Kochi: It is expected that with the development of boating facilities, the Kottayil Kovilakom tourism project, will get a major boost. Located at Chennamangalam in Ernakulam District, this palace was the erstwhile seat of Kshatriya chieftains of Villarvattom. Kottayil Kovilakom was a coveted center of learning during the Chola reign and it has a larger than life role in the history of Kochi. It is situated at a distance of 39 km from Ernakulam and is about 14 km from Cherai enroute to Kodungallur. Chennamangalam is world famous for handloom weaving and coir manufacturing.
According to the legend, the fort of Paliyam kotta was built by the Dutch as a gesture of goodwill to the Paliyathachans and within which a palace (kovilakam) exclusively for women was built, which gave it the name Kottayil Kovilakam.
It is also a centre for religious integration as a Shri Krishna Temple, an old Syrian Catholic Church, a mosque and a Jewish Synagogue are located very close to each other, bearing testimony of the enviable cultural harmony of Kerala.
Kottayil Kovilakam is blessed with the choicest of natural bounties. It falls in the confluence of three rivers including the Periyar and the Chalakudy Rivers, seven inlets, hillocks and vast stretches of rolling green plains. The Paliam Palace, the erstwhile royal homes of the Paliath Achans, hereditary Prime Ministers to the erstwhile Maharajas of Kochi testifies the marvel of the traditional Kerala architectural style at its best. The palace is a rich repository of ancient documents and relics.
The remnants of the Vypeenkotta Seminary dating back to the 16th century, built by the Portuguese, the ancient Kunnathali temple and the imposing Malavana Para, standing tall amidst the fast flowing waters are some other attractions nearby.
In the second phase of the Kottayil Kovilakom tourism project, road connectivity will be improved apart from introducing boating facilities.