21 November 2011

Thenmala




If you land up in Trivandrum Railway station you would find small multiple hoardings announcing "Eco Tourism" at Thenmala about 72 Kms from Trivnadrum. This weekend I took the plunge and decided to explore it. But it turns out there are no hotels in Thenmala, it solely exists on day trips from Trivandrum or Quilon. There is a KTDC hotel 11 Kms ahead but no room was available. I crossed into Tamil Nadu and there was a neat little exotic looking hotel, Apichayan's Cliff Resort. Spotless clean and spacious room with balconies overlooking the hills and the highway! But electricity was a problem and no TV or Room service! Thenmala is a good 17 Km drive back into Kerala on a meandering road running parallel to a defunct railway line awaiting gauge conversion. The views are spectacular but the roads are full of buses carrying pilgrims to Sabarimala. Thenmala itself boasts of a Dam which is a strenuous 10 minute climb and no cameras allowed. The Eco Toursim has a long list of activities but I manage to see a well kept deer park (only they are very difficult to spot thanks to the thick foliage!) and the leisure park which has a precarious hanging bridge infested with aggressive monkeys. There is a small aquarium and by the by there is lunch time. Beware! There is only one restaurant and it serves only two fares! In the evening the highlight is the Musical Fountain which is populated by catcalling troupes of school students from Trivandrum and Quilon. The Musical Fountain is impressive playing popular Hindi and Malayalam numbers and ofcourse the Waka Waka as well!

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