Kottayam (IPA: [koːʈːɐjɐm]), is one of fourteen districts in the state of Kerala, India. Kottayam district comprises six municipal towns: Kottayam, Changanassery, Pala, Erattupetta, Ettumanoor, and Vaikom. It is the only district in Kerala that neither border the Arabian Sea nor any other states.
|Established||1 July 1949|
|• Collector||P K Jayasree I.A.S|
|• Total||2,208 km2 (853 sq mi)|
|• Density||890/km2 (2,300/sq mi)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|ISO 3166 code||IN-KL|
|HDI (2005)||0.796 ( High)|
The district is bordered by hills in the east, and the Vembanad Lake and paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west. The area's geographic features include paddy fields, highlands, and hills. As of the 2011 census, 28.6% of the district's residents live in urban areas, and it reports a 97.2% literacy rate. In 2008, the district became the first tobacco-free district in India. Kottayam registered the lowest Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) of zero among all districts of India, indicating no deprivation as per the report published by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and UNDP for districts across India.
The district's headquarters are based in the city of Kottayam.
Hindustan Newsprint Limited and Rubber Board are two central government organizations located in the district. The headquarters of two religious communities in Kerala are also in the Kottayam District: Nair Service Society and the Indian Orthodox Church.
The name Kottayam is a combination of the words "kotta" and "akam" in the local language of Malayalam, meaning "interior of a fort".
The current Kottayam district was previously part of the state of Travancore. Earlier, the Travancore state consisted of two revenue divisions: the southern and northern divisions, both under the administrative control of a "Diwan Peshkar" for each. Later in 1868, two more divisions—Kollam and Kottayam—were constituted. A fifth division Devikulam was added, but it only lasted for a short period, and was then joined with Kottayam. At the time of the integration of the state of Travancore and 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. The cities included were Kottayam, Muvattupuzha (including present-day Kothamangalam), Thodupuzha, Changanasserry, Vaikkom, Meenachil, Devikulam and Peermade taluks.
Kottayam has been involved in a number of political movements, including the 'Malayali Memorial' movement. The movements goal was more representation for Travancoreans in civil service.
Vaikom Satyagraha, a protest against caste discrimination, took place in Kottayam district. The district also participated in the protests for responsible government in Travancore, which ended with the overthrow of Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, the Diwan of Travancore.
The three major religious communities in the Kottayam district are Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. The Nair Service Society's headquarters are located in the district's town of Perunna, Changanaserry. The Mannam memorial, created in memory of social reformer Mannathu Padmanabha Pillai, is also located there.
The headquarters of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Malankara Church/Indian Orthodox Church), is located in Devalokam, Kottayam. It is the official headquarters of the Malankara Metropolitan and the Catholicos of the East.
The Madhya Kerala Diocese of the Church of South India has its headquarters in Kottayam.
The Knanaya Christian community (both the Catholic and Jacobite factions) also has its headquarters in Kottayam district.
There are no distinct seasons in Kottayam, as it has a tropical climate like that of the rest of Kerala. Humidity is high and rises to about 90% during the rainy season. Kottayam gets rain from two monsoon seasons, the south-west monsoon and the north-east monsoon, and accumulates an average rainfall of around 3600 mm per year. The south-west monsoon starts in June and ends in September, and the north-east monsoon season is from October to November. Pre-monsoon rains from March to May are accompanied by thunder and lightning; the highest rainfall during this period in Kerala is received in Kottayam. December, January, and February are cooler, while March, April, and May are warmer. The highest temperature recorded in Kottayam was 38.5 °C on 6 April 1998, and the lowest was 15 °C on 13 December 2000.
Malarikkal and panachikkad in kottayam is famous for ambal fest.
Kottayam is linked by major roads and rail to other prominent cities in Kerala, and also by waterways allowing for waterborne travel. The Kottayam Kumali, Ettumanoor-Ernakulam, Kottayam-Pathanamthitta, Thiruvalla-Kidangoor Central Kerala Bypass, and MC road are the major roads in the district. The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport. SWTD operates ferry services from different parts of the Kottayam district. The ferry service from Vaikom to Thavanakkadavu in the Alappuzha district is the longest. India's first solar ferry service boat, 'Adhithya', operates from Vaikom.
Kottayam has a mountainous terrain as well as low-lying areas very close to sea level. Depending on the location, different varieties of food and cash crops are cultivated. Rice is the principal crop extensively cultivated in low-lying regions like Vaikom and Upper Kuttanad. The district occupies third place in the production of rice in Kerala behind Palakkad and Alappuzha. Though it is the staple food of the people, the area under cultivation is dwindling due to more lucrative cash crops like rubber plantations for which Kottayam significantly contributes to the overall rubber production in India. Kottayam is India's largest rubber producer. Rubber trees provide a stable income for farmers and the climate is ideal for rubber plantations. Though the highlands are more suitable, cultivation has spread to almost all regions. Other crops cultivated include tapiocas, coconuts, peppers, and vegetables. To enhance rubber productivity, the government of India has set up a Rubber Board as well as a rubber research institute in Kottayam.
The district lacks refineries, ports, and an airport, which are needed for major industries.Aside from two public sector companies, Hindustan Newsprint at Velloor and Travancore Cements at Nattakom, industries in the district consist mostly of small and medium-size operations. These mainly include the publishing and processing of rubber or latex, and manufacturing of rubber-based products.
Confined mostly to the Vaikom area of the district is an industry of coir processing and making coir products. Consisting of more than twenty cooperatives, it employs around 20,000 people. In the hand-loom sector, eight cooperative societies employ 2,100 persons. The district's forests include varieties of softwood and other varieties of timber providing the raw material for several small enterprises in the production of plywood, packing cases, splints, veneers, and furniture.
The first printing press in Kerala, C.M.S. Press, was established in 1821 by Rev. Benjamin Bailey, a British missionary. Malayalam-English and English-Malayalam dictionaries were published in Kottayam in 1846 and 1847. The only cooperative society of writers, authors and publishers (SPCS) for publishing books and periodicals was established in 1945. Kottayam is home to a number of books and periodicals, and is the center of publishing business in the state. Publishing houses like Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi publications, Labour India Publications Ltd, Mangalam Publications, Deepika, D. C. Books, V Publishers, Vidhyamitram, Kerala Kaumudi daily and Kerala Kaumudi Flash are also publishers in the district. The city of Kottayam hosts several book exhibitions every year.
According to the 2011 census Kottayam district has a population of 1,974,551, roughly equal to the nation of Slovenia or the US state of New Mexico. This gives it a ranking of 234th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 896 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,320/sq mi). Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–11 was 1.32%. Kottayam has a sex ratio of 1040 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 97.21%, the highest in the state and 4th highest in India. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes make up 7.79% and 1.11% of the population respectively. Malayalam is the predominant language with 98.88% of the population. Tamil is spoken by a small minority in urban areas.
According to the 2011 Indian Census, Hinduism (49.81%) is the largest religion in Kottayam, with a significant Christian minority (43.48%). Syro-Malabar, Orthodox and Jacobites are the main Christian sects. The Muslim population constitutes 6.41% of the district.
The pilgrim centers in Kottayam include a number of Hindu temples, Christian churches and Muslim mosques, including:
|1||Pala||Mani C. Kappan||NCP||UDF|
|3||Vaikom||C. K. Asha||CPI||LDF|
|4||Ettumanoor||V. N. Vasavan||CPI(M)||LDF|
Slovenia 2,000,092 July 2011 est.
New Mexico - 2,059,179
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