Thenmala

ThenmalaThenmala literally menas,’honey hills’. Honey from these hills was sought after because it was mistakenly believed to have medicinal properties.Howerver, today the region is better known for its eco – conservation efforts. As India’s first planned ecotourism destination, Thenmala is the nerve – centre of 10 satellite ecotourism attractions scattered across the hills of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta.

A visit to Themala, near Punalur town in Kollam district, is not just about the destination, but also about the journey. Whether you choose to soak in the local atmosphere with a bus journey, to on a road trip on your bike or the kind who loves to travel in luxury in your car, the road trip to the top of the Thenmala hills will take you through winding roads, lush greenery and canopy of tall tropical trees unique to the region. Each tree in itself seems like a tourist destination for the first timers because of its sheer size and shape.

The road offers quite a few tourist pit stops like Palaruvi, a deer rehabilitation centre, Kulathupuzha, Anchal, Punalur, Kamukumchery and Shenkottah in Tirunelveli district along the way depending on where you are coming from and which route you choose to travel by. To make the most of these destinations on your trip, avoid the summer and monsoon as the waterfalls and rivers would either turn into bare rocks or be off limits for safety reasons.

Once you make your way t the village of Thenmala you will have the choice of activities like a visit to the Thenmala Dam and butterfly park, boating on the lake, visiting the rope bridge, going trekking or mountaineering, biking or catching a show of the musical fountain. All destinations are open from 8 am to 5 am. As for your hunger pangs on the way munch on some of the locally available picks like freshly made unniyappams,and other cake varieties or pickled mangoes,pineapples,carrots and gooseberries.

Image of Thenmala Eco TourismThenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society or TEPS is responsible for spreading eco – awareness and ensuring that the eco- system of the region is left undisturbed. The well trained staff of the TEPS brief visitors on how best to explore the region, but also guide them on appropriate behavious.The organization has also taken under its wings the nearby Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Palaruvi falls, riverfront leisure zones, rock shelters and a deer rehabilitation centre are some of the attractions in Thenmala.Located 500 m above the sea level, in the foothills of the southern Western Ghats,Thenmala’s diverse flora and fauna and vast tracts of forests attracts adventure seekers, naturalists and conservationists.

Rosemala , a valley that abounds in the bounty of nature, is located in the Shenduruney forest in Kollam. Located about 15 km deep into the forest from Aryankavu, Rosemala is one of the less explored eco tourism spots in Kerala

Contact:

Corporate Office

Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society (TEPS), Opposite University Women's Hostel Junction, TC 26/849 (1), Vazhuthacaud, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.Phone:0471-2329770

Thenmala Information Desk

Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society (TEPS), Thenmala Dam Junction,Thenmala Post,691308,Mob. +91 9496344800, PHONE: 0475-2344800, 0475-2344855.

Getting There

By Air : The nearest is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport,75 km

By Rail : The nearest broad gauge station is Kollam,73 km

By Road: It is a two hour drive from both Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam.Regular buses ply to Thenmala from Kollam, Kottarakkara, as well as Punalur.

Where to stay

Dormitory and Tented accommodations at Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society (TEPS).

Hotels

Tariff

Phone

Kumar Palace

Rs.1,800/- To Rs.3,200/-

0475 2230400, 2221076 / 77, 2230520

Cliff Resort

Rs.750/- To Rs.2,000/-

9443670671

Thenmala Eco Tourism

Rs.400/- To Rs.1,000/-

0475-2344800

 - Government Taxes extra applicable on tariff.

 Good resorts and hotels are available at Punalur, Kottarakkara and Kollam.

Hotels in Punalur

Hotels

Tariff

Phone

Hotel Vrindhavanam Inn

Rs.650/- To Rs.2,500/-

0475 2222961,2226621

Hotel Araam (KTDC)

Rs.750/- To Rs.900/-

0475 2231050

Hotel Zam Zam

Rs.400/- To Rs.1,000/-

0475 2225283

 - Government Taxes extra applicable on tariff.

Hotels in Kottarakkara

Hotels

Tariff

Phone

Highland Hotels & Resorts

Rs.650/- To Rs.2,500/-

0475 2222961,2226621

Hotel Ambalakkara Regency

Rs.750/- To Rs.900/-

0475 2231050

Nila Palace

Rs.400/- To Rs.1,000/-

0475 2225283

Motel Araam (KTDC)

Rs.500/-

+91 474 2663888

 - Government Taxes extra applicable on tariff.

For details of hotels and resorts in Kollam, see accommodation listing on http://halokerala.com/hotels/kollam/

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