Kottarakkara is a town and municipality in Kollam District (formerly known as Quilon), in Kerala state, India. The town is close to Kollam Port, which has a rich history linked to the early medieval period as well as a reputation as an important commercial, industrial and trading center.
Kottarakkara was the capital of the famous Ilayidathu swaroopam. The historical evidences collected from here reveal that about seven -palaces- existed there. Kottarakkara, a compound word made up of the words Kottaram, meaning "palace", and kara meaning "land", literally means "land of palaces".
Besides Manikandeswara Kshethram, owned by the Ilayidathu dynasty is the Kottarakkara kovilakam of which, historical evidences are available from the sixth century of Malayalam era. Kottarakkara kovilakam was the younger thavazhy of the Venad dynasty. So this was known as the Ilayidathu (younger) swaroopam,and also as Kunninmel. The land spreads from Kottarakkara, Pathanapuram and Nedumangad to Shencottah in the east.
Chera Udaya Marthandavarma, who ruled Venad during A.D.1383-1444, is supposed to have built the Kovilakam. But,according to the famous historian Sooranad Kunjanpillai, the Kunninmel dynasty has been mentioned in the Mathilakam Books in the year 1345 itself.
Kottarakkara is known as a land of temples. The Padinjattinkkara Mahadeva temple, Manikandeswara temple, Kulasekharanalloor Sreekrishna temple, Thrikkannamangal Mahavishnu temple, Neduvathur bhagavathy temple are all famous temples. There are also many places which are believed to be associated with Ramayana. These are Jadayumangalam (Chadayamangalam), Valiyonkunnu (known in connection with Bali), Ugramkunnu (connection with Sugreeva) and also Poredam, which is known as the battlefield of Ravana and Jadayu.