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Tourism > India > Kerala > Districts > Thiruvananthapuram > Ponmudi



Ponmudi is located 61 km north-east of Thiruvananthapuram at an altitude of 610 m. It is a part of the Western Ghats mountain range that runs parallel to the Arabian Sea.

On the way to Ponmudi, the thick tropical forest greets one at the foot of the Ponmudi hill range. The road passes under a canopy of thickly matted foliage. The forest recedes gradually giving way to neatly clipped tea bushes.

As one leaves the city behind, one enters the region of plantations – rubber, pepper, cardamom and tea. The change is abrupt. The tappers can be seen going about briskly gathering the milky fluid from rubber trees collected in coconut shells. Coconut thatch mats cover almost one half of the road, over which women spread black pepper for drying. One may come across a lone elephant ambling along carrying his mahout atop and his breakfast of coconut thatch in his trunk.

Trekking to the north of Ponmudi crest, one passes along a mini zoo, primarily of barasinghas, on the edge of the forest. Entering the forest, the verdant shades of green numb the senses. As does the avian orchestra. The brilliant red southern trogon dot the trees like flowers. The air is full with the loud raucous chuckling of heavy billed Malabar hornbills. The shrill notes of the blue-black Malabar whistling thrush add to the cacophony. Even the rare long-tailed paradise flycatchers flit gracefully from tree to tree. It is like an open aviary.

Other attractions near Ponmudi include Golden Valley and a number of rivulets and rapids, some even across the road. Located in a rich forest area, this whole place may be of interest to those who are interested in tropical vegetation. There is also a rich wildlife around these hills. Golden Valley is a sneak-peak offered to the beauty of the hills. It is an access-point to the river Kallar. Well-rounded pebbles, lush green trees, the cool water, fishes and the sheer wilderness of the park enthralls the visitor.

Another attraction in the region is Agasthyakoodam which is one of the highest peak in the Western Ghats and the highest peak (1868 m) in the district. This peak is famous for its wilderness, and can be accessed only with permission from the Forest Department. Meenmutty falls is also a famous attraction in the range.

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