how to reach achankovil

Nestled in the serene landscapes of Kerala, Achankovil is a sacred destination known for its temple and natural beauty. Whether you are a religious pilgrim or a nature enthusiast, this travel guide will help you navigate the journey to Achankovil.

By Air:

The nearest airport to Achankovil is Trivandrum International Airport (Thiruvananthapuram), which is approximately 135 kilometers away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or use other modes of local transportation to reach Achankovil. The drive from the airport takes about 3-4 hours, providing picturesque views of the Kerala countryside.

By Train:

The closest railway station to Achankovil is Chengannur Railway Station, located about 60 kilometers away. Chengannur is well-connected to major cities in India. From Chengannur, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Achankovil. The scenic journey through the lush greenery of Kerala adds to the charm of the travel experience.

By Road:

From Trivandrum:

  • If you’re traveling from Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala, you can take the NH 66 highway. The road journey offers glimpses of rural Kerala, and the well-maintained highways make for a comfortable drive.

From Kochi:

  • Kochi, another major city in Kerala, is approximately 170 kilometers away from Achankovil. You can take the NH 66 or NH 183, enjoying the diverse landscapes and passing through towns and villages along the way.

Local Transportation:

Once you reach Achankovil, local transportation options are available for exploring the area. Auto-rickshaws and taxis are commonly used for short-distance travel within the town. If you prefer a more leisurely pace, you can explore on foot, immersing yourself in the local culture and enjoying the tranquil surroundings.

Pilgrimage to Achankovil Temple:

Achankovil is renowned for the Sastha Temple, dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. The temple is situated amidst lush greenery and is a significant pilgrimage site for devotees. To reach the temple, you can follow the well-marked paths and steps leading to the sacred shrine.

1. Achankovil Sastha Temple:

  • The Achankovil Sastha Temple is the primary attraction in the town, drawing pilgrims and devotees throughout the year. Lord Ayyappa is worshipped here in the form of a serpent. The temple has a unique tradition where the chief priest wears a gold-covered attire resembling a serpent during the annual festival.

2. Pilgrimage Significance:

  • Achankovil holds immense religious importance, particularly for devotees of Lord Ayyappa. The temple attracts pilgrims from various parts of Kerala and beyond, especially during the Mandalam-Makaravilakku season. The serene surroundings contribute to the spiritual ambiance, making it a place of profound worship.

3. Rituals and Festivals:

  • The temple conducts various rituals and festivals throughout the year. The annual Utsavam, or festival, is a grand celebration marked by processions, traditional music, and cultural events. The Makaravilakku festival, held during the Mandalam-Makaravilakku season, is a major highlight that draws a massive gathering of devotees.

4. Natural Beauty:

  • Achankovil is surrounded by lush greenery and picturesque landscapes. The tranquil atmosphere and pristine surroundings add to the appeal of the town. The journey to the temple often involves walking through scenic paths, creating a peaceful and rejuvenating experience for pilgrims.

5. Pamba River:

  • The Pamba River, a significant water body in Kerala, flows near Achankovil. Pilgrims often take ritualistic baths in the river before proceeding to the temple. The riverside setting adds to the natural beauty and spiritual significance of the pilgrimage.


Achankovil offers a range of accommodation options to suit various preferences and budgets. From simple guesthouses to more luxurious hotels, you can find a place to stay that aligns with your needs. It’s advisable to book accommodations in advance, especially during peak pilgrimage seasons.

Local Cuisine:

While in Achankovil, savoring the local cuisine is a must. Traditional Kerala dishes, known for their use of coconut, spices, and seafood, are readily available. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in authentic Kerala meals at local eateries or the dining facilities provided by your accommodation.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  1. Weather:
    • Kerala experiences a tropical climate, and it’s advisable to check the weather conditions before planning your trip. The monsoon season (June to September) can bring heavy rainfall, while the winter months (November to February) offer pleasant weather.
  2. Pilgrimage Seasons:
    • If your visit is primarily for the pilgrimage to Achankovil Temple, be aware of the major pilgrimage seasons. The Mandalam-Makaravilakku season, typically from November to January, is the busiest time, attracting a large number of devotees.
  3. Cultural Sensitivity:
    • Respect local customs and traditions, especially when visiting religious sites. Dress modestly when entering temples, and be mindful of local cultural practices.
  4. Language:
    • Malayalam is the primary language spoken in Kerala. While English is widely understood, learning a few basic Malayalam phrases can enhance your travel experience and interactions with locals.

Nearby Attractions:

  1. Punalur:
    • Approximately 30 kilometers from Achankovil, Punalur is known for its suspension bridge and historic significance. The Punalur Suspension Bridge is one of the oldest in India and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  2. Konni:
    • About 40 kilometers away, Konni is famous for its elephant training center. Visitors can witness the traditional methods of training elephants and explore the beautiful Konni Forest Reserve.


Achankovil, with its spiritual aura and natural beauty, offers a unique travel experience in the heart of Kerala. Whether you are embarking on a pilgrimage or seeking tranquility in the lap of nature, the journey to Achankovil promises a blend of cultural richness and serene landscapes that will stay with you long after your visit.