Kerala Pilgrim Centre
Sabarimala is one of the most famous Hindu pilgrim centres in South India. The temple situated in dense forests 914 mts above sea level is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. The temple is accessable only by a 4 kms walk through the forest from Pamba. Pilgrim season is from November to mid January. Women between 10 and 50 years of age are not allowed in the temple.
The Parthasarathi temple (dedicated to Lord Krishna) on the banks of Pamba river attracts large number of devotees every year. Aranmula Snake boat race which is held in the last day of the week-long Onam festival is another attraction of Aranmula.
It is the head quarters of the Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church. The Paliakara church is one of the oldest of its kind and houses some exquisite mural paintings. Niranam which is just 9 kms from Thiruvalla has the oldest Christian Church of India believed to be built by the apostle of Jesus Christ, St. Thomas in 52 AD.
Situated few kms away from Thiruvalla near Kozhencherry, Maramon is the venue of the Maramon Convention, the biggest religious gathering of Christians in Asia.
Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple
This temple is a perfect example of the rich and scientific Kerala style of architecture. Sri Krishna temple dedicated to the infant Krishna is one of the most famous temples of ancient Travancore Kingdom. The daily offering of delicious sweet milk porridge known as “Palpayasam” is famous all over India. The famous satiric art form of Kerala “Ottanthullal” was first performed in this temple by its originator ‘ Kunjan Nambiar’.
Mannarsala Sree Nagaraja Temple
This temple is dedicated to the serpent king Nagaraja. The temple rituals are held by a group headed by a priestess. At Mannarasala barren women are believed to be blessed with children.
Shiva Temple, Vaikom
Vaikom temple is the typical example of Kerala style temple architecture. More popular as the ‘Kasi of the South’, this temple is famous for its elephant peagants and traditional art performances. Annual festival falls in the months of November- December.
This is believed to be one of the seven churches established by St. Thomas, the apostle of Jesus Christ. Annual feast here is celebrated from 22nd to 24th of April.
Guruvayoor is one of the most important Hindu pilgrim centres of Kerala and is known as the “Dwaraka of the South”. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna who is locally known as Guruvayoorappan or Lord of Guruvayoor. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple.
Punnathoorkotta (2km from Guruvayoor)
Punnathoorkotta is the home of over 50 elephants owned by the Guruvayoor temple.Over 50 elephants in a single compound is a spectacular sight. The Punnathoorkotta was an old Zamorin palace. Enter the premises only with permission and approach the elephants only with permission and guidence from mahout (elephant trainer)