On your way to Sabarimala, you will find a beautiful tourist spot named Pamba. At a distance of 8 km from Sabarimala, Pamba is actually the base station and nearest road point to the temple.
Flowing through this scenic place, is the Pamba river (also known as Pampa river). It is also a "Thriveni Sangam" - the meeting point for three rivers: Pamba, Achankovil and Manimala. Pilgrims visiting Sabarimala take a dip in the river here before and after trekking the hill.
History of Pamba:
Pamba river has a major religious and mythological importance in Hinduism. It is said that Lord Ayyappan appeared to the Pandalam Raja as a child on the banks of the Pamba River. Thus, the Pamba River has been revered as the "Ganges of Kerala," where the devotees believe that immersing oneself absolves one's sins and is a requirement before commencing the trek through the forest to the Ayyappan Temple atop Sabarimala.
The river Pamba has in fact many famous temples on its banks other than the Sabarimala. Tiruvalla Sreevallabhapuram temple, Adoor Mannar Temple, Aranmula temple, Chenganoor Mahadeva temple, Thakazhy Sree Dharma Sastha Temple are among the most famous ones.
Further, the lake Saras mentioned in Ramayana is actually the Pamba Saras (Pamba Sarovar) which lies on the basin of the present Tungabhadra river. Also, the old Kishkindha (Monkey City) or present-day Hampi (UNESCO heritage site) are situated at the Pamba Saras near Hampi.
Gradually becoming a commercial hub, the Pamba has seen many shops set up in recent times selling utensils, clothes, food, jewelry, etc. With its exclusive greenery, Pamba enjoys a swarming session throughout the year. But, in December, it becomes very difficult to find an empty room or place to stay there as it becomes so jam-packed due to the worshipping of the Lord Ayyappan at this time.
How to Reach Pamba:
The adjoining Railway posting is Kottayam and Chengannur, while the nearby airport is Trivandrum and Kochi. After reaching these locations, you can rent a car or board a bus to arrive at your desired location.