Do you fancy trekking, and a wild one at that, in Kerala?
Agasthyakoodam trekking in Thiruvananthapuram is one that offers the most unusual wildlife experience, something you should consider including in your bucket list of must-experience adventure activities.
As one among the highest peaks in Kerala that bursts with the richest clusters of biodiversity, Agasthyakoodam bestows an adrenalin rush experience on all trekking enthusiasts. Situated within the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thiruvananthapuram, this picturesque peak holds a significant place in the tourism map of Kerala.
Lying in the lap of the majestic Western Ghats, this forest trail takes you through diverse landscapes that include evergreen forests, grasslands, and rocky outcrops. As you trek towards the peak, passing beautiful waterfalls and tiny springs, this luxuriant forest greets you with gigantic trees and shade-laden paths. The magical atmosphere and adventurous trail will never fail to impress you and will certainly test even a regular trekker’s powers of endurance.
The forest is a treasure trove of thousands of rare and unique medicinal plants, and it is believed that the very air of Agasthyakoodam has healing properties. Besides its rich collection of herbal medicines, the place is also home to a wide variety of wildlife like the elephant, bison, leopard, tiger, bear, deer, Malabar squirrel, etc.
According to Hindu mythology, Sage Agastya, one of the Saptarshis (Seven Sages) offered penance in this place and hence the place got the name Agasthyakoodam.
The trek begins from Bonacaud Forest Picket Station and you have to cover distance close to 50 kms in three days. Since the area is a protected reserved forest under the control of Kerala Forest Department, entry is restricted. The trek starts on the day of the Makaravilakku festival at the Sabarimala temple (which usually falls in mid-January) and ends on the day of Sivarathri (which usually falls after mid-February).
This three-day trek starts from Bonacaud Picket Station and ends at the Athirumala Base Camp on the first day. On the second day, the trekkers proceed to the Agasthyakoodam Peak and come back to the base camp. And on the third day, it is back to Bonacaud Picket station. Food and accommodation will be provided by the Forest Department.
The trek to Agasthyakoodam is a limited one, and booking is done online through Forest Department’s official website. Only 100 entry passes are issued every day.
For details visit, http://www.forest.kerala.gov.in/