|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2012)|
Clockwise from top: Seemati Round, Central Junction, War Memorial Kottayam and Municipal Jubilee Park
|Nickname(s): Land of Letters, Lakes and Latex; Chuvar Chitra Nagaram (City of Mural)|
|• Chairman||MP Santhosh Kumar|
|• Total||2,208 km2 (853 sq mi)|
|Elevation||3 m (10 ft)|
|• Density||25/km2 (65/sq mi)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||Kottayam: 0481, Pala: 04822, Kanjirappally: 04828, Vaikom: 04829|
|Vehicle registration||Kottayam: KL-05,
|Sex ratio||1025 female(s)/1000 male(s)/ ♂/♀|
Kottayam ( koʊttɑːjəm ) (കോട്ടയം, Malayalam) is a city in the Indian state of Kerala, covering an area of 55.40 square kilometres (21.39 sq mi). It is the administrative capital of the district of Kottayam and is located in south-central Kerala with a population of 357,533 according to the 2011 census[update].
The city is an important trading centre for 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 while the district became the first tobacco free district in India on September 28, 2008. The city is also widely 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" on account of the upsurge in literacy, the presence of a vast network of rivers and canals, which empty into the great expanse of Vembanad and the sizable volume of natural rubber produced here.
Apart from being the educational hub of Kerala, Kottayam is also home to central and state government organisations including Mahatma Gandhi University, Rubber Board and India's Rubber research Institute along with the Government Medical College, Kottayam. MRF Limited, the leading tyre manufacturer in India has its original roots in the city and has a hi-tech manufacturing facility located at Vadavathoor, Kottayam. D.C. Books, the largest publisher and a leading bookseller in Kerala, is headquartered in Kottayam.
The Headquarters of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church is the Catholicate Palace located at Devalokam, Kottayam. It is the official headquarters of the Catholicos Of The East who reigns on the Supreme Throne of St.Thomas the Apostle.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography and Climate
- 4 Transport
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Economy
- 7 Sub Divisions
- 8 Culture
- 9 Literature
- 10 Sport
- 11 Entertainment
- 12 Religion
- 13 Media
- 14 Education and research
- 15 Hospitals and Health Care
- 16 Politics
- 17 References
- 18 External links
Kottayam district acquired its name from the town of Kottayam, which is the headquarters of the district. It is believed that the name Kottayam is derived from a combination of the Malayalam words kott (fort) and akammm (inside), which can be translated as "the interior of the fort".
The kings of the small independent kingdom of Thekkumkoor ruled Kottayam from Thazhathangady until the mid-18th century. Later, Marthanda Varma, ruler of Travancore, annexed Thekkumcore and the surrounding areas of Kottayam to the Kingdom of Travancore. During British rule in India, Kottayam remained part of the Princely State of Travancore.
Slave traders prevailed at Thirunakkara, Kottayam in the 17th Century. 
Earlier, the state of Travancore consisted of two revenue divisions: southern and northern, 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. As a result, 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, originated in Kottayam in order to seek better representation for the local people of Travancore in the Travancore civil service sector, against outsiders. Later, the movement spread to other parts of Travancore and had a major influence on the beginnings of modern political movements of Kerala. The 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 (9.8 ft) above sea level. and 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. 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 3,200 millimetres (130 in).
|Climate data for Kottayam|
|Average high °C (°F)||32
|Average low °C (°F)||22
|Average 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 183 (Old NH 220) connecting the City of Kollam and Theni. The NH183 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 State Highways SH1 or Main Central (MC) road,SH 9, 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 - Kollam - 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 district also has 7 more minor Railway Stations which are Changanassery,Ettumanoor, Vaikom Road, Kuruppanthara, Chingavanam, Kumaranalloor and Kaduthuruthy Hal
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.
Kottayam is known for religious tourism. St. Alphonsa, the first woman to be canonized as a saint by the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church was born and raised in Kottayam. St.Kuriakose Elias Chavara, the second Saint from Kerala and the founder of many Christian congregations such as CMI and CMC spend his later life in Kottayam working for the Church. 
The four municipalities in the district are Kottayam, Changanassery, Pala and Vaikom. 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. There is a demand to upgrade Kottayam as a City Corporation.
The culture of Kottayam is influenced mainly by the large 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 coconut and spices, as well as beef, pork and sea food in Kerala cuisine.
Restaurants in the city also serve Kerala, Tamil and Northern cuisines. Kumarakom, the major backwater tourism destination on the outskirts of the city, has several luxury hotels and resorts including those of reputed hotel chains such as Taj, Zuri and Casino.
Margamkali and Arjuna Nritham are popular dance forms. Margamkali and martial arts such as 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.Vaikom muhammad basheer ,Muttathu Varkey, novelists 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 died 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, Kottayam|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 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 Thirunakkara Mahadeva temple, Kumaranalloor Devi temple, Elia Cathedral (thronal Cathedral of the Catholicos of the East), Kottayam Valiya Pally, Manarcad Cathedral, Cheriya Palli, CSI Holy Trinity cathedral, Puthuppally St. George Church and Thazhathangadi Juma Masjid.
All the temples of Kottayam were also built under royal patronage of Hinduism during the 2nd millennium.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 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. Another famous Christian church in the district of Kottayam is St Mary's Jacobite Syrian Church in Manarcad.
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, seven major Malayalam newspapers – Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhoomi, Deshabhimani, Deepika, Madhyamam , Thejus 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 Government aided Arts & Science Colleges in and around Kottayam
- ST:Xavier's College Vaikom
- C.M.S. College, Kottayam - The first ever college in South India (Estd. 1817).
- Baselius College, Kottayam
- Government College, Kottayam
- BCM College, Kottayam
- Kuriakose Elias College, Mannanam, Kottayam
- Bishop Kurialacherry College, Amalagiri, Kottayam
- SN College, Kumarakom, Kottayam
- St. Marys College, Manarcad, Kottayam
- Ettumanoorappan College, Ettumanoor, Kottayam
- K.G.College, Pampady, Kottayam
- List of Engineering Colleges
Government Engineering Colleges
Self-financed Engineering Colleges
- Saintgits College of Engineering, Pathamuttom
- 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
- Kottayam Institute of Technology and Science, Pampady
- List of Polytechnics
- Model Polytechnic College, Mattakkara
- Govt. Polytechnic, Pala and Govt.Polytechnic, Nattakom
- List of Higher Secondary Schools
- Little Flower Vidyanikethan and Junior College Little Flower Vidyanikethan and Jr. College, Mundathanam P.O, Kangazha, Kottayam
- Lourdes Public School and Junior College Lourdes Public School and Junior College, Collectorate P.O., Kottayam-2
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. KIMS, Kudamaloor is the first and the only Multi-speciality Hospital in Kottayam.
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. Kerala's present Chief Minister of Kerala is Oommen Chandy who is an MLA from Puthuppally.
|Year||A C No.||Constituency Name||Category||Winner||Sex||Party||Votes||Runner Up||Sex||Party||Votes|
|1957||41||Kottayam||GEN||Bhaskaran Nair P.||M||CPI||23021||Govindhan Nair M. P.||M||INC||20750|
|1960||41||Kottayam||GEN||M. P. Govindan Nair||M||INC||29020||N. Raghava Kurup||M||CPI||27863|
|1965||84||Kottayam||GEN||M. K. George||M||CPI(M)||17880||M. P. Govindan Nair||M||INC||14396|
|1967||84||Kottayam||GEN||M. K. George||M||CPM||25298||M. P. Govindan Nair||M||INC||16188|
|1970||84||Kottayam||GEN||M. Thomas||M||CPM||26147||K. George Thomas||M||NCO||14190|
|1977||90||Kottayam||GEN||P. P. George||M||CPI||35683||M. Thomas||M||CPM||32107|
|1980||90||Kottayam||GEN||K. M. Abraham||M||CPM||37588||P. B. R. Pillai||M||JNP||25624|
|1982||90||Kottayam||GEN||N. Srinivasan||M||IND||38886||K. M. Abraham||M||CPM||33548|
|1987||90||Kottayam||GEN||T. K. Ramakrishanan||M||CPM||55422||Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan||M||INC||45896|
|1991||90||Kottayam||GEN||T. K. Ramakrishanan||M||CPM||54182||Cherian Philip||M||INC||51500|
|1996||90||Kottayam||GEN||T. K. Ramakrishanan||M||CPM||52609||Mohan Sankar||M||INC||45545|
|2001||90||Kottayam||GEN||Mercy Ravi||F||INC||57795||Vaikom Viswan||M||CPM||45954|
|2006||90||Kottayam||GEN||V N Vasavan||M||CPI(M)||47731||Ajay Tharayil||M||INC||47249|
- "Kottayam 100% Literacy".
- "Kottayam declared tobacco-free". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 28 September 2008.
- Kurien L (2010). "Structure and functioning of Gramsabhas" (PDF).
- 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)
- official website of INFORMATION AND PUBLIC RELATION DEPARTMENT
- Official website of the Kottayam District
- (Source District Handbook)
- "Assembly Constituencies - Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies" (PDF). 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