
Earlier, the state of Travancore consisted of two revenue divisions viz., the southern and northern divisions, under the administrative control of a 'Diwan Peshkar' for each. Later, in 1868, Kottayam was also formed as a revenue division in Travancore. A fifth division, Devikulam existed for a short period but was then added to Kottayam. At the time of the integration of the State of Travancore and Cochin in 1949, these revenue divisions were renamed as districts and the Diwan Peshkars gave way to District Collectors. Thus, in July 1949, Kottayam came into being as a district. Later, it became a part of the state of Kerala, and the headquarters of the district bearing the same name when the state was formed in 1957.
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, was originated in Kottayam in order to seek better representation for the local people of Travancore in the Travancore civil services sector, against the outsiders. Later, the movement spread to other parts of Travancore and this movement had a major influence on the beginnings of modern political movements of Kerala. People of Kottayam played a major role during the Abstention Movement in the 1930s, which aimed at the representation of Hindus of the lower castes, Christians and Muslims in the Travancore Legislature. The Vaikom Satyagraha of 1924 against untouchability, led by Mahatma Gandhi, took place in Vaikom near Kottayam. It was the first systematically organized agitation in Kerala against caste system and primitive customs to secure the rights of the depressed classes.
Geography and Climate
Kottayam has an average elevation of 3 metres (9 feet) above sea level. Kottayam is situated in the basin of the Meenachil River and in the basin of the Vembanad backwaters, which are formed from several streams in the Western Ghats in Idukki district. It flows through Kottayam district and joins Vembanad lake. According to the division of places in Kerala based on altitudes, Kottayam is classified as being a midland area. The general soil type is alluvial soil. The vegetation is mainly tropical evergreen and moist deciduous type.
The climate in this district is moderate and pleasant. 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 to 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. The average annual rainfall is 3200 mm.
|Climate data for Kottayam|
|Average high °C (°F)||32
|Average low °C (°F)||22
|Precipitation mm (inches)||22
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||1||2||3||7||10||21||20||17||13||12||8||3||117|
Kottayam lies on the National Highway 220 (NH 220) connecting Kollam and Theni. The NH220 connects Kottayam to the state of Tamil Nadu and the tourist destinations of Thekkady and Kuttikanam, as well as the agricultural towns of Kanjirapally and Mundakayam and National Highway 208 (NH 208) connecting Kollam and MaduraiState Highways SH1 or Main Central (MC) road, SH11, SH13, SH14, SH15 and SH32 pass through Kottayam.
Public transport in the town is largely dependent on buses, run by both private operators and the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). There are three bus stations serving Kottayam, two of which cater to private buses and one exclusively for KSRTC buses. The bigger of the two private bus stations is located at Nagampadam, close to the railway station and the other is located in the heart of the town. Besides local bus services for traveling within the town, Kottayam is well-connected to the rest of Kerala through inter-state bus services run by KSRTC. Hired forms of transport include metered taxis and auto-rickshaws.
Kottayam railway station (Station Code:KTYM) is situated in the heart of the town and is under the administration of the Southern Railway. Kottayam lies on the busy rail route between Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam and is served by several long distance trains connecting most major cities in the country, like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Ahmedabad.all
The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, 90 km to the north.
Ferry & Port
Kottayam Port, India's first multi-modal Inland Container Depot (ICD) and a minor port using inland water way, is situated at Nattakom (near Kodimatha), on the banks of Kothoor river.
The Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) operates ferry services through the backwaters in and around Kottayam city. Ferries are a major mode of transport to the town connect to the tourist destination of Kumarakom and Alappuzha, as well as several smaller destinations. There are two major ferry jetties in the city - Town Jetty and Kodimatha Jetty. In recent years, the boat jetty at Kumarakom has acquired international fame as a launch point for the backwater rides on Vembabad lake, which has virtually become a poster image for tourism in Kerala.
As of 2001[update] India census, Kottayam Urban Agglomeration had a population of 172,878, while Kottayam district had a population of 19,52,901. Males constitute 62% of the population and females make up 38%. Population growth in the district is in a diminishing trend and it had a decadal population growth rate of 6.5 per cent compared to 9.35 per cent for Kerala during 1991-2001 period.
Kottayam District is ranked 1st in literacy with a percentage of 95.9 compared to 90.92% for Kerala State and 65.38% for India (2001 census). It is ranked 10th in population, as well as in area among the districts in Kerala.
Kottayam is a major trading center of natural rubber in India. Rubber trees are extensively cultivated in central Kerala, on plantations, both large and small especially in vast areas of Kottayam District, . The Rubber Board, a body set up by the Government of India for the development of the rubber industry, is 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. The Plantation Corporation of Kerala has its headquarters at 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. Sastri Road, one of the broadest roads in kottayam, is also popular for shopping and has outlets of many national and international product brands. Baker Junction and Kanjikuzhy are also considered as commercial and residential hubs of the town. Kottayam district has industries like Hindustan Newsprint Limited, Kottayam Spinning Mills and KSE factory.
Tourism is a major contributor to the economy as many tourism related businesses thrive in the town. Kumarakom, a popular tourist destination in Kerala, is located 14 km from the town. Wagamon, another tourist destination is located on the borders of the districts of Kottayam and Idukki.
The four municipalities in the district are Kottayam, Vaikom, Changanassery and Pala. Kanjirappally is the only taluk which is not a municipality in Kottayam district is situated 38 KM away in NH 220. Kottayam has 11 development blocks and 73 Panchayats. Administratively, Kottayam district consists of two Revenue divisions - Kottayam and Pala - each under the control of a Revenue Divisional Officer.
Culture, Literature and Sports
Kottayam has a place of honor on the cultural map of Kerala. The culture of Kottayam is influenced mainly by the large presence of the Syrian Christian community. The cuisine of Kottayam is the same as rest of Kerala, but with a distinct Syrian Christian influence seen in the use of cocunut and spices, as well as beef, pork and sea food Keralite Cuisine.
Margamkali and Arjuna Nritham are popular dance forms. Margamkali and martial arts like Parichamuttukali, are 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 is a popular dance form performed by men. Besides these, other South Indian dance forms like Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattom, and Kuchipudi and classical Carnatic music are also practiced by a large number of young people.
The Public Library in Kottayam is located at Sastri Road, which is a frequent happening place with art exhibitions.
Kottayam has produced many well-known writers, journalists and artists. Muttathu Varkey, a novelist and Pala Narayanan Nair, a poet, both have their footing in Kottayam. Kottayam Pushpanath, a writer of crime thrillers lives in Kottayam. The famous Indian-English novelist Arundhati Roy is a native of Kottayam and her semi-autobiographical Booker prize winning novel, The God of Small Things contains her childhood experiences in Aymanam, Kottayam. Padmabushan D. C. Kizhakemuri established his flagship DC Books in Kottayam. DC Books along with its retail arm Current Books is the leading publisher of Malayalam and English works in Kerala. D. C. Kizhakemuri passed away on January 26, 1999.
Cricket, basketball and football are among the most popular sports in Kottayam. Kottayam is also famous for athletics, as the place has produced several athletes who represented India in various international tournaments. Nehru stadium, which is Kottayam's main stadium is located at the entrance of the town. A number of popular basketball tournaments including the Marian Trophy, Girideepam Trophy, Lourdes Trophy and Virginia Memorial Tournament are conducted every year.
A municipal park is located by Sastri road. There are also restaurants that cater to Kerala, Tamil and Northern cuisines. Kumarakom, the major backwater tourism destination on the outskirts of the city, has several luxury hotels and resorts including ones from reputed hotel chains like Taj, Zuri & Casino.
There are several movie halls which screen Malayalam, English, Tamil and Hindi movies. Kottayam have 7 theaters where movies are released periodically. They are Abhilash, Anupama, Anaswara, Anand cinemax,dhanya,ramya and Asha. Recently Anand Theatre is awarded the best theatre in the state. Most of these theaters lie close to the K.S.R.T.C bus stand apart from Anaswara which is closer towards Thirunakkara bus stand (Private Bus Stand). Dhanya and Remya are the two newly built theatres which started working from 2011 onwards.
Reflecting the religious constitution of the population, a large number of Hindu temples and Christian churches dot the townscape. Some of them are the Kottayam Valiya Pally, Thirunakkara Mahadeva temple, Kumaranalloor Devi temple, Manarcad Palli Valiya Palli, Cheriya Palli, Marthoma Palli, Puthuppally Palli, and Thazhathangadi Juma Masjid.
All the temples of Kottayam were also built under royal patronage of Hinduism during the 2nd millinium.Thirunakkara Mahadeva temple, at the heart of the town, is a Shiva temple built in the Kerala style of temple architecture, with interior murals depicting themes from the Hindu epics. It was built at the beginning of the 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. The other famous temples include the Ettumanoor and Vaikom temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and a temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi at Panachikkad(also known as Dakshina-Mookaambika). All these temples are rich in lore and festivities and attract a large number of pilgrims from all over the country. Kumaranalloor Devi temple, located near the banks of Meenachil River is famous for its cultural heritage. The sreekovil is beautifully illustrated with Mural Paintings. Karthika, the birth star of Devi is celebrated in the ninth day of the 10 Day long temple festival attracts lot of pilgrims from all over the country. Kumaranallor and nearby place Kudamaloor is also famous in the name of artists. Great Kathakali artists like Kudamaloor Karunakaran Nair, Kuroor Vasudevan Nampoothiry (Vesham), Mathoor Govindankutty, Kuroor Cheriya Vasudevan Nampoothiry (Chenda), famous flute maestro Kudamaloor Janardhanan etc. to name a few.
Kottayam is a major center for Syrian Christians in Kerala. Syrian Christians include Malankara Orthodox, Syro-Malabar Catholic, Syro-Malankara Catholic, Jacobite Syrian Christian Church (Jacobite), and Marthoma and Southist Syrian Christians(Knanaya).
Kottayam Valiya Palli of Knanaya Community(Kottayam Big Church) was built in 1550 by Knanaya Syrian Christians who immigrated from Kaduthuruthy, and is considered the first Christian church in Kottayam town. This church is famous for its two Persian crosses made of granite. There are rare antique carvings and mural paintings behind the main altar and on the ceiling of the church. 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.
Kottayam is the headquarters of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Their Pazhaya (old)seminary was founded in Kottayam in the year CE 1811, after the destruction of centuries old seminary (priest training centre)at Ankamaly by Tipu sultan on his military raids. The Mar Thoma Theological Seminary of Marthoma Syrian Christians is functioning at Kottayam along with Marthoma School popularly known as MT School.Anglican Church of India headquarter is situated in Kurichi,near to Kottayam.
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church has an archeparchy based in Kottayam. Some of the important Syrian Catholic churches in Kottayam include Christ the King Syro-Malabar Catholic Cathedral of Kottayam Knanaya Archdiocese and Lourde's Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church. Important Latin Catholic churches are Good Shepherd Church and Vimalagiri Cathedral. Pope John Paul II visited Kottayam and met Catholicose of the East at Eliya Cathedral during his visit to India in 1986. In Kottayam he announced the beatification of Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Sister Alphonsa, who hail from Kottayam district.
St. Alphonsa, the first saint of India was born on 19 August 1910 in Kudamaloor and died on 28 July 1946 in Bharananganam. St. Mary's Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Kudamaloor where she was baptized and the St. Mary's Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Bharananganam where she is buried are pilgrim centers of large interest among Christians.
Kaduthuruthy is an another Pilgrim center near to Kottayam. Kaduthuruthy Valiya Palli (കടുത്തുരുത്തി വലിയ പളളി) - Ave Maria (ആവേ മരിയ) of Knanaya Community was established in AD 400, and is one of the most ancient churche in India. The highest open air stone cross of Asia is in the courtyard of this church. This cross was blessed on the Holy Friday of 1599 by Bishop Dom Menesis. This is one of the very few churches which has conserved some elements of pre-Portuguese church architecture. This church belongs to the Knanaya Archdiocese of Kottayam and called 'Thalappally'(Head Church) of Knanaya Community. Moonu Noyambu(3-Day Lent) is the main feast of this church and is celebrated 18 days prior to the beginning of lent. Valiya Pally's St. Mary is known as Kaduthuruthy Muthiyamma(കടുത്തുരുത്തി മുത്തിയമ്മ). Purathu Namaskaram(പുറത്തു നമസ്കാരം) near the Stone Cross is a famous liturgical celebration of this church during Moonu Noyambu. Many pilgrims visit this church and offering prayers
St. George's Knanaya Catholic Church, Edacatt is also an ancient church, established in 1822. It belongs to the Knanaya Knanaya Archdiocese of Kottayam. This was the Syrian Catholic Cathedral of Kottayam from 1887 to 1896 and from 1911 to 1944. This church houses the mortal remains of the Servant of God Mar Mathew Makil and is a pilgrimage centre.
However, the most famous Christian church in the district of Kottayam is St Mary's Jacobite Syrian Church in Manarcad. It is known for its celebration of the ancient practice of the 8 Day Lent and the Feast of Virgin Mary's Birth between September 1 and 8 every year. During the days of the lent, hundreds of thousands of people from the far corners of the world reach Manarcad to seek the intercession of Virgin Mary. Manarcad cathedral is one of the most important churches among the ancient churches of Malankara. It has stone inscriptions which were found to be memorial stones from tombs set up in 910 A.D. and 920 A.D. and this indicates that the church is almost a 1,000 years old. There are 3 Ancient Anglican Churches in Manarkadu,Veloor,Kumarakom.
Kottayam is the headquarters of the Diocese of Madhya Kerala of the Church of South India. The Diocese, which has the tradition of the CMS missionaries, runs several educational and social institutions like the CMS College and the C.M.S. Press in Kottayam. The Diocesan Office and its Bishop's House is at Kottayam. The Holy Trinity CSI Cathedral of the Diocese is in Kottayam.
Thazhathangady Juma Masjid, situated in the banks of river Meenachil, in Kummanam, is one of the oldest mosques in India and is more than 1,000 years old, famous for its architectural beauty, and richness in wood carvings. This mosque was constructed by the followers of the Islamic prophet Muhammad during one of their first voyages to Kerala.
Kottayam is considered as the nerve center of Malayalam literature and publishing media. Unnuneeli Sandesam, a beautiful and a famous work of poetry, is supposed to have been written by one of the Rajas of Vadakkumkur. 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 visit to Rome, is the first travelogue in Malayalam. The first Malayalam English dictionary and Malayalam dictionary were published in Kottayam in the years 1846 and 1865 respectively. The first autobiography in Malayalam by Vaikom Pachu Moothathu was published in Kottayam in 1870. The first Malayalam Bible was also published in 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 1890. 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, six major Malayalam newspapers – Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhoomi, Deshabhimani, 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 means for Literary Workers' Co-operative Society in Malayalam. It was the first co-operative enterprise of writers, novelists and poets.
St Joseph College of Communication, Changanassery, Kerala is the First University Affiliated Media College in South India
Education and research
According to a journal published in 2010, Kottayam has 478 Lower Primary schools, 208 Upper Primary schools and 258 High Schools in the district. Also there are 24 Arts and Science colleges, 4 Training colleges, 3 co-operative colleges, 7 Teachers Training institutes, 2 industrial training institutes, and many Engineering colleges in the district. Only university affiliated Media College in south India (SJCC) situated in Kottayam District. Mahatma Gandhi University, one of six universities in Kerala, is located at Kottayam. Medical College, Kottayam is located about 8 km from the town.
- List of Arts & Science Colleges
- C.M.S. College, Kottayam
- K.G.College, pampady
- BCM College
- St. Thomas College, Pala
- Alphonsa College, Pala
- SB College, Changanasserry
- NSS College, Changanassery
- Assumption College, Changanassery
- List of Engineering Colleges
Government Engineering Colleges
Self-financed Engineering Colleges
- Saintgits College of Engineering,Pathamuttam
- St.Joseph's College of Engineering & Technology, Pala
- Amal Jyothi College of Engineering,Kanjirappally
- Gurudeva_Institute_of_Science_And_Technology (GISAT)
- Mangalam College of engineering and technology
- List of Polytechnics
- Model Polytechnic College, Mattakkara
- Govt. Polytechnic, Pala and Govt.Polytechnic, Nattakom
Other institutes include the Tropical Institute of Ecological Sciences (TIES); an autonomous, affiliated research center of Mahatma Gandhi University for Environmental Sciences, Centre for Rural Management (CRM), Kottayam (an autonomous research organizations for rural development), Central Research Institute for Homoeopathy, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Sreenivasa Ramanujam Institute of Basic Sciences, KR Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts and Rubber Research Institute of India (RRI). The famous entrance coaching centre, Brilliant, is also situated in Kottayam (Mutholy, Pala).
Hospitals and Health Care
Kottayam Medical College Hospital is a prominent hospital in Kottayam. Apart from the Medical College, there is one District Hospital and one District T.B. Centre. There is also one Children's Hospital, four Taluk Hospitals, six Community Health Centres, 11 Block Health Centres, 51 Primary Health Centres and seven Government Hospitals under the Health Department. Most of the modern treatment facilities are available both in the government and private sectors. A disease surveillance programme has been undertaken in the district.
The district has 09 Assembly constituencies - Kottayam, Changanassery, Pala, Ettumanoor, Kaduthuruthy, Kanjirappally, Puthuppally, Poonjar and Vaikom. The only parliamentary constituency within the district is Kottayam. Kanjirapplly and Poonjar Assembly constituencies are included in the Pathanamthitta Parliamentary constituency and Changanassery is included in the Mavelikkara Parliamentary constituency.
- "Kottayam 100% Literacy".
- "Kottayam declared tobacco-free". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 28 September 2008.
- Kurien L (2010). Structure and functioning of Gramsabhas.
- Adoor K. K. Ramachandran Nair (1986). Slavery in Kerala. Mittal Publications. pp. 22–. GGKEY:0GS56AKWN68. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Srikumar Chattopadhyay (2006). Striving for Sustainability: Environmental Stress and Democratic Initiatives in Kerala. Concept Publishing. p. 157. ISBN 9788180692949.
- (source: District Handbook Kerala)
- "History". St Mary’s Jacobite Syrian Cathedral. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- official website of INFORMATION AND PUBLIC RELATION DEPARTMENT
- Official website of the Kottayam District
- (Source District Handbook)
- "Assembly Constituencies - Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies". Kerala. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-10-19.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kottayam.|
- Official website of Kottayam District
- Official website from Gov. of Kerala
- Britannica Reference on Kottayam
- Kottayam District Map, MapsOfIndia.com