PEPPER Destination

Surrounded by the Vembanad Lake, Vaikom embraces travellers with its beautiful water bodies and serene village life. The emerald Murinjapuzha Backwaters and green carpeted nature allures the traveller in you to Vaikom. Besides this, the majestic Vaikom Mahadeva Temple enhances the exquisiteness of the place.

Vaikom, located in Kottayam district allures tourists with its rich natural beauty and spiritual significance. 
A people’s participation tourism mission named PEPPER (PEOPLE’S PARTICIPATION FOR PARTICIPATORY PLANNING AND EMPOWERMENT THROUGH RESPONSIBLE TOURISM) was first implemented in Vaikom on an experimental basis. The project being carried out in the Vaikom assembly constituency by the Tourism Mission was supported by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO). The first phase of the project covered Vaikom municipality, Thalayazham, Vechoor, Kallara, Maravanthuruthu  Chempu, Udayanapuram and TV Puram, and the second phase will target Thalayolapparambu and Vellur panchayat. 

As part of the project, residents and local bodies of Vaikom started getting involved in the decision-making process of tourism activities. Within local bodies, the gram sabhas conducted meetings to discuss tourism programs. 

The project aims to make complete use of the tourism potential of Vaikom. The project also decided to make videos of the prominent festivals of the place. The festivals that will be covered include Vaikathastami (Vaikom temple festival), the festivals at various churches, Karthika festival at Udayanapuram, Theeyyattu performance, Gandharvan Thullal , Sarpam Thullal (dance of snakes), Garudan Thookkam (eagle hanging) and Aattuvela. 

Vaikom created itself a mark in Indian history by being the venue for the Vaikom Satyagraha, a civil rights movement. Vaikom, one among the oldest townships of South India, is now a refreshing spot for backpackers.

Enjoying the captivating sights of the Vembanad Lake from a country boat reinvigorates the soul.  The splendid scenery of the Murinjapuzha Backwaters and the soothing breeze are unique specialities of Vaikom.

Exploring the backwaters, narrow canals and life of the small villages of Vaikom is best possible through canoe cruises which are close to the hearts of nature lovers since it is eco-friendly. A laid-back cruise in a canoe soaks one in the rich natural beauty of the surrounding greenery. Witnessing the dredging of lime shells and exploring the weaving industry here are the exciting parts of the voyage. The pottery village of Vaikom grants travellers a chance to watch the enthralling process of rendering life to clay and mud. The trip also allows a chance to experience and explore the fishing methods practised in Kerala such as the traditional net fishing and Chinese net fishing. Relishing the grand feast of Kerala, the Onasadhya which is served on banana leaves as per tradition and tasting the sweet toddy, a unique brew of Kerala will all undoubtedly be added delights for explorers. Kalamezhuthu is a ritual art form of Kerala that uses powders of various hues to create fascinating images of Gods and Goddesses. These offerings to the Goddesses can be witnessed by visiting the glorious Vaikom Mahadeva Temple during its festival days. The prestige of Vaikom lies in the Mahadeva Temple that showcases the cultural legacy of the place.  

The project will make necessary arrangements for tourists to watch and experience the festivals. Apart from this, the project will also promote traditional crafts like coir weaving, earthen pot making, mat weaving and coconut leaf weaving in order to support the local craftsmen of Vaikom. 

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