The nearest airport is at Cochin, 152 km away. The Trivandrum airport
is 236 km to the south via Kottayam.
motorable roads to other towns in Kerala link Pathanamthitta. Kottayam,
for instance, is 76 km away.
and pilgrimage centers
out of Quilon district, more than half of the area of Pathanamthitta district
is forestland. The river Pamba flows through the district, which is bounded
on the east by the Western Ghats. A large part of the district, then the eastern
part of Quilon district, had been set apart for those who were evicted from
the Idukki Hydroelectric Project area as well as for educated unemployed, ex-servicemen,
Harijans and hill tribes. It was to provide these people with better amenities
that the area was sought to be developed economically and socially. Thus was
born, in November 1982, Pathanamthitta district.
the best-known pilgrimage destination in Kerala is Sabarimala, high up in the
Sahyadri Mountains. The holy shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa (Dharma Sastha)
attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over, especially from other parts of
South India. The main pilgrimage season is November - January. The shrine is
located 914 m. above sea level amidst dense forests. Vehicular traffic cannot
go beyond Pamba and the last five kms, to the shrine can be reached only by
trekking. But remember, tourists and foreigners, as well as women between the
ages of 14 and 40, are not allowed entry.
Aranmula, a small town on the banks of the river
Pamba, 10 km
from Chengannur on the Trivandrum-Kottayam route, is famed from its expensive
hand-made mirrors of polished metal called the ‘Aranmula Kannadi’ or
Aranmula Mirror. During Onam (August/ September), the Aranmula Boat Race takes
place amidst celebrations and festivities.
In February, devotees of the Marthoma Christian faith as well
as other believers converge on Maramon near Kozhencherry, 13 km from
Pathanamthitta, for the annual Maramon Convention. Held on the riverbed of the
Pamba, this is said to be Asia’s largest gathering of Christians. At Niranam
is the oldest Christian church, believed to have been built by the Apostle St.
Thomas in 52 A. D.
Those interested in culture and the arts would not want to
miss the Vijana Kala Vedi Cultural Centre. Founded by Louba Schild, a French
scholar under the Indo-French Cultural Exchange Programme, this center was
started with UNESCO support. The center offers residential training courses in
Kerala’s traditional arts and crafts like kathakali, mohiniattam, bharata
natyam, kalaripayattu, music, wood caving etc.
At Kaviyoor, 5 km east of Tiruvalla, on the banks of the
Manimala river, atop a hill is a Hanuman temple in the characteristic Kerala
style. Not far away is another temple of archaeological significance. This rock-
cut temple has been dated to the 18th century and is close to the Pallava style.
Inscriptions on the central shrine are believed to belong to the Kali era.
The valiant ruler of Travancore Velu Thampi Dalawa spent his
last days at Mannadi, 13 km from Adoor and 45 km from Quilon. The ancient
Bhagwati temple here also houses the Kerala Institute of Folkore and Folk Arts,
which has a museum of tapes and a library.
The Perunthenaruvi waterfall, which flows down a rocky path
into a ravine 100 feet deep, is accessible by bus from Quilon.