Kāyankulam, India

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Kāyankulam, India

Region: Kerala


Geographic Coordinates: 9.172000, 76.501000
Climate: Seasonal climate and weather patterns in Kāyankulam, India.
Population: 65299
Language: Malayalam

Kayankulam is a picturesque town located in the Alappuzha district of Kerala, India. Nestled between the serene backwaters and lush greenery, It offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. The town is situated on the banks of Lake Vembanad, Which is the longest lake in India and one of the major attractions here. One of the most prominent features of Kayankulam is its enchanting backwaters. The network of canals, Lagoons, And rivers that crisscross through this region creates a mesmerizing landscape. Traveling through these backwaters on traditional houseboats or Kettuvallams provides an unforgettable experience.

The calm waters reflect the surrounding coconut palms and paddy fields, Creating a tranquil atmosphere that soothes both body and mind. The region also boasts several beautiful temples that showcase its rich cultural heritage. The Kayamkulathu Bhagavathy Temple is one such popular pilgrimage site dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali. With its intricate architecture adorned with colorful murals depicting mythological stories, It attracts devotees from far and wide. For nature enthusiasts, Kayankulam offers plenty of opportunities to explore its diverse flora and fauna. The nearby Pathiramanal Island acts as a haven for migratory birds during their annual migration season.

Birdwatchers can spot various species like herons, Egrets, Kingfishers, And even rare migratory birds like Siberian cranes. Apart from natural beauty, Kayankulam also has historical significance with remnants dating back to ancient times. Krishnapuram Palace is an architectural marvel known for its exquisite mural paintings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology along with exhibits showcasing historical artifacts. The local cuisine in Kayankulam reflects Kerala’s culinary traditions with flavorsome dishes made from fresh seafood caught right from the backwaters.

Traditional dishes like Karimeen Pollichathu (pearl spot fish marinated in spices and wrapped in banana leaf) and Meen Curry (fish curry cooked in coconut milk) are a must-try for food lovers. Kayankulam also hosts various festivals that showcase the vibrant culture of Kerala. The annual Kayankulam Boat Race, Held during the Onam festival, Is a major attraction. Spectators gather to witness the thrilling race between snake boat teams rowing with synchronized precision, Creating an electrifying atmosphere. Kayankulam is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, Cultural heritage, And culinary delights.

Its backwaters provide a serene escape from bustling city life while its temples and historical sites offer glimpses into its rich history. With its diverse flora and fauna, It is an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts as well. Whether you want to relax on a houseboat or explore ancient palaces and temples, Kayankulam promises an enriching experience for all who visit.



Important Landmarks

Popular Attractions in Kāyankulam:

  • 1. Kayamkulam Lake: This beautiful backwater lake is one of the major attractions in Kāyankulam. Tourists can take boat rides and enjoy the serene surroundings.
  • 2. Krishnapuram Palace: Located near Kāyankulam, this 18th-century palace is known for its stunning architecture and mural paintings. The palace also houses a museum showcasing ancient artifacts.
  • 3. Oachira Temple: Situated around 8 km from Kāyankulam, Oachira Temple is an important Hindu pilgrimage site known for its unique rituals and festivals.
  • 4. Valiyakulangara Devi Temple: This ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali attracts devotees from far and wide during the annual festival called Makara Chowa.
  • 5. Karumadi Kuttan Statue: Located about 15 km from Kāyankulam, this black granite statue of Lord Buddha is believed to be around 10th century AD and holds historical significance.
  • 6. Thirumullavaram Beach: Although not directly in Kāyankulam, this picturesque beach located nearby offers a tranquil atmosphere for relaxation and leisure activities.

While these are some of the popular attractions in the vicinity of Kāyankulam, it’s worth noting that it may not be as renowned as other tourist destinations in Kerala like Kochi or Alleppey.


Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: Kāyankulam is primarily an agricultural region with a focus on paddy cultivation, coconut farming, and other crops like banana, vegetables, and spices.
  2. Fishing: Being situated near the Arabian Sea and having access to backwaters like Vembanad Lake, fishing is a significant industry in Kāyankulam. It includes both traditional methods as well as modern mechanized fishing.
  3. Tourism: The town attracts tourists due to its proximity to popular tourist destinations like Alappuzha (Alleppey) and Kumarakom. There are several houseboat services, resorts, and homestays catering to tourists.
  4. Handicrafts: Traditional handicrafts such as coir products (coir mats, ropes), pottery items, bamboo crafts are produced by local artisans in Kāyankulam.
  5. Retail trade: Like any other town or city in India, retail trade plays a crucial role in the economy of Kāyankulam with shops selling various goods ranging from groceries to electronics.
  6. Healthcare services: There are hospitals and healthcare facilities providing medical services not only for the local population but also for nearby regions.
  7. Education sector: Schools and colleges contribute significantly to the economy of Kāyankulam by providing education services to students from within the town as well as those from nearby areas.
  8. Transportation services: Transport-related businesses such as auto-rickshaws/taxis provide transportation facilities within the town while bus operators connect it with other cities/towns across Kerala.
  9. Construction industry: With ongoing infrastructure development projects in Kerala including roads, buildings/housing complexes construction activities have increased which has led to growth opportunities for construction-related businesses in Kāyankulam.
  10. Small-scale industries: There are various small-scale industries in Kāyankulam involved in the production of items like coir products, handlooms, food processing units, etc.

It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive and there may be other industries and businesses present in Kāyankulam as well.


Noteable History

  1. Kayamkulam Kochunni: One of the most renowned figures associated with Kāyankulam is Kayamkulam Kochunni (1818-1859), a legendary thief who later became a folk hero. He was known for his Robin Hood-like activities, stealing from the rich and helping the poor.
  2. Mararikulam Sree Mahadeva Temple: This ancient temple located in Mararikulam, near Kāyankulam, holds historical significance. It is believed to be around 800 years old and has intricate wood carvings and murals depicting various mythological stories.
  3. Oachira Temple Festival: The Oachira Temple festival held annually at Oachira Parabrahma Temple near Kāyankulam attracts thousands of devotees from across Kerala. It is unique as there are no idol worship or rituals involving priests; instead, it focuses on nature worship and cultural performances.
  4. Communist Movement: During the early 20th century, Kāyankulam witnessed significant involvement in the communist movement that swept through Kerala. Many leaders emerged from this region who played pivotal roles in shaping Kerala’s political landscape.
  5. Coir Industry: The town is also known for its coir industry which has been an important economic activity for centuries. Coir products made from coconut fiber are produced here and exported worldwide.

Though these might not be globally recognized events or personalities, they hold local significance within Kāyankulam’s history and culture.


Museums and Things To See

  1. Krishnapuram Palace: Located about 9 km from Kāyankulam, this 18th-century palace is known for its stunning architecture and mural paintings. It houses the largest mural painting in Kerala called Gajendra Moksha.
  2. Padanilam Parabrahma Temple: Situated in Padanilam village near Kāyankulam, this ancient temple dedicated to Lord Krishna attracts devotees from far and wide during its annual festival called Padanilam Parabrahma Temple Festival.
  3. Oachira Temple: Located about 7 km from Kāyankulam, Oachira Temple is an important Hindu pilgrimage site known for its unique rituals and festivals.
  4. Thirumullavaram Beach: A beautiful beach situated around 10 km away from Kāyankulam town center. It offers serene surroundings and is perfect for relaxation or a leisurely stroll.
  5. Alappuzha Backwaters: Though not directly in Kāyankulm, the famous backwaters of Alappuzha are easily accessible from here (around 30 km). A visit to these backwaters is highly recommended as you can enjoy boat rides through tranquil canals lined with coconut trees.
  6. Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple: Situated around 25 km away from Kāyankulm, this ancient serpent temple dedicated to Nagaraja (Lord Serpent) attracts devotees seeking blessings for fertility and prosperity.
  7. Karumadikuttan Statue: Located near Ambalapuzha (around 25 km away), this ancient granite statue of Lord Buddha is believed to date back to the 9th or 10th century.

While Kāyankulam may not have a plethora of museums or art centers, it offers a glimpse into the cultural and religious heritage of Kerala through its temples, palaces, and natural beauty.



Sports Teams

  1. Kāyankulam Football Club: The town has its own football club that competes in local leagues and tournaments. The team represents Kāyankulam and its surrounding areas.
  2. Kayamkulam Cricket Club: Cricket is immensely popular in India, and Kāyankulam has its own cricket club that participates in regional competitions.
  3. Volleyball Teams: Volleyball is another popular sport in Kerala, including Kāyankulam. Several volleyball teams exist at different levels, representing schools, colleges, and local communities.
  4. Athletics Clubs: There might be athletics clubs or organizations promoting track and field events within the town.

It’s important to note that while these teams may have their own histories within the local sports scene of Kāyankulam, they might not have gained significant recognition beyond the immediate vicinity of the town due to limited resources or lack of exposure at a higher level of competition.



Cultural Events

  1. Onam: This is the most important festival celebrated in Kāyankulam. It is a harvest festival that marks the homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali. The celebrations include traditional dances like Kathakali, boat races, and floral decorations called Pookkalam.
  2. Vishu: Another significant festival celebrated in Kāyankulam is Vishu, which marks the beginning of the Malayalam New Year. People wake up early to see Vishukkani, a special arrangement of auspicious items displayed before an idol or mirror.
  3. Thiruvathira: This festival is predominantly celebrated by women in Kāyankulam to honor Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Women fast throughout the day and perform traditional dances like Kaikottikkali (Thiruvathirakali).
  4. Navaratri: This nine-night long festival dedicated to Goddess Durga is also celebrated with enthusiasm in Kāyankulam. People participate in religious rituals, dance performances like Garba and Dandiya Raas, and enjoy cultural programs.
  5. Christmas: As a Christian-majority area, Christmas is widely celebrated in Kāyankulam with church services, carol singing, feasts, and exchanging gifts.
  6. Eid-ul-Fitr: The Muslim community celebrates Eid-ul-Fitr after Ramadan fasting month ends with prayers at mosques followed by feasting on delicious food prepared for this occasion.
  7. Maha Shivaratri: Devotees of Lord Shiva celebrate Maha Shivaratri by fasting during the day and offering prayers at temples throughout Kāyankulam.
  8. Independence Day (August 15th) and Republic Day (January 26th): These national holidays are observed across India including Kāyankulam with flag hoisting ceremonies, parades, and cultural programs.

These are just a few examples of the cultural events and festivals celebrated in Kāyankulam. The region also has various temple festivals and local celebrations that add to its vibrant cultural tapestry.


Cuisine

  1. Karimeen Pollichathu: This is a famous local delicacy made with pearl spot fish marinated in spices, wrapped in banana leaf, and grilled or pan-fried.
  2. Meen Curry: Fish curry prepared with coconut milk and traditional Kerala spices.
  3. Puttu and Kadala Curry: Puttu is a steamed rice cake served with Kadala curry, which is a spicy black chickpea curry.
  4. Appam with Stew: Appam is a soft pancake made from fermented rice batter, usually served with vegetable stew or chicken stew.
  5. Thattukada Street Food: Kāyankulam has several street food stalls that offer delicious snacks like parottas, dosas, vadas (fried lentil fritters), and various types of biryanis.
  6. Hotel Aryaas: A popular vegetarian restaurant serving South Indian dishes like dosas, idlis, vadas, as well as North Indian thalis.
  7. Hotel Regency Kayaloram: Known for its seafood specialties such as karimeen fry (fried pearl spot fish), prawn roast, crab masala fry, etc.
  8. The Grand Kitchen Restaurant & Bakery: Offers a wide range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes including biryanis and tandoori items.
  9. Hotel Revathy Vilasom Vegetarian Restaurant: Famous for its traditional Kerala meals (sadhya) served on banana leaves along with an array of curries and side dishes.
  10. Cafe Royale Bakers & Restaurant: A favorite spot for snacks like cutlets, sandwiches, pastries, and cakes.

These are just a few examples of the popular local cuisine and restaurants in Kāyankulam. The town has many more eateries that offer a diverse range of delicious dishes, including both traditional Kerala food and international cuisines.


Parks and Recreation

  1. Kayamkulam Lake: This picturesque lake offers boating facilities and beautiful views. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful boat ride or picnic along the lake’s shores.
  2. Krishnapuram Palace: This historical palace is surrounded by lush green gardens and offers a peaceful atmosphere for visitors to explore. The palace also houses a museum that showcases ancient artifacts and murals.
  3. Oachira Temple: Located about 10 kilometers from Kāyankulam, this temple is known for its unique rituals and festivals. Visitors can witness the annual Oachira Temple festival, which includes traditional art forms like Kathakali dance performances.
  4. Thangassery Light House: Situated in nearby Thangassery, this lighthouse offers panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and surrounding areas. Visitors can climb to the top for breathtaking vistas or relax on the nearby beach.
  5. Munroe Island: Located near Kāyankulam, Munroe Island is a picturesque backwater destination offering boat rides through narrow canals lined with coconut trees and paddy fields.
  6. Valiyakulangara Devi Temple: This ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali attracts devotees from all over Kerala during its annual festival called Kumbha Bharani. The temple’s beautiful architecture and serene surroundings make it worth a visit.
  7. Beaches: There are several beaches near Kāyankulam where visitors can relax or indulge in water sports activities such as swimming, surfing, or beach volleyball.
  8. Adventure Sports Activities: Some resorts near Kāyankulam offer adventure sports like kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing, banana boat rides etc., providing an adrenaline rush for thrill-seekers.
  9. Munrothuruthu Island: Also known as Mundrothuruthu, it is a small island located near Kāyankulam. Visitors can enjoy the serene backwaters, explore the traditional lifestyle of the locals, and take boat rides through narrow canals.

These are just a few examples of public parks and recreational activities in Kāyankulam. The region offers various opportunities for nature lovers, history enthusiasts, and adventure seekers to explore and enjoy their time.


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