Kottayam, means inside a fort, is an enormously charming backwater destination in the southern Indian state of Kerala. A Christian-dominated area, it draws tourists mostly for its serene backwaters and historical ruins of palaces and forts. Kottayam is considered a purely magical land for its splendour that includes vast stretches of lush green paddy fields, mist-laden hills and striking backwaters.

Widespread rubber plantations, twisty streams and lakes further add to the natural charm of this magical land of Kerala. In a nutshell, Kottayam is visited by hordes of tourists for the captivating backwaters against the backdrop of the peaceful and lucid water, which becomes more pleasing for sideways coconut trees and the tuneful chirping of birds.

Tourist attractions in Kottayam are many, and Bharananganam - for its 1000-year-old St. Mary's Church and Cheryapalli for its more than 400-year-old St. Mary Church - top the list. Mannanam is another popular spot for its St. Joseph's monastery and history attached with printing press. If the Thirunakkara Mahadev temple invites tourists for its superb architecture and strikingly beautiful murals, then the Valiyapalli Church - the oldest in the town - delights for its antiquity and religious values.