Pandalam is a holy town in Pathanamthitta. It is believed that Sree Ayyappa, the presiding deity of Sabarimala had his human sojourn here as the son of the Raja of Pandalam. Before proceeding to Sabarimala, pilgrims usually stop to worship the deity of Valiyakoikkal temple near the Pandalam palace. This temple is on the banks of river Achenkovil. Three days prior to the Makaravilaku festival, the sacred ornaments of Sree Ayyappa are taken in a procession from Pandalam to Sabarimala.
Other famous temples are the Mahadevar temple, Kurampala Puthankavil Bhagavathi temple, Thonnallur Pattupurakkavu Bhagavathi temple and Kaipuzha Sree Krishna Swami temple. The centuries old Kadakkad Juma Masjid, Thumpamon Orthodox Cathedral and Kurampala St. Thomas Church give this pilgrim town, the glare and glory of a secular township.
This holy town is also a well known educational and health care centre in Kerala. Pandalam has a lot of educational institutions ranging from reputed schools to Post Graduate, Training, Ayurveda, Medical and Engineering Colleges.
It is believed that the Pandya kings of Tamil Nadu fled to Pandalam after losing a battle and settled here in the land they bought from Kaipuzha Thampan, a landlord. The princely state of Pandalam had extended up to Thodupuzha in Idukki district once. Pandalam had witnessed a rare piece of history when it was first converted to a municipality and later back to a grama panchayat.