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The Land of Pilgrimage

PathanamthittaPathanamthittaPathanamthittaThe Vijnana Kala Vedi Cultural CenterPandalamKaviyoor Kaviyoor KozhancherryKonni Elephant cageAranmula Aranmula Sabarimala Temple
  • General Information

    District: Pathanamthitta, State: Kerala, India
    Area: 2731 Sq. Km.
    Languages Spoken: Malayalam, Tamil and English
    Long Distance Code: +91-473
    Best Time to Visit: August to March
  • Description

    Pathanamthitta is as famous for its fertile land as it is for the land of pilgrimage. The soil and the climatic conditions are very good here for cultivation of Coconut, Rubber, Paddy, Pepper and Tea. Educationally , economically and socilaly the district of Pathanamathitta ranks in one of the highest in India. The world famous religious centre of Sabarimala is in this district. It is also draws tourists for the Aranmula Uthrattathy Boat race and the Chandanakkudam festival.
  • Location

    Pathanamthitta is located near the Western Ghats and bordered by the hills; this district has vast unending stretches of forests, rivers and rural landscapes. Nature is seen in its abundance in this district and is famous for its scenic beauty, fairs and festivals.<br />Pathanamthitta is an example of true tropical diversity; it is adorned with fertile agricultural land, plantations and forest, paddy, tapioca, varieties of vegetables and spices like cardamom, pepper etc. are extensively cultivated. The district also abounds in extensive rubber plantations.<br />
The Vijnana Kala Vedi Cultural CenterIt is 12 km away from Changanacherry. A French Scholar, Louba Schild under the Indo-French Cultural Exchange Programme, founded it. It was started with UNESCO aid. This cultural centre offers residential training courses in Katha Kali, Mohiniyattam, Bharata Natyam, Carnatic Vocal Music, Painting, Kalarippayattu, Wood Carving, Percussion Instruments, Ayurvedic Treatment, Religion, and Mythology.
PandalamThe second most important plgrimage sites of Kerala, after the Sabarimala, is the Pandalam, also dedicated to Lord Ayappa. It is believed that the Lord took the human form as the King of Pandalam who constructed the temple dedicated to Lord Ayappa based on the structure of the temple of Sabarimala. Piligrims usually worship here before proceeding to Sabarimala. The sacred ornaments of Lord Ayappa are kept here and are taken in a procession from Pandalam to Sabarimala annually before the great festival of Makravilakku. \r\n
KaviyoorThe temple of Kaviyoor is dedicated to lord Hanuman, the monkey God and is built in typical Kerala style of architecture. Another temple nearby dedicated to lord Shiva is built in 8th century by the paalvas and is of immense arcaeological importance. The temple here dedicated to Sree Hanuman Stands on a small hill and has been built in the gable style of architecture peculiar to Kerala. There is another rock-cut temple 2km away from the kaviyoor temple, which is great archeological importance. The stone figures engraved in this temple are among the earliest specimens of stone culture.
KozhancherryOne of the most important places to be visited near Pathanamathitta is Kozhancherry. Kozhancherry is important for its annual convention which takes place in February on the river bed of Marmon River. The place is about 13 kms from Kozhancherry and although it is a christian convention people from all the religioons attend this mammoth convention.
Konni Elephant cageAbout 10 kms from Pathanamathitta is the Konni Elephant cage, which is shortly to be developed as the Elephant safari park. Earlier wild elephants were caught from the jungles and put in the wooden cages here and trained. Today there is a ban on such activities and therefore no elephants are caught from the wild. But the cages still remain.
AranmulaThis little temple town in Pathanamathitta is around 12 kms from Chengannoor. Situated on the banks of River Pampa, the Krishna temple here attracts the devotees and is one of the most important pilgrimages centres of Kerala. The annual boat race during the week long festival of Onam, is an enticing event. Aranmula is famed for its hand-made mirrors of polished metal called ‘Aranmula Kannadi’. \r\nThe boat race known as the Uttirittathi boat race is the famous snake boat race. The snake boat is of an extra ordinary shape with a lenth of about 100ft. The boat resembles a snake with its hood raised.The race is held on the last day of the week long Onam festival to commemorate the crossing of the river by Lord Krishna.The participants cheerfully row up and down the river to the tune of songs known as Vanchippattu .\r\n
Sabarimala TempleProbably one of the most famous temples of South India, dedicated to Lord Ayappa, the Sabarimala temple is the temple the one that is visited by thousands of devotees every year. Situated on a hillock nearly 915 mts above sea level, this simple holy shrine is believed to posses rare qualities. It is open to people of all faiths, castes and religions. The Ayyappa cult gives much importance for the secularism and communal harmony. It is believed that the pilgrimage to this place fulfills all the wishes of the devotees and hence hundreds and thousands of such devotees make a pilgrimage to this place which begins in November and ends in January on Sakranti day, when a rare phenomenon is seen annually. An eagle, which is the vehicle of Lord Ayyapa, is seen flying at a distance over a mountain and the mountain suddenly gets illuminated which diappears equally mysteriously with the Eagle.

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Pathanamthitta, India
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