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An Overview of Thenmala
‘Then’ means honey and ‘Mala’ means hills. Therefore, quite literally, ‘Thenmala’ stands for “Honey Hills”. This place is famous for its honey that is great in quality and taste. There are also a lot of healing properties in the honey that is procured from here mainly due to the well-maintained flowers in the forests. Predominantly, an area that is covered in the remote depths of thick forest cover, Thenmala is a tourists’ delight. Thenmala Dam which is absolutely breath-taking is constructed across Kallada River and is one of the huge crowd pullers of this small village in the Kollam district of Kerala.
Located at the foot of the ‘Western Ghats, Thenmala is the country’s first planned eco-tourist destination. Kerala state’s Tourism and Forestry Department have been doing all what they can in the field of eco-tourism and to market Thenmala as one of the best eco-tourist spots in the world. The main project that falls under this eco-tourism banner is the Wildlife Sanctuary at Shenduruney. This sanctuary is a hub of some of the rarest species of flora and fauna, which are being carefully preserved and maintained by the authorities.
Thenmala is a very small town that is located towards the southern corner of Kollam district in the state of Kerala. The capital of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, is located at a distance of 72km away from Thenmala. This scenic hill station has geographical identities of 8.57 degrees towards the North and 77.40 degrees towards the East.
How to reach and local modes of transport
Air – Thiruvananthapuram Airport, at a distance of 80km, is the closest airport to Thenmala.
Rail - Kollam railway station, at a distance of about 66km, is the nearest railway station to Thenmala.
Road – The main cities of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Punalur, Kottarakara and many more are connected with Thenmala by frequent government and private-sector buses every day.
Local transport- Travelling within Thenmala is an unforgettable experience only when tourists explore the area on foot.
Thenmala Dam, which is constructed across the Kallada River, is one of the best places here. Palaruvi Waterfalls, Matysafed Aquarium, Deer Rehabilitation Centre, Wildlife Sanctuary, Musical Fountain etc. are some of the huge attractions near Thenmala.
Things to do
With its ecotourism project, Thenmala is a hub of adventure activities. Tourists who come here can go on boating trips and safari trips within the wildlife sanctuary. The more adventurous ones can indulge in mountaineering, walking on elevated walkways, mountain biking, River Crossing and Rock Climbing and Rappelling activities. Tourists can also indulge in some cultural tours done by this project to explain the cultural richness of the state of Kerala to the outside world. This will involve knowing about the arts and artefacts of Kerala, temples, paintings and all other things related to the state.
Famous restaurants and local cuisine
The culture section of the Eco Tourism Project houses a restaurant, but this tends to be overcrowded almost on all times. As tourists proceed to Palaruvi Waterfalls, they will find another restaurant managed by the Tourism Department of Kerala. These are the only exclusive restaurants in this area. Local delicacies of the place are fish curry, red rice, soft Indian breads, puttu and appam and stew.
Where to stay in Thenmala
Dormitory and Tent facility is provided by the Eco Tourism Department of Thenmala for tourists at very affordable costs. The services are reasonable here and are good options for tourists who have very tight purse strings. Araam Motel near Palaruvi Waterfalls is another reasonable accommodation near Thenmala. This is also a budget hotel and it is operated by KTDC.
STD, PIN code and Emergency Contact Number
The STD and PIN codes of Thenmala are 0475 and 691308 respectively. Police, Fire and Ambulance services can be availed by dialling 100,101 and 108 respectively.
Banks, Hospitals and Tourist Office
State Bank of Travancore
Post Box Number 1, Kannanthanam Buildings, Thenmala Post Office,
Kollam district – 691308
Ph: 0475 2344543
1 - Shankar’s Eye Hospital,
Tholicodu, Punalur, Kollam district- 691305
Ph: 0475 3290359
2 - Hema Ayurvedic Centre and Hospital
Market Junction, Punalur, Kollam district – 691305
Ph: 0475 2273589
District Tourism Promotion Council,
Close to Bus Stand of KSRTC, Kollam
Ph: 0474 2745625