Kottayam is a municipal town in the Indian state of Kerala covering an area of 55.40 square kilometres (21.39 sq mi). It is the administrative capital of Kottayam district and is located in south-west Kerala with a town population of 129,894 and UA population of 55,374 according to the 2011 census.It is 157 km south of Kunnamkulam, the center of Kerala and is located almost 30 km west from the center of district.
It was one of the main centres of literature and hence was called Akshara Nagari or Land of Letters. Many of the first Malayalam dailies like Deepika, Malayala Manorama, Mangalam were started and are headquartered in Kottayam. During the British period, various missionaries, the Christian churches and St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara himself established many schools, colleges and other educational institutuions in and around the town. Kottayam town is also known as Chuvarchithra Nagari [City of Murals]
The Headquarters of the Indian Orthodox Church is the Catholicate Palace located at Devalokam, Kottayam. It is the official headquarters of the Malankara Metropolitan and the Catholicos Of The East who reigns on the Supreme Throne of St.Thomas the Apostle.
Kottayam district gets its name from the town of Kottayam, which serves as the headquarters of the district. The royal house of the Thekkumkoor ruler were protected by a fort called Thaliyilkotta. It is believed that the name Kottayam is derived from a combination of the Malayalam words kotta which means fort(Thalitilkotta) and akam which means inside. It can be translated as "the interior of the fort".