Pathanamthitta, the administrative headquarters of the Pathanamthitta District
, is renowned for Sabarimala
, a major pilgrim center of Kerala
. The place is often visited by people from India and abroad for its water fiestas, religious shrines and the cultural training centers. Pathanamthitta is around 30 km south-east of Chengannur
Pathanamthitta derived its name from the words: Pathanam and Thitta, which means an assortment of houses on the riverside. The town was an important center in the erstwhile Travancore State. As the biggest taluk in the Travancore, Pathanamthitta played an important part in terms of revenue and hence filling the coffers of the state.
Major attractions in and around the town include the Kadamanitta Devi Temple, Valan-chuzhi temple (on the banks of the Achankovil River) and
Kozhencherry. The annual Chandanakudom festival held in a mosque in the town draws a large number of devotees. Sabarimala is 72 km away.
Nearest airport is the Trivandrum International Airport, which is 119 km south. Cochin International Airport is 150 km away. Chengannur Railway Station is the closest railhead (30 km).