The Best Time to Visit Kottayam: A Comprehensive Guide
Kottayam is a stunning city located in the state of Kerala, India. This charming city is best known for its lush green landscape, serene backwaters, and vibrant culture. If you’re planning to visit Kottayam, knowing the best time to visit is crucial to ensure you make the most out of your trip. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the seasons of Kottayam, and help you decide when is the best time to visit.
Seasons in Kottayam
Kottayam experiences three main seasons throughout the year; the summer season, monsoon season, and winter season.
Summer Season (March – May)
The summer season in Kottayam is from March to May, where temperatures can soar up to 36 degrees Celsius. It is advised to avoid visiting Kottayam during this period, as the heat can be unbearable, and the humidity levels can be high making it uncomfortable to explore outdoor attractions. However, if you are planning to visit during this time, ensure that you carry light and breezy clothing.
Monsoon Season (June – September)
The Monsoon season in Kottayam is from June to September, where the city experiences heavy rains. The monsoon season in Kerala is known to be quite extensive and can last throughout the day. However, experiencing the monsoon season in Kottayam can be quite exciting, as you can witness the lush green landscape and the serene backwaters in their full glory. The rain also brings a pleasant drop in temperature, providing relief from the hot summer months.
Winter Season (October – February)
The winter season in Kottayam is from October to February, where the temperatures drop to around 18 degrees Celsius. This is the best time to visit Kottayam, as the weather conditions are pleasant and comfortable. This period also marks the peak tourist season, and therefore, you can expect a higher influx of tourists. It is advisable to make your travel arrangements in advance, as this is the busiest time of the year.
Festivals to Experience in Kottayam
Apart from the weather conditions, Kottayam is also known for its vibrant culture and exquisite festivities. Celebrating these festivals can be a fantastic way to experience the local culture and traditions. Here are some of the popular festivals celebrated in Kottayam throughout the year.
Onam Festival is the most significant festival in Kottayam and is celebrated in August and September. This ten-day-long festival marks the homecoming of King Mahabali and is celebrated with grandeur and pomp. The festival involves many rituals and customs, including the famous snake boat race, which draws a massive gathering of tourists from all over the world.
Vishu Festival is celebrated in the months of April and May, and marks the astrological new year in the Malayalam calendar. It is celebrated with traditional rituals, including the ‘Vishu Kani,’ which is a feast for the eyes, consisting of many fruits, vegetables, and flowers arranged beautifully.
The Theyyam Festival is another significant festival celebrated in Kottayam and is held in November and December. This festival is known for its vibrant folk dances, traditional costumes and makeup, and the festive ambience in the temples.
Kottayam is a city brimming with culture, tradition, and natural beauty. Choosing the best time to visit Kottayam depends on what you want to experience during your visit. Although Kottayam can be visited throughout the year, winter is the best season to enjoy comfortable weather and experience the rich culture and traditions of this enchanting city. If you are interested in experiencing the monsoon season, visiting Kottayam between June – September can also be a great option. We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Kottayam, providing an unforgettable experience that you’ll cherish forever.
The Insider’s Guide to Kottayam: Uncovering the Hidden Gems of This Enchanting City
When planning a trip to India, most tourists often have popular cities like Delhi, Jaipur, or Mumbai on their wish-list. But, if you truly want to experience the culture and traditions of India, you must visit smaller cities that are off the beaten path. Kottayam is one such city that offers tourists a unique and memorable experience. In this insider’s guide to Kottayam, we will uncover the hidden gems of this enchanting city that only locals know about.
Local Attractions: Discovering the Hidden Gems
When it comes to Kottayam, most tourists visit popular sites like the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, or the Thazhathangady Juma Masjid. But, if you want to explore the lesser-known attractions of Kottayam, head to the backwaters of Valiyapally. Valiyapally is a quaint village situated by the backwaters of Kottayam, which offers visitors an opportunity to witness the rural lifestyle of Kerala. You can take a boat ride through the backwaters, enjoy the stunning scenery, or relish the local delicacies served at the village shops.
Another hidden gem in Kottayam is the Vagamon Hill Station. Known as a ‘mini Scotland’ of Kerala, Vagamon offers tourists an opportunity to explore the serene and tranquil side of Kerala. It is located around 60km from Kottayam city and offers mesmerizing views, acres of pristine greenery, and the calming sound of cascading waterfalls.
Dining Spots: Relishing the Local Cuisines
When it comes to food, Kottayam offers a wide range of options that cater to all palates. For authentic Malayali cuisine, we recommend trying the Karimeen Pollichathu, a fish dish that is baked in a banana leaf. You can also try the traditional Sadhya, a complete vegetarian meal served on a banana leaf, or the Malabar Parotta, flaky bread that is a staple in Malabar cuisine.
For those who love to indulge their sweet tooth, the city has several bakeries that serve lip-smacking local desserts like the Pazham Pori, a sweet banana fritter, and Unniyappam, a small deep-fried rice cake.
Cultural Experiences: Uncovering the Traditions and Festivals
Kottayam is a city that is steeped in history and traditions. The city hosts several festivals throughout the year. One such festival is Onam, Kerala’s biggest festival, which is celebrated in August-September. Onam is a ten-day celebration, and during this time, the city comes alive with vibrant colours, traditional dances, and music.
Another festival that is unique to Kottayam is the Vaikathashtami festival. It is celebrated in the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple and is known for its grandeur and devotion. During the festival, thousands of devotees converge on the temple to witness the divine aura of Lord Shiva.
Local History: Unfolding the Stories
Kottayam is a city that has played a significant role in the history of Kerala. One such story is of the legendary Kayamkulam Kochunni, a thief who is known as the Robinhood of Kerala. His life story has inspired several movies and books and is still a popular folklore of Kottayam.
Another story is of the CMS College, one of the oldest colleges in Kerala, which has a rich history that dates back to the British era. The college has produced several notable alumni, including former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and former Indian President K.R. Narayanan.
Off-The-Beaten-Path Suggestions: Unforgettable Experiences
For those who want to experience Kottayam in a unique and unforgettable way, we recommend visiting the Ilaveezhapoonchira hill station, located around 55 km from Kottayam city. This hill station is known for its mesmerizing sunrise and sunset views, which will take your breath away.
We also recommend visiting the Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple, a temple that is known for its stunning architecture and inscriptions. The temple is an excellent example of Kerala’s rich cultural and architectural heritage.
In conclusion, Kottayam is a city that offers a memorable and unique experience to its visitors. With its hidden gems, local cuisine, cultural experiences, and fascinating history, it is a destination that one must visit. The city has something to offer for everyone, so pack your bags, and get ready to explore the hidden treasures of Kottayam.
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