Paithal Mala

Paithalmala or Pythal Mala, also called Vaithalmala, is a beautiful hill station in Kannur, Kerala. It is a part of the Western Ghats and lies close to the Kodagu forests on the Kerala-Karnataka border.

Vaithalmala, KannurLocation: Pottenplave, Kannur district
Nearest towns: Thaliparamba (44km), Payyannur (58km), Kannur (65km)
Activities: trekking, sightseeing
Suitable for: nature lovers, adventurous, photo fanatics
Best time to visit: January to March, Monsoon season for most adventurous

Being the second tallest peak in Kerala, and the tallest in Kannur District, at a height of 1370 m from the sea level, Paithalmala is a great destination for trekkers, photographers and nature-lovers. The mountains span over 500 acres of thick forest.

Paithalmala Location

Paithalmala Kannur is about 65 km from Kannur and 44 km from Thaliparamba.

Kappimala and Kudiyanmala are two nearby villages located at a distance of 2 km and 6 km respectively. Pottenplave is also a nearby town about 4 km away. Kudiyanmala and Pottenplave have bus stops. The best method of reaching the peak is to avail bus services till Kudiyanmala, hire a jeep for the next 3 to 4 km and then walk for another 2 km. Kudiyanmala has a dormitory and tourist information center to guide visitors.

Pottenplave is well connected to Kannur and Payyannur by Kerala state buses.

The Kannur railway station is 60 km away and the Payyannur railway station is 62 km away from Pythal Mala. The Calicut airport at 150 km and Mangalore airport at 166 km are the nearest airports.

A jeep ride from Kappimala to Paithalmala will take you through the Muttatham-vayal mountain to Manja-pullu, the forest border. En route, the Ezharakundu Waterfalls at Pottanplave is a great place to enjoy. The Kudaku forest is to the north of Paithalmala.

Bangalore to Paithamala is a 325 km route, usually via Mysore-Hunsur-Gonikoppal-Virajpet-Iritty-Kudianmala. Bangalore is directly connected to Iritty by Karnataka and Kerala state buses. There are bus services from Iritty to Payyavoor, and from Payyavoor to Kudiyanmala. The next option is to board the Bangalore- Kannur train. The journey from Kannur to Paithalmala involves two bus routes – first from Kannur to Thaliparamba, and then from Thaliparamba to Kudiyanmala.

The route from Kudiyanmala to Pythalmala begins with a tar road, which leads to a rough jeep track and finally a walking trail.

Thalassery to Paithalmala is about 85 km. The most common route to Pythal Mala is Thalassery-Kannur-Thaliparamba-Kudiyanmala.

Tadiyandamol, Chelavara, Talacauvery, Madikeri, Abbey Falls, Dubare and Kotebetta are some of the interesting places near Pythalmala.

Paithalmala Trekking

Both monsoon and summer seasons are good for Paithalmala trek. The June-October monsoon season offers great photographic opportunities in the misty hills and forests. In the cool climate following monsoon, the grasses and plants grow to their maximum, so walking becomes difficult. Summer is a little tougher because leeches are common and weather is harsher. The best time for Paithalmala trekking is probably between January and March.

You can reach the hilltop from Pottenplave near Kudiyanmala or Kappimala near Alakkodu. The Pottenplave route has a motorable road till the starting point of the trek. Plus, many resorts are coming up on this route. The hill top is 6 km from the Kudiyanmala starting point. En route, there are fascinating waterfalls and forests.

The observatory tower on the hilltop is a 45-minute walk from the Paithal Valley. It provides a stunning view of the Kannur District. In fact, a walk from the tower to the forest reaching the end of the Kappimala trail is the most interesting part of the Pythal Mala trek. Moving up, you can get a captivating view of the Coorg Forest on one side and the Paithal Valley on the other.

It is best to begin the trek early in the morning after breakfast and return before dark. Lunch and water must be carried.

Paithalmala Stay

Government-owned and private resorts are available. The Waves Beach Resort and Golden Sand Beach House are popular resorts near Pythal Mala.

Other nearby accommodations are in Iritty and Kannur. Hotel Falcon Plaza, Fashion Tourist Home and Kalpakka are nearby hotels in Iritty.

Developmental activities are underway to develop tourism in Paithalmala Kannur. Apart from renovating the roads and observatory tower, the Kerala Government is constructing a suspension bridge to view the waterfall and making arrangements to improve Pythal Mala trekking and camping facilities.


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