Situated near the western ghats and bordered by the hills, Pathanamthitta district is a treat to the 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 is a combination of two words Pathanam and Thitta which means an array of houses on the river side. This district was formed on 1st November 1982 with a view to hastenng the process of development. The total area of the district is 2642 sq.kms; of this 1300.73 sq.kms come under forest.
The district of Pathanamthitta has two revenue divisions, viz., Thiruvalla and Adoor. Besides Pathanamthitta consists of five taluks, viz., Ranni, Kozhencherry, Adoor, Thiruvalla and Mallappally in addition to having sixty eight villages. Three important rivers flow through this district. These are Pampa, Achankovil and Manimala rivers.
SABARIMALA: Sabarimala is one of the most famous pilgrim centers in India and is 72 kms from Pathanamthitta. Every year crores of devotees from all over India visit the shrine of lord Ayyappa for his blessings. The temple is situated in the interior of the mountain ranges of the western ghats and is accessible only by foot. The pilgrimage season starts in November and ends in mid January. On the particular day of 'Makaravilakku' lakhs of devotees throng around the temple for a glimpse of 'Makarajyothi' .The temple is closed during the rest of the year except for the first five days of every Malayalam month and during 'Vishu'.
Parthasarathi temple: The famous Parthasarathi temple on the banks of the holy river Pamba,and dedicated to Lord Krishna attracts large number of devotees. The annual commemoration of the installation of the deity falls on the last day of the Onan festival .It is as part of this celebration that the aranmula boat race is held on this day.
CHERUKOLPUZHA: An important religious convention of the Hindus is held at cherukolpuzha every year in the month of February on the Pampa river bed.
KADAMMANITTA: Kadammanitta, a village only 8 kms away from Pathanamthitta is famous for the padayani which is an important ritual art form performed in the premises of the Kadamanitta Devi Temple. This art form is an offering to the mother goddess. it is celebrated every year from the first day of Medam (Malayalam -era)to the 10th day (pathmudayam).
KAVIYOOR: 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 visible in the Kaviyoor Shasanas of 950 A.D.regarding the gifts that were offered to this temple.But it is believed that he darusilpas seen around the temple belong to the 17th century.
Thekekudi Cave Temple, Kaviyoor: Thekekudi Cave Temple in Kaviyoor panchayat is one among the rare breed of cave temples to be found around in Kerala. It is assumed that this temple is constructed in the Pallava architectural style and was built in the 8th century. Apart from Ganapathi, Maharshi, Dwarapalaka idols in the sreekovil which in inside the cave, there is also a Sivalinga which is about three feet in height .
KODUMON CHILANTHIYAMBALAM: Chilanthiyambalam is situated in Kodumon panchayat about 15 kms. from Pathanmathitta town. It is believed that this temple was built during the reign of the last king of the Sakthibhadra Kingdom The Mahalakshmi of this temple is worshipped by all peoples irrespective of caste and creed. The water of the Chilaanthikinar in the premises of the temple is regarded as a panacea for skin diseases.
MALAYOLAPPUZHA : The Bhagavathy temple here is believed to help people realise their dreams . People bring offerings in different forms during the period of the festival.The temple also houses a large number of beautiful wall paintings and artistic stone works .Patthanamthitta to Malayalapuzha - 8kms
NILACKAL: It is five kms. away from Plappally on the Pamba-Pathanamthitta road. An old temple dedicated to Lord Siva is situated here.
OMALLOOR: Omalloor is known to the outside world for the presence of the famous 'Rakthakantha swamy Temple' and the annual cattle fair known as Vayalvanibham, which is held in the Malayalam month of Meenam. A large number of People from very distant places and even from outside the state participate in this fair. Omalloor is five kms south of Pathanamthitta town. Patthanamthitta to Omalloor - 5kms.
PANDALAM: Pandalam is perhaps second only to Sabarimala in sanctity and is closely associated with the birth and early child hood days of Lord Ayappa. Lord Ayyappa, the presiding deity of Sabarimala had his humon sojourn as the son of the Raja of Pandalam. It is believed that the raja constructed a temple close to his palace on the banks of the river Achenkoil modelled on the Sabarimala shrine which is the present Valiyakoyikkal temple. Pilgrims usually offer worship here before proceeding to Sabarimala. .Three days prior to Makaravilakku , the sacred ornaments of Lord Ayappa are taken in procession from Pandalam to Sabarimala
Pamba: Pamba is the most important and holy spot on the way to Sannidhanam. It is here that Lord Ayyappa was found by King Rajasekara.The Pamba river is as holy as the river Ganges. The Pamba water purifies one from curse and evil. The devotees take their holy bath at the confluence of the three rivers(Triveni ). This is created by the Lord as parallel to the Ganges ( "Dakshina Ganga" ).
THIRUVALLA: Sree Vallabha temple here is one of the most important pilgrim centers of the Vaishnavites spread through out India. A granite pillar carved out of a single piece of rock with an image of Garuda on its top stands in front of the temple. The pillar, which serves as a flag mast is 60ft high. kathakali, the folk art of kerala, is performed almost on all days in this temple as offerings by devotees. Sree Vallabha Temple - 3kms. from Railway Station
ARANMULA: Aranmula possesses all the attributes of rural Kerala. The local craftsmen engage in traditional crafts such as Arunmula metal mirror Kannadi, the mural paintings and construction of boats for water fiestas. The local dance centre exhibits old Kathakali dance dramas performed in traditional costumes.
CHARALKUNNU: Charalkunnu is a picturesque hill station from where one can have a panoramic view of the low lying areas including river Pamba.
KAKKI: Kakki reservoir, set in sylvan background, is a 'tourists' delight. The splendid artificial lake offers exhilarating boating experience . The surrounding forest abounds in tigers, elephants, deers and monkey.
KONNI: Konni is an important junction on the Kottayam-Punalur route. and is also known for its elephant rides and the Anakoodu where elephants are tamed and trained for work.
MANNADY: Veluthampi Dalawa, the great patriot, fought against British imperialism and became a martyr on march 29, 1809 at mannadi. The monument of his martyrdom at mannadi in Adoor taluk is of great historical importance.
MULOOR SMARAKOM: Muloor S.Padmanabha Panicker (1869-1931) who was one of the veteran poets and an important social reformer of the century, was born at Elavumthitta 12 Kms. away from Pathanamthitta. His home at Elavumthitta is preserved as his monument by the Department of Culture of the State Government.
PATHANAMTHITTA: Pathanamthitta is the head quarters of Pathanamthitta district .Even before getting this status Pathanamthitta had 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. Pathanamthitta has more than five High Schools and a first grade college. There are a number of churches, Mosques and Temples and the people live in harmony.
PERUNTHENARUVY: The water falls at perunthenaruvi near Pampa attracts thousands of people from inside and outside the district .This beautiful natural water fall is an ideal place of tourist attraction for both domestic and foreign tourists. It is only 10 kms from Erumely .