Exploring Bonacaud is almost like exploring one’s own solitude. Spread over an area of 2500 acres of valleys, waterfalls and hills, Bonacaud is the base station for exploring the well-known Agasthyarkoodam in the Agasthya hills of the Western Ghats. The small road leading to this green haven opens up a variety of exciting experiences. The thick green wilderness of this place will very soon colonize all recesses of your mindscape. En route, you may also check out the Vithura Jersey farm and the beautiful Vazhvanthol waterfalls near the forest check-post.
In the past, this green stretch was known for its magnificent tea plantations started by the British about 135 years ago. A tall watchtower is the first structure that catches your attention on arrival at Bonacaud. It offers a fascinating view of the nearby Peppara dam and its catchment area. Pan left, the magnificent mountain ranges and the Bonacaud estate will appear before you; provided it’s a mist free day. The snaking road further leads to the tea estate. The factory, which was once very much lively, is now idle and shut. Until 70s the factory was functioning in all its colonial majesty. The colonists roamed around the place on horseback and named the place Bonaccord. Later the natives gave the name a local tinge by modifying it as Bonacaud, meaning ‘bona forest’ (kadu in Malayalam means forest). Memories of this majestic past still nestle in the rusted machineries and the dilapidated buildings here.
On the way to Agasthyarkoodam from Bonacaud there are quite a few small waterfalls. The Bona Falls is the one close by, which is just four km from here. Special permission from the Forest Department is a must to visit Bona Falls. It is a stunning cascade with an abundant fauna wealth. Pandippathi is a nearby trekking destination, where one can see gaur and other wild animals in proximity. Kurishumala is another trekking spot near Bonacaud. Atop Kurishumala one can relish a splendid view of the Peppara dam and Agasthyarkoodam.
Tourist can make use of the Information Centre of the Forest Department at Bonacaud. This two-storeyed eco-friendly structure stands on wooden stilts and makes use of local raw materials for construction.
Department of Forests,
P.T.P. Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram
Ph: + 91 471 2360762
Asst. Wildlife Warden Peppara
Ph: +91 8547602951
The state owned KSRTC buses are available from Thiruvananthapuram to Bonacaud.
Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram Central, about 61 km.
Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 67 km.