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It lies between the Manakudy estuary and the Indian Ocean. The estuary is famous for its biodiversity and migrating birds. The wildlife department has recently introduced mangrove plantations. Puthalam is also known for its salt pans, which have existed since the British colonial rule. The recent tsunami has devastated the surrounding fishing villages. It has a 200-year-old Christian church constructed by Ringel Taube, a German missionary. There is also a 200-year-old higher secondary school, L.M.P.C. Higher Secondary School.
As of the 2011 India census, Puthalam has a population of 13,073. Puthalam has an average literacy rate of 83.7%, higher than the state literacy rate of 80.1% (male literacy is 86.1%, and female literacy is 81.5%). About 10% of the population is under the age of six.
Centre for Biological Research Centre for Biological Research devoted to publication of research on various aspects of basic and applied biology, publishing an International Quarterly Journal "Journal of Basic and Applied Biology (ISSN 0973-8207). Publication is open to all researchers from around the world. Manuscripts submitted to the Journal must represent reports of original research not being considered for publication elsewhere. All papers in the Journal of Basic and Applied Biology are peer-reviewed.
 2011 Census
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.