Bordered by the Western Ghats, this district offers an enchanting view of rivers, landscapes, never ending forests, fairs & festivals, wildlife. Half of the total area is forest. Tourists often visit this district for various reasons like to attend boat races, religious visits, cultural training centre etc. The agricultural land is very fertile for plantations including Paddy, Vegetables, Spices etc and these are vast cultivated. The word Pathanamthitta is derived from 02 words in Malayalam, “Pathanam” & “Thitta” means a row of houses on the river-side.
This area was under the control of “Pandalam King” earlier & the district was launched in 1982 by accumulating areas from neighbouring districts Kollam, Alappuzha & Idukki Districts. The total area of the district is 2,642 square kilometers where as 1,300 square kilometers fall under forest. The famous religious shrine Sabarimala, located 70km away where lakhs of worshippers visit every year between Nov & Jan. Maramon, another pilgrimage spot where Christian Convention happens every year in the month of Feb.
One of the popular pilgrim centres for Muslims. Every year, during February visitors from across the country gather to watch the grand feast & to witness the celebrations like decorated elephants, musical events, decorations & lighting’s etc.
– 8kms away from Pathanamthitta
Temple architecture in Kerala style at Bhagavathi Temple is quite known. Excellent craftsmanship with many wall paintings and stone architecture are a must watch. Festival is conducted every year where huge crowd is gathered.
Konni Elephant Cage
– 11kms away from Pathanamthitta
A must visit place where wild elephants are trained by putting them in wooden cages. Wild elephants can be watched in herds around the forest.
Entry to Sabarimala is Pamba, where the river pamba flows. Pilgrims take their shower before their walk to Sabarimala.
Ancient Shiva Temple and a Christian Center are the major attractions. Located near Sabarimala.
This institute is similar to Kerala Kalamandalam at Cheruthuruthy, Thrissur. Traditional arts & performances, martial arts, crafts etc are taught here. Even foreign nationals can attend the classes as students.
Enroute Sabarimala, Valiya Koyickal Temple is a stopover for all pilgrims. Belief is that this temple has been erected by Lord Sabari himself. All ornaments for the deity at Sabarimala is stored here and would be carried to Sabarimala once in a year with grand processions.
Thiruvalla Sreevallabha Temple
Flag-staff pillar of 60ft. height with Garuda’s image is iconic and this temple is one of the popular pilgrim centre for Vaishnavites. Kathakali performances would be conducted most of the days as part of offerings by devotees.
Famous for few ancient temples like Sree Hanuman Temple which is dedicated to monkey god. Architectural craftsmanship in Kerala traditional style is a must watch. Another temple dedicated to Lord Siva is believed to have been built by Pallava dynasty rulers, 13 centuries ago. Archeology department has maintained & preserved this temple.
Unique spider temple is the attraction here. Devotees believe that spider poison can be cured by offerings to the deity.
One of the cultural centers of Kerala is located here giving training in various art forms, Kerala Institute of Folklore and Folk Arts.
A very old Bhagavathy Temple made of stone work is remarkable. Best time to visit is Feb/Mar, every year.
– 6 kms away from Pathanamthitta
The tomb & mortal remains of Mar Ignatius III attracts many believers to visit here every year.
– 8kms away from Pathanamthitta
A village of its kind, typical where one can observe the gentle life people lead here. A beautiful Devi temple is the main attraction and the folk art named “Padayani” which is performed every year in the temple grounds. Kadaminitta is located around which is famous for statues made of stone.
Shabarimala Sree Sastha Temple
Located at an altitude of 1,535ft above sea level, the Sree Sastha Temple is one of the most famous pilgrim centre. Worshippers observe 41 days of rituals & start their journey by trekking through the forest to get blessings from lord. Temple opens on 01st day of Malayalam calendar for a day other than Nov – Jan every year. Makara Vilakku is a god’s gift to be never missed.
Another river flowing through dense forests and then joins Pampa River with gallons of clear water.
Popular tourist location where snake boat races are held during Aug & Sep, every year. Besides, it’s a pilgrim center with Sree Krishna Swamy Temple. Decorations, elephants, processions etc makes the festival rich. Aranmula Kannadi (mirror) is a unique item made at Aranmula by talented craftsmen. This mirror is not made out of glass and instead bell metal is used.
Kozhencherry and Charalkunnu
Both are venue for Christian retreats & conventions. Huge crowd gathers during Feb/Mar, every year.
The Parumala Church in this area is quite famous and is one of the renowned pilgrim centre for Christians.
Located in Thiruvalla town, Paliakara Church is famous for its magnificent construction & mural paintings.
A historic important place & pilgrim center with a very old Church way back to 52 A.D.
A total of 03 reservoirs in Pathanamthitta District in which this is the most popular. Construction of this reservoir is note worthy. Boating facilities are provided in an artificial lake nearby. Chances to spot wild animals including tigers, deers, monkeys, elephants are more often.
Famous & known as an Eco Tourism spot. Alistair International has listed Gavi as one of the leading eco tourism centre and must visit location in India. Natural scenic beauty at it’s best & hence nature lovers would definitely throw a visit. Wildlife at Gavi is very famous.
Nilgiri Tahr, an endangered species & lion tailed macaque are spotted here. Elephants join the list along with the above. Gavi is mostly visited by Bird watchers as more than 260 species of birds including hornbills, kingfishers, wood peckers etc can be spotted always.
Rarely seen Gopher Trees & believed to be the only 2 of such kind in India is in Gavi. The word Gopher & Gopher wood is stated in Bible too. Altogether Gavi can be called as a Nature’s Paradise.