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14 BEST PILGRIMAGE SITES NEAR TRIVANDRUM

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Adventure / Trekking | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 62 Kms from Trivandrum, Agasthyakoodam is a hill range in Western Ghats at an altitude of 6201 feet above sea. It is the second highest peak in Kerala after Anamudi near Munnar (8842 feet).

The mountain is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus, as it is believed to be the abode of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara as well as of the sage Agastya, a disciple of Shiva. The hill range is now declared as Agasthya Vanam Biological Park covering an area of 23 sq. kms. Also, it is the source of River Kallar.

There are two routes to trek the peak of Agasthyakoodam, one from Kotoor near Neyyar Dam and other one is Bonacaud. The trek distance is about 28 Kms and takes 2 days. Prior forest pass from the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary is required to enter the forest (Ph: 0471-2272182). Guided treks are arranged with overnight stay at camp inside the forest.

Both Kotoor and Bonacaud are accessible by Bus from Trivandrum.


Beach | Nature & Scenic | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 707 km from Chennai, 85 km from Trivandrum, 22 km from Nagercoil, 242 km from Madurai, 375 km from Trichy, 82 km from Tirunelveli and 130 km from Tuticorin, Kanyakumari is a coastal town in Tamil Nadu. Located at the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, it is also called Cape Comorin. Kanyakumari is a famous pilgrimage site and also one of the best Places to visit in Tamilnadu.

Kanyakumari has been a great centre for art and religion for centuries. It was also an area of great trade and commerce. It was ruled by Cholas, Pandyas and Nayaks. Later on, Kanyakumari came under the rule of the Venad dynasty and its capital was located at Padmanabhapuram. In spite of the troubles encountered in the southern border of Venad, Marthanda Varma expanded the kingdom northwards to Aluva and established the kingdom of Travancore. In 1745, the capital was shifted from Padmanabhapuram .....


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 56 km from Tirunelveli, 109 km from Trivandrum, 160 km from Madurai, 100 km from Kollam, 132 km from Kanyakumari & 625 km from Chennai, Tenkasi is a popular tourist destination situated on Madurai - Kollam highway and also one of the top Tamilnadu places to visit. Tenkasi is famous for numerous waterfalls spread around the region including the famous Courtallam Falls.

It is the second largest town in Tirunelveli district surrounded by the Western Ghats on three sides. A river called Chittar flows through the town. Tenkasi was founded by Pandyan kings who ruled Southern Tamil Nadu for long time. The Word Tenkasi means Kasi of the South referring to Kasiviswanathar temple situated in the town. The temple was built by Parakrama Pandyan, but was shattered by lightning. In the 1990s, the temple was restored and it was given .....


Nature & Scenic | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 119 km from Kochi, 67 km from Alleppey, 62 km from Kottayam, 96 km from Tenkasi, 109 km from Trivandrum, 162 km from Tirunelveli, 197 km from Kanyakumari and 238 km from Madurai, Pathanamthitta is a beautiful town and the administrative capital of Pathanamthitta District in Kerala. Also known as the pilgrim capital of Kerala, Pathanamthitta is the main transport hub to the famous pilgrim center - Sabarimala.

It is situated in Central Travancore region of Kerala, close to the Western Ghats. Pathanamthitta town is located on the banks of Achankovil and three major rivers of Kerala - Achankovil, Pamba & Manimala flow through the district. Pathanamthitta is a combination of two words Pathanam and Thitta which means an array of houses on the river side.

Pathanamthitta was formerly under the rule of a Pandalam .....


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 7 Kms from Pathanamthitta, Malayalappuzha Devi Temple dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali (another form of Goddess Parvati) is located in Malayalappuzha town near Pathanamthitta.

This temple is believed to be more than 3000 years old, constructed in Kerala style of architecture. The idol of Goddess Bhadrakali is about 5.5 feet tall. More than 100,000 devotees visit this temple every week, with Tuesday and Friday being the most popular days for darshan. The temple is under the administration of Travancore Devaswom Board. The temple has beautiful wall paintings and attractive sculpture work.

It is the only temple in Kerala where the 'Satha Kodi Archana' is performed which is attended by large number of devotees. Malayalappuzha is connected by bus service with Pathanamthitta.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 14 Kms from Pathanamthitta, Maramon Convention is held on the banks of River Pamba in Kozhenchery town (near Kozhenchery Bridge). With participation of more than 200,000 devotees, this is the biggest Christian gathering in Asia.

The Maramon Convention is being conducted annually since 1896, in the month of February. This event is organized by the Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association, the missionary wing of the Mar Thoma Church. The scholars of Christianity from India and abroad participate in this event. Maramon is also famous as the birthplace of Palakkunneth Abraham Malpan, a 19th century leader of the Syrian Church of Malabar.

Kozhenchery is connected by frequent buses with Pathanamthitta.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 29 Kms from Kottayam, 35 Kms from Alappuzha & 33 kms from Pathanamthitta, Sri Vallabha Temple is located near Thiruvalla town (4 Kms) in Pathanamthitta district.

This ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is one among the 108 Diva Kshetrams in India. This temple is built in typical Kerala style of temple architecture with fine carvings and murals. The inner sanctum of the temple houses a 6 feet tall idol of Maha Vishnu. The flag staff of the temple is made out of granite and it is about 50 feet tall. A 3 feet idol of Garuda (the eagle vehicle of Lord Vishnu) is installed on top of the flagstaff.

This temple is famous for the traditional Kathakali performances almost every night and it is perhaps the only temple in Kerala where Kathakali is regularly performed as a ritual offering to a deity, after the evening Pooja

The annual festival of the temple is celebrated in Feb / Mar and the Utharaseeveli festival is celebrated for one day on Mar / Apr.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 39 Kms from Pathanamthitta & 10 kms from Thiruvalla, St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church located in Niranam (popularly known as Niranam Valiyapally) is a parish under the Niranam Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Founded by St. Thomas in 54 AD, this is one of the most ancient churches in the world. It also contains the mortal remains of St. Thomas.

The present structure was constructed in 1912, and later strengthened in the year 2000. Huge granite Cross, relics of St. Thomas, remains of the old church and the golden cross are the special attractions of the church. The feast of Assumption of St. Mary celebrated on Aug 15th and the Feast of Nativity of St. Mary celebrated on September 8th are important festival of the church. The Feast of St. Thomas on Dec 21st, the Feast of St. Behanan on Dec 27th and the Feasts of Marthoma II and Marthoma V on May10th are also celebrated in a grand manner here.

This place is connected by bus from Thiruvalla.


Lake & Backwater | Nature & Scenic | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 63 km from Kochi, 48 km from Alleppey, 155 km from Trivandrum, 142 km from Munnar and 240 km from Coimbatore, Kottayam is a city located in central Kerala and is also the administrative capital of Kottayam district. It is one of the well known Kerala places to visit. The city is an important trading center of spices and commercial crops, especially rubber.

Kottayam is bounded by Western Ghats on the east and the Vembanad Lake on the west. Kottayam is well known as a beautiful Kerala backwaters destination with stunning landscape and beauty. Kumarakom, the most famous backwater destination of Kerala is situated very close to Kottayam (13 km). It is also a gateway to the pilgrim centers of Sabarimala, Mannanam, Vaikom, .....


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 11 Kms from Kottayam Railway Station, Mahadeva Temple located in Ettumanoor is one of the most celebrated Siva temples in Kerala. This is one of the popular tourist & pilgrimage sites to visit near Kottayam & Kochi.

This temple is known for its exceptional murals and woodcarvings made in 16th century. The themes of these murals are stills from the Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata and the and Puranas.The oil lamp at the entrance of the temple is believed to have been lighted for more than 450 years and it is fed with oil by the devotees everyday. There are 14 decorative gopuras in the temple built in 16th century.

Another attraction of the temple is Ezhara Punnana (golden elephants) donated to the temple by Maharaja of Travancore. The golden elephants are kept on display during the temple annual festival celebrated in the month of February / March. Only Hindus are allowed into this temple.

Ezharaponnaana Ezhunallathu is the main festival celebrated .....


Beach | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 59 km from Tirunelveli, 35 km from Tuticorin and 92 km from Kanyakumari, Thiruchendur is a small coastal town in the Toothukudi district of Tamil Nadu and is a popular pilgrimage destination situated in the Gulf of Mannar.

Thiruchendur Murugan Kovil is the prime attraction of the town. This temple is considered to be one of the six Padai Veedu (Battle Camps) of Lord Murugan, the others being Thiruparamkundram, Palani, Swamimalai, Thiruthani and Pazhamudhircholai. This temple is known as the second Padai Veedu of Lord Muruga. Lord Muruga won the battle with the demon Surapadma and worshipped Lord Shiva at this sacred place. It is believed that the temple existed since the Vedic period, as it is mentioned in many ancient scripts.

The main entrance to the temple faces south although the sanctum faces east. The 133 feet Rajagopura, built close to the shores of Bay of Bengal, is an outstanding example of Dravidian .....


Pilgrimage

Sabarimala is the most famous Hindu pilgrimage centre in Kerala and India. At a distance of 70 km from Pathanamthitta, this temple is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. It is one of the most visited pilgrim centers in the world with an estimated 45 - 50 million devotees every year. It is the most popular center of pilgrimage in Kerala state.

At a distance of 158 km from Kochi and 178 km from Trivandrum, this temple is one of the oldest temples in India, with history of more than 5000 years old. The temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappan here is situated in the midst of 18 hills, at an altitude of about 3000 feet. It is believed that Lord Parasurama installed the idol of Ayyappa at Sabarimala.

The pilgrimage season begins in the month of November and ends in January (the temple remains closed during rest of the year except for the first five days of each Malayalam month). The devotees following Ayyappa Vratam (Ayyappa Maala - a 41 days Vratam .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 20 Kms from Kottayam, St.Mary's Forane Church (also known as Martha Mariam Church) is located in Kuravilangad, on the way to Muvattupuzha.

Constructed in the year of 105 AD, this Church belongs to the diocese of Palai. It is believed that Mother Mary appeared to a few children in this area and asked them to build a church at the place from where a miraculous spring emerged, which exists even today. The church was built and a statue of the Virgin Mary carved from granite is installed here. A 48 feet single block granite cross is located in front of the church, which was erected around 1597. Three majestic bells of Kuravilangad were brought from Germany in 1911.

The main festival of the church called 'Moonnu Nompu', celebrated for 3 days in the month of xx. Thousands of devotees from all parts of Kerala participate in the festival.


Lake & Backwater | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 35 km from Kottayam and 18 km from Kumarakom, Vaikom, situated on the eastern side of Vembanad lake is the oldest township in Kottayam district. Vaikom is famous as a temple town and a popular getaway to experience beautiful backwaters in kerala.

Vaikom is well known for the the ancient Mahadeva temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and believed to be built by Parasurama, the founder of Kerala. The temple has a huge courtyard spanning over to 8 acres of land and four towers on each side of the temple. Other major attractions of the Mahadeva Temple includes the Garbagriha, a golden Stupa surmounting Garbagriha, 19.5m tall golden staff, etc. The exterior walls of the Garbagriha exhibit several pieces of artwork.

This is the place which had made a significance in Indian history with the Vaikom Sathyagraham in 1924, i.e the movement against untouchability in Hindu society. Leader of the Indian Freedom Movement Mahatma .....

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