Palaruvi Waterfalls, located close to the Kerala- Tamil Nadu border, is a prime attraction in the hilly region of Thenmala. Literally translated, the word Palaruvi means ‘the stream of milk’. With foaming water-streams, silver cascades and cool ambience, this waterfall delights the eyes of beholders.
Palaruvi is situated about 75 km from Kollam and travellers need to trek around 4 km deep into the forest to reach this water-paradise. Located in proximity to the Eco Tourism Project, this spot is an add-on joy to those who visit Thenmala. The surroundings of the waterfalls are filled with evergreen forests that leave a spectator marvelled.
Eco-trips managed by the local community are available to this 300 ft waterfall. Various travel aids such as maps and photographs can be availed from the Divisional Forest Office. With mesmerizing beauty and tranquil surroundings, this spot has proved to be the best getaway for youth, couples as well as families.
Eco Tourism Project at Thenmala is India’s first project of the kind which gathered recognition due to its unique panorama, bio-diversity and functioning. The place is divided into 5 different zones, each having a unique characteristic and various activities are conducted for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
The culture zone has an amphitheater, shops conducted by local women and a musical dance fountain. Adventure zone is open from 9 AM to 5 PM on all days and includes a variety of options such as Nature Trail, Canopy Walkway, Lotus Pond, Mountain Biking, Recreational Rock Climbing and River Crossing.
Leisure Zone comprises of Pathways, Boardwalk, Sway Bridge, Sculpture Garden, Resting Points and Deep Woods to name a few. Deer Rehabilitation centre is home to a rare species of wild deer and has an eco-park for children. Travellers are taken care of by staff members who provide guidance and information on various activities. With a wide range of facilities and activities, the project will keep the visitors entertained.
Kulathupuzha, a picturesque village in the district of Kollam, lies close to Thenmala hill terrains. Located on the Thiruvananthapuram-Shenkottai road, this scenic village is reachable from Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam at a distance of 62 km and 64 km, respectively.
Kulathupuzha is best famed for its Sastha Temple where Bala Sastha is worshipped as the presiding deity (also known as Lord Hariharaputra). The temple located on the banks of Kallada river offers a tranquil atmosphere to visitors. Vishu Mahotsavam, the chief festival observed during the month of April, attracts devotees and travellers alike.
The village has a reserve forest which is spread over an area of 1000 sq km. Rock Wood Estate and Shendurni Wildlife Sanctuary are the major attractions near Kulathupuzha. This village is part of the eco-pilgrimage program that connects the three Ayyappa shrines at Kulathupuzha, Aryankavu and Achankovil. This tiny village, fringing on vast forest ranges, is a sure delight for those who want to get away from their hectic routines.
Trekking is an excellent activity for all those who have their spirits for exploration intact. One to three-day guided trekking tours, available in this hilly terrain, are sure to leave the trekkers spellbound.
There is a bird watching trail in Chenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary which caters to the enthusiasm of bird lovers. Travellers can participate in the soft treks organized by Thenmala National Adventure Foundation as part of the Eco-Tourism Project. Different trekking programs with different durations are available for travellers to choose from.
A short trek of 4 km to the Myristica Swamp Forest is both awe-inspiring and educative. Bikers will find this spot an ideal location to unleash their adventurous spirits. There is a biking route to Myristica Swamp Forest patch and biking can be coupled with bird watching as the route is known to be home to different and rare species of birds.
Aryankavu, known otherwise as The Valley of Western Ghats Range, is situated about 73 km east of Kollam district. A village in proximity to Thenmala, Aryankavu is one of the prominent pilgrim centres of the district.
The prime attraction of Aryankavu is the Palaruvi Waterfalls. The shrine dedicated to Mother of Lady, St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church and St. George Malankara Catholic Church attract devotees to this place. Aryankavu Sastha Temple, dedicated to Lord Sastha (Ayyappa), holds not just religious significance but aesthetic value as well. Thousands of pilgrims assemble in this temple during the Mandala Pooja.
The attractions in Aryankavu do not end there. Kadamanpara Sandal Forest which is the second largest natural sandal forest is in this scenic village. Rose Mala, one of the Eco-Tourism spots, is located about 11 km away from Aryankavu. With an amusing variety of options, Aryankavu invites the travellers to explore and enjoy.