Pathanamthitta has many historical and tourist destinations. Some of the pilgrim centers are Sabrimala temple situated in a dense forest is the sacred abode of lord Ayyappa where millions of pilgrims throng for worship during the month of November to January. Maramon, the annual marthoma Christian convention of the Malankara church takes place here and thousands of devotees from all over the world come here for worship. Jama Al Mosque, known for the famous colorful Muslim festival Chandanakudam an annual festival celebrated with great pomp in the month of February. Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna attracts lots of devotees. Perumala Orthodox Church which houses the tomb of mar gregarious also known perumala thirumeni. Pampa River is known for the famous Aranmula Vallom Kali during the festival of Onam. Aranmula is world famous for its metal mirrors made of bell Meta known as Aranmula Kannadi and Anandapalli, a tiny village where the annual Maramadi festival, an ox race carnival is held. Some of the other attractions are the 10th century Kaviyoor Mahadeva temple, Niranam church built in 50 AD, Perunthenaruvi Waterfalls, Pamba Thriveni Sangamam or the meeting of three rivers.
Pathanamthitta is not a shopper’s paradise but it is an ideal place to purchase a variety of antique items related to the culture of Kerala and traditional Jewellery. Excellent quality garments, textiles and furniture are also available here.
Even though Pathanamthitta is a pilgrim centre it offers a wide range of entertainment activities for tourists. Aruvikuzhy waterfalls and Perunthenaruvi waterfalls are ideal spots for picnic and swimming. Elephant training centre at Konni is another important tourist entertainment where visitors observe and understand the behavior of elephants. Baby elephants here are the focus of attention for the children and adults alike. A ride on big majestic elephants is a memorable experience and the biggest attraction here.
Pathanamthitta is an important pilgrim hub and always filled with devotees and nature lovers. It offers all types of restaurants across the town for tourists offering all sorts of south Indian cuisines which are the main cuisine of the district. There are many Christian restaurants which serve Syrian Christian food and alcohol. Sweet coconut water is available throughout the district on either side of the roads.
Pathanamthitta has a rich tradition in art and culture and some of the traditions art forms are padayani a ritualistic dance associated with goddess temples, Vasthuvidya gurukulam where ancient Indian Architecture is promoted and taught along with the preservation of vasthuvidya and mural paintings. The most well known art form of this district is the making of the world famous Aranmula Kannadi. The process of making this mirror is a closely guarded secret passed down from generation to generation to the craftsmen’s.
Pathanamthitta means “row of houses on the riverside” is the biggest pilgrim capital of Kerala. This land blessed with vast stretch of forests, waterfalls and rivers is known for its scenic beauty. This region was under the reign of the pandalam raja which had close connection with the Pandaya kingdom. Ancient history of this land is not known much but research and excavation has proved that history of this land dates back to the Neolithic period. Pathanamthitta has a rich contribution in the history of Indian freedom struggle.