September 8th, 2017
Located in Kerala’s Kollam district, Thenmala is the country’s first planned ecotourism destination. Thenmala Dam is incredibly popular as an ecotourism destination drawing scores of visitors everyday. Placed about 72 km from Thiruvananthapuram, which is another amazing place to visit, Thenmala ecotourism shares resources with the incredibly popular Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary which is at the foothills of the scenic Western Ghats. Book cheap flight tickets and come visit this exotic location, a pleasant escape from the stressful city life.
The name Thenmala is derived from the Malayalam words ‘then’ which means ‘Honey’ and ‘mala’ which means ‘mountain.’ The reason the name was chosen is because it is believed that the honey of this region is of a far superior quality owing to its biological settings. The scenic region is famous for serving as the location for shooting many Malayalam and Tamil films. Thenmala ecotourism is managed by an undertaking of the Kerala Government, the Thenmala Ecotourism Promotional Society.
Tourist attractions in Thenmala
While the destination may seem a little unique and offbeat, it offers amazing opportunities for adventure, fun, and leisure activities in equal measures.
1. Butterfly Safari
There is a garden here that has been designed and raised with the sole purpose of attracting beautiful butterflies. Scores of host plants have been set up which draw these stunning creatures in large numbers. A guided tour of this garden will enable you to lay eyes upon some of the most exotic species of butterflies ever. The guide will explain about different types and their lifespans during the Safari.
2. Culture Zone
As the name suggests, at Culture Zone, visitors can indulge in a variety of cultural activities. For instance, you can shop for keepsake mementos, gorge on delicious Kerala cuisine at the restaurant here, take a peek into Kerala’s art and culture, or enjoy the amphitheater. However, the top attraction here is the open air Musical Dancing Fountain. There is a Tourism Facilitation Center as well which gives you all necessary information about the myriad of tourism products which Thenmala has to offer.
3. Leisure Zone
At Leisure Zone, you can enjoy the boardwalk which leads to the dam. There is also a sway bridge here which is highly popular especially with children. The Sculpture Garden, made with the theme of Man & Nature adds to the scenic landscape. This is a great zone to relax and unwind especially if you are not among those who love hiking on adventurous trails.
4. Adventure Zone
Designed keeping in mind those who love adventure, this zone is the one to head to if you are a thrill seeker and lover of adventure sports. Try conquering the elevated walkway which goes winding all the way through a thick canopy of trees and over rough, rocky terrains. There are even more exciting activities you can try if you aren’t afraid of breaking a bit of sweat. Rock Climbing, Mountain Biking, and River Crossing are a few of those.
5. Nature Walks
Meant especially for those who love trekking and hiking, Nature Walks are guided tours of the stunning landscape of Thenmala. There are various types of treks which are offered and you can find one that suits you best. There is an easy trek for about 4 km which is recommended if you are a beginner. Another popular type is the riverine biking trail route. Here, trekkers cover half the distance on bicycles and go rest of the way on foot. Charges vary for different types of treks and you will be accompanied by guides on every trek.
Apart from these zone-based creative activities, Thenmala tourism offers several other attractions such as a boat ride in the Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary, a tour of the Deer Rehabilitation Center where you can see the sambar deer, spotted deer, and the barking deer. To enable one to see wildlife from a close range, the project area has incorporated tree-top huts, riverside treks, children’s eco-park, and battery-powered vehicles which ply through dense forests.
Several nearby attractions are worth exploring as well such as the Palaruvi Waterfalls located about 16 km away on the way to Shenkottai. Thenmala ecotourism is open all through the year, giving you the convenient option to visit whenever you wish to. The region has seen a tremendous increase in visitors and the flurry of them seem only to increase by the day.
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