Kollam: Palaruvi, the famed ecotourism destination in Kerala's Kollam district, means the 'river of milk' in Malayalam. The pristine waters gushing in from the deep jungle is as pure as milk.
Palaruvi was a favourite destination for the members of the Travancore royal family. The stone pavilions built for the royals stand as a testimony for the historical associations of the picnic spot.
Situated in the Aryankavu area, Palaruvi is accessed by several buses plying from Thiruvananthapuram and Kottarakkara. The bus routes pass Sengottai in Tamil Nadu. If you prefer driving to Palaruvi, you can buy a special pass to go as far as the waterfall, which is 4 kilometres inside the forest. The forest department runs special buses to the spot. Tickets are priced at Rs 50 for adults and Rs 25 for children.
The bus ride is an experience in itself. You could spot lion-tailed macaques and various exotic butterflies.
The waterfalls jumps from a height of 300 feet. The force of the water has carved a pool that has become a magnet for revellers. The shallow pool is safe for women and children too.
The waterfall's vicinity was strewn with stone constructions and even a horse stable for the royals. Most of the historical remnants have been washed away in a flood in 1993.
Another highlight of Palaruvi is a 125-year-old teak, as old as the veterans trees of the Nilambur forest. The forest department organises a trekking expedition for the travellers. Right now the trekking only cuts through the jungle for 2 kilometres. The department has plans to lengthen the route.
Visitors are allowed into Palaruvi between 8 am and 4 pm. You are advised to carry food and drinking water. There are no shops or eateries on the way.
For more information on Palaruvi, call up forest department's ecotourism office at 0475 22112200.