Thenmala – A visual delight for nature lovers
Thenmala is a small town in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. This small town has a small wildlife sanctuary by the name Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary has dense forest that provides ambient atmosphere. Against this backdrop, a visitor can have large avenues of activities and attractions like Butterfly Park and Safari, Nakshatravanam, dancing fountain, Sculpture Park etc.
Thenmala is a small village in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. This village is located about 72 km away from the state capital of God's Own Country. Situated in a scenic location, Thenmala village is at the foothills of Western Ghats, and it is surrounded by forest. The origin of its name Thenmala can be traced to the production of honey from the forest in the region. Blessed with a moderate climate, the place is known to have plenty of flora and fauna. The famous wildlife reserve in this region is called Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary, and it has a total surface area of 100 sq.km. This location has many tourist attractions such as Nakshatravanam, Butterfly Safari, restaurants, amphitheater, mountain trekking, mountain biking, rock climbing etc.
The attractions are mainly located in the cultural zone of the Thenmala Eco-tourism project. For the benefit of the tourists, there are restaurants and hotels that serve typical Kerala cuisine, shop courts that sell Kerala handicraft items, an amphitheater that has occasional programs, Nakshatravanam, Butterfly Safari, and adventure zone. In order to help the tourists in finding them, these centers of activity are housed in the Tourism Facilitation Center built by the project authorities.
Nakshatravanam is a basically a small garden with 27 trees that represent different birth stars. A march past by these trees will be enlightening one, as one can learn more about these trees. The authorities of Thenmala eco-tourism project have come out with a book on these trees in collaboration with Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI), Palode, Trivandrum, Kerala.
Butterfly Garden and Safari
Thenmala sanctuary is also an abode of beautiful-looking butterflies. In a region inside the sanctuary, a number of butterflies-hosting trees have been planted and reared to help them thrive and reproduce. Because of this butterfly-friendly habitat, one can see a large number of butterfly species around providing ambiance to the region. The lovers of nature can take a guided tour in this butterfly garden to watch and study about the lifestyle of butterflies. Adding to the beautiful ambiance of the Thenmala sanctuary is a musical dancing fountain, which ejects rhythmic jets of water in tune with the color and music.
Another attraction of Thenmala sanctuary is the Sculpture Garden. This garden depicts the relationship of man and his culture with nature. This garden features interesting circulation paths around the sculptures and the natural integration of its features. For adventure lovers, the sanctuary provides opportunities and facilities for rock climbing, mountain trekking, mountain biking, river crossing, guided tour through nature trails, resting spots, lotus ponds etc. The guided tour through nature trails yearly attracts a large number of nature lovers. Following the nature trails takes one through a walkway that flies over rocky and bumpy areas. These areas are covered by the canopy of large trees and they provide an aerial view of the various features nearby. One can hear the sounds of animals and songs of birds from the elevated portions of this pathway, apart from watching the flora and fauna of the region.
The visitors to the sanctuary can avail either of two types of accommodations. In one type, the visitors are given the dormitory facility. In this facility, a maximum of 42 people can be accommodated in four rooms. There are two toilets provided for this accommodation. For availing this option, one needs to fish out Rs 110, excluding VAT charges, as nominal charge, which excludes the cost incurred for having the food. The people can visit a restaurant housed inside the premises of the dormitory complex to have food.
For those who want to be with nature, tented accommodation will be provided. In this case, a total of 16 people will be accommodated in eight tents and they have to travel a distance of 100 meters to avail the toilet facility. The people opting for tented accommodation can stay in the tent between 6.00 pm and 8.00 am. The people exercising this option will have to spend Rs. 400 to Rs. 1000 per tent from their pocket, depending upon the season. For the international visitors, the charge is flat at Rs. 500 per tent. These charges exclude the cost incurred to food intake.
Situated at a distance of about 72 km from the capital city of Kerala, Thenmala is a small village at the foothills of the Western Ghats. This village is surrounded by a thick forest. In this small village, there is a wildlife sanctuary by the name Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary is blessed with abundant flora and fauna. The major attraction in this reserve is the Butterfly Safari, dancing fountain and adventure tourism. Another attraction in the sanctuary is the Nakshatravanam, which has 27 trees planted representing 27 birth stars. A visit to this sanctuary is a worthwhile exercise for the tourists drawn from different parts of the world. Hence, please make it a point to visit this place to enjoy the splendor of nature when you are anywhere nearby.