St. Thomas Mount Chapel

Use the map for accurate location information.

On the Uzhavoor – Pala road, after Kudakkachira, take the left deviation at Valavoor towards Chakkampuzha. Within about 100 metres, there’s a road that goes up to the left and that’s what we want. This is a great road with steep climbs and glorious curves. After about 1.5kms,  to your left, there will be a broken, relatively narrow road passing through rubber plantation. Take that (never with a big/wide vehicle). You’ll soon be mildly ‘off-roading’ and it gets narrower as you go further.

A small, secluded chapel – the St. Thomas Mount Chapel – and a stunning view to go with it.

You MUST note that this isn’t really a Tourist/Picnic Spot. It’s just a good view from a church premise. Take pride in acting accordingly. It would be a good idea to avoid going there in groups/gangs.

The place and the views

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Getting there

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It was a sweet surprise to find a good video of the place already on YouTube. It’s slightly long – 7 minutes.
Use these timecodes to jump:
00:07 – main view, 00:40 – start of the road trip off Valavoor, 03:13 – the best curve,
03:56 – the final deviation, 05:10 – the Chapel, 05:26 – more views.

[Holy Mass timing: Sundays, 4.30 pm]

 

Green Roads (+ 4th Anniversary)

An interesting characteristic of the District is that it has parts of highland, midland and lowland within its boundary. A trip from Kumarakom to Vagamon – from ~10m above sea-level to 1100m – sets a good example of this, passing through either Kuravilangadu-Pala-Erattupetta or via Ponkunnam/Kanjirappally-Pala/Erattupetta. The transitions are smooth and subtle and happens in just 70-90kms.

Put up below are photos of some very green stretches of road  from the midlands. The surface quality is the best around and there are glorious curves.
The locations are on the Kanakkary-Vempally, Kozha-Marangattupilly, Uzhavoor/Kurichithanam-Pala stretches.

One could argue the photos/places look too similar, to which I can only say: it sure doesn’t feel that way in real.
And oh, by the way it’s the 4th Anniversary of KottayamPattanam; the first post was on 31st Oct 2009.

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For the Love of Our Trees

Kottayam Pattanam is happy to tell about a little project – for the love of our trees.
It is a full-screen slideshow of some of our trees.
It’s fully automatic; you just have to load the page and watch. No controls, no clicks.
Give it about 10-20 seconds when loading for the first time.

See it here: www.kottayampattanam.com/trees/
Consider sharing the link with people who might like it.

Thank you 🙂

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Short Circuits in Kottayam

Here is something to get you started with planning short road trips in & around Kottayam. The map below show suggested boundaries (in boxes) and pivots (bulleted names).
You can use the sample routes given after the map to plan a circuit based on your distance, time and location preferences. Use Google Maps.

You can plan a route quickly and it is immensely flexible. You can plan a circular route thereby not having to return via the same places, make a very short route based on your location, mix places up for a longer day-trip, include visits to friends’ & relatives’ places etc.

This would be an answer to the frustrating and not very uncommon situation of “Where to go? What to do?”.shortcircuitgmaps

Sample Routes

1. KOTTAYAM-Ettumanoor/Manarcadu-PALA-Marangattupilli-KURAVILANGADU-Kanakkari-Ettumanoor-KOTTAYAM
(View map)

2. KOTTAYAM-Kumarakom-Edayzham-Thanneermukkom-POOCHAKKAL-Thanneermukkom-Edayazham-KALLARA-Ettumanoor/Mannanam-KOTTAYAM
(View map)

3. KOTTAYAM –KUMARAKOM-Thanneermukkom-CHERTHALA-ALAPPUZHA-Edathua/Nedumudi-CHANGANACHERRY-KOTTAYAM
(View map)

4. KOTTAYAM-ERATTUPETTA-VAGAMON-Teekoy-Ayyampara-Teekoy-ERATTUPETTA-KOTTAYAM
(View map)

5. KOTTAYAM/CHRY-Pulikkal Kavala-Kanjirapplly-KUTTIKKANAM-Elappara-VAGAMON-Erattupetta-KOTTAYAM/CHRY
(View map)

6. Here is one Specialty Route that takes you from low-lands to high-range via mid-lands in about 70kms (one way):
Thanneermukkom-Edayazham-Kallara-Pala-Erattupetta-Teekoy-Ayyampara
(View map)

To demonstrate the flexibility of the routes consider this:
In Route 1, from Kuravilangadu, jump to Kallara on Route 2 (Kuravilangadu-Kuruppumthara-Kallara) and proceed to Thanneermukkom/Cherthala.
On return, go via Kumarakom. There you have it – a remix!  Keep making mixes and you won’t easily run out of  routes to go.

The Specialty Route mentioned above will be a suitable addition to the itinerary of visiting friends and family. Give it a little thought and you could sketch up more specialty routes, like a taste-route which link places with good food, a friends’-route or a holiday family-route!

Note

The roads vary greatly in their characteristics – width, quality of tarring, amount of traffic, foot traffic, population density etc.
Never stop being alert, even on familiar roads.

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Inspired by Naalumanikkaattu

It was in January 2011 that Naalumanikkaattu was opened. A first-of-its-kind. The great amount of care and attention given to its maintenance and good-going have paid off greatly. The place is now frequented by at least a couple hundreds people, especially on weekends. The idea was fresh, very practical and the execution was flawless.

Goodness inspires. There are now two more spots in Kottayam that are inspired by the change-of-air Naalumanikkattu offered. Kalathilkadavu Puzhayorasahyanam along the Kodoor River on the Devalokam – Kolladu road (view on map) and Aattutheeram along the Meenachil River, between Cherppunkal and Mutholy, on the Ettumanoor – Pala highway (view on map). These are not as elaborate as Naalumanikkattu but are good little open places for some leisure.

Kalathilkadavu


There are about 6-8 benches here, along the roadside towards the bridge. There is an open park for kids with swings & see-saws, a locally-run hotel that serves snacks & drinks and an ice cream counter. The view get more scenic towards sunset.


Aattutheeram


The Aattutheeram project on the Cherppunkal – Mutholy stretch is a kilometre long beautification of the highway. A passionately maintained garden runs along the road on both sides and it instantly improves the feel of the trip. Even the routine, boring commute will feel better as you pass by. Extending the project, there are now few benches along the garden that overlook the Meenachil River with faint & foggy view of mountains far away.

Awesome Roads in Kottayam

Road trips are fun. Time for some in-land roadtrips. These great roads are spread across the 5 Taluks (Vaikom, Meenachil, Kanjirappally, Changanacherry and Kottayam) in Kottayam. There are adequate wayside amenities viz. restaurants, fuel stations, ATMs, stop-over shoulders.

A view from Cherpunkal, on the Ettumanoor – Pala – Erattupetta road

The roads are:

1. Vaikom – Thalayolaparambu – Ettumanoor
2. Ettumanoor – Pala – Erattupetta
3. Kidangoor – Manarcadu
4. Kottayam – Pulikkal Kavala – Kanjirappally
5. Pulikkal Kavala – Karukachal – Changanacherry
6. Changanacherry – Alappuzha
7. Chengalam – Kumarakom stretch of the Kottayam – Kumarakom road

Smooth and free-flowing, these roads are a pleasure to take on.
Tastes best when chilled. Feels best on Sundays and holidays.

The following route map includes all of the above roads to form a single route.

Individual Maps

Vaikom – Thalayolaparambu – Ettumanoor

 

Ettumanoor – Pala – Erattupetta

 

Kidangoor – Manarcadu

Kottayam – Pulikkal Kavala – Kanjirappally

Pulikkal Kavala – Karukachal – Changanacherry

Changanacherry – Alappuzha

Chengalam – Kumarakom (part of Kottayam – Kumarakom road)

Maps courtesy: Google Maps

Go-Karting + Billiards. YAY!

Notice (May 2012): Unfortunately, the place is closed indefinitely.

This place was a real discovery. A Go-Karting track and a Billiards club at just 26kms from town.

The place – Pala Fun Track at Arunapuram, Pala – is set alongside the Meenachil River. The standards-compliant Go-Karting track is about 250metres long and is designed amidst rubber tress planted in straight rows – something that makes it unique, very unique.

Then there are the two lush-green professional-quality Billiards tables. The room is filled with multi-channel music. It is relaxingly cool and calm; thanks to the wooden ceiling. Even if it’s the first time you’re holding the cue, the personnel attending you will be more than happy to guide you with the basics and you will start playing in minutes.

With the Indian GrandPrix scheduled for October 2011 at Noida, Delhi, having something like this – a karting place in proximity – is sure to pump up the experience.

Phone Number:
+91 924 912 0777

Working hours:
(Before leaving, call the above number to confirm that they’re opened)
4 pm – 8 pm, Mon-Fri.
10 am – 8 pm, Saturday & Public Holidays
Remains Closed on Sunday.

Tariff: Rs. 100/7 laps of Go-Karting.   Rs. 60/hour for 2 players for Billiards.   Rs. 80/hour for more than 2 players.