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Kottayam district

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kottayam District
Mural at Kottayam
Mural at Kottayam
Location in Kerala
Location in Kerala
Coordinates: 9°35′42″N 76°31′52″E / 9.595°N 76.531°E / 9.595; 76.531
Established1 July 1949
RegionCentral Travancore
 • CollectorP.K Sudheer Babu I.A.S[1]
 • Total2,208 km2 (853 sq mi)
 • Total1,979,451
 • Density1,025/km2 (2,650/sq mi)
 • OfficialMalayalam, English
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
ISO 3166 codeIN-KL
Vehicle registrationKL-05,KL-33,KL-34,KL-35,KL-36,KL-67

Kottayam is one of the prominent fourteen districts in the state of Kerala, India. Kottayam comprises six municipal towns: Kottayam, Changanassery, Pala, Erattupetta, Ettumanoor, and Vaikom. The district is 65 kilometers south of Kochi. It is also the only district in Kerala that does not border the Arabian Sea or any other states.

Bordered by hills on the east and the Vembanad Lake and paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west, Kottayam has many unique characteristics. Panoramic paddy fields, highlands, hills, hillocks, rubber plantations, and places associated with many local legends have given the Kottayam District the title: The Land of Letters, Legends, Latex, and Lakes. Today, 15.35% of the district is urbanized.[2]

Kottayam City is known as Akshara Nagari (City of Literacy) and Chuvar Chitra Nagari (City of Murals). Kottayam was the first city to achieve 100% literacy rate in India. On September 27, 2008, the Kottayam district became the first tobacco-free district in India.[3][4]

The district's headquarters are based in Kottayam city, located at 9.36° N and 76.17° E. The towns of Pala and Kidangoor can be found in the center of the district.

Hindustan Newsprint Limited and Rubber Board are two central government organizations located in the district. The Rubber Board has a campus located in Puthuppally, with its head office situated in Kottayam city. The headquarters of two significant religious communities in Kerala are also in the Kottayam District: Nair Service Society and the Indian Orthodox Church.

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Kottayam means the "interior of a fort" - Kotta + Akam. Rulers of Munjanad and Thekkumkur had their headquarters at Thazhathangadi near Kottayam town.[5] Marthanda Varma of Travancore attacked the Thekkumkur, destroyed the Palace and the Thaliyil Fort.[when?]The remaining parts of the palace and fort are now historical monuments.

Kottayam has played its role in all political agitations of modern times. The 'Malayali Memorial' agitation may be said to have had its origin in Kottayam.[by whom?] The Malayali Memorial sought out to secure better representation for educated Travancoreans in the Travancore civil service against persons from outside.[when?] 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 a modern political movement in the state.[5]

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 historical significance that national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, C. Rajagopalachari, Acharya Vinoba Bhave and E.V. Ramaswami Naykar, associated with this struggle.[5] 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 in this district. The district was also a center 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, who was the Dewan of Travancore at that time.[citation needed]

The present Kottayam district was previously a part of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore. Earlier, the Travancore state consisted of two revenue divisions, 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 lasted only for a short period, and was then 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.[6]

Kottayam is also known as the Capital Language of Kerala.


The two major religious communities in Kottayam district are Hinduism and Christianity. NSS (Nair Service Society) has its headquarters at Perunna, Changanaserry. The Mannam memorial (in memory of renowned social reformer Mannathu Padmanabha Pillai) is also located here.

The headquarters of the 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 Saint Thomas the Apostle.

The headquarters of Madhya Kerala Diocese of the Church of South India is located in 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 from March to May are 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).[7] Kottayam district experienced the most intense red rainfall, heavy downpours occurred in 2001 during which the rain was coloured in red, yellow, green, and black.[8][citation needed]


Kottayam has a vast network of rivers, backwaters, ancient religious places, and hill stations. Some of the noted tourist places here are:

  • Vembanad Lake has a great expanse of water that is a part of the interconnected Kerala Backwaters that runs virtually at the length of 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 tourists to enjoy the beauty of the Vembanad Lake at a relaxed pace.
A houseboat in Kumarakam
A houseboat in Kumarakam
  • 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 the home to the migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. Local birds like the waterfowl, 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 from June–August and the best time for migratory birds is from November–February. Houseboats and motorboats get available and are hired for bird watching cruises on the lake.

During August and September, the rivers in and near Kottayam are turned into festival centers. The serene backwaters come alive during Onam with a regatta -the snake boat races. Oarsmen, at least a hundred in each boat, slice their way through the waters to the rhythm of their full-throat 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:


Kottayam 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, Ettumanoor-Ernakulam, 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 kilometers away. The Kerala government and Central government 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. SWTD operates ferry services from different parts of the Kottayam district. The ferry service from Vaikom to Thavanakkadavu in the Alappuzha district is the longest and most prominent. India's first solar ferry service boat: 'Adhithya' operates from Vaikom.


Kottayam has a mountainous terrain as well as low-lying areas very close to sea level. Depending on the location, different varieties of food and cash crops are cultivated. Rice is the principal crop extensively cultivated in low-lying regions like Vaikom and Upper Kuttanad. The district occupies third place in the production of rice in Kerala behind Palakkad and Alappuzha. Though it is the staple food of the people, 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 is India's largest rubber producer. Rubber trees provide a stable income for farmers and the climate is ideal for rubber plantations. Though the highlands are more suitable, cultivation has spread to almost all regions. Other crops cultivated are tapiocas, coconuts, peppers, and vegetables. To enhance the rubber productivity, the government of India has set up a 'Rubber Board' as well as a rubber research institute in Kottayam.[9][10]


The district lacks catalysts like refineries, port, economic zone, airport, etc. for major industries, though it has a well-educated population.[citation needed][awkward] 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-size operations. The main activities are in publishing and processing of rubber (latex) and manufacturing of rubber-based products. Rubber-based industries in the district include a unit of Madras Rubber Factory (MRF) ltd. in Vadavathoor, St. Mary's Rubbers Ltd. Koovapplly, Kanjirappally the No.1 centrifuged latex, skim rubber, block and skim crepe rubber exporter in India.[citation needed] Other manufacturers are Midas Rubber Ltd. at Ettumanoor, Intermix factory (Neezhoor) and Rubco at Pampady.

Confined mostly to the Vaikom area of the district is a thriving coir processing industry, processing coir and making coir products. Consisting of more than twenty cooperatives, it employs around 20,000 people. In the hand-loom sector, eight cooperative societies employ 2,100 persons. The district has rich forest wealth with good availability of softwood and other varieties of timber providing the 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.[awkward] 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 center 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 several book exhibitions every year.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.

According to the 2011 census Kottayam district has a population of 1,979,384,[12] roughly equal to the nation of Slovenia[13] or the US state of New Mexico.[14] This gives it a ranking of 234th in India (out of a total of 640).[12] The district has a population density of 896 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,320/sq mi).[12] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–11 was 1.32%.[12] Kottayam has a sex ratio of 1040 females for every 1000 males,[12] and a literacy rate of 97.21, the highest in the state and 4th highest in India.


Religions in Kottayam District
Religion Percent
Distribution of religions
Source: 2011 Census.

According to the 2011 Indian Census, Hinduism (49.81%) is the majority religion in Kottayam, with a significant Christian(43.48%) population. Muslim population constitute 6.41% of the population.

Kottayam, Thiruvalla, and Chengannur are the railway stations for pilgrims heading to the Hindu holy site of Sabarimala.

Important pilgrim centres

Important pilgrim centres in Kottayam are[15]:


Vaikom temple is known as the Kasi of the South
Vaikom temple is known as the Kasi of the South



  • Thazhathangady Juma Mosque-It is one of the ancient mosques in India.
  • Thangalppara in Kottayam is the mausoleum of Sheikh Fariduddin found here makes this place a famous Muslim pilgrim centre.[16]


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.[17][18][when?] 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.[citation needed] C.M.S. College was previously known as "Grammar School".[citation needed]

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. Kendriya 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 centres of higher education,[according to whom?] is also located at Chanaganacherry, Kottayam.[19]

Notable persons


K. R. Narayanan, the former President of India hails from Kottayam district. Currently, Kottayam is represented in the Lok Sabha by Jose K. Mani of Kerala Congress (Mani).

Members representing constituencies in Kottayam in the Kerala state Legislative Assembly

Towns and villages in the district

Major Tier-I towns

Major Tier-II towns

Other villages


See also


  1. ^ "About District Collector - Kottayam District, Government of Kerala - India". Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 January 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Urban statistics of the district
  3. ^ Kottayam to be declared as tobacco-free district soon[permanent dead link] Yahoo! India
  4. ^ Kottayam district to be declared tobacco-free The Hindu
  5. ^ a b c "History | Kottayam District, Government of Kerala". Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  6. ^ K. M. Mathew, ed. (2006). Manorama Year Book. Malayala Manorama. p. 116.
  7. ^[permanent dead link] Climate of Kottayam
  8. ^ Ramakrishnan, Venkatraman (30 July 2001). "Coloured Rain: A Report on the Phenomenon" (PDF). BBC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 May 2006. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ " - Diese Website steht zum Verkauf! - Informationen zum Thema naturemagics". Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  11. ^ Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901
  12. ^ a b c d e "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  13. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 1 October 2011. Slovenia 2,000,092 July 2011 est.
  14. ^ "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
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "About Benjamin Bailey". Benjamin Bailey Foundation. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  18. ^ McKee, Gary. "Benjamin Bailey, a brief biographical sketch". Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  19. ^ "SB College – Tradition of Excellence in the Field of Education since 1922". Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Amal Jyothi College of Engineering". Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Kendriya Vidyalaya, Rubber Board, Puthuppally". Archived from the original on 13 March 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2008.

External links

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