KERALA INFO: Kottayam District Information
Kottayam District Information
by by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author) (Feedback)
Density per km2
315 cm (Annual)
Located at south of central Kerala, the Kottayam district is bordered on the north by Ernakulam district, on the east by Idukki district and on the south by Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts. It is also a veritable treasure trove of beauty with the Vembanad Lake forming the western boundary.
Kottayam district is naturally divided into high land, midland and lowland areas. The taluks of the Meenachil and the Kanjirappally have high land and midland areas while the taluks of the Kottayam, the Changanassery and the Vaikom have midland and lowland areas. The taluks, the Kanjirappally and the Meenachil have Laterite soil, where as the taluks of the Vaikom and the Kottayam have Aluvial soil. There is no coastal area in the district.
The important rivers of the district are the Meenachil River, the Muvattupuzha River and the Manimala River. The Meenachil River flows through the Taluks of Meenachil, Vaikom and Kottayam. This River is formed by several streams originating from the Western Ghats in Idukki district. The important towns in the basin are Pala, Poonjar, Ettumanoor and Kottayam.
Kottayam literally means “the interior of a fort”. The present Kottayam town was the headquarters of the rulers of Munjanad and Thekkumkur. Marthanda Varma of Travancore attacked Thekkumkur and destroyed the palace and the Thaliyil fort. The remnants of the palaces and forts can be seen.
The present Kottayam district was previously a part of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore. Initially, the Travancore state consisted of two revenue divisions such as the southern and northern divisions, under the administrative control of a 'Diwan Peshkar'. Later in 1868 two more divisions Quilon (Kollam) and Kottayam were constituted. The fifth division Devikulam in course of time, was added to Kottayam.
During integration of the State of Travancore and Cochin (Kochi) in 1949, these revenue divisions were renamed as districts and the Diwan peshkars gave way to District Collectors, paving the way for the birth of the Kottayam District in July 1949.
Kottayam played an important role in all the political agitations of modern times. It is at this place, The 'Malayali Memorial ' agitation is said to have begun. The Malayali Memorial sought to secure better representation for educated Travancoreans in the Travancore civil service against the persons from outside. The Memorial, which was presented to the Maharaja Sri Moolam Thirunal in 1891 was drafted at a public meeting held in the Kottayam Public Library. The event marked the beginning of the modern political movement in the State.
Even the famous Vaikom Satyagraha, an epic struggle for eradication of untouchability, took place. Scheduled castes and other backward classes in Travancore were denied not only entry into temples, but also access to temple roads. Vaikom, the seat of a celebrated Siva Temple, was the venue of this symbolic satyagraha. Also this satyagraha has immense historic significance as the national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, C. Rajagopalachari, Acharya Vinoba Bhave and E.V. Ramswami Naykar, were associated with this struggle. Another agitation the ' Nivarthana ' to secure adequate representation for the non-caste Hindus, Christians and Muslims in the State Legislature, gained considerable support from the district. The agitation led by the State Congress for responsible government at Travancore was started in this district. This agitation was successful with the overthrowing of Sir.C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer, the then Diwan of Travancore.
Places of Interest
Kumarakom, Wagamon, Poonjar Palace, Elaveezhapoonchira, Bird Sanctuary
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