Agastya Mala Peak is also known as Agastyarkoodam.
It is located at 1,868 meters (a high altitude, indeed) in Neyyar Wildlife
Sanctuary. You may reach the peak by means of trekking and are likely to find
the experience quite exhilarating. At the peak, you may see Lord Agastya’s life
sized statue. Devotees bow before the Hindu Sage with a great reverence.
More on Agasthyakoodam
It is advisable to carry the sufficient quantities
of water with you because of safety reasons.
find a suitable accommodation either at Nedumangad or Trivandrum. Besides,
after trekking for a day, you may find a place to rest at Athirumala that has
some tents for the purpose of accommodation.
Though it is advisable to carry the meals with you, you may procure food
at Trivandrum on your way to the Wildlife warden for the sake of getting the
entry pass. However, the night trekkers may get food at Athirumala.
Trekking for Agastyarkoodam begins at Bonacaud, 65 km away from
Trivandrum. However, the trekkers may find it enjoyable to camp for the night
at Bonacaud. There is a bus in the morning from the Nedumangaud Bus Station.
Walking down for 30 minutes from the Bonacaud Tea Estate, you will reach
the Forest Office and the Check Post, the main entry point to the peak of Agastyarkoodam.
If you want to avoid any of the security issues, it is advisable not to carry
any liquor or a sharp instrument, not even a knife! Your luggage would be
checked as it is a security norm up the peak.
Athirmala would be the
destination for the day.It also serves as the night base camp. Thus,
the trekkers are required to move across Attayar on their way to Athirumala. The
pristine beauty of the nature is highly scenic here. You would feel like
clicking your camera very often!
The next day begins quite early in the morning so much so that you will
find the Sun rays following you! Waking up as early as 6 in the morning would
leave you with sufficient time to trek up the main peak, be a part of the Puja and Darshan, say your prayers to the Sage and get back to Athirumala
before 11 am. Now, you
may go trekking back to Bonacaud.
Best Time to Visit Agasthyakoodam
It is in
between December to April.
Flora & Fauna
Flora– There are
2,000 varying varieties of the medicinal plants. Besides, there are 50 of the
rare and the endangered species. Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve is a greatly
expanded geographical area that comprises the Indian Ecoregions at
the South Western Ghats’ moist deciduous forests. There are also Shola and the
rain forests of the South Western Ghats. Besides, the flora here includes
approximately 400 red listed species of the plants. There more than 125 orchid
species. There are also various threatened plant species that are endemic. Arogyapacha,
a highly famous and rare therapeutical plant is also found here. Approximately,
1/4th of the Indian plant species are available here.
Fauna– The Biosphere Reserve is
home to 79 mammal species, including 20 that are endemic. There are 88 reptile
species including 45 endemic species. There are also 45 amphibian species
including 30 endemic ones. Besides, there are 46 fish species (10 are endemic).
There is also a large number of the species of birds. The 337 bird species
include 20 endemic ones. Tigers, Ancient Elephant and Nilgiri Tahr are also
How to Reach Agasthyakoodam?
Air: Trivandrum International
Airport, 68 km from Bonacaud
Rail: Thampanur Railway Station,
Thiruvananthapuram, 61 km from Bonacaud
Road: The road to Agastyarkoodam
is connected to the Thiruvananthapuram city by means of various bus services. The
last motorable point is the Bonacaud village.