Pathanamthitta district is recognised as the `headquarters of pilgrimage tourism', in the State of Kerala and is also famous for its Rural lifestyle which is now promoted by the tourism dept of Kerala.

Aranmula,the picturesque village in Pathanamthitta district has been declared as an international tourism destination by the Union Government.

It has also been included in the Cultural Tourism programme, a joint initiative of the Union Ministry of Tourism and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Pathanamthitta is nourished by three west flowing rivers -Pamba, Manimala and Achankovil. It abounds with natural splendours - undulating hills, dark mysterious forests, exotic wildlife and enchanting valleys.

This" Land of Temples" is particularly famous for the hill shrine of Sabarimala, dedicated to Lord Ayyappan. The churches and Mosques too occupy a prominent place among the respective religious cmmunites.

Sabarimala is one of the most famous pilgrim centers in India and is 72 kms from Pathanamthitta. Every year crores of devotees from all over India visit the shrine of lord Ayyappa for his blessings. The temple is situated in the interior of the mountain ranges of the western ghats and is accessible only by foot. The pilgrimage season starts in November and ends in mid January. On the particular day of 'Makaravilakku' lakhs of devotees throng around the temple for a glimpse of 'Makarajyothi' .The temple is closed during the rest of the year except for the first five days of every Malayalam month and during 'Vishu'.

The famous Parthasarathi temple on the banks of the holy river Pamba,and 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 Onan festival .It is as part of this celebration that the aranmula boat race is held on this day.

Thekekudi Cave Temple in Kaviyoor panchayat is one among the rare breed of cave temples to be found around in Kerala. It is assumed that this temple is constructed in the Pallava architectural style and was built in the 8th century. Apart from Ganapathi, Maharshi, Dwarapalaka idols in the sreekovil which in inside the cave, there is also a Sivalinga which is about three feet in height . The engravings here are among the earliest specimens of stone sculptures in Kerala. Enshrined in a square cave is the main deity of the shrine Lord Siva represented in the ' Sivalinga' which is about three feet high and carved out of rock. The shrine also has idols of Ganapathy, Maharshi and Dwarapalakas.
Another noted shrine in Kaviyoor is the Hanuman Temple which stands on a small hillock and is built in a peculiar architectural style not prevalent in much of Kerala.

Sree Vallabha temple here is one of the most important pilgrim centers of the Vaishnavites spread through out India. A granite pillar carved out of a single piece of rock with an image of Garuda on its top stands in front of the temple. The pillar, which serves as a flag mast is 60ft high. kathakali, the folk art of kerala, is performed almost on all days in this temple as offerings by devotees.

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