Situated near the
Western Ghats and hedged in by the hills, Pathanamthitta is a
treat to the eye with its vast, unending stretches of forests,
rivers and rural landscapes. Blessed and enriched by nature the
district is famous for its scenic
beauty, fairs and festivals.
engrossed on the hilly terrain of Kerala can rightly be called
the headquarters of pilgrimage tourism in the state. Sabarimala
, an important Hindu pilgrimage centre attracts crores of pilgrims
from the different parts of India and the state.
Like most of other
districts in Kerala , Pathanamthitta also consists of three natural
divisions namely the lowland, middleland and the highland. The
highland stretches through the Western Ghats, descends to the
middle land in the centre down to the middleland of Coconut gardens
in the Western borders of Alleppey district. Achan Kovil, Manimala
and Pamba are the three important rivers that flow through this
district. Forests cover more than 50% of the total area of the
district. Timber is the most important forest product in the district.
PLACES AND OTHER ATTRACTIONS
Sabarimala (Pilgrim Centre)
is a well known (Temple) pilgrim centre in the rugged
terrains of the Western ghats. The holy shrine dedicated
to Lord Ayyappa attracts crores of pilgrims from all over,
especially from other parts of South India. The main Pilgrimage
season is November-January . Vehicle traffic cannot go
beyond Pamba and the 5 km to the shrine can be reached
only by trekking. Men of all ages and Ladies aged over
50 are only allowed .
is another pilgrim place for Hindus. The temple is dedicated
to Lord Krishna and is 10 km away from Chengannoor on
the Thiruvananthapuram-Kottayam route. A major attraction
is the snake boat races held as part of the festival in
August - September. Aranmula is famed for its hand-made
mirrors of polished metal called the "Aranmula Kannadi".
13 km from Pathanamthitta Town on the banks of the Pamba
river, the place is known for the Maramon convention held
in February - March, which is the biggest religious gathering
of Christians in Asia. Niranam, the oldest Christian church
said to be built by Apostle St. Thomas in 52 AD is situated
Perunthenaruvi waterfall which flows down a rocky path
into a ravine 100 feet deep, is accessible by bus from
Vijnana Kala Vedi Cultural
Kala Vedi Cultural Centre founded by Louba Schild, a French
scholar under the Indo French cultural exchange programme,
was started with UNESCO support. Those interested in culture
and the arts would not want to miss it. The centre offers
residential training courses in Kerala's traditional arts
and crafts like Kathakalai, Mohiniattam, Bharata Natyam,
Kalaripayattu, Music, Wood carving etc.
FESTIVALS AND OTHER SPECIALITIES
Aranmula Vallam kali
Vallamkali (Boat race) the water fiesta of Aranmula during
Onam, owes its origin to the Sree Parthasarathy Temple.
This Krishna Temple is situated on the banks of the Pampa
river in Aranmula, is a picturesque village, 9 km from
Chengannur. The commencement of the event is marked by
a snake-boat race in the afternoon. Early morning, the
Snake Boats assemble near the temple, and take off in
pairs. Each boat is thirty feet long and accommodates
four helmsmen, one hundred rowers and twenty-five singers.
Snake-Boats in action, with incessant full-throated singing
and vociferous shouting by the crowds in an exciting event.
is about 16km east of Thiruvalla. The Maramon Convention,
believed to the largest Christian gathering in Asia, is
an assembly of Christians from all over India, who come
here to listen to the gospels read and expounded by scholars
of christianity throughout India and abroad.
is held during the month of February on the banks of the
river Pamba. Christians arrive with cadjan leaves and
bamboo poles and erect a huge "pandal". In the vicinity,
tents and sheds are also put up for various purposes.
People come in long "valloms" (country boats) with canopies
and anchor them down the river at this time. Temporary
restaurants, religious book stalls, etc., also appear
in the vicinity.