Church in Kottayam

St Mary’s Syrian Knanaya Church

Perched on a low-lying riverside hill 2km northwest of central Kottayam, this bright-white church was founded in 1550 by Syrian Knanaya Christians (the existing building is from 1588) and contains two...

South Indian in Kottayam


This lovely, spotlessly kept 1st-floor dining room with slatted blinds is a swankier version of Kerala's typical set-meals restaurants. The South Indian food here is great, including Malabar fish curry, thalis,...

Church in Kottayam

St Mary’s Orthodox Church

Built by the Portuguese, 2km northwest of central Kottayam, the elegant 1579 Cheriapally (Little Church) fuses European baroque architecture with Keralan temple elements, such as wood-carved ceilings and sloping...

Hindu Temple in Kottayam

Mahadeva Temple

The Shiva temple at Ettumanur, 12km north of Kottayam, has inscriptions dating from 1542, but parts of the building may be even older. It's noted for its exceptional woodcarvings and murals similar to those at...

Multicuisine in Kottayam


A favourite Kottayam spot to fill up on Indian and Chinese fare, hidden in a tidy modern upstairs restaurant in the heart of town. There's a friendly, family atmosphere and the menu is expansive, with omelettes,...

Sports in Kottayam

Aranmula Boat Race

One of Kerala's biggest snake-boat races, held during Onam around 40km southeast of Kottayam, this water regatta recreates a ritualistic journey in honour of Krishna.

Hindu Temple in Kottayam

Shri Vallabha Temple

Devotees make offerings at this 400-year-old Vishnu temple, 2km southwest from Tiruvalla (28km south of Kottayam), in the form of regular, traditional all-night Kathakali performances open to all.

Cultural in Kottayam

Thirunakkara Utsavam

All-night Kathakali dancing on the third and fourth nights of this 10-day festival held at a 500-year-old temple; processions of elephants mark the finale (and may not appeal to all).