- Pathanamthitta- A true tropical diversity
Treat your eyes with the vast unending, undulating forests and
crisscross rivers that make the most of Pathanamthitta. The place serves
a significant role in backing the economy of the state- the vast area
of fertile lands here is adorned with variety of plantations and cash
corps. Also, with the rarest of rare reserves of medicinal plants,
Pathanamthitta is a boon for Kerala Ayurveda. With its extensive forest
areas, the place presents one with a truly diverse flora and fauna.
Marked with a few of the renowned pilgrim centers of South India, Pathanamthitta is with a distinct culture, sprung up from the religious harmony the place upholds. Apart from the religious and cultural festivities, spectators can also engage themselves in the enthralling water fiestas, occurring in its dazzling rivers. Placed in the high range map of Kerala, Pathanamthitta open its door wide for its visitors, for whom eco-tourism and related adventures matter the most. Famous for its rural life style and nourished with three west flowing rivers, the place abounds with natural splendors, which will definitely bring out the dreamer in you.
Kerala police have introduced sabarimala reservation. To book your advance Q-Coupon visit - www.keralapolice.gov.in Kerala Police website.
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- Must Visit
Must see Pilgrim Centres
Set high up in the Sahyadri Mountains, amid dense forests and rocky terrain of Western ghats, Sabarimala is the sacred adobe of Lord Ayyappa. This is probably one pilgrim destination in Kerala that pulls millions of devotees, not just from India, but from across the globe. Located at a distance of 72 km from Patthanamthitta town, the traditional route to Sabarimala is from Erumeli, which is at a distance of 40km.Other preferred routes are from Vandiperiyar, Uppuppara and Chalakkayam via Plappally. With its captivating scenic splendor and mythological significance, this place of worship is renowned all over the world as the pilgrim capital of Kerala. Major festivals in Sabarimala are Mandalapooja (November-December), Makaravilakku in January and Vishu Vilakku in April. For rest of the year the temple remains closed, except for the first five days of every Malayalam month (15-20 of every English month). As the place is having a rocky terrain, it is inaccessible, if not on foot.
Parthasarathi temple :
Dedicated to lord Krishna, the idol in the temple is believed to be erected by Arjuna (Hindu mythological figure). This ancient temple is on the banks of the holy river Pamba. History says that the deity as viswaroopa of Lord Krishna appeared before Arjuna at the time of Getthopadesom. Annual commemoration of installation of the deity falls on last day of the Onam festival. Enthralling Aranmula boat race is also a part of this celebration.
The place is famous for Kaviyoor Mahadeva temple, constructed in the early years of 10th century. This temple is said to be the oldest of its kind in Kerala. It is believed that Darusilpas adorning the temple premises date back to the 17th century. Kaviyoor was earlier known as Papiyoor.
Thekekudi Cave Temple, Kaviyoor :
Kaviyoor Panchayath is home to one of the ever glorious cave temples in Kerala. Constructed in the Pallava architectural style and built in 8th century, the square cave of the temple has a feet high Sivalinga carved out of rock, ganapathi, maharshi and dwarapalakas. Here one can perceive the earliest specimens of stone sculptures. An idol of Hanuman is also there in this temple.
Kodumon Chilanthiyambalam :
Flanked by the beauty of dense forests, Chilanthiyambalam is situated in the Kodumon village, about 15 km from Pathanamthitta town. This ancient temple was built during the reign of the last emperor of Sakthibhadra kingdom. Deity of this temple, Mahalakshmi, is worshipped by devotees, irrespective of caste and creed. Chilanthikinar, a well inside the temple premises, is regarded as a magic potion for skin diseases.
An abode to realize the dreams of devotees, the Bhagawathi temple here is well known for superb artistic stones and exquisite wall paintings. People bring offerings in different forms during the festival season.
Nilackal houses an ancient, but glorious temple dedicated to Lord Siva. The place is located at a distance of 5 km from Plappally on the Pamba-Plappally road. The place also holds a famous Ecumenical center.
Sacred and second in significance only to Sabarimala, Pandalam is associated with the early childhood days of Lord Ayyappa. The place is also famous for Valiayakoyikkal temple, modeled on the Sabarimala Shrine, constructed by King of Pandalam. Before proceeding to Sabarimala, people often offer prayers here. The place is situated around 14 km away from Pandalam. The place is set against the scenic backdrop of the river Achenkoil.
Holy as the river Ganges, this Holy spot is on the way to Sabarimala temple. History claims that it is on the banks of River Pamba that King Rajashekara found infant Lord Ayyappa. Devotees call it Dakshina Ganga, as a dip in this holy river is said to purify one from all the evils of the world. Pamba is 67 km far from Patthanamthitta.
A matchless place for the Vaishnavites in South India, the place houses the famous Sree Vallabha Temple. The statue of Garuda that stands straight in the front of the temple is a granite pillar carved out of single piece of rock and is 60 feet tall. The temple is only 3 km away from Thiruvalla (on the western border of Patthanamthitta district) railway station. Famous for two palaces- Nedumpuram Palace and Paliakkara Palce, splendid with ethnic beauty, Thiruvalla also offers scenic splendors like river views.
A small stretch of land on the shores of Pampa that once had a majority of Brahmin families, Parumala later turned out to be a pilgrim center for Christians. The Church here stands as a monument of Parumala Thirumeni (Saint Gregarious), as the mortal remains (Kabur Muri) of Saint Gregarious are still preserved here. A new church was built after prolonged discussions and now it retains the Holy Altar (Sanctum Sanctorum) of the old church.
Niranam has one of the seven churches established by St.Thomas in Kerala. Marked with the influence of ancient temple architecture, this famous church (Orthodox Syrian church) is situated at a distance of 7 km from Thiruvalla.
Must see places
Girdled by the holy river Pampa, along with undulating green hillocks, this is a small temple town declared as an international tourism destination by Union government of India. The famous and ancient temple here is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Apart from this, the place is famous for its metal mirrors, Aranmula Kannadi, made of bell metal. The origin of this stunning metal mirror is linked with the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. Legend goes that the prime minister to the Rajah of Aranmula brought 8 families with expertise in temple arts from Tirunelveli. It is believed that these blessed workers manufactured these metal mirrors with some undisclosed metals alloyed with copper and tin. Aranmula Vallamkali (boat race) in river Pamba- Pampa Palliyodam is yet another spectacular water fiesta. Celebrated as a part of the annual commemoration of week long Onam festival, the boat race presents a spectator with the rare glimpses of the 30 feet long snake boats.
Vasthu vidya gurukulam :
16 km from Patthanamthitta town, constituted by the state cultural department for ancient Indian architecture and mural paintings is a true feast to your mind, body and soul. Kathakali, the real art of Kerala too has its share in this tiny temple town.
This is a picturesque hill station, where the panoramic view of valleys merge with that of the sinuous river Pamba. Charalkunnu is also renowned as a religious centre for Christians, for its many Convention centers organizing holy preaching from Bible. From rooms and dormitories to comfortable camp houses in dense forests, the place has everything to fulfill your accommodation facilities.
Set in a sylvan background, this reservoir can engage you in exhilarating boat rides. Dense forest abounds this manmade artificial lake, where deer, monkeys, elephants and tigers are all set to steal your glance.
Konni is a perfect Eco Tourism getaway. Located on Kottayam-Punalur route, the place is at a distance of 11 km from Patthanamthitta. Significant for its cash crops reserves like rubber, pepper, coffee and ginger, the place forms the backbone of agricultural economy of the state. A place for taming and training wild elephants, the big wooden cage (Anakoodu-elephant cage) of elephants is an all-time crowd puller. Engage yourself in elephant rides through forest during leisure hours.
Sparkling water, dense forests and hefty rocks - this picture-perfect waterfall near river Pamba attracts thousands of tourists, both domestic and foreign. This breathtaking place is easily accessed via Vachoochira, situated at a distance of 36 km from Patthanamthitta. The water flows down a rocky bed into a gully, which is 60 to 115 feet deep - visitors are advised to be cautious.
The place is famous for Padayani- (literally means formations or rows of army), which is the most significant ritual art performed in the premises of Kadammanitta Devi temple. Renowned both as an art form and a ritual, Padayani is considered as an offering for mother Goddess. With most important impersonations like that of Bhairavi(Kali), Kolam(god of death), Yakshi(Fairy), Pakshi(Bird), this art form is too vibrant and captivating for its spectators. This small village, located just 8km from Patthanamthitta town, celebrates its 10-day long festival from the first day of Medam.
- Things To Do
Pathanamthitta has its share for adventure lovers- DTPC (District Tourism Promotion Council), Patthanamthitta organizes trekking to Sabari hills during January to March. Action packed destinations include the places like Ranni-Rajapara-Nilackal, Sabrimala, Uppupara and Vandipriyar. Convoluted and wild, it will take 5-6 days to complete trekking to these places.
Try Thattukadas :
When hunger strikes, stroll along the central junction in Patthanamthitta at night, pay a visit to the street food vendors offering mouthwatering dishes. Feel the taste of rural food with thattu dosas and Kappa (tapioca) and satiate your taste buds like never before.
Shopping in Patthanamthitta is incomplete without the alluring Aranmula Kannadi (mirror), specially made of bell metal. Spice up your trip by shopping for some rare spices and also pepper and cardamom. You also get to buy premium quality cashew nuts here. Seed farms in Adoor, Pullad and Pandalam offer good quality seeds and planting materials.
- Moving Around
The cheapest and the most efficient means of transportation are local buses. Moreover, the city is well-connected to almost all major centers of the state. But during peak season, buses can get too crowded with devotees and hence settling for a hired taxi or auto rickshaw is a wiser option. If you are not on a shoe string budget, rely on luxurious coaches provided by state government and private tour operators to reach your destinations.
- Best Time To Visit
August to March will be the best season to visit Patthanamthitta, so that you wont miss the Aranmula Vallamkali (Aranmula Boat Race) during the Onam Season. Best weather: October-February.
- How to Reach
By Flight :
Nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport, located at a distance of 113 km. Cochin International Airport is at a distance of 142 km.
By Rail :
The only railway station in the district, Thiruvalla Railway Station, is situated 30 km from Patthanamthitta town. However, you can also board your train from Chengannur, located 26 km from Patthanamthitta.
By Road :
By road you can reach here by the two state highways- T.K road-SH-07 and main eastern highway-(Punalur-Muvattupuzha Road/SH-08). KSRTC and private buses play equal role in connecting major cities like Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin and Trichur. For those preferring luxury and comfort, A/C Luxury Bus Services operating from Pathanamthitta are the best pick.