Sree Venkatachalapathy Tirumala Temple, Thazhathangady, Kottayam
This temple is located at Thazhathangady in the suburbs of Kottayam town, about 3 km from the town towards the famous tourist resort Kumarakom. The temple was established in 1841 AD. The location is near the Taliyil kotta Siva temple.
Kottayam is one of the Ashta gramas and the temple is managed by the Alleppey Anathanarayanapuram Thuravoor Tirumala Devaswom (AATTD).
Deities & Temple details
The main deity is Sree Venkatachalapathy with Lakshmi devi on the left and Bhoomi devi on the right. The vigraha made of Panchaloha also bears a sword.
The temple and prathista are facing East. Outside the srikovil there are pratishtas of Ganapathi and Garuda inside Nalambalam. Outside the Nalambalam, at west side there are pratishtas of Nagayakshi and Nagaraja. At the north east corner of the temple premises, the statue of the Poojari who brought the Venkatachalapathy idol to Kottayam is installed. There is a small Anapandal in the temple. A part of the agrasala on the north side is converted to a smal hall-cum-auditorium.
The temple is located on a sloppy terrain and the main gopuram entrance is about 6 feet below the road level with steps leading to the gopuram. However, the west gate is above the road level with steps upwards.
The Venkatachalapathy idol was brought to Kottayam by a Poojari who migrated from Varapuzha. At his request the Kottayam Thampuran (Raja) gave free land and aid for construction of the temple. The temple was established in 1841 AD.
Kottayam is called the Land of Letters and Lakes and is situated on the banks of Meenachil River which flows from the sacred river Pampa. This small town is an important commercial centre of Kerala. Most of India's natural rubber originates from the acres of plantations of Kottayam, also home to the Rubber Board, one of the country's primary commodities board. Kottayam, among the state's more mountainous districts, provides some of Kerala's finest natural scenes sandwiched as it is between serene palm-fringed backwaters on the west and the Western ghats on the east.
The word Kottayam is derived from two Malayalam words - Kotta and Akam - which means the interior of a fort. The history of Kottayam dates back to 9th century AD when it was a part of the Kulashekara Empire (AD 10901102). It was then referred to as Vempolinad (the logical root of the Vembanad Lake), which split into the kingdoms of Thekkumkur and Vadakkumkur by about AD 1102. Kottayam was the headquarters of Thekkumkur. Both these kingdoms were later annexed by Marthanda Varma of Travancore between 1748 and 1754.
The town is also the birth place of the states publishing industry and home to a number of globally renowned newspapers and magazines especially Malayala Manorama and The Week.
Rome of the East
Kottayam is a centre of Syrian Christian community, which traces its origin to Saint Thomas who visited the region in AD 53. However, with the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, many of the Syrian Christians were forced to convert to Roman Catholicism. The town has many early churches established by Syrian Catholics in India. The major of them is the Valiyapally and the Cheriapally.
St. Mary's Church (Valiyapally)
St. Mary's Church (Cheriyapally)
Cheriyapally is one of the few old churches that still exist in the near original state. This church was built in 1579 by the local Raja, ruler of the native state for his Christian subjects and it shows strong temple architectural influences. Cheriyapally which literally means small church in fact much bigger than Valiyapally (big church) - which is close by.
The Thazhathangadi mosque
The Mosque at Thazhathangadi is one of the ancient mosques in India which is built in the typical 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 deserves special mention.
Kumarakom tourist paradise
Twelve kilometres to the west of Kottayam town lies a small village called Kumarakom. The village is a part of Kuttanad, the wonderland which lies below sea level. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, spread over 14 acres of lush greenery and blue waters, is located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake. The sanctuary is home to local varieties of waterfowl, cuckoo, and water ducks, as well as migrating Siberian storks.