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Pilgrim Capital of Kerala
Kolam Thullall.jpg
Gavi, Kerala.jpg
Aranmula mirror.jpg
Kerala boatrace.jpg
From left to right : Thirumuttam of Sabarimala temple, Padayani is an art form, Konni elephant cage, Gavi, Aranmula Mirror, Kerala Boat Race.
Pathanamthitta is located in Kerala
Location in Kerala, India
Pathanamthitta is located in India
Pathanamthitta (India)
Coordinates: 9°15′53″N 76°47′13″E / 9.2648°N 76.7870°E / 9.2648; 76.7870Coordinates: 9°15′53″N 76°47′13″E / 9.2648°N 76.7870°E / 9.2648; 76.7870
Country India
Founded byK. K. Nair[1]
 • CollectorP B. Nooh[2]
 • Total23.50 km2 (9.07 sq mi)
31 m (102 ft)
 • Total1,197,412
 • Density51,000/km2 (130,000/sq mi)
 • OfficialMalayalam ,ENGLISH
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code0468
Vehicle registrationKL – 03
Gavi, a major tourist destination in Pathanamthitta.
Perunthenaruvi Falls, Pathanamthitta

Pathanamthitta is a town and a municipality situated in the Central Travancore region in the state of Kerala, India, spread over an area of 23.50 km2. It is the administrative capital of Pathanamthitta district. The town has a population of 37,538. The Hindu pilgrim centre Sabarimala is situated in the Pathanamthitta district; as the main transport hub to Sabarimala, the town is known as the 'Pilgrim Capital of Kerala'.[3] Pathanamthitta. District, the thirteenth revenue district of the State of Kerala. It was formed with effect from 1 November 1982 vide G.O. (M.S) No.1026/82/RD dated 29 October 1982, with headquarters at Pathanamthitta. Forest covers more than half (1396.95 km2.) of the total area of the District. Pathanamthitta District ranks the 7th in area (2652 sq. km.) in the State.


The regions that form the town were formerly under the rule of Pandalam, which had connections with the Pandya kingdom. It is beleived that Hindu God Lord Ayyappa was the King of this region.[4] When Pandalam was added to the princely state of Travancore in 1820, the region came under Travancore administration.

Modern day Pathanamthitta District, the thirteenth revenue district of the State of Kerala was formed with effect from 1 November 1982, with headquarters at Pathanamthitta. It was formed due to the efforts made by Indian politician K. K. Nair. He is known as the founder of Pathanamthitta.


Pathanamthitta has an average elevation of 18 metres (62 ft) above sea level.[5]

The main trunk road to Sabarimala is from Pathanamthitta. The Main Eastern Highway (Punalur-Muvattupuzha Road/SH-08) and T.K.Road (Thiruvalla-Kumbazha Road/SH-07) pass through Pathanamthitta. Main Roads passing through pathanamthitta are T.K Road, Adoor Road, Azhoor Road, Mannarakulanji Road


Pathanamthitta district
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

Pathanamthitta has a moderate climate, more or less the same as is prevalent elsewhere in Kerala. Annual temperatures range between 20 °C (68 °F) and 39 °C (102 °F). The district experiences three distinct weather conditions: winter, summer and the monsoon. The winter season is experienced from December to February and summer season from March to May. There are two rainy seasons: The South-West monsoon (June to September) and the North-East monsoon (October to November). The South-West monsoon is usually very heavy. About 75% of its annual rainfall is received during this season.

The town enjoys a tropical climate, the monsoons start in June.[6] The months of April–May can get pretty humid. The best weather is from October to February.
Pathanamthitta experiences three distinct seasons: summer, monsoon and winter. Typical summer months are from March to May. The warmest month in Pathanamthitta is April. Although summer doesn't end until May, the city often receives locally developed heavy thundershowers in May (although humidity remains high).

The monsoon lasts from June to August, with moderate rainfall. Most of the heavy rainfall in the city fall between June and July, and June is the wettest month of the year. Last weeks of June is also days of floods. The three major rivers viz Pampa, Achankovil and Manimala swell with rainwater.[7]

Winter begins in December. December through February are the winter months. The lowest temperatures are experienced during January.

According to the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) study on ambient air quality among 123 Indian cities, Pathanamthitta was found to have the cleanest air in India, in terms of least concentration of dust particles in air[citation needed]. Two out of three least polluted cities in India are from Kerala, Kollam being second least polluted. As per the database, in Pathanamthitta, the annual mean of PM10 and PM2.5 is recorded at 23 and 10 respectively, which is closer to the recommended level of concentration of particulate matter. While a number of Indian cities are among the world's most polluted, Pathanamthitta's air quality is comparable to some of the cleanest cities in North America, Europe and Australia.[citation needed]

Climate data for Pathanamthitta, Kerala
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.0
Average low °C (°F) 22.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 20



Agriculture is the main occupation of the people. About 75% people are dependent on this sector. Rubber is the most important crop, with its plantations covering over 478 square kilometres (185 sq mi). The hilly terrain coupled with high humidity makes the region suitable for rubber plantations. Paddy is the most important crop cultivated in the wet lands. Tapioca and pulses are the important dry land crops. Other major crops are coconut, banana, pepper and ginger. In certain areas cashew, pineapple, sugarcane, cocoa and other tree spices are cultivated. The land available for cultivation is less since sizeable area of the district is reserve forest.

Major Agricultural Products
Products Area under cultivation (km2) Production (tonne)
Rice 43.39 10784
Sugar Cane 1.23 601
Pepper 56.51 1328
Ginger 5.26 1358
Cardamom 6.64 82
Cashewnut 11.41 686
Rubber 478.47 69094
Tapioca 79.91 226993
Coconut 217.39 380
  • Source : Statistics for Planning-DES 2006


Pathanamthitta district has a unique position in the inland fisheries map of Kerala state with its freshwater resources like rivers, reservoirs, streams, ponds, quarries and paddy fields. The fisheries activities in this region started with the establishment of a Fresh Water Survey Station. The district has an Ornamental Fish Breeding resource centre and a National Fish Seed Farm. There are 2444[9] fishermen depending on this sector for their livelihood.


Kerala Assembly Election 2016 Constituency map of Pathanamthitta

Pathanamthitta assembly constituency was part of the Idukki (Lok Sabha constituency) but now Pathanamthitta is a separate Lok Sabha constituency.[10] Pathanamthitta comes under Aranmula Assembly constituency. Earlier, Pathanamthitta itself was an Assembly constituency. But after delimitation, Pathanamthitta lost its named constituency.

The district headquarters is at Pathanamthitta town. The district administration is headed by the District Collector. He is assisted by five Deputy Collectors holding charges of general matters, revenue recovery, land acquisition, land reforms and election. Under the three tier system of panchayat in rural areas, Pathanamthitta has one district panchayat, 9 block panchayat and 57 grama panthayats. Under the single tier system in urban areas, there are 4 municipalities the district. In addition, there is a census town (Kozhencherry).

As per the Delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Order, 2008, Pathanamthitta has five Assembly constituencies, down from eight. However, the district was unified into a single Parliamentary constituency, thus contributing a seat to the Lok Sabha. The Pathanamthitta parliamentary constituency is formed by including all the five Assembly constituencies of the district along with two other Assembly constituencies in the neighboring Kottayam district.[11][12]

Indian National Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, the CPM/CPI and Kerala Congress are the main political parties.

Municipalities: 4[edit]

  1. Thiruvalla
  2. Pathanamthitta
  3. Adoor
  4. Pandalam



The proposed Sabari International Airport, Cheruvally would be the closest airport upon completion, at 28 km away from Pathanamthitta town.

Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (113 km), Cochin International Airport, at Nedumbassery, Kochi (142 km) are the nearest airports.


Perunad Heliport (helipad) is situated in Kuttikayam estate, Mampara road. Which is known as Sabarimala helipad. Chipsan Aviation Pvt Ltd, having service from various location. Most of the Sabarimala pilgrimages are using this heliport.


Chengannur railway station (Code: CNGR) (24 km) is the nearest Railway station. Tiruvalla railway station (Code: TRVL) (30 km) is the only railway station in the District. Mavelikara railway station (Code: MVLK) (32.5 km) is also nearest station after Chengannur and Tiruvalla stations. Kollam Junction Railway Station (Code: QLN) is 62 km away from Pathanamthitta. The location of Chengannur private bus stand in front of the station makes it the most convenient one. Direct Bus services to Pathanamthitta are operated from both Tiruvalla and Chengannur. The proposed ChengannurPandalamKottarakkaraThiruvananthapuram railway line passes through the district.


View of Pathanamthitta

Pathanamthitta is the meeting point of two major State Highways T.K. Road (SH – 07) and Main Eastern Highway (Punalur-Muvattupuzha Road / SH – 08). The town is well connected to major towns and cities inside and outside Kerala by the State run K.S.R.T.C and private buses as well as Luxury Services. Both the KSRTC and private buses play equal roles in satisfying the transportation needs of the town. The cities of Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Thrissur etc. are connected by KSRTC services whereas hi-range townships like Punalur, Kumali, Pala and the Malabar Area of Northern Kerala are connected by private bus services. KSRTC is running chain services that connect Pathanamthitta with the City of Kollam via Adoor, Also to Chengannur railway via Elavumthitta or Kozhencherry. Plenty of A/C Luxury Bus services are operated from Pathanamthitta to Bangalore, Chennai, Mangalore and Mumbai on a daily basis.

KSRTC bus stations in Pathanamthitta district are Pathanamthitta, Thiruvalla, Adoor, Pandalam, Mallapally, Ranni, and Pamba.


Lake tourism in Adavi

Pathanamthitta district is known as the Headquarters of Pilgrimage Tourism, of the Kerala State. 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.[13] Land of Lord Ayyappa is the tag-line of Pathanamthitta tourism. Pathanamthitta attracts a large number of tourists every year. Pilgrim centres and other eco tourism spots like Gavi and Adavi are most visited in Pathanamthitta.

Distance from Pathanamthitta[edit]

Nearest major cities are Trivandrum, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam and Kochi.

Culture zone[edit]

Places around Pathanamthitta city within a distance of 15 km include, Elanthoor, Ranny, Vadaserikara, Kozhencherry, Vechoochira, Kadammanitta, Vazhamuttom, Adoor, Pandalam, Manjinikara, Mathoor, Cheekanal, Omallur, Malayalappuzha, Kodumthara, Elavumthitta-Muloor Smarakam, Kodumon, Kalanjoor, Ayroor Cherukolpuzha, Ulanadu, Kaipattoor, Mylapra, Uthimoodu, Thumpamon, Maroor, Pramadom, Konni, Chengara and Valamchuzhy. The places beyond these are Thiruvalla, Nilackal, Parumala, and Maramon. Pathanamthitta lies on the road route to the pilgrim town of Sabarimala, which is 65 km away. The Chettikulangara temple, at Mavelikkara is about 35 km from Pathanamthitta. Padanilam Parabrahma Temple is situated 26 km from Pathanamthitta. Aranmula is around 14 km from Pathanamthitta. Aranmula Temple is one of the biggest temples in South India en route to Sabarimala.

  • Sabarimala Mandala Pooja.[14]
  • Maramon Convention was recorded in 2010 as one of the largest Christian gatherings in Asia. The annual conventions are held during the first half of February.[citation needed][15]
  • Cherukolpuzha Hindu matha convention[16][17]
  • Aranmula annual boat race.[18]
  • Aranmula Kannadi – Centuries old art of mirror making from metal composites.[19]
  • Kumbanadu Convention is the largest Pentecostal peoples gathering at Kumbanadu.

Notable people from Pathanamthitta District[edit]

Indian film actor Mohanlal is from Elanthoor, Pathanamthitta.

See List of people from Pathanamthitta District


As per Census of India 2011 Pathanamthitta district had a population of 11,97,412 (11.97 Lakh) and which was lower than 12.34 lakh of previous Census of 2001. Males constitute 46.9% of the population and females 53.1%. 89% of Total population in Pathanamthitta lives in Rural area and only 11% lives in urban. Pathanamthitta District ranks the 12th place in terms of population size in the state. In total density of the District is 452 Persons per km2 which the 12th in States as per 2011 Census. In Sex-ratio, the District is in the 2nd position with 1132 females per 1,000 males. In Child Sex-ratio, the District has the 1st rank with 976 female children per 1000 male children. The District has the second position in total literacy rate (96.55 per cent) and female literacy rate (95.83 per cent). Agricultural Labourers constitute 14.1 per cent while Cultivators form 10.5 per cent of the Total Workers in the District. There are five engineering colleges and one medical college in Pathanamthitta District.


Hinduism is Pathanamthitta's predominant religious faith, followed by Christianity and Islam. Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains have much smaller followings.

Places of Worship[edit]

Sabarimala Temple
  • The Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple (Temple of Lord Dharmasasta), a world-famous forest pilgrim centre, is situated in the Sabarimala part of the western ghats in the Pathanamthitta district, which is hence known as the 'Pilgrim Capital of Kerala'.
  • Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is one of the Divya Desams, the 108 temples of Vishnu revered by 12 poet saints, or Alwars.
  • The Shivaparvathy temple Anikkattilammakshethram, *Valamchuzhi Sree Bhadrakali Devi Temple and *Vaipur Mahadeva Temple is also in the district.
  • Sree Bhagavathikunnu Devi Temple, Elanthoor:[20] *One of the important and famous Goddess Abode in Thiruvitamkoor is the Bhagawati Kunnu Devi Temple, Elanthoor.
  • Malayalppuzha Devi Temple, Malayalappuzha Devi Temple Malayalappuzha
  • Thattayil Orippurathu Bhagavathi Temple
  • Mylapra Devi Temple
  • Adoor Parthasarathy Temple
  • Thrikalanjoor Sree Mahadeva Temple, kalanjoor
  • 'Parumala St. Peter's, St. Paul's and St. Gregorio's Orthodox Church <> famous for the tomb of Saint Gregorios or Parumala Thirumeni(Gheevarghese Mar Gregorios of Parumala).
  • 'St. George Orthodox Church, Mylapra', also known as 'Mylapra Valiyapalli famous Georgian pilgrim centre which is 2 km away from the district headquarters. – See more at:
  • Kalloopara St Marys Orthodox Valiyapally(Pilgrim Church-Lent between 1 to 15 August is very Famous).
  • Paliekkara St George Orthodox Church, Thiruvalla.
  • Makkamkunnu St. Stephen's Orthodox Cathedral (First Church in Pathanamthitta Town Region). It is Famous for Makkamkunnu Convention During three Days Lent.
  • Thumpamon St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral AD 717 (Bhadrasana Devalayam).
  • Chandanapally St George Orthodox church -Chandanapally Valiyapally (Feast of St George 7 & 8 May )
  • Pathanamthitta Mar Basil Dayara
  • Omalloor St Thomas Orthodox Valiyapally
  • Manjanikkara Dayara(Pilgrim church of Jacobites)
  • Kaipattoor St Ignatious Orthodox Mahaedavaka
  • Ponnambi Palli (Pilgrim Church Near Malayalapuzha).
  • Pathanamthitta Town Juma Masjid
  • Prakkanam St Marys Orthodox Church

Thottapuram St Marys Orthodox church, Prakkanam

  • Pathanamthitta St Peters Malankara Catholic Church
  • Pathanamthitta Marthoma Church
  • Elanthoor Marthoma Church
  • Karoor St Peters Orthodox Church,Elanthoor
  • Pathanamthitta All Saints CSI Church *Mallasserry St Marys Orthodox Church
  • Kumbazha St Marys Orthodox Valya Cathedral
  • Kumbazha St Simeons Orthodox Cathedral
  • Puthenpeedika St Marys Orthodox Valiyapally(Famous for 8 Nombu Lent from 1 to 8 September)
  • V.kottayam,St.Marys Jacobite Syrian Orthdox Cathredal(lent from 1 August to 8 August)
  • St. Peter's Jacobite Syrian church
  • Manarakulanji Mar Baselios Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church
  • Vazhamuttom Mar Bahanam Orthodox Valiyapally
  • St Thomas Orthodox Church Manthalir Kulanada
  • St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Vayalathala

Flora and fauna[edit]

The tiger inhabits Pathanamthitta's reserve forests

Pathanamthitta has tropical biodiversity with forest, plantations, rivers and fertile land. Fifty percent of the district is covered with forest, providing rich flora and fauna. The district has a variety of plants including medicinal, spices, tuber crops and those yielding fruits and fiber. Aromatic plants and spices such as pepper, ginger, cardamom and turmeric are cultivated on a large scale. Trees such as timber, teak, rosewood, jack tree, manjakadambu, anjili, pala can be found in abundance.

The forests of the district have excellent wild life habitats. A variety of animals and birds can be found. Tigers, elephants, gaur, deer, monkeys and other wild animals are found in the forest. Giant squirrel, lion-tailed macaques, barking deer and bear can also be spotted in the reserve. Malabar grey hornbill and great Indian hornbill are found. Pathanamthitta also houses the Indian peacock. Wide variety of other birds such as sunbirds, woodpeckers and kingfishers can also be seen.

The existence of the wildlife habitat is under threat from various areas. Pollution from fertilizer and industries and illegal sand mining are the major threats. Issues connected to Sabarimala pilgrimage such as clearing of forest land and large amount of waste discharged also threatens the habitat.[21][22]

Educational Institutions[edit]

  • N.S.S College, Pandalam
  • N.S.S Training College, Pandalam
  • College of Engineering, Manakkala
  • College of Applied Science, Pathanamthitta
  • College of Applied Sciences (I.H.R.D), Adoor
  • College of Applied Sciences (I.H.R.D), Kalanjoor
  • B.A.M. College, Pamba
  • Catholicate College, Pathanamthitta
  • Devaswom Board College, Parumala
  • Abraham Marthoma Memorial Higher Secondary School
  • Marthoma College, Tiruvalla
  • Sahodaran Ayyappan Smaraka. (S.N.D.P) Yogam College, Konni
  • St. Cyrils College, Pathanamthitta
  • St. Thomas College, Kozhencherry
  • Mannam Ayurved Medical College, pandalam
  • Caarmel Engineering College, Perunad
  • College of Engineering, Kallooppara
  • College of Engineering, Pathananthitta
  • Mount Zion College of Engineering, Pathanmthitta
  • Musaliar College of Engineering and Technology, Kumbazha
  • Sree Buddha College of Engineering for Women Pathanamthitta
  • Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Pathanamthitta
  • College of Nursing, Pathanamthitta
  • Archana College of Nursing, Pandalam
  • M.G.M. Muthoot College of Nursing, Kallarakadavu, Pathanamthitta
  • Pushpagiri College of Nursing, Pathanamthitta
  • K.V.V.S. Institute of Technology, Adoor
  • Mar Athanasios College for Advanced Studies, Tiruvalla
  • Mar Athanasius College of Advanced Studies, Pathanamthitta
  • St. John's College Thorrupram, Pathanamthitta
  • Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Mannadisala, Vechoochira
  • N.S.S Polytechnic, Pandalam
  • Govt. Polytechnic, Vechoochira
  • Viswa Brahmana College, Vechoochira
  • St Thomas College,Thavalappara,Konni
  • Marthoma Academy, Thiruvalla
  • Govt.poly Technic,Vennikulam
  • Mannam Memorial N S S College, Konni
  • VNS College Of Arts and Science, konni


Main stadiums in the town are Pathanamthitta K. K. Nair Stadium and Pathanamthitta Indoor Stadium. Other stadiums include Pramadom Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium. These stadiums host sports events in state, district levels and is also used for other purposes.

Cultural Sports[edit]

The Aranmula Boat Race is part of a festival celebrated during the month of September. Though the snake boat race is also performed at nearby places, the race held at Aranmula is unique because of the boats' shape and design. Maramadimatsaram (Ox Race) is another such seasonal sport. This is held as part of the largest annual cattle fair of Central Travancore region. The race is held in three categories.[23]

Religious conventions[edit]

  • The Cherukolpuzha Convention, in Pathanamthitta is an important religious convention of the Hindus. It is held at Cherukole on the sand banks of Pamba River, usually in February every year. It is organized by the Ayroor-Cherukolpuzha Hindumatha Maha Mandalam at Vidyadhiraja Nagar at Ayroor village.[24]
  • The Maramon Convention, one of the largest Christian convention in Asia, is held at Maramon, Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India annually during the month of February on the vast sand-bed of the Pampa River next to the Kozhencherry Bridge. It is organised by Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association, the missionary wing of the Mar Thoma Church.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pathanamthitta Collectorate opens its walls of art for remembering K.K. Nair the Father of Pathanamthitta District". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  2. ^ Web Desk, Express (23 December 2016). "Pathananthitta is first cashless collectorate in Kerala". The Indian Express. Kerala. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  3. ^ KeralaTravels
  4. ^ "History — Pathanamthitta"
  5. ^ "FallingRain Map". Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  9. ^ "District level database of Pathanamthitta" (PDF). Government of Kerala. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  10. ^ "Assembly Constituencies – Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies" (PDF). Kerala. Election Commission of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2008.
  11. ^ "Parliamentary Constituencies of Kerala - 2008". Government of Kerala. Archived from the original on 3 September 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
  12. ^ Radhakrishnan Kuttoor (31 January 2008). "Due recognition for the youngest district". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Mandala Pooja/ Makaravilakku". Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  15. ^ "". Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  16. ^ "About it". Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  17. ^ "Festivals of India-Aranmula-Vallamkali (Boat Race )". 15 June 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  18. ^ "Festivals of India- Aranmula Boat race". 15 June 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  19. ^ "The Making of Aranmula kannadi". 4 January 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Pampa pollution". Pampa Parirakshana Samithy, N.G.O. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
  22. ^ "TDB to get forest land at Nilackal today". The Hindu. 16 June 2005. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
  23. ^ "Maramadimatsaram". Department of tourism, Kerala. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
  24. ^ Cherukolpuzha, Kerala Department of Tourism


External links[edit]