Paithalmala- 10 Things to Know Before Visiting

1 Day Treks

Mountain Peaks


About Paithalmala

Paithalmala is a mountain peak in the Kannur District of Kerala State in Southern India. Located at Pottenplave Village, this is the highest peak in Kannur, at a height of 1,372 meters above sea level. The peak lies on the Kerala- Karnataka border, adjacent to the Coorg Hills as an extension to the forests of the Kodagu Hills of the Western Ghat Mountains.

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Things to Do at Paithalmala


The peak and the hills of Paithalmala cover over 300 acres of land with picture-perfect views. A 6 km hike through the forest and grasslands is required to reach the peak.

The road towards the peak itself is scenic from all approachable directions. The winding and narrow roads through valleys and hill ranges are refreshing and a treat for the eyes. The road is through small towns, plantations, and grasslands with many peaks towering along the route.

The 6 km hike from the starting point to the top of the peak takes you through dense forests and grasslands, ultimately leading to a watch tower. The forest is very dense with huge trees and shrubs guarding the sides of the trail. Even in peak summer months from March to May, the trail through the forest will be lush green.

After the forest, the trail passes through grasslands from where you can see the top of the peak at a distance. There is another peak before the main one and one will have to descend it and ascend back to the top of the main peak to reach Paithalamala Peak.

The top of the Paithalamala Peak is a vast meadow, inhabited by occasional patches of trees swaying in strong winds. From up top, one can enjoy the views of Coorg Forest on the right and Paithal Valley on the left. The peak and the surrounding valleys will be covered in mist during the mornings and evenings and if you are visiting during the monsoon season from June to October, it will be pretty hard to get a clear view of the surroundings due to the thick mist cover. 

On a clear day, you can even see Thadiyantemol Peak, the highest peak in Karnataka state from Paithalmala. There is a 32 km trekking route through the forest from Paithalmala to Thadiyantemol Peak but it is not advisable to hike without proper guidance from locals and the forest authorities.

From the Watchtower at the peak, one should get down further to reach the suicide point below. The view from the point is amazing and the depth is so extreme that one would not be able to see the bottom. There is a fenced boundary for safety, but be careful as the wind can get very strong. A fall from here will be fatal as the height of the steep slope is roughly 1,200 meters.

There are lots of seasonal waterfalls in the area. You will encounter some of them while on the hiking trail and if you want to explore more you have to get help from the locals for the routes.

Activities Around

History of Paithalmala


Up till a decade ago, Paithalmala was not the most popular attraction in Kerala. But due to the weather getting hotter and Paithalmala's cooler micro climate, the number of visitors exponentially increased particularly in summer and so did the resorts and hotels in the area.

The peak and its vicinity are getting more popular every year resulting in large numbers of visitors flowing to the area. The premises are starting to get more polluted as a result. Lots of plastic bottles and wrappers, beer bottles and paper wastes are starting to accumulate in the area which was never the case 5-10 years ago. 

The watch tower is in a poor condition as the walls and barricades are in ruins. The surroundings of the tower are also littered with beer bottles and plastics. Even the streams where once you could get the purest water have been treated badly with lots of plastics and paper waste thrown in it. It is high time that the visitors act properly without damaging the pristine nature that surrounds the peak.

Best Time to Visit Paithalmala


Paithalmala is open throughout the year and each season brings its uniqueness. During the months of monsoon from June to October, you can expect mist-covered mountains and never-ending greenery with showers during the day. 

During the months following the monsoon season, the area will be filled with tall green grasses between November to December. The grasses will be burned in either January or February to prevent accidental forest fires. 

Between January to May, the peak offers the clearest views of the surroundings. The hike might feel a little too harsh due to the scorching sun but this is the best time to visit if you want to avoid leeches. The green colour of the hills will be changed to either reddish-orange or black if the grasslands were burned before your visit.

Regardless of the seasons, it is best to start the trek early morning, after breakfast from the valley and finish by the evening. Lunch, water and snacks need to be carried as the hike are of decent length without any shops or eateries in between.

Tips for Visiting Paithalmala

  1. The forest is a heaven for leeches, especially in the Monsoon months from June to October. So take precautions.
  2. There are chances for the hiking trail to close without notice if the forest guards find the weather extreme or if there are wild animals present in the trail.
  3. There is a lot of walking involved, through unpaved trails. Wear appropriate shoes. If you are coming in the monsoon months, the trails will be muddy and watery.

Interesting Facts and Trivias About Paithalmala

  1. Paithalmala is also called Vaithalamala or Pythal Mala.
  2. Paithalmala is the highest peak in the Kannur district.
  3. Paithalmala has a moderate climate throughout the year even during the soaring heat of summer that hits other parts of the state.

How Much Time Did Visitors Spend at Paithalmala


It would easily take half a day to explore Paithalmala. There is a lot of walking involved and the views are very pretty that you would be spending a lot of time just admiring them.

How to Reach Paithalmala


Paithalmala can be reached from two different places - Pottenplave and Kappimala. From both these places, you can either hike up to Paithalmala or take a taxi and cover roughly four more kilometres till the beginning of the hiking trail. To get to Pottenplave or Kappimala, you can take buses directly from Taliparamba town 38 km away. Taliparamba is 21 km from the major town Kannur and there are frequent buses between the two towns. The nearest major railway station is in Kannur Town, connecting it to the rest of the parts of the country.

Entrance Fee of Paithalmala


Indian nationals are charged INR 30 and foreigners INR 100 for entrance to Paithalmala.

Opening Hours of Paithalmala

Paithalmala is open daily from 9 AM to 4 PM with the last entry allowed at 3 PM.

Attractions Near Paithalmala

Ezharakund Waterfalls

Ezharakund Waterfalls

1.88km from Paithalmala

Located near to the famous Paithalmala of Kannur, Ezharakund Waterfalls consists of a series of waterfalls along a stream, with rocky pits of varying sizes and depths underneath every fall. A hike along the stream give visitors access to all the falls, and pools for swimming.

Palakkayam Thattu

Palakkayam Thattu

5.55km from Paithalmala

Palakkayam Thattu is a beautiful hill station in Kannur. This location offers many adventure activities like zipline, rope cross, zorbing ball and archery etc. Palakkayam Thattu is undoubtedly a Heavenly place for hangout with friends and family.

Sasippara- ശശ്ശിപ്പാറ

Sasipara sits at a height of 1220 meters above sea level with views of many small towns and continuos mountains of the Western Ghats. From here, there are trekking routes to Coorg- the popular tourist destination in Karnataka and to many nearby villages. This is a very less explored attraction in the region.

Tadiandamol Hills

Tadiandamol Hills

7.93km from Paithalmala

This is the highest mountain in Kodagu district and also the third highest peak in Karnataka. Trekkers paradise, offroad, adventure. The peak presents amazing opportunities for trekking lovers. Once at the peak, tourists are offered with breathtaking views of the area around amidst an exceptionally calm and refreshing atmosphere.

Thirunetti Kallu

Thirunetti Kallu

14.49km from Paithalmala

A mountain peak with tall rocks that resembles a forehead. A short trek of 2 kilometers takes you to amazing views of wavy Western Ghat mountains.

Chathamangalam Hills (Theruvumala Kannur)

Chathamangalam Hills, also known as Theruvumala is a hill station is a trekking spot in the Kannur district of Kerala, India. The hilltop consists of a large plain of grasslands and lies near the border of Coorg in Karnataka.

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Location of Paithalmala

What Visitors Say About Paithalmala


3 Reviews











Nithin Mathew

Nithin Mathew


We went on a rainy day so the viewpoints and the trail were completely covered in mist, with views opening up only for few minutes in between. 

The hike is a bit long, about an hour one side, through a narrow trail through forest, laden with elephant dungs. But unlike many other hikes in the area, this trail is relatively well mainted and not that difficult.

When you visit, try to reach before 3pm, the forest officers could close the entry anytime after 3. Also there are blood sucking leeches so take precautions. #kerala
akshay Kavungal

akshay Kavungal


Scenic roads, cold, and breathtaking views. Paithalmala was a quick getaway and well worth the visit.