Pathanamthitta is the head quarters of Pathanamthitta district. The district was formed on Ist November 1982. It was carved out of Idukki, Alappuzha and Kollam districts. The district is close to the western Ghats and is endowed with scenic landscape comprising of low undulating hills, extensive stretches of lush forests, rivers and charming countryside. It is also known for exuberant fairs and festivals. Pathanamthitta district is known as the ‘Headquarters of Pilgrimage Tourism’, of the State.
Pathanamthitta has an important place in erstwhile Travancore state the biggest taluk in the old Travancore state was Pathanamthitta and the revenue collection from this taluk played a prominent role in filling the coffers of the state. The district headquarters is noted for communal and cultural harmony. There are numerous churches, temples and mosques built in close proximity. The Chandanakudam festival at the mosque in the centre of the town is quite famous. Situated near the Western Ghats and bordered by the hills, Pathanamthitta district is a treat to eyes with its vast unending stretches of forests, rivers and rural landscapes. Blessed by nature, the district is famous for its scenic beauty, fairs and festivals.
Pathanamthitta, sabarimala, aranmula, pamba, pandalam, poonthaenaruvi water falls, kerala, india
Because of the large number of pilgrims it receives, Pathanamthitta is known as “the headquarters of pilgrimage tourism” in India, and the district tourism board gave Pathanamathitta the moniker “The Abode of God”. The famous pilgrimage centre of Sabarimala is situated here. Having three rivers and a forest cover which includes a tiger reserve, the district also attracts many wildlife and nature enthusiasts.
Sabarimala is situated 72 km from Pathanamthitta town, 191 km from Thiruvananthapuram and 210 km from Kochi. It is the ‘Sacred Abode of Lord Ayyappa’ and one of the most important Hindu pilgrim centre in the country. The traditional route to Sabarimala is from Erumeli (40 km.). Other routes are from Vandiperiyar, Uppupara and Chalakkayam via Plappally. These routes are famous for these scenic splendor and mythological value. Sabarimala
The holy shrine is located amidst dense forests in the rugged terrains of Western Ghats. Inhabited by various wildlife species. Millions of pilgrims from all over the Country assemble here during the most arduous festivals called as ‘Vishu Vilakku’ in April, ‘Mandalapooja’, in the months of Vrichikam Dhanu (Nov – Dec) and ‘Makaravilakku’ in mid January, coinciding with Sankramam.
Aranmula is a temple village in the state of Kerala, India in Pathanamthitta District, surrounded by undulating green hillocks and girdled by the holy river Pampa. The temple here is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Aranmula is also famous for its metal mirrors made of bell Meta which is known as ‘Aranmula Kannadi’. This is a unique art which is not found anywhere else in the world. It is believed that a divine visitation inspired a window of this village to discover a mysterious blend of bronze which could be waxed bright in to crystal clear mirror.
The town is also famous for the Aranmula Vallamkali (Boat Race), which is held on the annual commemoration of the week long Onam festival. The exciting event begins in the afternoon, each snake boat is thirty feet long containing four helmsman, hundred rowers and twenty five singers.
Vasthuvidya Gurukulam is a unique institution for ancient Indian architecture and mural paintings. It is a school constituted by the state Cultural Department is situated at Aranmula, 16 km away from Pathanamthitta town. The main objective of the gurukulam is the preservation and promotion of vasthuvidya and mural paintings.
Ayiroor Cherukolpuzha religious convention of the Hindus is held at Cherukolpuzha on the banks of River Pamba, usually in Feb every year. This famous convention is attended by a large number of people and addressed by prominent religious scholars and cultural personalities.
The Kadamanitta Devi Temple is famous for the ten day long Padayani performances held in connection with the annual festival in April/May. The temple is situated about 8km away from Pathanamthitta town.
Kodumon is also the birth place of Sree Shakthi Bhadra, author of Ascharya Chudamani.The water of the Chilanthikinar (well) in the premises of this temple is believed to cure skin diseases. It is 15 km from pathanamthitta town.The Mahalakshmi of this temple is worshipped by all people irrespective of caste and creed.
A hill town, Konni is famous for timber trade and wild elephant training centre. This is a charming town with lush meadows and hills stands on the bank of river Achakovil. It is surrounded by clove and pepper plantations. Elephants trapped from the forest area are also tamed here. Elephant training centre at Konni, Charalkunnu hill station are ideal locations for nature enthusiasts.
It lies 13 km. from Pathanamthitta, on the left bank of river Pamba and is a trading centre and flourishing market for agricultural goods.
Situated near Kozhencherry, Maramon is the venue of a mammoth religious convention of Christians from all over the world. It is attended by people from all communities. The convention which is usually held in February is addressed by religious thinkers and Christian scholars from across the world.
Mar Ignatius Elias III, the holy patriot of Anthiod while on a visit to India, died at this place in 1932. His mortal remains are preserved at Manjinikkara church. Later this place developed into a pilgrim centre. The annual festival (ormaperunnal) is held in February.
It is situated 13 km from Adoor. This is where Veluthampi Dalawa, the renowned freedom fighter of Travancore, spent his last days. The ancient Bhagavathy Temple here has some exquisite stone sculptures. The annual festival is held in February/March. The Kerala Institute of Folklore and Folk Arts functions here.
12 km from Pathanamthitta town, the memorial to Muloor.S.Padmanabha Panicker(1869-1931), a renowned social reformer and poet, is located at Elavumthitta. His home at Elavumthitta is preserved as his monument by the Department of Culture of the State Government.
This is the main halting point on the way to Sabarimala. It is also known as Thriveni Sangamam – the meeting point of three rivers.
Parumala (10 km from Thiruvalla): The Ormaperunnal (commemoration day) of Mar Gregorios Metropolitan, the declared saint of Malankara Orthodox Church, is celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November.
Sree Ayyappa, the presiding deity of Sabarimala had his human sojourn here as the son of the Raja of Pandalam. As a holy town, Pandalam is perhaps second only to Sabarimala. The Valiyakoikal Temple near the palace on the banks of river Achenkovil has been modelled on the Sabarimala shrine. Pilgrims usually stop here to worship before proceeding to Sabarimala. Three days prior to the Makaravilaku festival, the sacred ornaments of Sree Ayyappa are taken in a procession from Pandalam to Sabarimala.
Perunthenaruvi Water falls
The spectacular waterfalls pludge down into a ravine from a rocky height of 60 – 100 ft. It is accessible by bus from Kollam.
The headquarters of the Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church. The Sree Vallabha temple in Thiruvalla is perhaps the only one in Kerala where Kathakali is performed as a ritual offering every day.
It is famous for the oldest church, believed to have been built by Saint Thomas the Apostle in 52 AD. The Paliakara Church here has some exquisite mural paintings.
The Kaviyoor Mahadeva temple, which was constructed in the early years of the 10th century, is one of the oldest of the Mahadeva temples in Kerala. References are there in the Kaviyoor Shasanas of 950 A.D. about the gifts that were offered to this temple. But it is believed that the ‘Darusilpas’ seen around the temple belong to the 17th century.
Trekking to the Sabari Hills during January to March is also organized by Pathanamthitta District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC). Pathanamthitta district has places known for its historical importance. Among them are, ancient Valiyakoickal Temple and Palace at Pandalam, monument of Velu Thampi Dalawa at Mannadi and the Muloor Smarakom (Muloor memorial). Pandalam was the capital of the ancient Travancore kingdom.
The district has other tourist attractions. Aranmula is a major attraction for its famous metal mirrors and snake boat race. The school of traditional arts attracts foreign visitors. Founded by French artist Louba Schild, the school teaches kathakali, classical dance, classical music as well as kalarippayattu. The palace at Aranmula Aranmula kottaram has a history of 200 years.