Kottarakkara, a small town located in the district of Kollam, is primarily known for its palaces and temples. The name of the town is derived from two Malayalam words: kottaram (which means palace) and kara (which means land). When combined, Kottarakkara literally means the land of palaces and the name is rightly justified through its history.
In olden days the region of Kottarakkara was known by the name Elayadathu Swarupam and was under the reign of Travancore Royal Family. According to the available historical records, the first palace was built during the 14th century and ruins of seven royal palaces are to be found in the region.
The Birthplace of Kathakali
Kottarakkara occupies an unparalleled position in the modern cultural history of Kerala as the place where Kathakali was originated. The story behind the origins of Kathakali is traced back to the rivalry between two kings, the Raja of Kottarakkara and the Raja of Kozikode.
It was Kottarakkara Tampuran who gave invented a form of dance called Ramanattam, from which modern Kathakali took its shape. He is also credited with the popularization of Kathakali among common men. Kottarakkara thus has a rich artistic history which has tremendously influenced the culture and people of this region.
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The sightseeing in Kottarakkara is an interesting mixture that includes temples, churches, palaces and trading centers. Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Temple and Sree Manikanteswara Mahadeva temple attract devotees and tourists alike. Other notable attractions of the region include Pathanapuram, Kottarakkara Palace and Kizhakketheruvu Orthodox Valiyapalli.
The climate of the region is pleasant almost around the year, enabling tourists to visit the place in all seasons. A trip to Kottarakkara can be clubbed with other sightseeing options in and around Kollam.