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Pathanamthitta town is located on the fertile banks of the River Achankovil.The name Pathanamthitta is derived from two Malayalam words Pathanam and thitta, which together mean "houses by the riverside". Pathanamthitta is a town situated in the very heart of the Central Travancore region of Kerala State, India.It is the administrative capital of The Pathanamthitta District. The town has a population of 38,000. It is known as the Pilgrim Capital of Kerala. Pathanamthitta is a fast-developing town and business center. It is the main transport hub to the famous Hindu pilgrim center of Sabarimala. The main trunk road to Sabarimala is from Pathanamthitta. Pathanamthitta is a cosmopolitan town, with people of different faiths like Hindus, Christians, and Muslims living in harmony. Pathanamthitta District has a communal break up of Hindus 55.58%, Christians 40.35%, Muslims 4.03%.

Places around Pathanamthitta town within a distance of 15km include Kadammanitta, Vazhamuttom, Pandalam, Manjinikara, Omallur, Malayalappuzha, Kodumthara, Muloor Smarakam, Kodumon, Cherukolpuzha, Thumpamon, Maroor, Pramadom, and Valamchuzhy. The places beyond these are Nilackal, Parumala, and Maramon. Pathanamthitta town lies on the road route to the pilgrim town of Sabarimala, which is 65km away.

Parumala Church, Niranom Church, Trinity Marthoma Church Mekozhhor, Thiruvalla Shri Vallabha Temple and a host of other temples and churches are present here. 6 km away from Pathanamthitta, there is a place called Kadammanitta that is famous for its Devi Temple, and is also the hometown of famous Malayalam poet Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan.

Pathanamthitta claims to be first district in India to achieve 100 percent literacy rate and it has the lowest population growth rate in the country.

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