Land of Letters

KottayamKottayam became India’s first fully literate district in the late eighties. Kottayam is also the hub of state’s book publishing industry. It was in Kottayam where the English missionaries set up the state’s first girls’ school, its first college and SouthIndia’s first English education centre. Home for Western Christian missionaries since 18th century it was here the first printing press was established in the state by Benjamin Bailey, a missionary in 1820.

Kottayam carries on this legacy till date for it is from here come out the largest number of newspapers including the 120 year-old Malayala Manorama.O ne of state’s most economically and socially advanced districts, Kottayamis home for the Booker Prize-winning author Arundhati Roy, K R Narayanan, India’s first “backward caste” President and also K G Balakrishnan, the first ever “backward caste” Chief Justice of IndianSupreme Court. Kottayam is also known as the land of Letters, latex and lakes. Kerala produces more than 90% of India’s natural rubber and Kottayam is its centre. The district also holds some of the state’s most popular pilgrim centres belonging to both Christian and Hindu religions. However Kottayam’s most globally sought after destination today is the breath taking beautiful Kumarakom and its surrounding backwaters.

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