Pathanamthitta is a landlocked district situated in the southern part of the state, and is bordered by Kottayam and Idukki districts in the north, Alappuzha in the west, Kollam in the south and has a border with Tamil Nadu in the east. The district was made up from combining areas from the Alappuzha, Idukki and Kollam districts. Major towns in the district are Pathanmthitta, Tiruvalla, Adoor, Ranni, Konni, Mallappally and Kozhencherry. More than 50% of the geographical area is covered by forests.
The district's name is a combination of two Malayalam words pathanam and thitta, which together mean "houses by the riverside".
Pathanamthitta is a pre-dominantly agricultural district with cultivation of coconut, rubber, paddy, pepper and tea. The hilly terrain coupled with high humidity make it suitable for rubber and tea plantations.
Hydroelectric power plants situated in the district cater to one-third of electricity demands of Kerla state. Three important rivers Achankovil, Manimala and Pampa flow through the district. Pampa that originates from Sabarimala is considered a holy river.
Pathanamthitta holds the distinction of being declared the first polio-free district in India.
Places of tourist interest
- Aranmula - venue of the annual snake boat race on the Pampa; the place is also famous for its metal mirrors
- Kakki - reservoir surrounded by forests abounding in elephants and tigers
- Konni - Elephant Cage
- Maramon - the river-bed of the Pampa here witnesses the annual Maramon Convention, the largest Christian gathering in Asia
- Pandalam - The Capital of the ancient Travancore Kingdoms.
- The Pandalam Kingdom was established around 79 ME (903 AD)
- The World famous Pilgrim Town of Central Travancore. Site of the Pandalam Palace. Golden Casket(the sacred ornaments of Lord Ayyappa) keeps here.
- Sabarimala - abode of Lord Ayyappa, which receives about 10 million pilgrims every year
College of Engineering,Kallooppara,Pathanamthitta.
Pandalam is famous for its ancient castles and also for its holiness. It is famous because it is believed to be the home of Lord Ayyapa of Sabarimala. Also six kilometers from Pandalam en route to Pathanamthitta is the famous house Kunnampallil. It is an archtectural wonder of the ancient times. It displays the paintings and sculptures of mideval Kerala. It is now home to the Retired college lecturer K.P.Krishnankutty Nair.