Thenmala, the first planned eco-tourism destination in India, is set at an altitude between one hundred and six hundred metres above sea level. Thenmala Dam with the trees of Shendurney wildlife sanctuary surrounding the reservoir is a haven for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Boat-cruising is a pleasant experience for tourists at the reservoir which is the longest one in the state, the waters of which are used for irrigation and power generation. The train travel to this place is by the rare metre gauge railway and the journey is an exciting one. There is an eco-tourism centre at Thenmala offering sightseeing and recreational facilities and this has been categorized into culture, adventure and leisure zones to tap its full potential. The locality is blessed with plenty of unexplored nature trails, mountaineering ranges and green hotspots that beckon trekkers and adventure buffs. The conventional ‘erumadam’ type tree top dwelling, deer park, canopy walkway, sculpture garden and the musical, dancing fountain are worth visiting. As for tourist attractions nearby, the Palaruvi falls located at a distance of 16 km along the Thenmala-Shencottah route and dropping down from a height of 300 ft in the middle of the lush greenery of tropical evergreen jungle is a feast for the eyes. Punalur on the same route is another attraction where the 400 ft-long suspension bridge across Kallada river, built in 1877, the only one of its kind in south India, evokes archaeological interest.
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