Palai, also known as the ‘mini Vatican of India’, is a small municipal town in Kottayam. It is located 28 km from the east of Kottayam in Kerala. It also forms the headquarters of the Taluk Meenachil and Pala Revenue Division. There are many theories that point to the origin of the name for Palai. Some say that the name is derived from the mythical ocean from where nectar was churned out. Palai is also famous for being the Gateway to the Western Ghats in southern India.
Places to Stay
There are a few good budget hotels in Palai. Some of them are Vanilla County Plantation Villa (Tariff – Rs. 5200), Hotel Talabgaon Castle (Tariff – Rs. 1000), and Raj Vilas Palace (Tariff – Rs. 1000).
The official language spoken here is Malayalam. English also forms a part of the vocabulary here.
The 12-day festival called the Vaikomashtami is one of the most important festivals here. It is usually celebrated between November and December.
Places of Interest
Palai has several places of interest. There are eleven temples which fall under the Palai Taluka. The Lalam Mahadeva temple is located on the banks of the Lalam River. Besides this, there are also many churches and pilgrim centres located in Palai.
How to Get There
The nearest airport is the Kochi Airport (68 km).
There are railway services to and fro from Palai connecting it to nearby major cities.
Bus routes are available and connect major cities in Kerala to Palai. There are daily bus services provided by travel agencies like Shah Travels, Kochi Tours, and Upasana Travels from Kottayam, Kollam, Kochi, and Kuttanad to Palai. To keep customers happy, several travel websites offer discount coupons for bus tickets on a regular basis.