Mannanam is a famous Syrian Christian pilgrim center located 8 km north-west of Kottayam
. It is perched at an altitude of 150 feet above the sea level, on top of a hillock. The St Joseph’s Monastery here, associated with the saintly figure of Fr Kuriakose Elias of Chavara (1805-71), is frequented by Christian pilgrims from all over the state.
This little town has many ‘firsts’ to its credit. It is home to the first indigenous seminary of the Malabar Church (1833), the first catholic Sanskrit School in Kerala (1846) and the first catholic English School in Kerala (1874). St Joseph’s Press, the oldest of its kind in Kerala, is also situated here. Established in 1944, this press was instrumental in bringing out Nasrani Deepika, one of Kerala’s oldest newspapers.
Mannanam is also noted for its scenic bliss. The enchanting views of the vast paddy fields and coconut groves in the west, seemingly extending into the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake and the magnificent sight of the sunset beyond the Arabian Sea draws a large number of tourists.
Nearest airport is at Kochi. Trivandrum International Airportis 150 km to the south. Kottayam Railway Station serves Mannanam.