Kottayam is one of the 14 districts of Kerala which is home to various backwater stretches. It is surrounded by the Western Ghats on the east and the Vembanad Lake and paddy fields on the west. Kottayam is popular for water bodies, hillocks, rubber plantations, ancient shrines, museums and a bird sanctuary.
The destination derives its name from two words ‘Katta’ and ‘akam’, meaning the interior of a fort. Most of the popular Hindu temples in the destination are constructed in Tamil and Kerala styles of architecture. Two of the famous temples in Kottayam are the Thirunakkara Mahadeva temple and Pallippurathu Kavu temple.
The St. Mary's Orthodox Church and Thazhathangady Juma Masjid are the other popular sites located in the destination. The Island of Pathiramanal, located in the middle of the Vembanad Lake, has varied avifauna. The Vembanad Lake is a popular backwater and is formed by the water collected from numerous rivers and canals flowing through the district. Rides on the traditional cargo boats, known as Kettuvallams as well as on cruise boats and house boats can be enjoyed at the lake.
The Elaveezhapoonchira, Poonjar Palace, Monroe Light and Wagamon are some of the important sites located in the vicinity of the district. The Bay Island Driftwood Museum was established by Raji Punnoose, who won the Limca Book of Records in 2001 for maintaining the only driftwood museum in the country. The museum has a collection of various artefacts and things made using sea waste.
The Subrahmania temple, Thiruvarpu temple and Kottathavalam Cave are also popular attractions. The temples are popular for beautiful rock sculptures, murals and wall paintings. The Nadukani, Nattakom and Panachikad, Island of Pathiramanal and Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary are some of the important attractions of the destination.