Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Temple, one of the chief attractions of Kottarakkara, is a most visited pilgrim centre in Kerala. Located at a distance of about 25 km from the heart of Kollam district, the temple can be easily reached by road.
The temple was originally known as Kizhakkekara Siva Temple with Lord Shiva as its presiding deity. But over the years the temple became famous as a temple dedicated to Ganapathy, a sub deity installed in the temple. Vinayaka Chathurthy, Navarathri and Ayilyam-Makam are the main festivals celebrated in this temple which draw thousands of devotees every year from all over south India.
The temple has idols of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Murugan and Lord Ayyappa installed in the complex. The temple is open to people from all religions and carries a divine as well as serene ambience. Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Temple is famed all over Kerala for its Unni Appam, a food offering made at the temple.
Kottarakkara Palace, one of the most renowned palaces of the region, has a history that dates back to several centuries. Kottarakkara is more popularly known as the land of palaces and according to history, the first palace was built during the 14th century.
The ruins of seven royal palaces are found in and around Kottarakkara. The very name of the town is derived from two Malayalam words: kottaram and kara, the former meaning palace and the latter meaning land.
Kottarakkara Palace was the residing place of the members of Travancore Royal Family, who were the rulers of the region a few centuries back. The palace is today functioning as Paithruka Kala Kendram and is under the administration of Travancore Devasom Board.
Pathanapuram, a town in the district of Kollam, is located along the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats. The town lies at a distance of about 13 km from Punalur and can be reached by road. The region was once thickly forested and was popular for its elephant population. The name of the town, when translated, means ‘the land of ten elephants’.
Best known as a trading centre, Pathanapuram thrives on several cottages and small industries such as brick making, dairying, livestock activities and bamboo weaving. The area is also known for its burgeoning rubber plantations.
Situated on the sides of the river Kallada, the place abounds in natural beauty. The town has a number of churches, temples as well as mosques and the festivals of these religious places give the town a different face.
Periyar National Park shares its border with Pathanapuram and is an important attraction of the town. Other popular attractions around the region include Vazhappara Water Falls, Suspension Bridge at Punalur, Kallada river and Anchumala Para.