Thenmala is a very popular tourist place near Punalur in Kollam district. India’s first eco tourism project is located at Thenmala. Thenmala is located about 72 kms from Thiruvananthapuram. This is a predominantly forest area in the Western Ghats. Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the major attractions of this place.
Other places of tourist importance are Thenmala Dam, Palaruvi, the adventure zones etc. Palaruvi Waterfalls is only 16km from Thenmala. The main attraction is a 300 foot-high waterfall which looks like a Stream of milk and hence the name Palaruvi.
Thenmala (Parappar) Dam is a centre of attraction at Thenmala. It is built under Kallada Irrigation Project. The Thenmala Eco-tourism Project has a threefold strategy, that involves eco friendly general tourism, eco tourism and pilgrimage tourism. The culture, adventure, and leisure zones fall within the project area.
Thenmala in Kerala is the first planned ecotourism destination in India. Predominantly a forest area, Thenmala is a small village, located at the foothills of the Western Ghat Mountains . Thenmala is about 72 km from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, the southern most state of Kerala. The name Thenmala is derived from two words – Then & Mala”, in local parlance. “Then” means honey and “Mala” means hillock i.e. honey hills. The honey collected from Thenmala forest area is of good quality and of high medicinal value because of the unique floristic composition of the forests.
This premiere eco-tourism destination, is gaining popularity due to its unique vistas, bio-diversity and functioning. Situated about 72kms from Thiruvananthapuram, in the District of Kollam, the Thenmala Eco-Tourism shares its resources with the famous Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary at the foothills of the Western Ghats
General Information Location : Kerala, in the southern part of India.
Known For: The First Planned Eco-tourism destination in India.
Altitude : Between 100-600 m above MSL
Climate : Hottest months-March to May
Coldest months – December & January.
Max Temp. : 39degreeC.
Daily Temp. : varies from 17deg.C to 35deg.C.
Rainfall : Southwest Monsoon:May-Aug ext to Sep
Northeast Monsoon:late Sep, Oct & Nov
2600 – 3000 mm (Average)
Spoken :Malayalam,Tamil & English
Season : Throughout the year
Clothing : Tropical
Nearest Railway station : Kollam, about 66 kms away.
Nearest Airport : ThiruvananthapuramInternationalAirport, about 72 kms away. Road Route : Those coming from Kochi, Kollam, Kottayam or other centres in the North can reach Thenmala via Punalur.
Thenmala reservoir: You can do boating in the reservoir.Tickets can be purchased at the eco-tourism centre. You will be taken to the boarding point in a battery-powered van. Many people can ride together in the boat. It is a pleasant experience to sail through the reservoir which is the longest in the State. The trees of Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary line up on both sides of the reservoir.
Thenmala Dam :Thenmala (Parappar) Dam is a centre of attraction at Thenmala, the pioneer ecotourism destination. Built under the Kallada Irrigation and Tree Crop development project, it is the second largest irrigation project in Kerala (India). The dam impounds the longest reservoir in the State. Water from the reservoir is now used for power generation also.
Metre Gauge railway :Visitors can experience the exciting travel through the rare metre gauge railway.
Thenmala Eco Tourism Centre:This centre provides the tourist all the needful assistance and facilities to experience the eco tourism around Thenmala. The region has been divided into Culture, Leisure, Adventure zones to explore every destination spot. Boating, Canopy Walkway, Musical Dancing fountain, Sculpture garden,etc are some of the sight seeing options.
Punalur :It is 45 kms from Kollam on the Kollam-Shenkottah railway line and is also linked with Kollam by road. The Suspension bridge across the Kallada river erected in 1877,is the only one of its kind in south India and it is 400 ft long. A concrete bridge has been constructed nearby and now the suspension bridge is only of archaeological interest.
Palaruvi Falls: The Falls is situated at a distance of 16 km from Thenmala towards Shenkottah and drops down to 300 ft in height amidst tropical evergreen forests,providing a beautiful feast for the eyes.