Thenmala, India’s first planned eco-tourism project is a popular tourist destination in Kerala. Located in Kollam district Thenmala is amidst the evergreen forests of Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary and is around 70kms from its nearest international airport, Thiruvananthapuram. The word “Thenmala” is derived from the regional language Malayalam, which literally means ‘ Honey Hill ‘ (‘Then’ means honey and ‘Mala’ means hill). Owing to its unique biological settings, the honey collected from Thenmala forest area is superior in quality and considered to possess high medicinal value.
This eco tourism project is bifurcated into three zones with distinct themes namely, Culture Zone, Leisure Zone and Adventure Zone.
Culture Zone has restaurants, shopping areas, amphitheatre etc. However the main attraction is the musical synchronized fountain which is pretty popular among visitors. It also has a Tourism Facilitation Center that provides details of many tourism products.
Leisure Zone has boardwalks that lead to the dam, Sway Bridge and Sculpture Garden with Man & Nature as its theme.
Adventure Zone offers quite a thrilling experience to those willing to test their adventure spirit. An elevated walkway right through the canopy of trees and rocky grounds is itself an experience. In addition there is also mountain biking, rock climbing and river crossing.
Apart from the zone based activities Thenmala also offers an electrifying boat ride in the Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary and a visit to the Deer Rehabilitation Centre. Other attractions at Thenmala are tree top huts, children’s park, riverside treks, and battery operated vehicle rides through forests which enable visitors to spot wildlife at close quarters. The waterfall “Palaruvi” located near Thenamala is another prime tourist attraction.
Thenmala Eco-tourism Society maintains “Nakshatravanam”-a garden comprising of 27 trees associated with the 27 birth stars. One may also check out the Butterfly Park, a beautiful abode of butterflies in a natural open ambience. A guided walk along the garden provides an excellent opportunity to view & learn about a wide variety of butterfly species.
This natural ambience gifted with large varieties of flora and fauna provides a one of a kind bona fide experience to its visitors.