A town known for its rubber plantations, lakes, churches and its flourishing publishing industry, Kottayam is one of the most prosperous towns in Kerala. The alluring backwaters of Kumarakom have made it an ideal tourist destination.
Panoramic backwaters, lush paddy fields, highlands, hummocks and hillocks, extensive rubber plantations, places associated with many legends and a literate people have given Kottayam district the sobriquet: The land of letters, legends, latex and lakes. Kottayam Town is the first town in India to have achieved 100% literacy (a remarkable feat achieved as early as in 1989). The first printing press in Kerala was established (CMS Press) here in 1821 by Rev.Benjamin Baily. The first college in the State (CMS College) was also started here in 1840. Maiden printed Malayalam- English and English-Malayalam Dictionaries were published from Kottayam in 1846 and 1847 respectively. The first and only Cooperative Society of writers, authors and publishers (SPCS), for publishing books and periodicals was set up here in 1945. Kottayam is the first town in India selected by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, to be transformed as an Eco City.