Pathanamthitta is blessed with natural beauty. Eastern part of the district consist of forest, which occupies about 60% of the geographical area of the district. The cropping area is about 32%. More than 60 % of the cropping area occupies rubber. Pathanamthitta district is a symbol of inter-religion harmony and enjoys concentration of pilgrimage centres of all religions. Sabarimala Temple, Erumely Vavar Masjid, ParumalaChurch, Maramon convention, Cherukolpuzha . Hindu Convention, Aranmula Boat Race etc. are major attractions of the district. Gavi and Konni Elephant Training Centre are major tourist attraction centres.
It is only befitting that Prakkanam a serene village in Chennerkara Grama panchayat is situated in Pathanamthitta district. Prakkanam has a scenic beauty of its own with fertile valley and green paddy fields nestled between high standing hills. The inhabitants belong to different castes of Christians and Hindus yet they live in healthy co-operation and brotherhood. Now there are seven churches of different denominations in Prakkanam. Several Christian denominations have presence in the village. There are churches and temples spreading fragrance of love and peace. All are living in harmony and take part in festivals of other religions also.
Tradition says that this beautiful landscape was once a forest and the very name “ Prakkanam” is derived from two words “Pera” and “kananam”, which means small forest (pera=small+kananam=forest). Gradually as time passed by Perakananam was shortened to Prakkanam for easy usage. It is presumed that wild animals like elephants and leopards lived in this forest. There are house names that are connected with names of wild animals and big trees such as Nooranakkuzhi yil, pulivarathil, Elavunilkkunnathil, Alunilkkunnathil etc. It is evident from the above that about five/ six centuries back this place was covered by dense forest. Earlier Prakkanam was part of Omalloor village and after re-division of States in 1956, it came under Chenneerkara Village in Kollam District. Consequest to the formation of Pathanamthitta district in 1983 it is included in Kozhenchery Taluk. The 100 Feet tall St.Mary’s Orthodox Valiyapally is a landmark between a 2 K. M.long rocky hill on the east and a hill with rubber plantation on the west, providing beautiful sight for passers by. The architectural design and the skill manifested in its construction are highly appreciable.
The Prakkanam St. Mary’s Orthodox Valiayapally stands proudly as a shining star at the heart of Prakkanam. It is about 7 Kms away from District Head Quarters Pathanamthitta and is positioned between Omalloor and Elanthoor ,3 Kms from Omalloor and 5 Kms. from Elanthoor the Omalloor – Elanthoor Road. People of all religions, who are frustrated and laddened with various problems seek refuge in this church for the intercession of St. Mary and find solace, especially during the 8 days Lent.