JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use the Site in standard view. However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options.

| Last Updated:: 29/08/2023

River Pamba


Place of Origin

Peermedu near Sabrimala, Kerala




Vembanad Lake, Kerala
Piligrims taking a holy dip in the river


Religious significance



Pamba is the most important point on the way to Sabarimala. It is here that Lord Ayappa was found by King Rajasekara. It is considered as sacred as the Ganges and is believed to purify one of sins. All pilgrims take a ritual dip in the river before heading to Sabarimala. Pilgrims also perform pitru tarpanam (offering to ancestors) before starting the trek to the shrine.



Ecological significance 





Water from the river is used for irrigational purposes, drinking and hydro electric power production. The river also serves as a fertile ground for inland fishing. The river is subjected to very high levels of water pollution especially during the pilgrim season due to open defecation, discharge of raw sewage and domestic and commercial solid wastes.




Even though measures are taken by the Travancore Devaswom Board and the State Government every year to provide basic sanitary facilities to the pilgrims, most of the waste generated finally ends up in the river. The quality of water is further deteriorated due to the uncontrolled disposal of sewage and other waste from the townships and the rural areas nearby. Indiscriminate sand-mining, deforestation and other forms of human intervention have further affected the ecology of the river systems along vast stretches. Nearly 30 fish species are threatened and five are classified as endangered. Two species were absent during the 2003-04 period. The annual fish catch in the Pamba declined by 34 per cent during the period 1999-2003. The Pamba is the first Kerala River to be included in the National River Conservation Programme (NRCP).