Pythalmala (also Paithal mala, Vaithal mala), the hill station of Kannur, is located near Karnataka border. Although western Ghat mountain ranges run through the east, so far Paithal mala is the one and only well known hill station.
It is located about 65 kms north east of Kannur.
One of the restrictive factors about Pythal mala is the 6 kms trek to reach the top, which is about 1300 m above sea level. For that reason, this place is more popular with trekkers and young people than families.
Occasionally elephants are seen in this area. Apart from that the trek is neither adventurous nor highly strenuous.
To see Pythal mala at its best, you should visit there during monsoon when the hills turn green and mist is everywhere. Of course, there will be leaches and the visibility can be poor. But the air is fresh, the vista serene and nature is at its best. Add to it flowers, butterflies and plenty of birds.
As summer sets in, the green carpet dries and dies.
Then the hills turn red although the forests and plantations at the bottom stay green.
The forest department does some back burning (controlled burning of grass) to prevent forest fires.
The view from the top is great year round since the surrounding ranges and Kodagu forests are evergreen.
Mornings are the best time for treks. During summer (Mar-May) it can get quite hot at the hill top, you may not feel it because of the moist comfort of the cool breeze.
You only need about 3 hours if your plan is a quick trek to the top of the hill and immediate return.
To get the best out, you need to visit there during monsoons (June till Dec) and stay overnight. There is only one place to stay and that is the Misty Hills Resort. District Tourism Council is adding some facilities including accommodation but that will take time.
Location: North Kerala
Nearest towns: Kudiyanmala at 6 kms, Payyavoor at 16 kms, Sreekandapuram at
19 kms, Kannur at 65 kms
Bus Station: Payyavoor at 16 kms
Taxi / Auto Rickshaw Hire: Payyavoor at 16 kms
Railway Station: Kannur Railway Station at 65 kms, Payyannur Railway Station at 60 kms
Air port: Kozhikode Int’l Airport (CCJ) at 160 kms
Food Options: No restaurants near the hill station. Carry food and water with you.
Accommodation Options: The only place available is Misty Hills Resort. Alternatively you can stay at Kannur.
Best time to visit: During monsoon (Jun- Dec. June to August can be really wet.
Nearby Attractions: Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Parassinikkadavu (Snake Park & Temple), Arakkal Palace, Valapattanam, Thodeekulam Siva Temple, Pazhassi Dam, Moppila Bay, Payyambalam Beach, Dharmadam Isle, Muzhappilangad drive-in-beach and Kizhunna Ezhara beach.