Paithalmala (Pi-thal-ma-la) is an enchanting hill station in North Kerala (India) in the Western Ghats near Kerala-Karnataka border. Standing as tall as about 4,500 feet (1372metres) above sea level, the summit is located about 65 kms north-east of Kannur (Canannore) city and 35 kms east of Thaliparamba. North of Paithalmala is the Kudaku forest.
These huge mountains lay spread over 500 acres of land enriched with dense forest. The easiest access to the summit is from a place called Kappimala. One can go by bus up to Kappimala (kaappi-mala) and then a bumpy jeep ride of two kilometers through the “muttatham-vayal” mountain till the forest border at “Manja-pullu”. A two (2) km trekking through the forest will then take you to the summit.
The peak offers a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains beneath it. It is also a haven for a wide variety of rare flora and fauna. There are many seasonal waterfalls and brooks in the nearby areas. Paithalmala is an ideal spot for adventure tourism as well. There are not many such fascinating hill stations in the region. It is believed that the name ‘Paithal’ (meaning an infant) has connection with the ‘Paithalkon’ dynasty of Malabar.
Tourism development in Paithalmala is being taken up as a major scheme by Government of Kerala. The works include a suspension bridge for watching the seasonal waterfall, renovation of the watch tower, facilities for camping, trekking path and road widening. At the base of the mountain at Kudiyanmala, a tourist information center and dormitory have been constructed. The tourism development at Paithalmala is estimated at about 27 million Indian rupees.