Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple
A well-known pilgrim centre, Sabarimala is situated amidst dense forests in the rugged terrains of the Western Ghats. The temple is situated 5 km away from Pamba and can be reached only by trekking. The main festival is during December/January this period is called as 'Mandalakalam'. The pilgrims will take fenance which is called as "Mandalavritham". It is one of the most famous pilgrim centres in India, Sabarimala is situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 m above sea level and is accessible only by foot from Pamba (4 Km). November to mid January is the season which is called as "Mandalakalam". Mandalapooja & Makara Vilakku are the two main events of the pilgrim season. The temple stays closed during the rest of the year except for the first five days of every Malayalam month and during Vishu (April). Nearest railway station is Thiruvalla (102 Km).
Vaikom - This town, located on the bank of the Vembanadu lake, is famous for its Siva temple, which is one of the oldest Siva Temple in the world. During the Sabarimala season pilgrims alight here to worship the 'Annadanaprabhu (Load Siva)'. Vaikom gained prominence during the Indian freedom struggle, as it was the venue of the famous Satyagraha staged in 1925 for the admission of Harijans into this temple. Vaikom is situated about 40kms from Kottayam town. Two Ashtami festivals are held annually, one in Kumbam (Feb -Mar) and the other in Vrichikom (Nov-Dec) of which the latter is more famous. The celebrations last for 12 days and end with an 'Aarattu' at the Subrahmanya Swami Temple at Udayanapuram, on the day after Ashtami. Prathal (feast) is the main Vazhipadu here. There is a school teaching temple arts, known as Kshethrakalapeedhom, attached to the temple.
Thirunakkara Siva Temple - Built in the indigenous style of architecture, this temple has many interesting paintings on its walls. The sanctum-sanctorum is covered with pictures from the epics. Three festivals are celebrated here in Thulam (Oct-Nov) Mithunam (Jun-Jul) and Meenam (Mar-Apr) of which the last one is the most important. The 'Aarattu', conducted on the last day of the festival, is the festival, is the festival of Kottayam, irrespective of the caste and creeds. The main festival Phalguna Utsavam is celebrated during March.
The Mosque at Thazhathangadi is one of the ancient mosques in India which is made in the old Kerala style. It is believed that malik Dinar had built this mosque about 1000 years ago. Now it is an important pilgrim centre at Kottayam. The artistic value of this mosque is of special interest to the tourists.
Goodshepherd Church situated behind the civil station at Kottayam, this is the first church of Diocese of Vijayapuram. The construction of this church, which is completed in Italian style, was completed in 1882 and was renovated in 1964. The feast at St. Sebastian is on 20th January and that of Good Shepherd, is from 10th to 12th April.
Vimalagiri (Angathattu Palli) is the cathedral of the Dioceses of Vijayapuram.This church, constructed in Gothic style. The main steeple has a height of 172 ft., which is considered as the highest church steeple in the state. Vimalambika is the deity here. The main feast is in December. This church is situated near Kottayam railway station. The chief ecclesiastical dignity of the Orthodox Syrian Church, the Catholics of the East, has his head quarters in Devalokam Aramana at Muttambalam Catholic Church, Latin Catholic Church and the Church of South India have their Head quarters in Kottayam. The Arch Bishop of Changanassery who follows the Syro-malabar rite, has his Head Quarters in Changanassery. The Bishops of Knanaya Jacobite and the Church Mission Society have their headquarters at Chingavanam and Kurichy respectively.
Ettumannoor : The Siva Temple here, built in 16 AD, is a good specimen of the indigenous Kerala Style of temple architecture. The shrine contains exquisite mural paintings and sculptures depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. Nearby is a mural art centre, preserved by the state Archaeological Department. The annual festival of the temple is celebrated for ten days during February/March.
Bharananganam : The church here, containing the mortal remains of Sister Alphonsa is one of the important pilgrim centres of the Christian in Kerala.
Erumeli : Located on the bank of Manimala river, Erumeli is an important pilgrim centre for Hindus and Muslims. Pilgrims going to Sabarimala alight here at the Sastha temple to worship the deity. These pilgrims also offer prayers at an ancient mosque here.
Ambalapuzha : The Sree Krishna Temple here, built in the typical Kerala architectural style, is famous all over Kerala for "Palpayasam", the daily offering of deliciously sweet milk porridge, which tastes like rice pudding. It is also in this temple that pallipana is performed by Velans (sorcerers) one in twelve years Human sacrifice was conducted in ancient times. However cocks have now replaced humans on the sacrificial altar.
Arthunkal : The St. Sebastian's Church here is an important Christian pilgrim centre. Annual festival Arthunkal Perunnal - the feast of the patron saint (January).
The St. Francis Church here is the oldest church built by an European power in India. This Protestant church was built by the British, and Vasco Da Gamma was initially buried here. The church is located at Kamalakada near Fortkochi beach. The Santacruz Basilica nearby, has some very beautiful paintings on the ceiling.
Chottanikkara Devi Temple
Kodungallur Devi Temple
A famous church at the hill tops
The Rock Cut Cave Temple : The Rock Cut Siva temple, is of great archeological significance. Dating back to the 8th century AD, this temple bears close resemblance to the Pallava style of architecture. The stone engravings here are among the earliest specimens of stone sculpture in Kerala.
Maramon : Situated near Kozhencherry, Maramon is the venue of a mammoth religious convention of Christians from all over the world. It is attended by people from all communities. The convention which is usually held in February is addressed by religious thinkers and Christian scholars from all over the world. This is perhaps the largest Christian convention in Asia.
Vadakkunathan Temple : One of the most ancient temples in the state, the Vadakkunathan temple contains many decorative wall paintings and historically important pieces of art. The temple itself, with its thick mansonry walls and lofty gopurams is a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture. Exquisite wooden carvings can also be seen in the central shrines. The Pooram Festival here, is celebrated in April- May, on a grand scale.
Irinjalakkuda Koodal Manikam Temple : This temple is situated 10 Km. away from Irinjalakkuda railway station. This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Bharatha, the brother of Lord Sree Rama. It is perhaps the only temple in India with Bharatha as the deity. The colourful annual festival with thirteen caparisoned elephants is held for eleven days in April-May every year. Festivals in this temple mark the end of the Hindu temple festival season in Kerala.
Kottiyoor : There is a famous Siva Temple here, on the banks of the Bavail river. Lakhs of devotees attend the annual 27 day long festival during May - June.
Sree Ramaswami Temple, Thiruvangadi : The temple dedicated to Sree Rama is one of the most prominent temples in Malabar. The exquisite carvings in the temple are said to have been done nearly 400 years ago.
Parassini Kadavu Temple & Snake Park : Sri. Muthappan Temple stands on the banks of the Valapattanam River. This pilgrim centre is famous for the Muthappan Theyyam performed every morning and evening. The DTPC provides pleasure boating on the river near the temple. Accommodation is available nearby. The Snake Park is the only one of its kind in the state and perhaps, in the whole of India. There are three snakes pits, fifteen glass cases for snakes and two large glass houses for King Cobras in the park. Snake demonstrations conducted every hour draw large number of visitors.
Ochira : The unique feature of this famous pilgrim centre is that there is no deity or idol at the famous Para Brahma temple dedicated to universal consciousness. Ochira Kali in mid June and the twelve day 'Panthrandu Vilakku' in November/December are the two main annual festivals. Ochira Kali is a mock fight enacted between groups of men dressed as warriors an the padanilam (fighting spot). They perform a martial dance standing in knee-deep water, brandishing swords and shields, and splashing water every direction. There are frequent buses from Kollam and Alappuzha.
Tali Temple: Built in the 14th century by Swami Thirumulpad, the Zamorian, within his palace complex, this temple was the venue of Revathy Pattathanam the annual culture and intellectual event at eh Zamorin's court.
Lokanarkavu Temple (Two annual festivals Mar/Apr, Nov/Dec )
Utsavam at Pishrikavu temple (March)
Utsavam at Sreekandeshwara Temple (Feb/Mar)
Thirunavaya : Situated on the banks of the Bharathapuzha, this is a place of great historical importance. The Bharathapuzha, this is a place of great historical importance. The Mamangam, a grand assembly of the rulers of Kerala was held here once every 12 years in olden times. This extravagant festival was held for the last time in 1755. Today Thirunavaya temple is also a famous pilgrim centre.
Thali Temple, Perinthalmanna : The temple, is located about 3 Km west of Angadipuram, is dedicated to Goddess Durga, this is an important pilgrim centre in Malappuram. The annual Pooram festival celebrated in March/April attracts large gatherings of devotees.
Pazhayangadi Mosque Kondotti : The three day long Valia Nercha feast at this 500 years old Muslim pilgrim centre, celebrated in February/March, is more of a local cultural event with people from all communities participating.
Thirunelly Temple : Surrounded by Kambamala. Karimala and Varadiga, the Thirunelly temple is a marvel of temple architecture. The shrine is shielded with 30 granite. The crystal clear waters of the Papanasini river running downhill adds to the enchantment of the place.