-- headquarters of pilgrimage tourism in Kerala
near the Western Ghats and hedged in by the hills, Pathanamthitta is a
treat to the eye with its vast, unending stretches of forests, rivers and
rural landscapes. Blessed and enriched by nature, the district is famous
for its scenic beauty, fairs and festivals. Pathanamthitta engrossed in
the hilly terrain of Kerala can rightly be called the headquarters of pilgrimage
tourism in the state. Sabarimala, an important Hindu pilgrimage centre
attracts millions of pilgrims from different parts of India and the state.
Pathanamthitta the 13th district in the state has been carved out mainly
from erstwhile Quilon and Alleppey districts with a nominal portion of
Idukki district also. Thus in November 1, 1982 Pathanamthitta district
(Pilgrim centre): Sabarimala, is one of the major pilgrim centres in south
India. This holy shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa attracts millions of
pilgrims from all over, especially from other parts of south India. The
main pilgrimage season is from November-January. Vehicles cannot go beyond
Pamba and the last 5 km to the shrine can be reached only by trekking.
Devotees throng in not only from Kerala, but from other neighbouring states
as well. In fact, the number of devotees from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil
Nadu visiting the temple has been steadily rising through the years.
Maramon Convention: Maramon is about 16 kms east
of Thiruvalla. The Maramon Convention, believed to be the largest Christian
gathering in Asia, is an assembly of Christians from all over India, who
come here to listen to the gospels read and expounded by scholoars of Christianity
through out India and abroad. It is held during the month of February on
the banks of the river Pamba. Christians arrive with cadjan leaves and
bamboo poles and erect a huge "pandal". In the vicinity, tents and sheds
are also put up for various purposes. People come in long "valloms" (country
boats) with canopies and anchor them down the river at this time. Temporary
restaraunts, religious book stalls, etc, also appear in the vicinity.
How to get there
Air: The nearest airport, Cochin, 152 km away.
Rail: Rail link at Tiruvalla, 30 kms away.
Road: Pathanamthitta is linked by motorable roads
to other towns in Kerala.