|Ponnumthuruthu is an island which is situated about 12km south of Varkala. You can board a country boat from Nedunganda and take a tour through the backwaters for about 30 minutes to reach Ponnumthuruthu.
Ponnumthuruthu, the name literally means Golden Island. Legends say that the queens of Travancore Royal Family used to hide their cache of gold and ornaments on the island in order to keep it safe and hence it obtained the name, Ponnumthuruthu.
This lush island is a perfect getaway for those who seek a break from the hustle and bustle of the urban life.
Temple in the island
This island is known for the Shiva Parvathi temple, which is also called `Thuruthu kshethram’ by the natives. The temple is situated amidst thick coconut groves, which has grown over the entire stretch. The temple is more than 100 years old and the entire island is temple property. The temple was in ruins for a long time but about a decade ago, it was rebuilt.
Valiyapurackal family owns the island and the temple.
Ambience at the island
The island is a must see, thanks to the enchanting ambience. Even the jetty at Nedunganda village from where the journey to Ponnumthuruthu starts is peculiar. It is a makeshift jetty and the walkway to the ferry is made up of coconut husk, mud and the waste from coir.
A view of the island from the ferry during evening will surely soothe any nature-lover’s mind. The greenery of the island will have a distinctive glow when the evening rays of the sun caress it.
The island is also a haven of different types of flora and fauna. It will surely be a bird watcher’s delight to visit the island, thanks to the cormorants, egrets and herons seen in this area. Eagles and gulls too can be found here. Various water birds too can be seen here.
The mainland on the other side of Ponnumthuruthu is a coir village. There is a small coir-making unit near the ferry. Travellers can visit the unit. It is delighting to view the boats carrying husks waving through the backwaters to reach the island.
Sivarathri is a major festival celebrated at the Siva Parvathi temple at Ponnumthuruthu. It is the festival that makes alive the otherwise less frequented island. Many devotees spend the night on the island during Sivarathri and the place lit with lights is an enchanting sight.