PILGRIMAGE IN KOTTAYAM, KERALA
Siva Temple, Thalikkotta :
This Siva Temple is situated in Thalikkotta, about 2 kms. from Kottayam. This temple is the place of worship of the erstwhile Thekkumkoor royal family. The annual festivals are ten day Festival in April-May and Siarathri in January-February.
St. Mary’s Church, Cheriapalli :
This church displays outstanding architecture which is a blend of Kerala and Portuguese styles. This church was built in 1579 by Thekkumkoor Maharaja. The walls are adorned with beautiful murals made in oriental and western styles on biblical and non biblical themes. St. Mary’s Church is situated in Cheriapalli, about 2 kms. from Kottayam.
Thazhathangadi Valiapalli :
Thazhathangadi Valiapalli was built in 1550 AD, about 2 kms. from west of Kottayam town. This church belongs to the Knanaya Orthodox Syrian Community. The Persian cross, believed to be one of the seven cross brought here by St. Thomas, and the Pahlavi inscriptions of this church are famous.
Thirunakkara Mahadevar Temple :
This 500 year old temple was built by the Thekkumkoor Maharajah. This Temple is situated in the heart of Kottayam town. This temple is built in the Kerala style of architecture and has colorful murals on its walls which are worth exploring. The Koothambalam, the special building in the temple premises used for cultural purposes, is one of the best in Kerala.
Dharmasastha Temple, Pakkil :
The Dharmasastha Temple is one of the eight temples established by Parasurama, the legendary founder of Kerala. The annual festival is Sankranti Vanibhyam, a fair of household articles which is celebrated in June-July. The temple is situated in Pakkil, about 3 kms. from Kottayam town.
Mahadevar Temple, Ettumanoor :
The Mahadevar Temple is famous for its murals, especially the painting of Nataraja in the gopuram and ezharaponnana (the seven and half elephants finished in gold). the annual festival is Ezharaponnana ezhunallathu which is celebrated for 10 days in February-March. The Mahadevar Temple is situated in Ettumanoor, about 12 kms. north of Kottayam town.
Shiva Temple, Vaikom :
This temple is a typical example of the Kerala style of temple architecture. This temple is more popularly known as the Kasi of the South. The Temple is situated in Vaikom, about 40 kms. from Kottayam town. Shiva Temple is associated with the legendary Parasurama. This temple is famous for its elephant pageants and traditional art performances. The annual festival of this temple is Vaikathashtami which is celebrated in November-December.
St. Thomas Church :
This Church is situated in Cherpungal. St. Thomas Church is believed to have been established by the apostle St.Thomas. This church was relocated to the southern banks of the Meenachil River with the cooperation of poet Kunchan Nambiar and his family. In 1107, the Valiapalli was built on the original site. Oil is poured into lamps and kept before the image of infant Jesus. This ritual is similar to the devotional practices of Hindus.
Pazhayapalli, Changanacherry :
Pazhayapalli is the 950 year old mosque and one of the most famous mosque in Central Travancore. The annual festival, Thangal adiyanthiram, is well known and marked by a grand community feast. Meat and two tones of rice, offered by the devotees, is used to prepare biryani for the community feast on this day. The Chandanakuddam festival at the mosque is one of the largest crowd pulling events in Changanacherry town. Pazhayapalli is situated in Changanacherry, about 21 kms. from Kottayam.
Saraswathi Temple, Panachikkad :
This Saraswathi Temple is situated in Panachikkad. Saraswathi Temple, also known as the Mookambika Temple of the South, holds the Saraswathi (goddess of learning and the arts) pooja every year in October-November. Children are initiated into the world of letters at the Vidyarambham ceremony held here.