The District consist of three natural divisions viz the Lowland the Midland and the Highland Western Ghats and descends to midland in the centre, down to the lowland and coconut gardens on the western borders of Alappuzha district. The topography covered with thick forests on the east along the mountains down to the valleys and small hills to the flat and in the west.The District has a vibrant agrarian economy with rubber, coconut, pepper, tapioca, banana and vegetables as major crops. Rubber as a cash crop plays a vital role in the economy of the district. Pathanamthitta is generally considered as industrially backward.
Pathanamthitta District has a reserve forest (Ranni Reserve and Konni Reserve) area of 1385.27 Sq.Km(534.86mi). This is approximately 50% of the total district area. The forest area can broadly be classified as evergreen, semi evergreen and moistdecidous. The forest is the main source rowmaterials for wood based industrial units. A large number of people from this district have migrated to foreign countries for employment and inward remitances by the section of population play and important role in the economy of the district.
Location:North latitudes 90 27’and east longitudes 76 78’.
Boundaries: North- Kottayam and Iduuki District
East – Thirunalveli (Tamilnadu)
South – Kollam District
West – Allapuzha District
The District consist of three natural divisions viz the Lowland the Midland and the Highland Western Ghats and descends to midland in the centre, down to the lowland and coconut gardens on the western borders of Alappuzha district. The topography covered with thick forests on the east along the mountains down to the valleys and small hills to the flat and in the west.
District of Pathanamthitta is well connected by the roadways, railways and airways that make the tourists easy to travel to all the tourist place of Kerala. The brief description of Pathanamthitta is mentioned below:
Cochin Airport is the nearest Airport from Pathanamthitta which is near about 150 Km and Thiruvananthapuram is 117 Km.
District of Pathanamthitta is well connected with the Indian Railways Network from where the Chengannoor Railway station is just 16 Km and Thiruvalla Railway Station is only 26 Km.
District of Pathanamthitta is well connected by all parts of the country by road to Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam and Kochi.
Taxi, Buses,Auto etc..
For the purpose of revenue administration the district is divided into two revenue divisions and six revenue taluks viz. Kozhencherry, Adoor, Ranny, Mallappally, Konny and Thiruvalla. The district is further divided into 8 community development blocks viz; Elanthoor, Koipuram, Konni, Mallappally, Pandalam, Parakkode, Pulikeezhu and Ranny. There are 69 inhabited villages and 54 Panchayats in the district.
District Planning Office, Pathanamthitta
The District Planning Office started its function on 15/12/1982. District Planning office is functioning in the Collectorate Building.
Art and culture
The Niranam Poets
The early history of Malayalam literature has its roots in the district through the contributions of the Niranam Poets.While the Manipravala poetry flourished as a diversion from the mainstream, the tradition set up by Cheeraman of Ramacharitham and the more enlightened among the anonymous folk poets was resumed and replenished by three writers commonly referred to as Niranam poets.
Pathanamthitta is famous for the folk art Padayani. Padayani or Padeni in Colloquial speech, is one of the most colourful and spectacular folk arts associated with the festivals of certain temples in Southern Kerala(Alappuzha, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Kottayam).
This is a unique institution, functioning for the promotion of Vasthuvidya, the ancient Indian architecture which is a pure and ethnic expression of Indian socio-cultural heritage.
The Vasthuvidya Gurukulam, constituted by the state’s cultural department, is situated at Aranmula 16 kms away from Pathanamthitta. The objective of the Gurukulam is the preservation and promotion of vasthuvidya and mural paintings.
Sabarimala is one of the most famous pilgrim centre in India. It is 69 kms away from Pathanamthitta town. Every year crores of devotees from all over India visit the Shrine of Lord Ayyappa here. The temple is situated in the interior of the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats and is inaccessible except on foot. The pilgrimage season starts in November and ends in mid January.
The temple is situated on a hilltop (about 3000 feet above sea level) named Sabarimala, which is unique in many respects. The uniqueness gathers its voice, as the temple is open to all, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. There is a place near the temple; east to Sannidhanam, dedicated to the Vavar (a sufi and friend of Lord Ayyappa) which is called ‘Vavarunada’, an epitome of religious harmony. Another interesting fact is that it is not open throughout the year. It is open for worship only during the days of Mandalapooja, Makaravilakku and Chitra Vishu. It is said that the pilgrims have to follow fasting for 41 days to cleanse their minds before going to Sabarimala. The journey to the temple is to be taken through difficult paths in the forest as the vehicles can go only up to Pampa.
Pandalam is perhaps second only to Sabarimala in sanctity and significance. Lord Ayyappa, the presiding deity of Sabarimala had his human sojourn as the son of Raja of Pandalam.
It is here that Mar Gregorios Metropolitan, the declared saint of Malankara Orthodox Church, takes his eternal rest. The Orma perunal, celebrated on the first and second of every November, is very famous.
The water falls in the river Pamba at Perumthenaruvi attracts thousands of people. This is a beautiful natural water fall and an ideal place of tourism. It is only 10kms from Erumeli.
Konni is an important place in the Kottayam - Punalur route. It is about 11 kms away from the district headquarters. It is a famous centre for crops like rubber, pepper,coffee and ginger which form the backbone of the agricultural economy of the state. Till recently it had acclamation as a place of training elephants. Now no wild elephants are brought here for training. But the big wooden cages used to put newly caught wild elephants for training still attract people from far and near.
It is 5 kms away from Plappally on the Pamba- Pathanamthitta road. An old temple dedicated to Lord Siva and Ecumenical centre of Christians are situated here.
Situated about 6 kms away from headquarters of the Thiruvalla Revenue Division, Niranam is famous from very ancient times. Niranam derives its importance mainly from the Orthodox Syrian Church there, which is believed to be one of the seven churches founded by St.Thomas. It is only a few yards away from this place where the great Malayalam poets known as the Kannassa Panickers lived and penned their important works.
The Bhagavathi temple here is believed to help people realise their dreams. People bring offering different forms during the festival. Wall paintings and artistic stone works in the temple are well known.
Mar Ignatius Elias III, the holy Patriarch of Anthioch, while on his visit to India, passed away at this place in 1932. His mortal remains are kept in this church. Later this place developed into a place of pilgrimage. Pilgrims, from within and outside the country visit here frequently. The important festival falls in February every year when devotees flock in thousands.
Veluthampi Dalawa, the great patriot, fought against imperialism and became a martyr on March 29, 1809 at Mannadi. The monument of his martyrdom at Mannadi in Adoor taluk is of great historical importance. The ancient Bhagavathy Temple has some exquisite store sculptures. The annual festival to held in February/March. The Kerala Institute of Folklore and Folk Arts functions here.
A mammoth religious convention of Christians, but attended by people belonging to all communities, is held at Maramon, near Kozhencherry , every year on the vast sandy beds of the river Pamba. The Convention takes place in February in an atmosphere of devotion and lasts for seven days. Addressed by speakers of international repute and attended by devotees in numerable, this is the largest Christian convention in the world. The centenary celebration of the convention was held in February 1995.
The famous Parthasarathi temple on the banks of the holy river Pamba dedicated to Lord Krishna attracts large number of devotees. The annual commemoration of the installation of the deity falls on the last day of the Onam festival. It is as part of this celebration that the Aranmula boat race is held on this day. Aranmula is also famous for its metal mirrors made of bell metal. This is a unique art which is not found anywhere else in the world. It is believed that a divine visitation inspired a widow of this village to discover a mysterious blend of bronze which could be waxed bright into crystal clear mirror. The mystery of its production is a family heirloom handed down through generations.
The Chandanakkudam festival of the Pathanamthitta Muslim Jamaat mosque held in February(Makaram 28) every year attracts thousands of devotees. The Chndanakkudam festival of Kattoor mosque in Cherukole Panchayat and Kalamala mosque near Adoor are also very famous.
Charalkunnu is a picturesque hill station from where one can have a panoramic view of the low lying areas including that of the sinuous river Pamba. There is a comfortable camp house which has both rooms and dormitories.
An important religious convention of the hindus is held at Cherukol on the river bed of Pamba usually in February every year.
Kadammanitta, a village 8 kms away from Pathanamthitta is famous for Padayani, which is an important ritual art performed in the premises of the Kadammanitta Devi Temple. This art form is an offering for the Mother Goddess. It is celebrated every year from the first day of Medam(malayalam era) to the 10th day(Pathamudayam).
Kakki reservoir, set in sylvan background, is a tourists delight. The splendid artificial lake offers exhilerating boating experience. The surrounding forest abounds in tigers, Elephants, Deers and Monkeys.