Mural at Kottayam
Location in Kerala
|Established||1 July 1949|
|• Collector||B.S Thirumeni I.A.S|
|• Total||2,208 km2 (853 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,025/km2 (2,650/sq mi)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|ISO 3166 code||IN-KL|
Kottayam is one of the 14 districts in the state of Kerala, India. Though the district is 65 km south to Kochi, it is located in an area with biggest diameter and population. It is the only district having no border with either the Western Ghats or the Arabian Sea.
Kottayam City is also known as Akshara Nagari (City of Literacy) and Chuvar Chitra Nagari (City of Mural).Kottayam is known as the city of three 'L's - Literacy, Lakes and Latex. Kottayam is the first town to achieve 100% literacy rate in India. On 27 September 2008, Kottayam district also became the first tobacco free districts in India.
Bordered by hills on the east and the Vembanad Lake and paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west, Kottayam has many unique characteristics. Panoramic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands, hills and hillocks, rubber plantations and places associated with many legends give Kottayam District the enviable title: The land of letters, legends, latex and lakes. The district is 15.35% urbanised.
The district has its headquarters at Kottayam city, located at 9.36° N and 76.17° E. Pala or Kidangoor may be the center point of the district. Rubber Board campus located in Puthuppally has head office in Kottayam city. Hindustan Newsprint Limited and Rubber board are the central govt organizations in the district. The Headquarters of 2 significant religious communities in Kerala are located in Kottayam District: Nair Service Society and Indian Orthodox Church.
Kottayam literally means the interior of a fort - Kotta + Akam. Rulers of Munjanad and Thekkumkur had their headquarters at Thazhathangadi near Kottayam town. Marthanda Varma of Travancore attacked 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. 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.
It was in Kottayam that the famous Vaikom Satyagraha (1924–25), an epic struggle for the eradication of untouchability, took place. Scheduled castes and other backward classes in Travancore were denied not only entry into temples, but also access to temple roads. Vaikom, the seat of a celebrated Siva Temple, 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. Ramaswami Naykar, associated with this struggle. 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 Devikulam came 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 which included Kottayam, Muvattupuzha (including present day Kothamangalam), Thodupuzha, Changanasserry, Vaikkom, Meenachil, Devikulam and Peermade taluks.
Major religious communities in Kottayam district are Hinduism and Christianity. NSS (Nair Service Society) has its headquarters at Perunna, Changanaserry. Mannam memorial (in memory of renowned social reformer Mannathu Padmanabha Pillai) is also located here.
The headquarters of Indian Orthodox Church (which is also known as Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church) is the Catholicate Palace located at Devalokam, Kottayam. It is the official headquarters of the Malankara Metropolitan and the Catholicos Of The East who reigns on the Supreme Throne of St.Thomas the Apostle.
The headquarters of Madhya Kerala diocese of church of south India is located at Kottayam.
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 monsoon seasons, the south-west monsoon and the north-east monsoon. The average rainfall is around 3600 mm per year. The south-west monsoon starts in June and ends in September. The north-east monsoon season is from October to November. Pre-monsoon rains during March to May is accompanied by thunder and lightning ; the highest rainfall during this period in Kerala is received in Kottayam. December, January and February are cooler, while March, April and May are warmer. The highest temperature recorded here was 38.5 °C (6 April 1998) and the lowest was 15 °C (13 December 2000). Kottayam district experienced the most intense red rainfall, heavy downpours occurred in 2001 during which the rain was coloured red, yellow, green, and black.
Vembanad Lake has a great expanse of water which is a part of the interconnected Kerala Backwaters that run virtually the length one-third of the state. Vembanad Lake is 52 miles (84 km) in length and 9 miles (14 km) in width. Traditional cargo boats called Kettuvallams are modified into luxurious cruise boats and houseboats. These boats gracefully move around the backwaters, 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, heron and teal. Local birds like the water fowl, cuckoo, owl and water hen and other common varieties like the woodpecker, sky lark, crane and parrot can 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. Houseboats and motorboats are available on hire for bird watching cruises in the Lake.
During the months of August and September, the rivers in and near Kottayam are turned into festival centres. The serene backwaters come alive during Onam with 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. The Thazhathangadi boat race in Kummanam is over a century old. Boat races are conducted at Kavanar and Kottathodu rivers in Kumarakom. These vallam kali have about 50 boats participating, including Chundan, Churulan, Iruttukuthi(ody) Veppu, and canoes.
Other nearby tourist destinations:
- Thekkady Periyar Tiger Reserve, 110 kilometres away, in the Idukki District
- Peerumed, about 70 km away, located in Idukki district
- Munnar hill station, about 150 km away
- Vaikom, about 32 km away
- Vagamon, a hill station about 63 km away in the Kottayam-Idukki district border
- Illikkal Kallu,(1,220m) highest point in Kotayam district.
Kottayam town is linked by major roads and rail to other prominent cities in Kerala, and also linked to the waterways for scenic travel. The Kottayam Kumali, Kottayam-Pathanamthitta, Thiruvalla-Kidangoor Central Kerala Bypass, and MC road are the major roads in the district. The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport which is about 88 kilometres away. The Kerala government and Central govt both agreed to build an airport at Cheruvallay Estate in Erumeli. Given it is a plain plateau with strong soil, the Aviation Ministry estimated that the airport could be completed in just six months.
Kottayam has a mountainous terrain as well as low-lying areas very close to sea level. Depending on the location different varieties of food crops as well as cash crops are cultivated. Rice is the principal crop extensively cultivated in low-lying regions like Vaikom and Upper Kuttanad. The district occupies the third position in the production of rice in Kerala behind Palakkad and Alappuzha. Though it is the staple food of the people, unfortunately, the area under cultivation is dwindling due to more lucrative cash crops like rubber plantations for which Kottayam significantly contributes to the overall rubber production in India. Kottayam occupies the first position in the production of rubber in India. Rubber trees provide a stable income for the farmers and climate is ideal for rubber plantations. Though highlands are more suitable, the cultivation has spread to almost everywhere. Apart from these, other crops cultivated are tapioca, coconut, pepper, vegetables etc. To enhance the rubber productivity, government of India has set up a rubber board and a rubber research institute in Kottayam.
The district clearly lacks catalysts like refineries, port, economic zone, airport etc. for major industries though it has a well-educated population. 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 activities 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, St. Mary's Rubbers (P) Ltd. Koovapplly, Kanjirappally the No.1 centrifuged Latex, Skim rubber Block and Skim crepe rubber exporter in India,(www.stmarysrubbers.com). St. Mary's Rubbers (P) Ltd. newly launched their new product gloves under the brand name of "Medismart" on 30 June 2013.(www.medismartglove.com/). 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 coir processing 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 softwood and other varieties of timber providing 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 Bailey, a British missionary. Maiden printed Malayalam-English and English-Malayalam dictionaries were published from Kottayam in 1846 and 1847 respectively. The 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 Manorama, Mathrubhumi publications, Labour India Publications Ltd, Mangalam Publications, Deepika, D. C. Books, V Publishers, Vidhyamitram, Kerala Kaumudi daily and Kerala Kaumudi Flash are also publishing from here. Kottayam city hosts a number of book exhibitions every year.
According to the 2011 census Kottayam district has a population of 1,979,384, roughly equal to the nation of Slovenia or the US state of New Mexico. This gives it a ranking of 234th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 896 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,320/sq mi). Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–11 was 1.32%. Kottayam has a sex ratio of 1040 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 97.21, the highest in the state and 4th highest in India.
As per the 2001 Indian Census, the population in Kottayam included Hindus (49.32%), Christians (44.60%) and Muslims (5.97%).
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. Devalokam Aramana, the head office of Indian Orthodox Church and Panachikad Temple, one of the famous Saraswathy temples in Kerala, is located nearly 12 km from Kottayam.
The Old Seminary (Orthodox Pazhaya Seminary) of the Malankara Orthodox Church at Chungam, is the first institution to start English education in South India. It was founded in 1815 by Colonel John Monroe. IPC Theological Seminary is located in Manganam.
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. C.M.S. 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 Government College, Kottayam, C.M.S. College, Baselius College, KG College Pampady, B.C.M College and K. E. College (Kuriakose Elias College, Mannanam). Medical College, Kottayam, one 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 the former prime minister of India Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, is situated in Pampady. Kendria Vidyalaya, Rubber Board is located in Puthuppally. Kottayam has a Technical Higher Secondary School, the College of Applied Science managed by IHRD, as well as MG University nursing and paramedical colleges located at Puthuppally. St Berchmans College, one of the finest centers of higher education, is also located at Chanaganacherry, Kottayam.
Members representing constituencies in Kottayam in the Kerala state Legislative Assembly
- Kanjirappally: Prof. N. Jayaraj, Kerala Congress (Mani)
- Changanacherry: C. F. Thomas, Kerala Congress (Mani)
- Kottayam: Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Indian National Congress
- Ettumanoor: K. Suresh Kurup, Communist Party of India (Marxist)
- Puthuppally: Ommen Chandy (ex-Chief Minister), Indian National Congress
- Poonjar: P. C. George [Independent]
- Pala: K.M. Mani, Kerala Congress (Mani)
- Kaduthuruthy: Mons Joseph, Kerala Congress (Mani)
- Vaikom: C.K. Asha, Communist Party of India
Towns and villages in the district
Akalalkunnam, Ambikamarket, Amayannoor, Arumanoor, Amparanirappel, Anchery,Anthinadu, Arpookara, Athirampuzha, Ayamkudy, Aymanam, Ayarkunnam, Chemmalamattam, Chengalam, Cheruvally, Chungam, Changanassery, Cherpunkal, Chingavanam, Choondacherry,Ettumanoor, Edakkunnam, Elikkulam,Elivali, Erumely, Erattupetta, Kadaplamattom, Kadappoor, Kaduthuruthy, Kaipuzha, Kalikave, Kallara, Kanakkary, Kanjiramattom, Kanjirappally, Kangazha, Karikkattoor, Karukachal, Kidangoor, Kizhaparayar, Kodungoor, Koottickal, Koodalloor, Kothala, Kothanalloor, Kudamaloor, Kumarakom, Kumaranalloor, Kummannoor, Kuravilangad, Kurichithanam, Kurumannu,Kurupanthara, Malloossery, Manarkadu, Manimala, Marangattupilly, Meenadam, Melukavu, Mukkoottuthara, Mundakayam, Mutholy, Muttuchira, Naduvile, Neendoor, Neericadu, Padinjattinkara, Palackattumala, Palai, Pallickathode, Palayam, Pampady, Panachikkad, Panamattom, Parampuzha, Parathodu, Pathamuttom, Payappar,Peroor, Ponkunnam, Poonjar, Poovarany, Puthuppally, Puthuvely, Ramapuram Vaikom, Kidangoor, Thalayolaparambu, Thekkumthala, Thiruvanchoor, Uzhavoor, Vadavathoor, Vaikom, Vakathanam, Vechoor, Villoonni, Venkotta.
Major Tier-I towns
Major Tier-II towns
- Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala.
- Government Medical College, Kottayam
- Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology, Kottayam (Government Engineering College)
- Indian Institute of Information Technology, Kottayam(IIIT-K)
- Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Kottayam (IIMC-K)
- Amal Jyothi College of Engineering, Kanjirappally 
- Government College, Kottayam
- Kendriya Vidyalaya, Puthuppally
- IHRD and MG university, Puthuppally
- St joseph college of engineering and technology, Palai
- Saintgits College of Engineering, Pathamuttom
- Kottayam to be declared as tobacco-free district soon[permanent dead link] Yahoo! India
- Kottayam district to be declared tobacco-free The Hindu
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 January 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2012. Urban statistics of the district
- K. M. Mathew, ed. (2006). Manorama Year Book. Malayala Manorama. p. 116.
- http://www.kerala.gov.instatistical/panchayat_statistics2001/ktm_shis.htm[permanent dead link] Climate of Kottayam
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 1 October 2011.
Slovenia 2,000,092 July 2011 est.
- "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
New Mexico - 2,059,179
- Amal Jyothi College of Engineering, Kanjirappally
- "Kendriya Vidyalaya, Rubber Board, Puthuppally". Archived from the original on 13 March 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2008.
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