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Pathanamthitta

Pathanamthitta is 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 is a true tropical diversity adorned with fertile agricultural land, plantations and forest. Paddy, tapioca, varieties of vegetables and spices like cardamom, pepper etc. are extensively cultivated. The district also abounds in extensive rubber plantations. 
 
Pathanamthitta is a combination of two words Pathanam and Thitta which mean an array of houses on the river side. This district was formed on 1st November 1982 in the interest of the hastening process of development. The total area of the district is 2642 sq. kms., of this 1390.73 sq. kms. come under forest. 
  
Omallur
- 5 km from Pathanamthitta.

 
The Rakthakanta Swamy Temple and the annual cattle fair held in the Malayalam month of meenam are the main attractions of Omallur. People from both within and outside the State participate in the fair.

Malayalapuzha - 8 km from Pathanamthitta.
 
The goddess at the Bhagavathy Temple here is believed to grant boons to devotees and help them realize their dreams. The temple has beautiful wall paintings and artistic stone carvings.
 
Kadamanitta - 8km from Pathamamthitta.
 
The Kadamanitta Devi Temple is famous for the ten day long Padayani performances held in connection with the annual festival in April/May. 

Konni - 11 km from Pathanamthitta.
 
An agricultural region, Konni is rich in cash crops like rubber, pepper, coffee, ginger etc. It used to be a centre for training elephants. Konni is also known for its elephant rides and the Anakoodu where elephants are tamed and trained for work. 

Muloor Smarakam - l2 km from Pathanamthitta.
 
The memorial to Muloor, a renowned social reformer and poet; is located at Elavumthitta. 

Kodumon Chilanthiyambalam - l5km from Pathanamthitta town.
 
The water of the Chilanthikinar (well) in the premises of this temple is believed to cure skin diseases. Kodumon is also the birth place of Sree Shakthi Bhadra, author of Ascharya Chudamani. 

Perunthenaruvi - 36km from Pathanamthitta via Vachoochira.
 
The Perunthenaruvi waterfalls on the banks of the Pamba River is a favourite picnic spot for both domestic and foreign tourists. 

Sabarimala (72 km from Pathanamthitta town)
 
It is, 191 km from Thiruvananthapuram and 210 km from Kochi: One of the most famous pilgrim centres in India, Sabarimala is situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 m above sea level and is accessible only by foot from Pamba (4 km). The temple is dedicated to Sree Ayyappa. Pilgrim season: November to mid January. Mandala Pooja and Makaravilakku are the two main events of the pilgrim season. The temple stays closed during the rest of the year except for the first five days of every Malayalam month and during vishu (April). Nearest railway station: Thiruvalla (102 km) People of all castes and creeds are permitted into the temple. However, entry not allowed to women between 10 and 50 years of age. 
 
Distance from Pamba (in kms)

Pathanamthitta - 65, Pandalam - 80, Adoor - 81, Chengannur - 93, Thiruvalla -102, Punalur - 101, Ochira - 116, Alappuzha (via M.C. Rd.) - 137, Kottayam (via Pathanamthitta-Kozhencherry, Thiruvalla) - 123, Kottayam (via Manimala) - 116, Kottayam - 200, Thiruvananthapuram (via Pathanamthitta - Adoor) - 180, Kodungaloor - 275· Guruvayoor - 288, Palakkad - 330, Kozhikode - 388, Kannur - 186.

Useful phone numbers at Pamba & Sabarimala 
  
Police Control Room - Pamba: 592324, Police Special Officer - Pamba: 592429· Police Station - Pamba: 592322, Fire Station - Pamba: 592333, Devaswom Information (Temple authority - Pamba: 592048· KSRTC - Pamba: 592445, Police Station - Sabarimala: 592063, Sabarimala Special Commissioner: 592035 

Pamba
 
This is the main halting point on the way to Sabarimala. It is also known as Thriveni Sangamam, the meeting point of three rivers. 

Aranmula - nearest railway station :Chengannur.
 
The Parthasarathi Temple (dedicated to Sree Krishna) on the banks of the holy river Pamba attracts large crowds of devotees. The famed Aranmula boat race is held on the last day of the weeklong Onam festival. The Vijnana Kalavedi at Aranmula imparts training in the traditional arts like Katlaakali, classical dances, classical music, as well as Kalaripayattu. Foreign tourists stay here for long periods to get a first hand knowledge of the culture of Kerala. The Parthasarathi Temple here has fine murals from the l8th century. 
 
Aranmula Boat Race
 
This famous water fiesta is held during Onam (August - September). The snake boats assemble near the Sri Parthasarathy Temple before the grand procession. Each boat is 100 ft. long and accommodates 4 helmsmen, 100 oarsmen and 25 singers. The snake boats move in pairs to the rhythm of full throated singing and shouting, watched by an excited crowd. Arannrula kannadi: Aranmula is also famous for its metal mirrors, a unique craft which is not found anywhere else in the world. 

Thiruvalla
 
Thiruvalla, a renowned place of culture and civilization, is situated by the Main Central Road in between Chagancherry and Chengannoor. Thiruvalla derives its name from Sree Vallabha. Another School of Critics say that it is derived from "Sree Vallabhapuram", the meaning of which is a place where women are very clever. A third interpretion is that the place was "Thirivillapuram". It means a place where there is no Crookedness or bent. Any how it is a fact that the people here are of a peace loving and God fearing nature. The women are clever enough to complete with men in almost all fields. People of many religions and religious sects live here is camaradere and religious amity. This place has given birth to many humanities and stalwarts in the fields if literature, art and sociopolitical life.
 
The ancient name of Thiruvalla was 'Valla Vai" this name has some relation with river Manimala which was known as Vallapuzha. The mouth, "Vai" is known as Valla Vai. On the western part of Thiruvalla River Pampa, Manimala & Achan Kovil joins to give us a Panoramic view. The Culture and heritage of Thiruvalla is also tied up with the temples. In olden days temples were not only a place of worship but it extended judicial, educational & cultural functions. For instance the Thiruvalla Sree Vallabha temple also governed a vedic school with one thousand students and one hundred teachers. The temple also maintained hospital in the service of the publiac at large. The rulers of Thiruvalla belonged to the Themkkumkoor Dynasty which had one of its head quarters at Edathil near Kavil temple.
 
Mannadi - 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. 
 
Niranam - 7km from Thiruvalla.
 
The oldest Christian church in India, believed to be built by the apostle St. Thomas in AD 52, is situated at Niranam. This is also the birth place of the poets and social reformers popularly known as the Kannassa Kavikal 

Nilackal - 5km from Plappally.
  
The old Siva Temple on the Pamba ­Pathanamthitta Rd. is an important place of worship. The estate of the Farming Corporation and the Ecumenical centre of the Christians are located here. 
 
Pandalam - Neareat railway station: Chengannur - 14 km.
 
As a holy town, Pandalam is perhaps second only to Sabarimala. Sree Ayyappa, the presiding deity of Sabarimala had his human sojourn here as the son of the Raja of Pandalam. The Valiyakoikal Temple near the palace on the banks of river Achenkovil has been modeled on the Sabarimala shrine. Pilgrims usually stop here to worship before proceeding to Sabarimala. Three days prior to the Makaravillaku festival, the sacred ornaments of Sree Ayyappa are taken in a procession from Pandalam to Sabarimala. 

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. 
 
Charalkunnu
 
This picturesque hill station offers a panoramic view of the nearby valleys. A camp house on the hill provides comfortable lodging. 
 
Cherukolpuzha
 
An important religious convention of the Hindus is held at Cherukole on the river bed of the Pamba, usually in February every year. 
 
Kakki Reservoir
  
Tigers, elephants and monkeys can be sighted in the forest surrounding the reservoir. 

Kaviyoor - 5 km east of Thiruvalla.
 
Situated on the banks of the Manimala river, Kaviyoor is famous for its temples. The Hanuman Temple stands on a small hillock and is built in the gable style architecture peculiar to Kerala. 
 
The Rock Cut Cave Temple: The rock cut Siva Temple, half a kilometer away, is of great archeological significance. Dating back to the 8th century AD, this temple bears close resemblance to the Pallava style of architecture. The stone engravings here are among the earliest specimens of stone sculpture in Kerala. 
 
Manjanikara Church
 
Mar Ignatius Elias III, the holy patriot of Anthiod while on a visit to India, died at this place in I932. His mortal remains are preserved at this church. Later this place developed into a pilgrim centre. The annual festival (ormaperunnal) is held in February. 
 
Maramon
 
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. This is perhaps the largest Christian convention in Asia. 

Maniyar - 20km from Pathanamthitta.
 
This is a beautiful dam site. Seethathode: The Kerala State Electricity Board has a power generating station here. 

Moozhiyar - 57 kms from Pathanamthitta.
 
This is an enchanting dam site Pathanamthitta town: This is the district headquarters. The town is a land of religious and cultural harmony, where a number of churches, temples and mosques can be found close to each other. The annual Chandanakudam festival at the mosque in the heart of the town is a major event.