Thenmala is an ecotourism destination near Punalur town, Kollam. The Thenmala dam, built across the Kallada river, is one of the major attractions of the tourist spot. "Then" means honey and "Mala" means hill i.e. it means 'honey hills'. The honey collected from Thenmala forest region is of good quality and of high medicinal value.
Apart from the dam, Thenmala is host to a number of ecotourism activities, which are divided into different zones.
The adventure zone is open from 9 am to 5.30 pm on all days. There is a nature trail, which is a winding trail through various elevations. An elevated path through a canopy of trees, called the Canapy Walkway, helps us explore the place and the ecosystem.
There is a Lotus Pond, that exhibits various aquatic plants. Tourists can also opt for mountain biking. A bike path is available at different levels of 'difficulty'. The more adventurous ones can go for rock climbing - try the 'Recreational Rock Climbing & Rappelling' section. There are also river crossing activities using ropes tied across the length of the river. Other activites in this zone include valley crossing, trust fall, pedal boating, spider net, etc. There are quiet resting points, where one can take a break.
The Leisure Zone is open from 8.30 am to 6.30pm. This zone mainly consists of wooden planks near the stream, called the Boardwalk. There is an unsupported swaying bridge hung from ropes across the river. There is a scultpural garden, based on the theme 'Man and Nature'. And there is a also a boating facility avaiable.
The Cultural Zone consists of an Amphi-theatre where local art forms andcultural programmes take place, a 'musical dancing fountain' and a shop court, selling local forest products, souvenirs, local handicrafts etc.
There is a deer rehabilitation centre. The spotted deer and the sambar are the main inhabitants. The centre also has a children's eco-park with treetop huts, swings etc.
How to get there
Thenmala is 72 km north of Trivandrum. You can either drive all the way to Thenmala or catch a bus to Thenmala from any major bus stations in the city. The route from Trivandrum Central would be Thampanoor - Palayam - Kowdiar - Nedumangad - Palode - Kulathupuzha - Thenmala.