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Pathanamthitta

 



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 Ist November 1982 in the interest of the hastening process of development. It is presumed that the regions presently under the district were formerly under the Pandalam reign which had connections with the Pandya Kingdom. Pathanamthitta now includes portions of the erstwhile Kollam Alappuzha and Idukki districts. Pathanamthitta, Adoor, Ranni, Konni and Kozhencherry are some of the important places taken from Kollam district, whereas Thiruvalla and Mallappally are the major places taken from Alappuzha district

Pathanamthitta district covers two Revenue Divisions, viz . Thiruvalla and Adoor . The district includes 5 Taluks viz., Ranni, Kozhencherry, Adoor, Thiruvalla and Mallappally. There are Sixty Eight Villages in the district. The headquarters of District Panchayat is at Pathanamthitta. There are Nine Blocks viz.,Parakode, Pandalam, Kulanada, Elanthoor, Konni, Mallappally, Ranni, Koipuram and Pulikkeezhu and Fifty Four Grama Panchayats in the district. Adoor, Thiruvalla and Pathanamthitta are municipalities.

Location

The youngest district in the sate of Kerala nestles its head on the slopes of western ghats and stretches to the low-lying rice fields bordering Alappuzha district. The district consist of three natural divisions viz the Lowland the Midland and the Highland.The highland stretches through the western ghats and descends to midland in the centre, down to the lowland and cocunut gardens on the western borders of Alappuzha disrict. The topography of the district is highly undulating.It starts from the tall hill slopes covered with thick forests on the east along the mountains down to the valleys and small hills to the flat land of coconut trees in the west. Pathanamthitta 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.

Climate

The district has more or less the same climatic conditions as prevalant elsewhere in the state viz, dry season from the Dec to Feb and hot season from March to may. The climate is generally moderate, the temperature rising from 20 C to 39 C. The south west monsoon from June to September and the north west monsoon from October to November provide fairly good rain.

Road Transports

Roads Division, Pathanamthitta was formed during 5/1983 along with the formation of Pathanamthitta District.Formerly the roads of this Division was under the jurisdiction of the B&R Divisions of Kollam and Alappuzha districts.This roads division deals with the construction Roads and maintenance of various PWD roads and bridges in the Pathanamthitta revenue district. The total length of PWD roads under various categories, such as State High way, Major District roads comes to 1380 Kms.

The Major K.S.R.T.C depots in the district are-

Major K.S.R.T.C Stations Enquiry Telephone Number
Pathanamthitta 0468-2222366
Thiruvalla 0469-2602945
Adoor 04734-224764
Konni
Pandalam 04734-455800

Railways

Thiruvalla is the only one railway station within the limits of Pathanamthitta District. Thiruvalla station is one of the important one on the Thiruvananthapuram-Ernakulam broadguage line. The station is situated 30Kms away from dsitrict head quarters.

Nearest Railway stations and enquiry number are

Nearest Railway Stations Enquiry Telephone Number
Thiruvalla 0469-601314
Chengannur 0479-2452340
Changanacherry 0481-2420108
Kottayam 0481-2563535


Places of Interest

Pathanamthitta Town

Pathanamthitta is the head quarters of Pathanamthitta district . The district was formed on Ist November 1982. It was carved out of Idukki, Alappuzha and Kollam districts.The district is close to the western Ghats and is endowed with scenic landscape comprising of low undulating hills, extensive stretches of lush forests, rivers and charming countryside. It is also known for exuberant fairs and festivals. Pathanamthitta district is known as the 'Headquarters of Pilgrimage Tourism', of the State.

Pathanamthitta has 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.The district headquarters is noted for communal and cultural harmony. There are numerous churches, temples and mosques built in close proximity. The Chandanakudam festival at the mosque in the centre of the town is quite famous. 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.

Sabarimala

Sabarimala is situated 72 km from Pathanamthitta town, 191 km from Thiruvananthapuram and 210 km from Kochi. It is the 'Sacred Abode of Lord Ayyappa' and one of the most important Hindu pilgrim centre in the country.The traditional route to Sabarimala is from Erumeli (40 km.). Other routes are from Vandiperiyar, Uppupara and Chalakkayam via Plappally. These routes are famous for these scenic splendour and mythological value.

The holy shrine is located amidst dense forests in the rugged terrains of Western Ghats. Inhabited by various wildlife species. Millions of pilgrims from all over the Country assemble here during the most arduous festivals called as 'Vishu Vilakku' in April, 'Mandalapooja', in the months of Vrichikam Dhanu (Nov. - Dec) and 'Makaravilakku' in mid January, coinciding with Sankramam.

Aranmula

Aranmula is a little temple town in Pathanamthitta District, surrounded by undulating green hillocks and girdled by the holy river Pampa. The temple here is dedicated to Lord Krishna.Aranmula is also famous for its metal mirrors made of bell meta which is known as 'Aranmula Kannadi'.This is a unique art which is not found any where else in the world . It is believed that a divine visitation inspired a window of this village to discover a mysterious blend of bronze which could be waxed bright in to crystal clear mirror.

The town is also famous for the Aranmula Vallamkali (Boat Race), which is held on the annual commemoration of the week long Onam festival. The exciting event begins in the afternoon, each snake boat is thirty feet long containing four helmsman, hundred rowers and twenty five singers.

Vasthuvidya Gurukulam is a unique institution for ancient Indian architecture and mural paintings. It is a school constituted by the state Cultural Department is situated at Aranmula, 16 km away from Pathanamthitta town. The main objective of the gurukulam is the preservation and promotion of vasthuvidya and mural paintings.

Cherukolpuzha

Ayiroor Cherukolpuzha religious convention of the Hindus is held at Cherukole on the banks of River Pamba, usually in Feb every year. This famous convention is attended by a large number of people and addressed by prominent religious scholars and cultural personalities.

Kadamanitta

The Kadamanitta Devi Temple is famous for the ten day long Padayani performances held in connection with the annual festival in April/May. The temple is situated about 8km away from Pathanamthitta town.

Kodumon Chilanthiyambalam

Kodumon is also the birth place of Sree Shakthi Bhadra, author of Ascharya Chudamani.The water of the Chilanthikinar (well) in the premises of this temple is believed to cure skin diseases. It is 15 km from pathanamthitta town.The Mahalakshmi of this temple is worshipped by all people irrespective of caste and creed.

Konni

A hill town, Konni is famous for timber trade and wild elephant training centre.This is a charming town with lush meadows and hills stands on the bank of river Achakovil. It is surrounded by clove and pepper plantations. Elephants trapped from the forest area are also tamed here.

Kozhencherry

It lies 13 km. from Pathanamthitta, on the left bank of river Pamba and is a trading centre and flourishing market for agricultural goods.

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.

Manjanikara

Mar Ignatius Elias III, the holy patriot of Anthiod while on a visit to India, died at this place in 1932. His mortal remains are preserved at Manjinikkara church. Later this place developed into a pilgrim centre. The annual festival (ormaperunnal) is held in February.

Mannadi

It is situated 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.

Muloor Smarakam

12 km from Pathanamthitta town, the memorial to Muloor S.Padmanabha Panicker(1869-1931), a renowned social reformer and poet, is located at Elavumthitta. His home at Elavumthitta is preserved as his monument by the Department of Culture of the State Government.

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.

Parumala

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.

Pandalam

Sree Ayyappa, the presiding deity of Sabarimala had his human sojourn here as the son of the Raja of Pandalam. As a holy town, Pandalam is perhaps second only to Sabarimala. The Valiyakoikal Temple near the palace on the banks of river Achenkovil has been modelled on the Sabarimala shrine. Pilgrims usually stop here to worship before proceeding to Sabarimala. Three days prior to the Makaravilaku festival, the sacred ornaments of Sree Ayyappa are taken in a procession from Pandalam to Sabarimala.

Perunthenaruvi Water falls

The spectacular waterfalls pludge down into a ravine from a rocky height of 60 - 100 ft. It is accessible by bus from Kollam.

Thiruvalla

The headquarters of the Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church.The Sree Vallabha temple in Thiruvalla is perhaps the only one in Kerala where Kathakali is performed as a ritual offering everyday.

Niranam

It is famous for the oldest church, believed to have been built by Saint Thomas the Apostle in 52 AD. The Paliakara Church here has some exquisite mural paintings.

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 there in the Kaviyoor Shasanas of 950 A.D. about the gifts that were offered to this temple. But it is believed that the 'Darusilpas' seen around the temple belong to the 17th century.


Religious Centers

Pathanamthitta can be called as the spiritual capital of 'God's own Country', Kerala as it covers major pilgrim spots of the state.

Sabarimala Temple

The best known pilgrimage destination in Kerala is Sabarimala temple,which is situated high up in the Sahyadri mountains.Sabarimala Sri Dharmasastha Temple is the most famous and prominent among all the Sastha Temples. It is the 'Sacred Abode of Lord Ayyappa' and one of the most important Hindu pilgrim centre in the country....Sabarimala

Maramon Convention

The Marthoma Maramon Convention is the biggest religious gathering of Christians in Asia. It is held on the banks of river Pamba, Maramon, near Kozhencherry since 1896 usually in the month of February.Thousands of people from all over India assemble here at this great occation.The Maramon Convention displays co-operation and union between different sections of Church in Kerala. It fosters ecumenical outlook. It is also a source of spiritual inspiration and enlightenment for thousands. Convention is normally scheduled for a duration of 10 days, when the sand bed become dry to accommodate the sea of humanity. About a week before the convention, the vicinity of the venue becomes a scene of great activity for the preparation of the Pandal wide enough to accommodate about 80000-100000 people constructed out of bamboo poles. Huge crowds streamed across temporary bridges and sandbag walkways come to the Pandal for hearing the Word of God from all over India and abroad. It is a phenomenal scenery that around 100,000 people gathered in hot and humid weather in a hot dry sand of the Pamba River to hear of Lord and to sing for Him. All the people well attentively participate in the singing and listen to the religious reading and discourse sitting under this temporary shelter of thatched coconut palm leaves. It is also a source of spiritual inspiration and enlightenment for thousands. Gathering on the sandbanks of the river Pampa attracts all walks of life, regardless of caste, creed or religion. The people in and around Maramon extend solidarity and hospitality to the people coming from far off places. Of the years Maramon has become a meeting place of culture and tradition and it became a stature of Indian Christianity.

Chandanakkudam Festival

The Chandanakudam at Pathanamthitta is one of the most colourful of Muslim festival in Kerala.Chandanakkudam Festival of the Jama - Al Mosque at Pathanamthitta attracts thousands of devotees. This is a famous Muslim pilgrim center. Many tourists and believers swarm the place to join the famous 'Chandanakkudam' feast and to witness the grand celebration observed then. The many colors, bright lights, majestically decorated elephants and musical accompaniment leave vivid images in the memory of the visitors.

Parumala Orthodox Church

The magnificent building also houses the tomb of celebrant Mar Gregorios metropolitan, a Saint of Malankara Orthodox Church. St. Gregorios Geevarghese popularly known as 'Parumala Thirumeni' was born in the priestly family of 'Pallithatta Thanagattu' in Mulunthuruthy near Cochin on 15th June 1848. Devotees from all over the state attended the special rites and prayers offered as part of the commemorative feast of the saint.The annual commemorative feast (Ormaperunnal) of the saint is celebrated with much pomp. There is a ceremonial procession on the day of the feast.

Cherukolpuzha Convention

Ayiroor Cherukolpuzha religious convention is another important annual feature on the river bed of Pamba. Ayiroor Cherukolpuzha religious convention of the Hindus is held at Cherukole on the banks of River Pamba, usually in February every year. This convention is attended by a large number of people and addressed by prominent religious scholars and cultural personalities.

Manjinikkara Church

Mar Ignatius Elias III, the holy patriot of Anthiod while on a visit to India, died at this place in 1932. His mortal remains are preserved at Manjinikkara church. Later this place developed into a pilgrim centre. The annual festival ( ormaperunnal) is held in February.

Aranmula Vallamkali

Aranmula Vallamkali (Boat race) is a 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. 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. Snake-Boats in action, with incessant full-throated singing and vociferous shouting by the crowds in an exciting event.

Aanandapally Maramadi

Anandapalli, a tiny village near Adoor in Pathanamthitta district is famous for its annual Maramadi festival, an ox race carnival, commonly held in the villages of Kerala during the harvest season . The cattle race-Maramdi Mahotsav- is slowly regaining its lost charm as part of the ongoing trend of reviving the traditions. Maramdi has a history of about 200 years in Kerala and it is basically a rustic sport connected with the harvest festival. Vast stretches of freshly ploughed paddy fields form the stadium for the race. Excited villagers crowd around the stadium to cheer the participants.

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