Pamba River

Coordinates: 9°30′N 76°25′E / 9.500°N 76.417°E / 9.500; 76.417
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pampa River
Labelled map of Pamba
Native nameപമ്പ നദി (Malayalam)
DistrictPathanamthitta, Alappuzha
Physical characteristics
 • locationPulachimala
 • elevation1,650 m (5,410 ft)
 • location
Vembanad Lake & Thottappally Spillway
Length176 km (109 mi)
Basin size2,235 km2 (863 sq mi)
 • average109 m3/s (3,800 cu ft/s)

The Pamba River (also called Pampa River) is the longest river in the Indian state of Kerala after Periyar and Bharathappuzha, and the longest river in the erstwhile former princely state of Travancore. The Sabarimala Temple, dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, is located on the banks of the river Pamba.

The River Pamba enriches the lands of Pathanamthitta district and the Kuttanad area of Alappuzha district and few areas of Kottayam


The Pamba originates at Pulachimalai hill in the Peerumedu plateau in the Western Ghats at an altitude of 1,650 metres (5,410 ft). Starting from the Idukki district and traversing a distance of 176 kilometres (109 mi) through Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts, the river joins the Arabian Sea through a number of channels. The basin extends over an area of 2,235 square kilometres (863 sq mi) with the entire catchment area within Kerala state. The basin is bounded on the east by Western Ghats and on the west by Arabian Sea. The river shares its northern boundary with the Manimala River basin, and the southern boundary with the Achankovil River basin.[citation needed]

Pamba river at Aranmula

The river flows through Chittar, Vadasserikkara, Ranni, Ayroor, Cherukole, Keezhukara, Kozhencherry, Maramon, Aranmula, Arattupuzha, Edanad, Puthencavu, Chengannur, Kallissery, Pandanad, Parumala, Mannar, Kadapra, Melpadom, Thevery, Veeyapuram, Thakazhy, Pullangady, Pallathuruthy before emptying into the Vembanad Lake, while another branch flows directly via Karuvatta into Thottappally Spillway.

One branch of Pamba called Varattar flows from Arattupuzha/Puthenkavu and along Edanad, Othera, Thiruvanvandoor, Eramallikkara and flows into Manimala River at Kallumkal East side.

Another branch of Pamba flows from Kuthiathode and joins with Manimala River at Kallumkal West side, and branches out again at Nedumpuram from Manimala River and flows along Thalavady, Edathua, Champakulam, Pullangady, Nedumudy and empties into Vembanad Lake at Kainakary. This branch links with Mainstream Pamba River at Pullangady while continuing to flow to Vembanad lake. One branch of Achankovil River joins with Pamba at Paippad/Veeyapuram, while another branch flows into Pamba again via Karichal, Cheruthana. Perunthenaruvi is the major waterfall in Pamba river between vechoochira and Athikkayam.[1]


Topography of the basin, reservoirs and command area[edit]

Like all the river basins in Kerala, the Pamba basin also can be divided into three natural zones based on elevation, consisting of low land or seaboard, midland and high land. The coast for a short distance along the borders of lakes is flat, retreating from it the surface roughens up into slopes which gradually combine and swell into mountains on the east. The low land area along sea coast is generally swampy and liable to be flooded during monsoon inundation. The plains/midlands succeed low land in gentle ascents and valleys interspersed with isolated low hills. The high land on the eastern portion is broken by long spurs, dense forests, extensive ravines and tangled jungles. Towering above all their slopes are Western Ghats that form eastern boundary of the basins.[citation needed]

Endangered state[edit]

Information board near Nadappanthal, Sabarimala to keep Pamba clean

Due to drought and a lack of conservation and protection by the government, the Pampa River has shrunk to a stream and is totally dry in many places. Nearby wells have also dried up. Water for farming, such as paddy fields, is scarce. Experts are calling for governmental awareness of the dire situation and the need to rein in development that is destroying the environment.[2]

The Kerala High Court has initiated steps to control the pollution of the river from the practice of some visitors to Sabarimala who throw their clothes into it.[3] As part of the Punyam Poonkavanam project, pilgrims have been exhorted to avoid the usage of soap and oil while bathing in River Pamba. They are also requested not to throw any material, including clothes, to this holy river. At a broader level, this project aims to spread the message of cleanliness and greenness beyond Pamba and Sabarimala.[4]

Significance in Hinduism[edit]

Pamba River near Sabarimala

Lord Ayyappan (Sri Dharmasastha) appeared to the Pandalam Raja as a child on the banks of the Pamba River. The Pamba River has been venerated as Ganga of kerala, and devotees of Lord Ayyappan believe that immersing oneself in the Pamba is equivalent to bathing in the Holy Ganges River. Bathing in the river, believed to absolve one's sins, is a requirement before commencing the trek through the forest to the Ayyappan Temple atop Sabarimala.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Home page of Pampa Parirakshana Samithy Kerala State India". Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  2. ^ Kuttoor, Radhakrishnan (7 March 2014). "As Pampa shrinks, life ebbs away". The Hindu. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Temple plans to challenge ban on throwing clothes in Pamba river". Mathrubhumi. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  4. ^ "VSC supports Sabarimala Clean Drive 'Punyam Poonkavanam'".
  • "Infobox facts". All Kerala River Protection Council. Retrieved 26 January 2006.

External links[edit]

9°30′N 76°25′E / 9.500°N 76.417°E / 9.500; 76.417