Aranmula Parthasarathi Temple,named as ‘Thiruvaaran Vilai‘ is located at Aranmula village of Pathanamthitta District of Kerala and also one of the 108 Divya Desam Temples, holy abodes of Lord Vishnu. This Temple is located on the left bank of Pampa River, dedicated to Lord Parthasarathi(Lord Vishnu). Aranmula Parthasarathi Temple is linked with the great epic Mahabharata and its legends. It is believed that the Arjuna, one of the Pandava brothers have built this temple. The Parthasarathi Temple consists of four towers in its entrance. The eastern tower is accessed only through a flight of 18 steps.
The legend says that each of the Pandava brothers have installed the idol of Lord Vishnu on the banks of the Pampa and the other places nearby and offered worship to Lord Vishnu. And it is said that Arjuna built this temple at Nilackal near Sabarimala to redress for the sin of killing an unarmed enemy Karna on the battlefield. And later the idol was brought to this place in a raft made of six pieces of bamboo and hence this temple came to be called as Aranmula temple, refers to six pieces of bamboo. The places where the idol of Lord Vishnu has been installed by the Pandava brothers are:
- Chengannur, Thrichittattu by Yuddhishtra
- Thiruppuliyur by Bheema
- Aranmula by Arjuna
- Thiruvanvandur by Nakula
- Tirukkodithanam by Sahadeva
The primary deity of this temple is Lord Parthasarathi(Lord Vishnu). Aranmula Parthasarathi Temple is considered as one of the popular and most important temples in the state of Kerala. The other temples are:
- Guruvayur Temple
- Trichambaram Temple
- Tiruvarppu Temple
- Ambalappuzha Temple
Aranmula Parthasarathi Temple houses the Thiruvabharanam (the sacred jewels) of Lord Ayyappa, which are taken in procession to the Sabarimala temple every year. And the Thanka Anki (golden attire) which is donated by the king of Travancore to Lord Ayyappa is also stored at this temple and are taken to Sabarimala temple during the Mandala season (December) every year. Aranmula Parthasarathi Temple has been revered by the Azhwars, the 12 saint poets.
This temple remains open from morning 4.30 am to 11.00 am and in the evening from 5.00 pm to 8.30 pm.
- Thiruvonam Festival – August or September
- Ashtami Rohini Vallasadya – August or September
- Vishu Festival – April
- Ponnumthottathu Arattu – March or April
- Ashtami Rohini Festival – July or August
- Thanungu perukku – December or January
- Kumbha sankramam – February or March
The city is well connected to major towns and cities inside and outside Kerala by the State run KSRTC and private buses as well as Luxury Services.The cities of Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi etc. are well connected by bus services and Bangalore, Chennai, Mangalore and Mumbai are operated on a daily basis.
Tiruvalla railway station (30 km), Chengannur railway station (24 km) is the nearest Railway station. Kollam Junction Railway Station is 62 km away from Pathanamthitta.
Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (113 km), Cochin International Airport, at Nedumbassery, Kochi (142 km) are the nearest airports and proposed Aranmula International Airport is about 13 km from the district headquarters.
- Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple
- Gurunathanmukadi Sri Ayyappaguru Temple
- Kadampanad Bhagavathy Temple
- Kaviyoor Mahadevar Temple
- Mahadeva Temple
- Poothamkara Sree Dharma Sasta Temple
- Sree Bhuvaneswary Temple