|Municipality, Educational centre, Pilgrimage Town|
Clockwise from top right: Kettukazhcha at Mahadeva Temple, Pattupurakkavu Bhagavathi Temple, Kadakkad Sree Bhadrakali Temple, Thumpamon Vadakkumnatha Temple, Pandalam Mahadeva Temple, Achankovil River
|• Body||Pandalam Municipality|
|• Total||28.72 km2 (11.09 sq mi)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||KL 26|
Pandalam (Malayalam:പന്തളം, Tamil:பந்தளம், Telugu:పండలంలోని) is a municipal town in Kerala, India. Among the fastest growing towns, Pandalam is considered a holy town due to its connection with Lord Ayyappa and Sabarimala. It is also a renowned educational and health care centre in central Travancore. Rightly recognised as the educational and cultural headquarters of Central Travancore, Pandalam hosts educational institutions ranging from reputed schools to post graduate, training, ayurveda, and engineering colleges. There are seven colleges and 23 schools at Pandalam, including N. S. S. College, Pandalam. The Kerala state government plans to make the place a special Township, by including the Pandalam municipality and Kulanada panchayat.
The centuries-old Kurunthottayam market (now known as the Pandalam market) is one among the largest agricultural markets in central Travancore. Kerala's widest suspension bridge was constructed in Pandalam over the Achankovil river. The bridge is 70 metres long and 2.5 metres wide.
There are several devotional places at Pandalam. The most famous are Valiyakoikkal Temple, Mahadeva Temple, Pattupurakkavu Bhagavathi Temple, Thumpamon Vadakkumnatha Temple, Kadakkad Sree Bhadrakali Temple, Kadakkad Juma Masjid, Thumpamon St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral, Cherickal Juma Masjid and St. Bursouma's Orthodox Church.
According to legend, Lord Ayyappan, the presiding deity of Sabarimala, had his human sojourn at Pandalam as the adopted son of the King of Pandalam. During Sabarimala pilgrimage season, devotees come to Pandalam in large numbers to worship the deity of Valiyakoikkal Temple near the Pandalam Palace. This temple is on the banks of river Achenkovil. Three days prior to the Makaravilakku festival, the Thiruvabharanam (sacred ornaments) are taken in a procession from Pandalam to Sabarimala.
It is believed that the Pandya kings of Tamil Nadu fled to Pandalam in the face of an attack from Cholas and settled there in the land they bought from Kaipuzha Thampan, a landlord. The Pandya dynasty had provinces on either sides of the Western Ghats. The King of Pandalam helped Marthanda Varma to conquer the Kayamkulam province. In return for this help, Marthanda Varma did not attempt to attack and conquer Pandalam during the expansion of his kingdom. The princely state of Pandalam had extended up to Thodupuzha in Idukki district once. Pandalam was added to Travancore in 1820. Before the formation of Pathanamthitta district, Pandalam was in Mavelikara taluk of Alappuzha district.
Pandalam village has higher literacy rate compared to Kerala. In 2011, literacy rate of Pandalam village was 96.74 % compared to 94.00 % of Kerala. In Pandalam, Male literacy stands at 97.84 % while female literacy rate was 95.80 %.
- M. N. Govindan Nair: Former State Secretary of CPI, Former State Cabinet Minister and MP
- Pandalam Kerala Varma: Poet
- Pandalam K. P.: Poet
- Pandalam P. R.: Politician
- V. S. Valiathan: Artist
- Pandalam Sudhakaran: Former Kerala minister
- Pandalam Balan: Playback singer
- S. Jithesh: Fastest Performing Cartoonist
- Dr. Biju: Film director
- Kadammanitta Vasudevan Pillai: Padayani artist
- "Ayurveda varsity taking shape at Pandalam — Defunct sugar mill's brush with health". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
- "Pandalam to be made a special township: V.S. Sivakumar". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
- "Government to set up township at Pandalam". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
- "Suspension bridge at Pandalam gets ready". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
- Roshen Dalal (2010). The Religions of India: A Concise Guide to Nine Major Faiths. Penguin Books. p. 43. ISBN 9780143415176.
- Caroline Osella, Filippo Osella (2006). Men and Masculinities in South India. Anthem Press. p. 145. ISBN 1843312328.
- "Pandalam Palace decries government affidavit". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
- "Hundreds throng Pandalam to worship Thiruvabharanam". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
- Yoginder Sikand (2003). Sacred Spaces: Exploring Traditions of Shared Faith in India. Navi Mumbai: Penguin Books. p. 27. ISBN 9780143029311.
- "Pandalam bridge set to be commissioned by November 30". The Hindu. Pathanamthitta. 22 October 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Pandalam Suspension Bridge Ready to be used". Kerala News. Kerala. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
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