Monday, March 14, 2011


PunalurFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThis articlemay requirecopy editingfor grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. You can assist byediting it.(January 2011)Punalur—Municipality—PunalurLocation of PunalurinKeralaandIndiaCoordinates9.01762°N76.92652°ECoordinates:9.01762°N76.92652°ECountryIndiaStateKeralaDistrict(s)KollamMLAK.RAJUPopulation•Density47,226(2001)•1,337 /km2(3,463 /sq mi)Time zoneIST(UTC+5:30)Area•Elevation34 square kilometres (13 sq mi)•56 metres (184 ft)Codes[show]WebsiteWWW.PUNALURMUNCIPALITY.NIC.INPunalur(Malayalam:പുനലൂര്‍Punalūr‍) is a hilly town and amunicipalityinKollam districtin the southernstateofKerala, India. It is the second largest town in Kollam and is one of the industrial towns in Kerala. It is situated 45 km north-east ofKollamand 75 km north ofThiruvananthapuram. Punalur is the head quarters ofPathanapuramtaluk. This place is the gateway to Western Ghats and it is connected to the towns of Tamil Nadu like Tenkasi.This place was famous since in 19th century due to the Paper mill which operated near to the town.Later a Plywood factory wasalso setup at Punalur. By 2000, both of the industries which had contributed significantly to the growth of Punalur became nonoperational.Right now Paper mill has been renovated and would become operational by Jan 2011. The Plywood factory is being taken over by KINFRA to setup the biggest KINFRA intiative .Punalur Railway Station is located on the Kollam-Shencotta railway line.A new rail is proposed fromSabarimala-Pathanamthitta-Punalur-Thiruvananthapuram. The nearest airport is at Thiruvananthapuram. TheMain Eastern Highway(Punalur-Pathanamthitta-Muvattupuzha Road / SH - 08),(Punalur-Ayoor- Road / SH - 48) which connects Punalur toThiruvanthapuram-(state capital),(Punalur-Kayamkulam- Road / SH -5) andKollam - Thirumangalam Road (NH-208)connects the townto other major towns.Contents[hide]1History2Geography3Etymology4Transportation5Places of interest6Punalur railway line7Suspension bridge8Economy9Industries in Punalur10Kerala Agro Fruit Products11The Rehabilitation Plantations Ltd12Demographics13Banks14Educational Institutions15See also16ReferencesHistoryPunalur was a famous center during the period of Travancore kingdom. It became a famous township when it became the capital of Pathnapuram taluk due to an attack by thieves at the Pathanupuram centre. Later due to the coming of wild animals fromthe other side of Kallada river to the town and also to connect thecountry to the Tamil region Punalur suspension bridge was constructed by the Britishers. Punalur paper mill was constructed by a British citizen due to the availability of raw products & the water from kallada river.Later the township elevated to one of the largest townships in Kerala.The Punaloor became a municipality in 1972. Punalur market was constructed by the His Highness Sir Sri MoolamThirunal, Maharajah of Travancore due to the rich agricultural background.GeographyPunalur has an average elevation of 56 metres (184 ft).[1]TheKallada Riverpasses through Punalur. Various scenic spots on Kallada River[2]attracts many tourists. ThePalaruvi Fallsis 35 kilometres (22 mi) from Punalur.[3]The first Eco-TourismProject in Kerala is only 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Punalur on NH 208 towards Shencottah. Regarding climate, even though located near western ghats, Punalur is the hottest place in Kerala, and during summer temperature has recorded even 41 degrees celsius.EtymologyIt is believed that Punalur derivedits name from ‘Punel’ - the Malayalam word for ‘funnel’. The other school of thought attributes the etymology to the word 'punal' (river in old Tamil andMalayalam as in"kuruthipunal=river of blood" according to Dr. Herman Gundert),and 'ooru' (place), referring to the river passing through the town.TransportationTransportation in this hilly town ismainly dependant on private buses as well as the state run KSRTC buses.It is well connected to the capital city of KeralaThiruvananthapuramby KSRTC Fast Passenger buses which ply every 15 minutes.Buses are also plenty to the district headquarters ofKollamandPathanamthittaand to towns inTamilnadulikeTenkasiand Shencotta.Punalur has a railway station which currently connects to Kollam. There are four services in this route right now and It is heard that many more services would be inducted in this route since the Punalur-Schengotta ghat section has been closed for Broad Gauge conversion.Once the conversion is over,this will serve as the shortest route from Kollamto Chennai and from Kochi port toTuticorin portThe nearest airport would be Thiruvananthapuram which is about 75 km from Punalur. Nedumbassery airport is situated about 170 km from Punalur.Places of interestSince Punalur is situated on the foothills of Western Ghats,There are many places worth visiting.Thenmala: Thenmala is about 20 km from Punalur on the Punalur - Tenkasi Highway.This is the first eco tourism project in India. The Thenmala dam was built acrossKallada River. Thenmala is famous for being the shooting location in Malayalam and Tamil movies.[citation needed]Thenmala attracts foreign and domestic tourists with a host of attractions. Boating on the lake, a rope bridge, trekking, mountaineering, biking and amusical fountain. Thenmala is approachable both from Trivandrum and Punalur by road. The waterfall calledPalaruviis a prime attraction nearby. Also nearby is a deer rehabilitation center where visitors can see deer in a forest setting and havea peep into a traditionaltree houseused by forest dwellers to escape harm from wildanimals.Adventure ZoneKallada BridgeHanging bridge at ThenmalaKulathupuzha:-Kulathupuzha is only 30 km from Punalur. The famous Sastha (Lord Ayyappa) temple in kulathupuzha is visited by many pilgrims during Sabarimala season.Achenkovil: Achenkovil is about 45 km from Punalur. It is a small village in the reserve forest area.The river Achenkovil originates from this place in Western Ghats. It is an important pilgrim destination during the Sabarimala season as there is a Sastha (LordAyyappa) temple there. Tourists can stay in the rest house.Aryankavu: Aryankavu is about 36 km from Punalur on the Punalur - Tenkasi Highway. There are many places of interest around this hilly village. Those are *.Palaruvi water falls -ThePalaruvi Fallsis located in the forest 5 km away from Aryankavu vehicle check post. Thename `PAL' means milk & `ARUVI'means stream. *.Kadamanpara sandal forest -It is the second largest natural sandal forest after Marayoor. It issituated in aryankavu gramapanchaythu & 3 km from aryankavu junction *.Bourdillon's plot - It is the world's first stump planted plantation of teak which located near the palaruvi water falls in aryankavu. A British man named Bordillon was its leader.Punalur railway linePunalur is one of the stations in India which has both meter gauge& broad gauge. It lies 45 km fromKollam on the scenic Kollam-Shencotta railway line across the western ghats, providing a valuable link across the southern states. It is also linked with Kollamby road. The long-pending Shencottah-Punalur gauge conversion underUnigaugework has been sanctioned recently andis planned for completion by 2013.Once finished, this will be the shortest route fromThiruvananthapuramto Chennai. Currently Kollam-Punalur gauge conversion is finished and trains have started running from Kollam to Punalur. It was inaugurated by E.Ahmed, minister of state for railways, govt of India.The Punalur-Shencottah was closed to all traffic from 19 Sept 2010 for conversion into broad gauge. The journey through the western ghats is incredible.[4]Suspension bridgeThe Punalursuspension bridgecrossing the river is the only suspended-deck type in south India. Built in 1877 by Albert Henryacross the this huge bridge was suspended by three spans and was used for vehicular movement.Construction took more than six years. It is said that after completion of the bridge people hesitated to walk through the bridge. In order to prove the strength of the bridge the engineer and his family passed under the bridge in a country boat while six elephants were walking through the bridge. Now the bridge is only of archeological interest.[5][6]EconomyMain agricultural products of this township includerubber,black pepper, and other spices. The chief commodities of export here are the hill produces,pineapple, pepper products, plywood and timber. The Punalur Paper Mill Ltd., a paper Industry established in 1888 by a British Nationale was under the control and management of Mr. L.N. Dalmiatill 1984. This prestigious organisation was closed due to labour disputes and improper handling of the situation by the mill management and the state government. Now it is taken by an organisation Athula Industries, Hyderabad.Punalur market was in its height during the time of Punalur paper mill. The Punalur plywood industry another important wood factory in the whole state. Punalur market is also assisted by the agro industries.Industries in Punalur *.Punalur paper mill-first paper mill in kerala currently in the reopening stage. *.Travancore Plywood Industries Ltd., Punalur now changed as KINFRA industrial park. *.Kerala Agro Fruit Products *.State Farming Corporation of Kerala Ltd., Punalur -A Govt. of Kerala undertaken. *.Rehabilitation Plantations LTD, Punalur *.Rpc Kraft paper mills manufacturing M.G.Plain kraft paper which is situated ManalilKerala Agro Fruit ProductsKerala Agro Fruit Products engages in the production and processing of fruit products under the Jyothi brand. The company produces pineapple juice,jam, and concentrate. Kerala AgroFruit Products is based in Punalur,India. As of December 13, 2008, Kerala Agro Fruit Products operates as a subsidiary of Oil Palm India Limited.The Rehabilitation Plantations LtdThe Rehabilitation Plantations Ltd.,Punalur (RPL) started as a government rubber plantation scheme in 1972 for the settlement of Sri Lankan repatriates which was necessitated by Sirimao-Shastri Agreement of 1964. Later on it was formed into Government Company and incorporrated on 5 May 1976. The authorised share capital of the company is Rs.350.00 lakhs and the paid up capital is Rs.339.27 lakhs. The share capital contribution of Government of India is 40% and remaining 60% was contributed byGovernment of Kerala.The Company has settled 700 repatriate families from Sri Lanka.Two members from each family are provided with employment in the company. At present the company employs to 1300 workers, 185 staff members and 32 officers in the company.DemographicsAs of 2001Indiacensus,[7]Punalur had a population of 47,226. Males constitute 49% of the population and females 51%. Punalur has an average literacy rate of 84%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 85%, and female literacy is 82%. In Punalur, 10% of the population is under 6 years ofage.Banks *.State Bank of Travancore *.Federal Bank *.Canara Bank *.Kollam District Co Operative Bank *.The Punalur co-operative Bank *.Union Bank of India *.Dhanalekshmi Bank *.North Malabar Gramin Bank *.Syndicate Bank(2 Branches) *.ICICI BankEducational InstitutionsSchools:-Punalur has many Government,aided and unaided schools. Schools play an active role in producing a bright future for Punalur.The Government Higher Secondary school in punalur was established in early 20th century.The taluk samajam schools too were established at the same time.Later these were split into Boys HSS,Girls HS and HSS at Chemmanthoor. *.Sabarigiri senior secondary school *.Toch public school *.St.Goretti HSS *.Govt. HSS *.Boys HSS *.Girls HS *.St. Thomas HSS *.Chemanthoor HSS *.Tholicode LPS *.N S V vocational higher secondary school *.S N Public school *.T V T M SchoolThere is also a Government Ploytechnic which offers technical education to students.Colleges:- *.Sree Narayana College, Punalur,was established in 1965 by the perspicacious visionary and administrator Sri. R. Sanker. The college offers courses at the degree and post-graduate levels in Arts, Science and Humanities and is fast developing into a centre of excellence in University education. Its academic, research and extension programmes have been rendering outstanding service to society by moulding academically equipped, intellectually inquisitive, emotionally balanced and socially committed citizens. *.Cooperative Engineering College:-This college would be operational by 2011.There are many other professional colleges around punalurSee alsoPathanamthittaAnchalKallarReferencesWikimedia Commons has media related to:Punalur^Falling Rain Genomics, Inc -Punalur^Panoramio - Photo of Amazing Punalur - Kakod Whitewater02^"Palaruvi Falls". World of Waterfalls. Retrieved 2010-06-26.^Trip report on PUU-SCT on BG and MG linesRailMatters^bridgemeister.comPunalur suspension bridge^View the Suspension Bridge on Google Earth^"Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villa