With mercury levels soaring in this unforgiving summer, many are in the mood to beat the heat and hit the road. If you are looking for a weekend getaway that's neither too far or close, Kottayam district has many spots to offer. Adventurous weekenders can pick from plethora of options ranging from cosy, tiny hamlets to enchanting hills to escape the scorching sun.
Here’s a comprehensive list of tourist spots in Kottayam district that are perfect for a weekend getaway.
The scenic Aymanam village
The tiny hamlet of Aymanam is again hogging the spotlight as it has found place on the Conde Nast’s list of best destinations in the world to visit in 2022. This recognition is for the project that was implemented by the Responsible Tourism Mission by joining hands with the Aymanam panchayat.
Travellers reach this beautiful village to enjoy the countryside serenity and tranquillity, and the tourism activities of Aymanam revolve around experiential tourism.
The highlight of the Aymanam tourism package is the opportunity to get a first-hand experience of the village life. As part of the package, the visitors can go around on traditional boats and get a feel of life in the countryside.
The Responsible Tourism Mission’s combo would kick off with a shikara boat ride from Kanavattinkara on the Kottayam-Cherthala road.
The next stop, which is near Kanavattinkara, of the boat ride would help the visitors to know more about coir making and coconut tree climbing. One could also get a ringside view of weaving of coconut leaves, mat weaving, fishing and toddy tapping. The travellers can also literally sink their teeth into some lip-smacking traditional dishes.
Enchanting Muthukora Hill
Without any iota of doubt, Muthukora Hill can be termed the Meeshapulimala of Kottayam district. It is worth noting that there are many hidden gems in the region and the outside world is seeing the charm of these places through social media.
Muthukoramala is a wonder that augments the pristine beauty of nature. Many travel enthusiasts are making a beeline for Muthukora Hill after seeing jaw-dropping videos and photos of this slice of paradise.
One can reach Muthukora Hill after manoeuvring the steep climb from Kaipally, which is in Poonjar
Thekkekkara panchayat in Kottayam district. The rugged region of Muthukora Hill stands parallel to the majestic Vagamon mountain ranges. A 3km off-road drive from Kaipally will take you to Muthukora Hills. From there you can trek amidst awesome natural settings. It may be noted that Muthukora Hill is a favourite hunting ground of those who are into adventure.
Do keep in mind that the valley of Muthukora Hill is fraught with danger. The cliff is close to 1,000ft deep and the act of standing atop rocks is filled with adventure and the risk is increased manifold by strong winds.
But the panoramic view of the roving mist and the white clouds that play hide and seek makes Muthukoramala heavenly.
Kayaking in Maravanthuruthu
Maravanthuruthu is presently a sought-after spot among travellers and the main attraction is kayaking. Kayaking that starts from Moozhikal and Panjipalam goes around Arivalthodu before entering Muvattupuzha River.
Facilities are in place to go on a kayaking spree for 3.5km, which can be covered in three hours. If you are kayaking in the evening, you could see the setting sun turning the sky crimson red, which is an ethereal feeling.
Facilities: Wash-room, parking space and an outlet for snacks. If intimated earlier, a sumptuous lunch would be ready and you can have food by relaxing on the shores of the water body.
How to reach Maravanthuruthu: You can reach Panjipalam after travelling 500m on the Palamkadavu route from Toll Junction on the Vaikom-Ernakulam route. Enter Aattuvelakadu Road near the Kulashekaramangalam Road and drive for 500m to reach Moozhikkal library.
It may be noted that kayaking starts from these two points. If you are coming from Thalayolaparambu, you can reach Panjipalam after driving for 3km on the Palamkadavu-Toll road.
Just chill in Nalumanikattu
If you want to have a lungful of fresh air in Kottayam, then just vroom to Nalumanikattu. This wayside recreation center is on the Manarcad-Ettumanur bypass, which is 10km from Kottayam.
The tourists can feel the soft cuddle of the calm breeze that caresses the lush green paddy fields, savour the mystic allure of the setting sun and also taste some piquant local dishes.
You can sit on cement benches in the middle of paddy fields and let the cool breeze rustle your hair. Children can have a great time as swings, slides made in the form of tree and other interesting joy rides can keep them engaged.
Thanneermukkom bund reloaded
The grandiosity and the pristine glory of the Vembanad Lake are in full display at the Thanneermukkom bund. And anyone travelling from Kottayam through the Thanneermukkom bund bridge will definitely vouch for this fact.
For many travelling from Kottayam to Cherthala, the Thanneermukkom bund may be nothing exceptional. But the bund is a repository of stunning sights and boasts of boating facilities for families.
People can come to the bund to spend a peaceful evening far away from the hustle and bustle of city life and also go on a boating spree. The main attraction en route to Cherthala from Kottayam is the Thanneermukkom bund, which is a well-liked spot of scores of tourists. You can have a memorable drive as the road is tightly hugged by the lake on both sides.
Tallest waterfall in Kottayam district
The delightful Aruvikkachal waterfall is the tallest waterfalls in Kottayam district. The travellers can take bath in the sparkling waters without any fear of danger as Aruvikkachal is considered as a safe waterfall.
A 13km drive on the Poonjar-Mundakayam road from Erattupetta will take you this awe-inspiring waterfall. Turn to the panchayat road 100m ahead of the Pathampuzha junction on the Poonjar-Mundakayam road. The road will be narrow from here and vehicles can go up to 200m from the waterfalls.
Just keep in mind that the chances of losing your way by following the online navigation tools are pretty high.
Sublime Illickal Kallu
Illickal Kallu, which is near Erattupetta, is the right place for you if you are craving for lush green patches and a nip in the air. This dream destination with hovering thick mist and cool breeze has many out-of-the-world vistas up its sleeve.
Illickal Kallu is nearly 3,000ft above sea level and you have to trek up the hill after parking vehicle at the parking slot on the valley to enjoy the amazing sights of nature. The view of green rolling hills against the backdrop of mist and blue sky can take your breath away. As the climb is steep, there are jeep vehicles that ferry tourists.
Kumarakom is a great choice if you want to while away seeing the magnetic shades of lake with your family members. You can boat through the lake on a houseboat, motor boats or shikara boats.
If you are a food lover, then you can have a sumptuous traditional meal with yummy fish dishes. Kumarakom, a cluster of green isles, is just 12km from Kottayam and as it is situated below sea level, this phenomenal place is also known as the Netherlands of Kerala.
Kumarakom is also a super destination if you want to taste the delicacies churned out at the traditional ‘kallu shaaps’ (toddy shops). Many people from far and wide come to Kumarakom to have a good outing and appetizing food.
The pink lilies of Malarickal
Step into the small hamlet of Malarickal to experience the stunning charm of thousands of lilies in full bloom. This village that oozes with beauty of the nature is a big hit among travellers. The sun set point at Malarickal is the best spot to view the sun rise and sun set. When the lilies start to bloom in the months of July, August and September, travellers throng the place in huge numbers.
The nature’s combo of mist and drizzle is mystical and that’s what you get at Ilaveezhapoonchira on the borders of Kottayam and Idukki districts.
You can reach this spot, which is cocooned by hills on three sides, only in four-wheel drive vehicles or on motorbikes.
Ilaveezhapoonchira is situated 3,200ft above sea level amidst three hills such as Mankunnu, Kadayathumala and Thannipara. This incredible destination is 20km away from Thodupuzha. Take the road to Moolamattom from Thodupuzha, turn right from Kanjar village and drive for 7km to reach Ilaveezhapoonchira.