Blessed with abundant natural vistas and rich bio-diversity, Thenmala in Kerala has consciously driven the idea of eco-tourism so that travellers understand that that is indeed the need of the hour today. It is India’s first planned eco-tourism destination, situated about 72km from Thiruvananthapuram, in the District of Kollam.
Thenmala is connected with the famous Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary at the foothills of the Western Ghats – which means its a treasure trove of flora and fauna – making it absolutely irresistible to nature lovers. The word Thenmala in Malayalam means ‘Honey Hill.’ It is believed that the honey collected from this area is of very good quality, courtesy the fantastic biological setting in the area. At Thenmala, travellers get equal opportunities for fun, adventure, and leisure activities – special measures have been taken to divide the area into three major zones: Culture Zone, Leisure Zone, and Adventure Zone.
In the Cultural Zone there are restaurants, shopping complexes, art galleries, and an open air musical dancing fountain. Travellers can indulge in a variety of activities here: from trying Kerala dishes, shopping for mementos, to enjoying art and culture performances – you would be spoilt for choice. The Leisure Zone allows the travellers to get on the boardwalk, which leads to the dam and to walk over a sway bridge, especially made for children. And the Adventure Zone offers an elevated walkway that winds through the canopy of trees where a walk would be a real treat. Other activities this zone offers range from mountain biking, rock climbing, to river crossing that can give your body muscles a real workout.
There’s more that you can do at Thenmala: take a boat ride in the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can spot a variety of wildlife such as spotted deer, sambar deer and barking deer. The area also has tree-top huts, children’s eco-park, riverside treks, and battery powered vehicle rides to take you on a safari through the exotic jungle. This unique place is easily accessible from Kollam through road and rail and the best time to visit here is in the months between September to March.