Pathanamthitta district is a district of Kerala state with its administrative headquarters located at Pathanamthitta city. The name of the district is derived from the two Malayalam words Pathanam and Thitta, both the terms together mean an array of houses on the river side. In order to speed up the development process it came into existence on 1st November, 1982. The history of the district is not so clear as it has been lost somewhere between the history of earlier districts of Quilon and Alleppey. Legends believed that the present regions of the district were earlier a part of the Pandalam reign which was associated with the Pandya Kingdom. Some portions of the former Kollam Alappuzha and Idukki districts were a part of the preset Pathanamthitta district. The current Pathanamthitta district includes some significant places like Pathanamthitta, Adoor, Ranni, Konni and Kozhencherry from the Kollam district; on the other hand the chief places namely Thiruvalla and Mallappally from the Alappuzha district.
Benyamin, a distinguished Indian novelist and short story writer in Malayalam language was born in the year 1971 at Kulanada in the district. He was honoured by the prestigious Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 2009 for his Goat Days.
Geographically, the district lies at 9026'N latitude, 76078'E longitude and 18 m Altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 73.74% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 2,652 sq km. and it is bounded by Kottayam district and Idukki district on the North, Kollam district on the South, Tamil Nadu on the East and Alappuzha district on the West. The climate of the district is characterised as moderate climate. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 4651.7 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 6 taluks namely Adoor, Konni, Kozhencherry, Ranni, Mallappally and Thiruvalla. Moreover, it comprises 4 towns and 64 villages. The administrative language in the district is Malayalam.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 11,97,412 out of which 5,61,716 are males and 6,35,696 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1132 (females for every 1000 males). In the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was -2.97% including -4.70% were males and -1.38% were females. As per 2011 census the major religions practiced by the people of the district are Hindu and Christian with 56.93% and 38.12% of the total population. The population density in the district is 452 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Malayalam with 99.13%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 15,904 out of which 8,051 are males and 7,851 are females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 12,210 out of which 6,778 are males and 5,431 are females.
The economy of the district is mainly based on agriculture. The hilly terrain and its highly humid climate of the district are favourable for the rubber plantation. The principal agricultural crops in the district are coconut, banana, pepper, ginger, pineapple, sugarcane, cocoa, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the farmers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Most of the people in the district are also engaged in the fishery activities in order to earn their livelihood. A Fresh Water Survey Station in the district is as well serving at the development of the fishery activities. The district is scantily industrialised since only a few small scale industries of handloom are found in it. In the year 2018-19 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 20,02,724 lakh at current price and Rs. 14,25,005 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 18,03,003 lakh at current price and Rs. 13,03,113 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 1,54,014 at current price and Rs. 1,11,313 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Since the district has no universities hence most of the colleges in the district are affiliated to the Mahatma Gandhi University, located in Kottayam. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 96.55% out of which 97.36% are males and 95.83% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 10,62,553 including 4,99,181 are males and 5,63,372 are females.
Mathew T Thomas, an eminent Indian politician and the former Transport Minister of Kerala from May 2006 to August 2009 was born on 27th September, 1961 at Tiruvalla in the Pathanamthitta district. At present he is serving as the State President and Legislature Party Leader of the Janata Dal (Secular).
During the year 2018, there were 1,92,813 domestic tourists and 1,953 foreign tourists. The district has several centres of attraction which allure many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Mannadi, located at a distance of 13 km. from Adoor in the district has the famous ancient Bhagavathy temple which has some exquisite stone sculptures. Muloor Smarakam, 12 km. from from Pathanamthitta town, is the memorial to Muloor S. Padmanabha Panicker (1869-1931), a renowned social reformer and poet. It is located at Elavumthitta. His home at Elavumthitta is preserved as his monument by the Department of Culture of the State Government. Muloor Smarakam, situated about 12 km. away from the Pathanamthitta town has the memorial of the renowned social reformer and poet named Muloor S.Padmanabha Panicker. Konni, located on the banks of the Achankovil River is a small beautiful hill station with mesmerising natural sceneries. A wild elephant training centre is also established in the place. Perunthenaruvi Water falls in the district is a perfect destination for nature’s lovers. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Kadamanitta Devi Temple, Kadamanitta Devi Temple, Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple, Sree Vallabha Temple, Ayiroor Cherukolpuzha, etc.