Kottayam district is popularly referred as the “Land of lakes, latex and letters”. It is one of the most industrially developed districts of the State. The district is also a large producer of rubber, coconut, tea, coffee and pepper. It has the distinction of being the highest literate district in the country and kottayam was the first total literate town in the country. The district is also known for large number of temples, churches and mosques. It is the beautiful backwater town is set on the foot hills of the Western Ghats. It is a stronghold of the Christian community and is dotted with ancient churches. It is also an important trading centre especially for cash crops like rubber, tea, pepper and cardamom.
Kottayam is also referred as the “Mecca of Publishing Industry” in the Kerala State. It is home to many prestigious newspapers , magazines and periodicals in Malayalam and English. Benjamin Bailey, a Christian Missionary in 1820 established the country’s first printing press in Vernacular (Malayalam)in Kottayam.It is also an ideal base to visit tourist centers like Piremeedu,Munnar, Idukki, Thekkady, Ernakulam and Madurai.
Kottayam has a enormous network of rivers and canals, which empty into the great expanse of water called the Vembanad Lake, a premier backwater tourism destination. Vembanad Lake is having 83.72km. length and 14.48km. Width. Traditional Cargo boats called Kettuvallams are modified into Cruise boats and House boats, with all basic facilities like kitchen, toilet, bathrooms, sit outs etc. These boats gracefully move around the back waters, providing facilities to tourist to enjoy the beauty of the Vembanad Lake in a relaxed pace. The Kumarakom tourist village offers house boat cruises and holiday packages. In the Vembanad Lake there is a small beautiful island called Pathiramanal or the Midnight sands. This lonely island in the Vemabanad Lake is accessible only by boat.