Thenmala takes the ultimate pride of being the first planned eco-tourism destination in India. Located around 66km from Kollam city, this spectacular tourist town boasts of 10 breath-taking eco-tourism destinations. Extending to the fascinating hill ranges of Trivandrum, Kollam and Pathanamthitta, Thenmala is no less than a fairy tale destination for the visitors to Kerala!
Extremely popular for its swaying beauty and irresistible charm, Thenmala is also a hotspot for the best quality timber in the country. Adding more to this eco-tourism destination’s appeal, one could find the supreme quality of honey in this region. In fact, the name Thenmala translates to ‘Honey Hill’ in local language.
Besides being an enchanting eco-tourism spot, Thenmala also serves as a hotspot for the thrill seekers. Dotted with fascinating peaks and mountains, luscious forest areas and scenic plains, this tourism spot makes it for amazing adventure sport destination as well. Its rugged terrains, challenging trails, narrow passages, and enthralling rock formations makes Thenmala a befitting destination to let adrenalines rush with activities like rock climbing, mountain biking, trekking, and hiking.
How to Reach Thenmala
One of the most scenic eco-tourism destinations in Kerala, Thenmala is extremely well-connected with almost all the major cities and other tourist destinations in God’s Own Country. Visitors travelling from Kollam, Trivandrum, Punalur, and other popular destinations can avail regular state-run as well as private buses to reach Thenmala by road. Local cabs and taxis are also available to reach Thenmala by road.
Thenmala Railway Station on the Kollam-Schencottah train route serves as the nearest railway station to reach Thenmala. The station doesn’t have direct connectivity with any of the major train stations in Kerala. Hence, visitors can alight at the Quilon Junction, and either board the regular buses or hire private transport options to reach Thenmala by road.
Trivandrum International Airport at a distance of 56km, is the closest airport to reach Thenmala by air. This airport serves as hub for plenitude of direct and via flights from many Indian and foreign cities. However, arriving at the airport, visitors need to hire any of the road transport options to reach Thenmala by road.
Best Time to Visit Thenmala:
Winter (December – February) – Best Time: The morning dews, crispiness in the ambience, and the misty outlook that encrust Thenmala during the winters, is a sight to behold, adore, admire, and fall in love with! Also, it is during these months, this gorgeous eco-tourism destination experiences a vast drop in the temperature. Summing all these, winter proves to be the best time to visit Thenmala.
Summer (March – May) – Good Time: Temperature during the summer rises up to a maximum of 39 degrees. This season can only be a good time to visit Thenmala if visitors are accustomed to higher temperature. Ignoring the high rise in the mercury level, one would surely enjoy a clear atmosphere that could serve as an ideal time for sightseeing and other such tourism options.
Monsoon (June – September) – Good Time: Only if visitors can ignore heavy rainfalls or the water-soaked terrains, monsoon can be a good time to visit Thenmala. With the advent of the monsoon rains, this region becomes more vibrant with a fresh outlook and unique charm all around. Monsoon can also be an ideal time for the thrill seekers who crave for extreme challenges.
Places to Visit around Thenmala:
Palaruvi Falls: The ‘Stream of Milk’ or the Palaruvi Falls is a wondrous waterfall to visit while in Thenmala. Revered as the 32nd highest waterfall in the country, this 300ft high cascade is around 18km from the eco-tourism town.
Adventure Zone: This place can be called the ‘Mecca’ for adventure seekers visiting Thenmala. Offering some of the adrenaline pumping activities like river crossing, mountain biking, rock climbing, elevated walkways, and rappelling, this is one such place any thrill seeker would not dare to miss out!
Leisure Zone: For the visitors who want to reconnect with Mother Nature, Leisure Zone is the place for them! A calm and serene spot in Thenmala, this is in fact the place that resonates the unique charm of being in an eco-tourism destination.
Deer Rehabilitation Centre: This rehabilitation centre serves as a foster home to the deer. On a visit here, visitors can spot a number of deer species including spotted deer, sambar deer, and others. Deer Rehabilitation Centre also offers a short, yet exciting riverside trek.
Valliyoorkkavu Temple: This sacred temple is dedicated to Mother Goddess. Located only 3km from Mananthavady, devotees visit this temple in a large number to worship the goddess in three different forms: Vana Durga, Jala Durga and Bhadraklai.
Butterfly Garden: Home to a number of butterfly species, this one is the most colourful spots to visit in Thenmala. Within this park, one can come close to these delicate flies, and also learn more about them over a guided tour.
Musical Dancing Fountain: Come evening, this tourist attraction turns into a lively display of colours and music. It has an open-air dancing fountain that plays synced with lively music and lightings.
Children’s Park: A fun-filled attraction dedicated to the kids, this park offer large open spaces for the kids to enjoy the day in their own ways. Dotted with an ample of fun elements like swings, zig-zag rides, slides and lot more, the junior visitors would definitely love to be here!
Nakshatravanam: This verdant garden serves as a natural abode to 27 trees that co-relates with the 27 birth star. Going by the Indian astrology, each of these trees symbolise the 27 different constellation.
Parappar Dam: Set amidst a scenic backdrop, Parappar Dam is a wonderful place to visit in Thenmala. The longest artificial water reservoir in Kerala, this dam site can be visited during 08:00 in the morning to 05:00 in the evening.
Aryankavu Railway Bridge: Tucked away between the Kollam-Senkottai National Highway and Kazhuthurutti River, this historic bridge is among the oldest railways bridges in India. Measuring around 102m with a height of 5.18m, this rustic bridge has around thirteen arches and makes it for a magnificent site to visit in Thenmala.
Pandavan Para: Also called the ‘Rock of the Pandavas’, Pandavan Para connects the visitors with the epic Mahabharata. Resting in Urukunnu, this is the rock, where the Pandava bothers took rest during their exile period.
Kulathupuzha: Located only 12km away from Thenmala, this pictorial hamlet is mostly known for its charming appeal and the sacred Sastah Temple. One should visit Kulathupuzha during the months of April or May; during this time of the year, Vishu Mahotsavam is celebrated in the Sastha Temple.
Ayyappa Temple: One of the most pious religious establishments in Kerala, Ayyappa Temple (also called Sree Darma Sastha Temple) is the temple of Lord Ayyappa. Located at a distance of 12km from Thenmala, this temple has the Lord in the form of a teenager named ‘Tiru’.
Things to do in Thenmala:
Mountain Biking: The narrow trails of Thenmala offers exciting options for mountain biking. Thrill seekers planning to explore this eco-tourism spot on pedals must go for mountain biking around this vicinity.
Rock Climbing: The rocky outgrowths found in Thenmala serves as remarkable spots for rock climbing. Though of easy grades, rock climbing in Thenmala is quite adrenaline pumping are requires basic skills.
River Crossing: River crossing is also among the exciting things to do in Thenmala. Conducted with the limits of Thenmala, this is an ideal activity for the visitors who do not wish to challenge the uneven terrains or rocky surfaces.
Boating: While boating around Thenmala, one can discover, unravel and enjoy the swaying beauty of Thenmala. A one-hour joy ride, visitors can also spot exotic wildlife species while boating around this scenic tourist Kerala destination.
Butterfly Safari: A walk through the Butterfly Park is a must while enjoying the undulated beauty of Thenmala. Ranging from small to large, local to exotic, visitors can have a glimpse of numerous butterflies within these exquisite safaris.
Sightseeing: With numerous tourist attractions, Thenmala also proves to be kaleidoscopic destination for sightseeing options. From religious sites to historical landmarks, this beautiful tourist destination have them all!
Nature Trails: Trailing the nature could be the best thing to do in Thenmala! Embark on these trails to walk through the dense thickets, explore their natural charm and get connected to Mother Nature’s untouched beauty within a wink of the eye!
Hotels around Thenmala:
Visitors to Thenmala need to worry about overnight stays or other sort of accommodations. This eco-tourism town offers an ample of stay options to its visitors. There are options like jungle camps, tourist homes, tents, dormitories, huts, and lot more.