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Feb 13, 2020
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Kottayam – The Land of Latex & Letters

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Kottayam is positioned in central Kerala in India. The city is a crucial buying and selling heart of spices and predominantly identified for its business crop rubber. Rubber bushes are extensively cultivated in central Kerala, particularly in huge areas of Kottayam District, in plantations, each massive and small. It’s also referred to as the bottom of vital print media majors. It has additionally emerged because the pioneering centre of recent schooling in Kerala with town turning into India’s first municipality to attain over 100% literacy in 1989. Town of Kottayam can also be known as as “Akshara Nagari” which implies the “Metropolis of Letters” contemplating its contribution to print media and literature. Consistent with its schooling, it additionally turned the primary tobacco free district in India.

Kottayam is bordered by Pathanamthitta district on the south, Alappuzha district on the west, Ernakulam district on the north and Idukki district on the east.

Etymology:

It’s believed that the title Kottayam originated from the Malayalam phrases ‘Kotta’ that means fort and ‘akam’ that means ‘inside’, giving the phrase that means ‘inside of the fort’.

Geography:

Kottayam city is positioned in central Kerala at a location of 9°35′N 76°31′E9.58°N 76.52°E. It has a median elevation of three meters (9 ft) from sea degree. It’s located within the basin of the Meenachil River that’s fashioned by the confluence of a number of streams within the Western Ghats in Idukki district. The river flows by means of Kottayam district and joins the Vembanad Lake. Kerala geographically is split into Highlands, Midlands and Lowlands based mostly on altitude with Kottayam falling throughout the Midlands. The final soil kind is alluvial soil. The vegetation is especially tropical evergreen and moist deciduous kind.

The local weather on this District is average and nice. Kottayam’s proximity to the equator leads to little seasonal temperature variation, with average to excessive ranges of humidity. Annual temperatures vary between 20 to 35 °C (68-95 °F) From June by means of September, the south-west monsoon brings in heavy rains as Kottayam lies on the wind-facing facet of the Western Ghats. From October to December, Kottayam receives mild rain from the northwest monsoon, because it lies on the leeward facet. Common annual rainfall is 315 cm.

Temporary Historical past:

Kottayam was dominated by the Rajas of the impartial little kingdom of Thekkumkoor who dominated from Thazhathangadi until the mid-18th century. Marthanda Varma, the hero king of Travancore annexed Thekkumkoor and surrounding areas of Kottayam to the Kingdom of Travancore. Throughout the British rule of India, Kottayam continued to be dominated by the Princely State of Travancore.

The Travancore State beneath royal rule consisted of two income divisions viz., the southern and northern divisions, beneath the executive management of a ‘Diwan Peshkar’. Later in 1868 two extra divisions Quilon (Kollam) and Kottayam had been constituted. A fifth division, Devikulam existed for a brief interval however was then added to Kottayam. On the time of the combination of the State of Travancore and Cochin in 1949, these income divisions had been renamed as districts and the Diwan Peshkars had been changed the extra British “District Collectors”. Thus Kottayam district got here into being in July 1949. Later it turned part of the Kerala state and the headquarters of the district bearing the identical title when the state was fashioned in 1957.

Financial system:

Kottayam as already talked about is a significant buying and selling heart of pure rubber in India. The Rubber Board, a physique arrange by the Authorities of India for the event of rubber trade, is positioned at Kottayam. Quite a lot of small and medium sized enterprises in and across the city are engaged within the processing of rubber latex and manufacturing of rubber merchandise. Moreover rubber, Kottayam is a buying and selling place of different business crops like spices cultivated broadly within the surrounding areas. The Plantation Company of Kerala additionally has its headquarters at Kottayam.

Faith:

Kerala has a historical past of being a magnet for merchants’ predominantly from the Arab world in addition to Europe. They not solely introduced alongside enterprise alternatives however their tradition and extra importantly their religions alongside. Contemplating that the Hindu faith had been practiced right here for ages, the damaging practices of it had been applied in its harshness too-this included the feudal system supported by the caste system. A few of the non secular beliefs that “provided” equality and a way of self worth was a welcome change for a lot of struggling communities. One of many enticements of recent religions was the chance to realize “nirvana” with out social limitations. Christianity is meant to have reached the shores of Kerala approach again within the first century. In keeping with unconfirmed beliefs, St. Thomas, the apostle of Jesus Christ was additionally reputed to have landed in Kerala to unfold the great phrases of the lord.

Reflecting the non secular make-up of the inhabitants, a lot of Hindu temples and Christian church buildings together with Mosques dot the townscape. Aside from the native Hindu inhabitants, Kottayam particularly has a big no. of Christians together with substantial no. of Muslims too.

Christianity- Kottayam is a significant heart of Syrian Christians of Kerala. Followers of Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, Jacobite Church, Knanaya, Marthoma Church, St. Thomas Evangelical Church, CSI Church, Pentecostal Church buildings, and Brethren type main Christian sects.

The St. Mary’s Church, or the Valia Palli or the Large Church, inbuilt 1550 by Knanaya Syrian Jacobite Christians who emigrated from West Asia, is taken into account as the primary Christian church in Kottayam city. This church is known for its two granite crosses referred to as Persian crosses. There are uncommon vintage carvings and mural work behind the principle altar and on the ceiling.

There may be one other St. Mary’s Church referred to as Cheria Palli or the Little Church, belonging to the Malankara Orthodox Church was inbuilt 1579 by the Raja of Thekkumkoor for his Christian topics. These church buildings characteristic temple architectural influences. The inside murals, painted utilizing vegetable dyes, depict Biblical themes.

The Syro-Malabar ceremony of the Roman Catholic Church has an archeparchy based mostly in Kottayam. A few of the vital Catholic church buildings in Kottayam embrace Lourdes Forane Church, Good Shepherd Church, Vimalagiri Cathedral and Christhuraja Cathedral. The earlier Pope John Paul II visited Kottayam, throughout his go to to India in 1986. He introduced the beatification of Father Kuriakose of Chavara and Sister Alphonsa, who hails from Kottayam. The mortal stays of Saint Alphonsa, who was elevated to sainthood in 12 October 2008, are stored in a chapel subsequent to St. Mary’s Church, Bharananganam. It’s a standard Christian pilgrimage heart.

Islam-Probably the most outstanding amongst mosques appear to be the Thazhathangadi Juma Masjid, located within the banks of river Meenachil. It’s reputed to be one of many oldest mosques in India and in accordance with legends is greater than 1000 years outdated. It’s well-known for its architectural magnificence, and wealthy wooden carvings. This mosque was constructed by the followers of the Islamic prophet Muhammad throughout considered one of their first voyages to Kerala.

Hinduism- The native faith has a big affect within the socio-cultural cloth of Kottayam. One of the vital temples is the Thirunakkara Mahadeva Kshetram, on the coronary heart of the city. It’s devoted to the destroyer among the many Hindu trinity- Shiva and is constructed within the typical Kerala type of temple structure, with inside murals depicting themes from the Hindu epics. It was constructed at first of the 16th century by the then Raja of Thekkumkoor. The annual temple pageant is a grand affair and culminates with the Aarattu ceremony that pulls massive variety of devotees.

Regardless of the presence of varied religions and a big no. of every religion, consistent with its repute for peace, numerous sections of Christianity, Muslim and Hinduism co-exist harmoniously.

Tourism:

It has been a significant contribution to the financial system of Kottayam. Many tourism associated companies thrive within the city. Kumarakom, one of the well-known vacationer locations in Kerala, is simply 14 km from the city. Wagamon is one other outstanding place value a go to, and borders the districts of Kottayam and Idukki. Kottayam has an enormous community of rivers, backwaters, hill stations & historic non secular locations. Only a few outstanding locations have been highlighted right here:

Locations to go to:

Vembanad Lake: It’s a nice water-body which is a part of Kerala’s well-known interconnected Kerala Backwaters that run nearly the size of the state. Vembanad Lake is 52 miles (84 km) in size and 9 miles (14 km) in width. Conventional cargo boats known as Kettuvallams have been modified into luxurious cruise boats and home boats for the comfort of the vacationers. These boats gracefully transfer across the again waters, enabling its passengers to get pleasure from the great thing about the Vembanad Lake in a relaxed tempo.

Pathiramanal: Translated because the midnight sands, Pathiramanal is a small but lovely island positioned throughout the Vembanad Lake that’s accessible solely by boat.

Kumarakom: Positioned on the Coast of Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is a village made image excellent by mangroves and coconut groves, lush inexperienced paddy fields, gushing waters snaking by means of the dense forests. Kumarakom chook sanctuary is dwelling to migratory birds just like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. Native birds just like the water fowl, cuckoo, owl and water hen and different widespread varieties just like the woodpecker, sky lark, crane and parrot can be noticed right here. Roughly 91 species of native and 50 species of migratory birds are discovered right here making it a chook watchers paradise. The most effective time to observe native birds is June-August and the most effective time for migratory birds is November-February. Home Boats and motorboats can be found on rent for chook watching cruises within the Lake.

Vagamon: is a hill station within the Kottayam-Idukki district.

Different points of interest shut by:

o Thekkady Periyar Tiger Reserve – 104 kilometers away, positioned within the Idukki District.

o Peerumed- Roughly 75 Kms away, positioned in Idukki district

o Munnar- The well-known hill station, about 80 km away

o Vaikom- Positioned about 50 km from Kottayam.

o Kottayam can also be a gateway to the pilgrim facilities like Sabarimala, Mannanam, Vaikom, Ettumanoor Siva temple, Thirunakkara, Bharananganam, Erumeli and well-known Manarcaud church. Kottayam city is linked by rail to different outstanding cities in Kerala and in addition linked to the waterways for scenic journey.

Throughout the months of August and September, the rivers in and close to Kottayam rework into race tracks. The serene backwaters come alive through the standard malayali pageant of Onam when the spectacular water regatta -the snake boat races. Oarsmen, a minimum of 100 in every boat, slice their approach by means of the waters to the quick rhythm of their very own full-throated singing. Thazhathangadi boat race in Kummanam is over a century outdated. Boat races are carried out at Kavanar and Kottathodu rivers in Kumarakom. These vallam kalis have about 50 boats collaborating, together with Chundan, Churulan, Iruttukuthi(ody) veppu, and canoes.

Bottomline, Kottayam is a fantastic a part of the beautiful Kerala. Go to it to imagine it.

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