Kottayam is a city situated in south-central Kerala and is the administrative capital of Kottayam district. It is spread over an area of 55.40 sq km and is around 151 km from the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram. Kottayam is situated near the Meenachil River and the Vembanad backwaters. The scenic backwaters offer amazing opportunities to enjoy nature at its best. The city really enchants those who visit here.

The culture in Kottayam is mostly influenced by the huge presence of the Syrian Christian community. The religions in Kottayam are Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. The city is well-known for its religious tourism too. St. Alphonsa, the first woman to be officially declared as a saint by the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church was born and raised in this city.

The climate in Kottayam remains moderate and pleasant with annual temperatures between 20°C to 35°C. From June to September, the southwest monsoon brings heavy rainfalls and from October to December light rainfall is received from the northwest monsoon. The best time to visit Kottayam is in the winter months.

Kottayam is a major trading center of commercial crops, spices and natural rubber. Rubber trees are widely cultivated here and the Plantation Corporation of Kerala has its headquarters at Kottayam. The city is a well-known business centre with major shopping centres at places like Kottayam-Kumily Road, Sastri Road and Baker Junction. Many businesses related with tourism flourish in the town and provide a boost to the economy. There are also numerous restaurants that cater various cuisines for the people and several hotels and resorts are available in Kottayam.

Some of the popular places to visit in Kottayam are Vagamon, Illikkal Kallu, Vaikom Mahadev Temple, Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple, Mango Meadows Agricultural Theme Park, Marmala Waterfall, Bay Island Driftwood Museum to name a few.

This city is considered as the center of publishing media in Kerala. Major print media like Malayala Manorama, Mangalam, Deshabhimani, Mathrubhoomi, Madhyamam and Deepika have their headquarters in this town and around 30 periodicals are also published from Kottayam. The city houses several book publishers too. The C.M.S. Press was the first printing press in Kerala and was established in Kottayam by Benjamin Bailey in 1821. Since then the city has been in the front line of publishing and is known as Akshara Nagari - the City of Alphabets.

As a revolutionary center for modern education in Kerala, Kottayam became the country's first city to attain 100% literacy in 1989. The educational facilities are much more developed today with several schools, colleges and institutes. The most popular sports in Kottayam are Cricket, Athletics, basketball and football.

Besides, Kottayam is well connected by National Highways as well as State Highways. Buses are run by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) as well as private operators. Auto-rickshaws and metered taxis are also available in the city. The Kottayam railway station is placed in the heart of the town and is served by several trains connecting most of the major cities in the country. The nearest airport to Kottayam is the Cochin International Airport at a distance of 87 km. The Kottayam Port is India's first multi-modal Inland Container Depot (ICD) and a minor port which uses the inland water way network and is situated at Nattakom on the banks of Kothoor River. The Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) operates ferry services through the backwaters in and around Kottayam city.

Last Updated on: September 06, 2019