I could not resist myself in posting this travelogue, though it was made a couple of years ago. This one is one of the best trips I ever had so far. We were pursuing our undergraduate course in Engineering then and we were on the verge of its completion. As a typical college dude and acknowledging the funny T-Shirt slogan, we were definitely the guys your mom warned you about !! Our group were fondly called the 7.5 guys (though we claimed the title ourself ! ).
I had already been to Thenmala along with my family, but we decided to make it with our two wheelers this time. It was me, Sam, Vinoth and Ramachandra this time, in our two modded splendors. Thenmala was around 95 kms from our place. We had to pick up two of our friends(Vinoth and Ram) on the way. Sam and I started at around 7:30 AM from Tirunelveli, Nellai as it's also called. We took the State Highways 40, SH 40 in our Splendor, the city being a tier II city, traffic was not a concern at all throughout our entire trip. We reached Alangualm, 30 Kms from Nellai, picked up Vinoth and proceeded to Thenkasi. After clocking 25 kms more, we reached Tenkasi and picked up another fella Ramachandran. The route from Nellai to Tenkasi is not too interesting, but you can see moderate greeneries, farms on both sides a common sight in these towns. But after Tenkasi the scene is different. I'm sure you guys gonna love it, the stretch from Tenkasi to Tenmala. From Tenkasi until Shenkottai are plain lands, and Shenkottai is the gateway to the hill where we are heading for. The climate was perfectly set for the show that day with mist engulfing the cliff that we gonna trek. It's NH208 from Tenkasi, that leads to Thenmala.
Thenmala is a small village at the foothills of Western Ghats and predominantly a forest area. The famous Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary is the most important ecotourism resource of Thenmala Ecotourism. This Wildlife Sanctuary is of about 100 sq. km. and harbors large varieties of flora and fauna.
Thenmala : "Then + Mala" , i.e. in local parlance "Then" means honey and "Mala" means hillock i.e. it mean honey hills. The honey collected from Thenmala forest region is of good quality and of high medicinal value because of the unique floristic composition of the forests. It is said that Thenmala is the first planned ecotourism centre in India.- Courtesy - http://www.thenmalaecotourism.com/thenmala.htm
From Shenkottai to Tenmala, being a ghat section, you are assured of breathtaking landscapes, naturistic greeneries contributing a stunning experience.
On the way to Tenmala, there is a falls "Palaruvi", surrounded be dense tropical forest and mist clad mountains. The road that leads to Palaruvi is cut through the dense forest, you have to pay a minimal toll on this stretch and the foresters warn about wild animals on this track.
We drenched ourselves in the fresh milky water here and proceeded to Thenmala. On the way we were blessed with a lone tea shop, which I guess should be the only one amidst the hills. The place around the shop were picturesque. My digcam was busy all the time swallowing as much scenery it could. Right across the teashop was a narrow ravine, which sure pulled our attention. Those ravines brimed almost throught the entire way till Thenmala, beautiful to look at.
Spent some time here and left this place half heartedly, only to stick to the time. Somewhere around 3 Kms to Thenmala, we came across a railway bridge, an age old one constructed during the British period. It was so captivating that we had to turn off the engines to stare at this engineering marvel.
Continuing the rest in another post. Will meet you at Thenmala in the next post.
Watch out !!