Monday, July 22, 2024

Tourism      Hill Stations      Kerala     Thiruvananthapuram    


Place : Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Significance : One of the best tourist spots of Kerala
Temperature : Min. 21 c - Max. 34 c.
Altitude : :1100 m above sea level
Best Season : September to January
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For those who plan South India in summer season, Kerala has this calm hill station, apart from the extremely famous Munnar. Perched at an altitude of 1000m above the sea level,  it is an idyllic hill resort with narrow, winding path ways and cool, green wooded environments. The second highest peak in Kerala, Ponmudi is developing fast with new hotels, cottages and home stays.

Situated at a distance of 61 km from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, it is tiny hill station, located among rubber, pepper, cardamom and tea plantations. Ponmudi means 'golden hair' a name derived from the golden rays of the sun striking the face of the hills at this end of the western ghats. Still untouched to thronging and littering crowds, it offers divine stretches of walking, trekking trails, hiking and bird watching. A panoramic view of mountain ranges, hills, valleys, small rivulets, salubrious climate and the scope of hiking in high trails makes the visit to Ponmudi an exhilarating experience.

The forests and eucalyptus plantations here, attracts a variety of birds like Red Southern Trongon, Malabar Hornbills, Rare long tailed Paradise Flycatchers, Malabar Whistling Thrus and Lion-tailed macaque.

The major attraction at Ponmudi is Ponmudi Waterfalls which is 1.5 km far from the place and one can see stream of water flowing inside the forest. Bathing is not allowed near the water fall because the rocks here are very slippery.  The other attraction at Ponmudi is Deer Park which is only 3 kilometers away from the Ponmudi resort. Meenmutty Falls is another famous attraction among the tourists. It is situated 3 kms from the Kallar main road. The waterfalls cascades in three tiers, from a height of 500 metres.One have to trek through the dense forests to reach here and special permission from the forest department is needed. Trekking facilities are available from the Kallar Vana Samrakshana Samithi (Kallar Forest Protection Group) at Kallar. On the way to this waterfall, one can see many bird life and many species of butterflies, but beware of leeches. Near to this there is a forest rest house.  There is a mini zoo on the north of Ponmudi Crest, the edge of the forest which houses the rare barasinghas. 

The prime sites enroute to Ponmudi are Kallar River, Golden Valley an access point to the Kallar River and Agasthyarkoodam. Agasthyarkoodam is one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghat and it is the source of River Kallar.  It is known as the abode of Agasthya, a Puranic saint. Famous spot for birdwatchers, it is abounded by thick forests that boasts medicinal herbs as well as rare orchids. Neelakurinji, a flower which blooms only once in twelve years is a spectacular sight at this peak. Previously, this area was under the Kottoor Reserve Forest, but now it is a protected park, the Agasthya Vanam Biological Park. This can be accessed only with permission from the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary (0471-2272182). They also organize guided tours inside the park which include trekking, boat rides, food and stay. There are two trek routes to this peak. Starting from Kotoor and the other is from Bonacaud.