|Established||1 July 1949|
|• Collector||P K Jayasree I.A.S|
|• Total||2,208 km2 (853 sq mi)|
|• Density||890/km2 (2,300/sq mi)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|ISO 3166 code||IN-KL|
|Vehicle registration||KL-05 Kottayam,|
|HDI (2005)||0.796 ( High)|
Kottayam (IPA: [koːʈːɐjɐm]), is one of fourteen districts in the Indian state of Kerala. Kottayam district comprises six municipal towns: Kottayam, Changanassery, Pala, Erattupetta, Ettumanoor, and Vaikom. It is the only district in Kerala that neither border the Arabian Sea nor any other states.
The district is bordered by hills in the east, and the Vembanad Lake and paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west. The area's geographic features include paddy fields, highlands, and hills. As of the 2011 census, 28.6% of the district's residents live in urban areas, and it reports a 97.2% literacy rate. In 2008, the district became the first tobacco-free district in India. Kottayam registered the lowest Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) of zero among all districts of India, indicating no deprivation as per the report published by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and UNDP for districts across India.
The district's headquarters are based in the city of Kottayam.
Hindustan Newsprint Limited and Rubber Board are two central government organizations located in the district. The headquarters of two religious communities in Kerala are also in the Kottayam District: Nair Service Society and the Indian Orthodox Church.
The name Kottayam is a combination of the words "kotta" and "akam" in the local language of Malayalam, meaning "interior of a fort".
See also: History of Kerala
Main article: Prehistory
A substantial portion of Kottayam district may have been under the Arabian Sea during prehistoric times. Marine fossils have been found in an area near Changanassery, thus supporting the hypothesis. However there are archaeological evidences of the early human inhabitation period of this district, including ancient fossils, stone inscriptions and monuments, in the archeological sites like the excavation sites, the caves, the temples, etc. The literary works of the Sangam period also help to take a look into the ancient period of the district.
Main article: Classical Antiquity
Main article: Chera dynasty
See also: Tamilakam
Early members of the Chera dynasty (first few centuries of the Common Era) had their original headquarters in a region called Kuzhamur at Kuttanad in the ancient Tamilakam and were sometimes known as the Kuttuvans. The Chera dynasty is mentioned as Keralaputras in the inscriptions of the emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Empire (322 BCE – 184 BCE).
The province Kuttanad of the ancient kingdom of Keralaputras included the modern-day districts of Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, and parts of Alappuzha, which can be defined as the region between the rivers Periyar and Pamba. It was bounded by the Ay kingdom to the south, which included the regions between Pamba River and Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin), and the province of Kudanad, which lies between the rivers Periyar and Chaliyar (modern-day districts of Thrissur, Palakkad, and Malappuram), to the north.
It was during the reign of Uthiyan Cheralathan (105-130 CE) that the Chera dynasty began to expand towards the northern and the eastern regions of Kuttanad by conquering the provinces of Kudanadu and Kongu Nadu. Afterwards the dynasty got split into three branches and fixed their capitals at Muziris, Tyndis, and Caroura, respectively, as seen in the ancient Greco-Roman travelogues as well as the Old Tamil literary works of the Sangam period. During the reign of Narmudi Cheral, the regions included in the Kindom of Ezhimala was also added to the Chera empire.
The ancient Chera empire collapsed due to the continuous invasions carried out by the Kalabhras, the Pallavas, the Chalukyas, the Pandyas, and the Rashtrakutas during the period between 500 CE and 800 CE for nearly three centuries. This era marked the migration of Nambudiri Brahmins into the district, which later led to a transformation in the social structure of the region after the 10th century CE. The ancient prominent religions in the district like Buddhism began to vanish after the 10th century CE. Sri Mulavasam was a prominent centre of Buddhism in the Indian peninsula until the early medieval period, prior to the Chera-Chola wars of the 11th century CE.
The regions included in the modern-day district of Kottayam is described well in the medieval Kerala literature which includes works written in both Malayalam and Sanskrit. The 14th century Sanskrit work Sukasandesam describes about Kaduthuruthy. Similarly the 17th century Sanskrit work Bhramara Sandesam contains details about Kumaranalloor and Vaikom. The 18th century Sanskrit literary work Chathaka Sandesam also contains references to Vaikom.
Unnuneeli Sandesam, a work which belongs to the Malayalam literature written during early decades of the 14th century CE, contains a short geographical and political description of the regions and the medieval feudal states that lied between Kaduthuruthy and Thiruvananthapuram. It contains details about the medieval kingdoms of Thekkumkur (1102-1749) and Vadakkumkur (1102-1750) those together constitute the modern district of Kottayam.
The writings and the records of the Portuguese as well as the Dutch, who visited and interfered in the political affairs of the district after the Age of discovery (1498 CE), such as the Hortus Malabaricus, contain significant information about the geographical and the political conditions of the region during the late medieval period.
Main article: Chera Perumals of Makotai
See also: Vazhappally copper plate
See also: Medieval Cholas
The area included in the modern-day district of Kottayam was part of three Nadus (provinces) during the period of the Chera Perumals of Mahodayapuram (800–1102 CE) for nearly three centuries. The region around the city of Kottayam was known as Munjunadu, while the Vaikom-Meenachil region, which lies to the north of Munjunadu was included in a province called Vempolinadu (known as Bimbali Desam in Sanskrit). The third province was the Nantuzhainadu which constitutes the modern-day Taluks of Changanassery and Thiruvalla. This period saw the decline of Buddhism and Jainism, which were once prominent in the region, along with the growth of Hinduism characterised by a large-scale migration of the Nambudiri Brahmins into the region. The territory of the Chera Perumals of Mahodayapuram got disintegrated into several small feudal states by early 12th century CE as a result of the continuous war that occurred between the Chera Perumals and the Medieval Cholas throughout the 11th century CE.
The Vazhappally copper plate (c. 882/83 CE) is a copper plate inscription written in Old Malayalam language that dates back to the 9th century CE found at Vazhappally in Kottayam district. Recent scholarship puts the date of the plate in c. 882/83 CE. The inscription is engraved on a single copper plate (with five lines on both sides) in an early form of the Old Malayalam language in Vatteluttu script with some Grantha characters. The contents of the plate are incomplete. The inscription was discovered by V. Srinivasa Sastri from Thalamana Illam near Changanassery. The plate is owned by Muvidathu Madom, Thiruvalla. The record is dated to the twelfth regnal year of Chera Perumal king Rama Rajasekhara (882/83 CE).
Inscriptions related to Rama Kulasekhara (1089-1123 CE) of Chera Perumal dynasty can be found at Perunna near Changanassery. The Perunna inscription dates back to the year 1099 CE (the 10th regional year of Rama Kulasekhara).
Main article: Thekkumkur
See also: Battle of Changanassery
The province Vempolinadu (Bimbali Desam) of the Chera Perumals of Mahodayapuram attained political autonomy in 1102 CE following the Chera-Chola wars of the 11th century CE. The Vempolinadu royal family got evolved into two independent branches by the 12th century CE - the southern branch among them later came to be known as the kingdom of Thekkumkur. It included the modern-day Taluks of Changanassery, Kanjirappally, Kottayam, and Thiruvalla. The kings of the Thekkumkur dynasty are described by the titles Bimbaleeshas and Manikandas in the Sanskrit literary works. Vennimala and Manikandapuram were the early headquarters of the Thekkumkur dynasty. Later it was transferred to Thazhathangady near the town of Kottayam. Thazhathangady is one of the places in Kerala where a church, a mosque, and a Hindu temple co-exist together, which points out the religious harmony that existed under the Thekkumkur Rajas. Sometimes the town of Changanassery has also acted as the headquarters of the Thekkumkur dynasty.
The Thekkumkur Rajas were vassals to the Kingdom of Cochin until the mid-18th century CE. Thekkumkur Rajas also allied with the Kingdom of Cochin and the Kingdom of Odanad (Kayamkulam) against the military invasions of the kingdom of Travancore into its northern kingdoms that occurred during the 1740's. As a result, Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the architect of the modern Travancore, attacked and annexed the kingdom of Thekkumkur into Travancore in 1749 during the Battle of Changanassery, after his annexation of Kayamkulam in 1746. The Thekkumkur king took refuge in the kingdom of the Zamorin of Calicut following his defeat in the battle.
Main article: Vadakkumkur
Vadakkumkur was the northern branch of the erstwhile province of Vempolinadu which attained political autonomy in 1102 CE after the collapse of the Chera Perumals of Mahodayapuram. The rulers of this dynasty were also known by the titles Bimbaleeshas and Manikandas in the contemporary Sanskrit works just like their Thekkumkur counterparts. The kingdom of Vadakkumkur included the modern-day Taluks of Ettumanoor and Vaikom along with a portion of the Meenachil Taluk. Kaduthuruthy was the earlier headquarters of the Vadakkumkur dynasty which was later transferred into Vaikom. Vadakkumkur was a vassal state of the Kingdom of Cochin until 1750.
The Portuguese explorers described Vadakkumkur as "The Pepper country" due to the availability and high scale production of good quality pepper there during the 16th century CE. The Dutch Malabar who became an influential power in the territory of Vadakkumkur during the 17th century CE and the first half of the 18th century CE had a trade centre at Vechoor (in Vaikom taluk) in Vadakkumkur. The Kingdom of Kizhmalanadu (1102-1600), which had included the modern-day Taluks of Muvattupuzha and Thodupuzha with its headquarters at Karikode near Thodupuzha, merged with the kingdom of Vadakkumkur around 1600 CE.
Vadakkumkur Raja was also a part of the combined military alliance formed by the kingdoms of Odanad (Kayamkulam), Thekkumkur, and Cochin against the expansion of Travancore into the northern territories. As a result, Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the architect of the modern Travancore, attacked and annexed Vadakkumkur in 1750. The Vadakkumkur Raja sought asylum in the kingdom of the Zamorin of Calicut. Later he returned back into Travancore.
Main article: Poonjar dynasty
In 1157 CE, Kulothunga Chola, who belonged to the lineage of the Medieval Cholas, entered into a war with Manavikrama Kulasekhara Perumal, who belonged to the Pandya dynasty of Madurai. Upon the failure in the battle, Manavikrama appointed his brother Maravarman Sreevallabha as the monarch of the Pandya dynasty and left Madurai with his family and some of his trusted servants. Manavikrama crossed the Western Ghats and sought political asylum in Kerala. The ruler of Thekkumkur awarded him a portion of the Meenachil taluk which included the region of Poonjar along with the High Range region of modern-day Idukki district in 1160 CE, which originally belonged to the Thekkumkur Rajas. This incident commenced the beginning of the Poonjar dynasty. The territory of Poonjar was annexed by the Kingdom of Travancore following the annexation of the principalities of Thekkumkur and Vadakkumkur in 1749-1750.
The Kannan Devan Hills on the High Range region were given on lease on 11 July 1877 by the ruler of the Poonjar dynasty to John Daniel Munroe from London and for tea plantations. The land and the plantations were later resumed by the Government of Kerala through the Kannan Devan Hills (Resumption Of Lands) Act, 1971.
Main article: Travancore
Entire portion of the modern-day district of Kottayam became part of the erstwhile British Princely state of Travancore by 1750 CE. This era marked considerable progress and social reformation in all spheres.
The Church Mission Society press at Kottayam was established in 1821 by Rev. Benjamin Baily, a British missionary, as the first printing press in Kerala. They had also established the CMS College Kottayam in 1815 as the first Western style institute of higher education in India. The region progressed much in its literacy rate by the end of the 19th century CE. It became one of the most literate regions in the British Indian Empire by 1860 CE. Due to its remarkable progress in the fields of literacy, education, and printing, many early newspapers and magazines in Malayalam such as Deepika (1887) and Malayala Manorama (1888) were established in Kottayam.
The same period also saw the commencement of Kerala reformation movement with an aim to eradicate the Untouchability, inequality, and the irrational practices existed in the Kerala society for many centuries which ultimately led to the movements like the Vaikom Satyagraha (1924). Kottayam has been involved in a number of political movements, including the 'Malayali Memorial' movement. The goal of the movement was to seek more representation for Malayalis in the Travancore civil service irrespective of their caste and religion.
Vaikom Satyagraha, a protest against caste discrimination, took place in Kottayam district in 1924. The district also participated in the protests for responsible government in Travancore, which ended with the overthrow of Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, who was the Divan of the British Princely state of Travancore in 1947.
During the Travancorean administration, the British Princely state of Travancore was divided into four revenue divisions- the Northern division headquartered at Kottayam, the Central division headquartered at Kollam, the Southern division headquartered at Thiruvananthapuram, and the High Range division with its headquarters at Devikulam.
Kottayam was the headquarters of the northernmost revenue division in Travancore which included the Taluks of North Paravur, Kunnathunad, Muvattupuzha, Thodupuzha, Meenachil, Changanassery, Kottayam, Vaikom, and Cherthala in 1931.
At the time of the integration of the state of Travancore and Cochin into the state of Travancore-Cochin in 1949 following the integration of the British Princely states of Travancore and Cochin into the Dominion of India, the erstwhile revenue divisions were reorganised into districts and the Divan Peshkars gave way to district collectors, paving the way for the birth of the Kottayam district on 1 July 1949.
The erstwhile Kingdom of Cochin was reorganized into Thrissur district and Taluks of North Paravur and Kunnathunad were transferred to that district. Similarly the Cherthala Taluk was transferred into the newly formed Kollam district on 1 July 1949. The High Range division of the erstwhile Travancore was merged with the remaining Taluks of the erstwhile Kottayam division to form the Kottayam district as a part of the inauguration of the new Indian state of Travancore-Cochin on 1 July 1949. The new district of Kottayam at that time contained eight Taluks - Changanassery, Kottayam, Vaikom, Meenachil, Muvattupuzha, Thodupuzha, Devikulam, and Peerumede.
As a part of the formation of the new Indian state of Kerala according to the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, many jurisdictional changes were done in the district. Two new Taluks, namely Kanjirappally (from Changanassery and Thiruvalla) and Udumbanchola (from Devikulam and Peerumede) were carved out on 1 October 1956. After a month, a new Taluk called Kuttanad was carved out from Changanassery and Ambalappuzha. The Kuttanad Taluk was transferred into the newly formed Alappuzha district on 17 August 1957. The Taluks of Thodupuzha and Muvattupuzha were transferred into the newly formed Ernakulam district on 1 April 1958.
On 26 January 1972, the three High Range Taluks, namely Devikulam, Udumbanchola, and Peerumede, were separated from Kottayam district to form a new district called Idukki. The district of Kottayam took its current shape on 26 January 1972. Now it contains five Taluks- Changanassery, Kottayam, Vaikom, Meenachil, and Kanjirappally.
The municipality of Kottayam was declared as the first town in India to achieve 100% literacy in 1989. The Multidimensional Poverty Index prepared by NITI Aayog based on the National Family Health Survey 2015-16 declared Kottayam as the first Indian district to achieve zero multidimensional poverty rate.
There are no distinct seasons in Kottayam, as it has a tropical climate like that of the rest of Kerala. Humidity is high and rises to about 90% during the rainy season. Kottayam gets rain from two monsoon seasons, the south-west monsoon and the north-east monsoon, and accumulates an average rainfall of around 3600 mm per year. The south-west monsoon starts in June and ends in September, and the north-east monsoon season is from October to November. Pre-monsoon rains from March to May are accompanied by thunder and lightning; the highest rainfall during this period in Kerala is received in Kottayam. December, January, and February are cooler, while March, April, and May are warmer. The highest temperature recorded in Kottayam was 38.5 °C on 6 April 1998, and the lowest was 15 °C on 13 December 2000.
The Kottayam district experienced intense red rainfall in 2001, during which the rain was colored red, yellow, green, and black.
Kottayam has a network of rivers, backwaters, ancient religious places, and hill stations. Local tourist places include:
Malarikkal and panachikkad in kottayam is famous for ambal fest.
Kottayam is linked by major roads and rail to other prominent cities in Kerala, and also by waterways allowing for waterborne travel. The Kottayam Kumali, Ettumanoor-Ernakulam, Kottayam-Pathanamthitta, Thiruvalla-Kidangoor Central Kerala Bypass, and MC road are the major roads in the district. The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport. SWTD operates ferry services from different parts of the Kottayam district. The ferry service from Vaikom to Thavanakkadavu in the Alappuzha district is the longest. India's first solar ferry service boat, 'Adhithya', operates from Vaikom.
Kottayam city is the administrative headquarters of the Kottayam district. The district is divided into two revenue divisions- Kottayam and Pala.
Main article: Municipalities of Kerala
There are 6 municipal towns in the district. They are:
There are two Lok Sabha constituencies in Kottayam district: Kottayam (7 assembly constituencies) and Pathanamthitta (2 assembly constituencies, i.e., Kanjirappally and Poonjar).
There are nine Kerala Legislative Assembly seats in Kottayam district.
|1||Pala||Mani C. Kappan||NCP||UDF|
|3||Vaikom||C. K. Asha||CPI||LDF|
|4||Ettumanoor||V. N. Vasavan||CPI(M)||LDF|
Main article: List of taluks of Kerala
The district is divided into two revenue divisions which together incorporate five Taluks within them.
Kottayam district is divided into 100 revenue villages for the ease and decentralisation of its revenue administration. They are further incorporated into 5 taluks as eludicated below.
See also: Changanassery
See also: Kanjirappally
See also: Kottayam
See also: Meenachil
See also: Vaikom
Kottayam has a mountainous terrain as well as low-lying areas very close to sea level. Depending on the location, different varieties of food and cash crops are cultivated. Rice is the principal crop extensively cultivated in low-lying regions like Vaikom and Upper Kuttanad. The district occupies third place in the production of rice in Kerala behind Palakkad and Alappuzha. Though it is the staple food of the people, the area under cultivation is dwindling due to more lucrative cash crops like rubber plantations for which Kottayam significantly contributes to the overall rubber production in India. Kottayam is India's largest rubber producer. Rubber trees provide a stable income for farmers and the climate is ideal for rubber plantations. Though the highlands are more suitable, cultivation has spread to almost all regions. Other crops cultivated include tapiocas, coconuts, peppers, and vegetables. To enhance rubber productivity, the government of India has set up a Rubber Board as well as a rubber research institute in Kottayam.
The district lacks refineries, ports, and an airport, which are needed for major industries.Aside from two public sector companies, Hindustan Newsprint at Velloor and Travancore Cements at Nattakom, industries in the district consist mostly of small and medium-size operations. These mainly include the publishing and processing of rubber or latex, and manufacturing of rubber-based products.
Confined mostly to the Vaikom area of the district is an industry of coir processing and making coir products. Consisting of more than twenty cooperatives, it employs around 20,000 people. In the hand-loom sector, eight cooperative societies employ 2,100 persons. The district's forests include varieties of softwood and other varieties of timber providing the raw material for several small enterprises in the production of plywood, packing cases, splints, veneers, and furniture.
The first printing press in Kerala, C.M.S. Press, was established in 1821 by Rev. Benjamin Bailey, a British missionary. Malayalam-English and English-Malayalam dictionaries were published in Kottayam in 1846 and 1847. The only cooperative society of writers, authors and publishers (SPCS) for publishing books and periodicals was established in 1945. Kottayam is home to a number of books and periodicals, and is the center of publishing business in the state. Publishing houses like Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi publications, Labour India Publications Ltd, Mangalam Publications, Deepika, D. C. Books, V Publishers, Vidhyamitram, Kerala Kaumudi daily and Kerala Kaumudi Flash are also publishers in the district. The city of Kottayam hosts several book exhibitions every year.
Main article: Demographics of Kottayam district
According to the 2011 census Kottayam district has a population of 1,974,551, roughly equal to the nation of Slovenia or the US state of New Mexico. This gives it a ranking of 234th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 896 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,320/sq mi). Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–11 was 1.32%. Kottayam has a sex ratio of 1040 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 97.21%, the highest in the state and 4th highest in India. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes make up 7.79% and 1.11% of the population respectively.
Malayalam is the predominant language with 98.88% of the population. Tamil is spoken by a small minority in urban areas.
According to the 2011 Indian Census, Hinduism (49.81%) is the largest religion in Kottayam, with a significant Christian minority (43.48%). Syro-Malabar, Orthodox,Jacobites and Pentecostals are the main Christian sects. The Muslim population constitutes 6.41% of the district.
The three major religious communities in the Kottayam district are Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. The Nair Service Society's headquarters are located in the district's town of Perunna, Changanaserry. The Mannam memorial, created in memory of social reformer Mannathu Padmanabha Pillai, is also located there.
The headquarters of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Malankara Church/Indian Orthodox Church), is located in Devalokam, Kottayam. It is the official headquarters of the Malankara Metropolitan and the Catholicos of the East.
The Madhya Kerala Diocese of the Church of South India has its headquarters in Kottayam.
The Knanaya Christian community (both the Catholic and Jacobite factions) also has its headquarters in Kottayam district.
The Thazhathangady Juma Mosque, which is one of the oldest Masjids in the country, is also located at Kottayam.
Kottayam, Thiruvalla, and Chengannur are the railway stations for pilgrims heading to the Hindu holy site of Sabarimala.
The pilgrim centers in Kottayam include a number of Hindu temples, Christian churches and Muslim mosques, including:
Main article: Education in Kottayam district
The first college in Kerala state and the second established under British rule in India was the C.M.S. College (Grammar School) (1840) in Kottayam. Given below are names of some of the most prominent educational institutions in the district.
((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Handbook of Kottayam district, published by Government of Kerala
Slovenia 2,000,092 July 2011 est.
New Mexico - 2,059,179