Thenmala : An eco adventure
Thenmala - Kerala Destination
Most of my Non Indian friends who visit India do visit Kerala. The same is the case for Indians Kerala is a destination to ease and relax. Maybe its the Greenery, or the huge tusked Elephant, the Ayurvedic spa's or the spicy and delicious food served on the traditional plate "The Bannana Leaf". People do hop in here one or the other time.
Thenamala is good place to chill out. If you are interested in trekking and jungle loving guy this is the place.Well I will be frank for those have done and seen more of trekking and hiking, this place is not up to that level of your trekking standards but you can have a good time if you come in a big gang or if you want some peace and a break Thenmala will be a good choice.
In this Blog I will give you the details as to how to reach Thenamala. I had gone to Thenmala back in 2006 and its one of my most memorable trip. It was the first time that me and my dorm mates sneaked out from our hostel and had a blast. Also if you are interested to know about my experience read my other blog, I have given the address at the end of this blog.
Below you can see the map where Thenmala is located.
HOW TO GET THERE
Now I will give you details as to how to reach Thenamala. If you have a purse with tons of cash in it get a taxi from the airport or railway station that you arrived in Kerala.Simple and easy, no efforts and fast too.
Or if you want to do it my way i.e. the hard and adventurous way, here what you have to do.
If you have landed at Thiruvananthpuram airport, catch a Taxi or Auto (whatever you prefer) and ask the driver to take you to the K.S.R.T.C. bus stand. Now before you get in any such taxi, bargain don't just hand the drivers whatever they ask (Enquire, fix the price and then board the Taxi, Bargaining is not a crime in India trust me on that).
Now once you have reached he bus stand go to the enquiry section and ask them for the bus to "PUNALUR" or you can also get "SCHENKOTTA" pronounced CHEN-KO-TTA or "THENKASI" bus.
If you get a "PUNALUR" you may have to catch another bus at "Punalur" bus stop, for the other two you can get down at "THENMALA" without transit. If you get down at PUNALUR bus stand enquire for the same SCHENKOTTA" or "THENKASI" bus.
If you have chosen KOCHI as your airport or station, travel downside covering all the spots all the way down and you can reach Thenmala from Punalur same way. If you are travelling by bus you may come down to KOLLAM district either by bus or passenger trains. The frequency of buses are more than train. Choose train only if have lot of time in your planning.
Dont worry in asking for help from people at bus stands because most of the Keralians are educated and can definetly answer your querry given "the type of people you chose for hep" and "the pace with whcich you ask them".
A View from the top of Thenmala Dam
Thenmala Dam - A walk to remember
Now once you have reached Thenmala, there is an Eco tourism spot which has all the adventure stuff like hiking, forest trekking, cycling which is a good way to begin your trip. All this is good experience especially I would refer this for Indians as a good break for your vacation.Other thing about Thenmala is its lush natural abode, where you can buy things made from forest and other wild daily edible things like Honey and other spices.
Also talking about the Cuisine people who love to taste different food, you will love Kerala. Try everything here from Fish deep fried to Delicious vegetable curry's made with coconut in coconut oil. Forget your dieting and hygiene for few days and relish the food over here.
Now once you are finished with the eco zone its time you go to the Thenmala Dam as from the map you can see that Thenmala region comes in the Kerala-Tamilnadu border and it stands on Kallada RIver. The road to Thenmala is a National highway joiniing Kerala and Tamilnadu and you can see all rocky mountains along with forest along the way. The beauty is that you can find small waterfalls formed as a result of water accumulated between rocks.
Its a long walk from the entrance of the dam to the exit but even though its a long walk but its refreshing enough. Now about Kerala's weather
its hot and humid, so I would advice you to wear something suitable for such climate. Once you reach the top of the Dam you can see a boat trip, You can go for that for a trip around the Kallada river.
The dam finishes there are other refreshing spots around Thenmala area, a famous Temple is somewhere in the region but I have no clue about that. After all this travel and tiresome its time for a refreshing bath.
From thenmala go to Pallaruvi waterfalls which is few kilometers off Thenamla dam. I would advice you to catch a taxi from Thenmala Dam or else go down to the bus stop (enquire and you will get to it) and go Pallaruvi Waterfalls. Now before you start thinking big about the waterfall please don't have Niagra falls picture its a small spot where water falls maybe its formed from the water accumulated between rocks. The bathing area is not big but the water is cool and refreshing. When I had gone there with my friends Pallaruvi was the first spot that we chose after a long travel and believe me we were freezing to death
in the chilly water. The good thing about early morning was that we were the only people there and we had full access. If you want to see more of water fall head towards Thenkasi (it comes
in Tamil Nadu) and on the way you will get "Kuttalam Waterfalls" which is much bigger and more crowded than "Pallaruvi". Its not far from Thenmala you just have to board the same bus or a Taxi would work fine.
Overall I would say for those who have seen and done big, Thenmala wont give you much delight. But theres no issue in giving something new a try. There is K.T.D.C. resort at Thenmala for which you may have to book rooms prior if its a season time. Either way book rooms before you drop there or else there are other Hotels at Punalur where you can stay.
You can get details at Kerala Tourism website.
If you are interested to know about Thenmala view my blog on my "Thenmala Experience".
Hope this was helpful. And I wish you great holidays.
Signing Off - Denni Thompson