Second highest peak of Kerala, Agasthyakoodam is a peak and a pilgrimage center for the devotees of Hindu sage Agasthya nestled at an elevation of 1,809 meters above the sea level in Thiruvananthapuram district of Gods own Country Kerala and Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.
Being a part of the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve, Agasthyakoodam teems with wildlife, rare medicinal herbs, plants, orchids and large number of avian faunas. The reserve on which this peak is situated is believed to be the dwelling of the Kanikaran tribe which is the oldest surviving ancient tribes on planet earth. This legendary mountain which is also supposed to be the abode of Hindu Sage Agasthya who was considered to be among the seven rishis (Saptarishi) serves as one of the trekker’s paradise in Gods own Country owing to its religious significance along with much hyped views that one can get from the top of the peak.
Trekking is the major activity that one can enjoy to reach the top of the peak. Bonacaud (28 km) and Kotoor (near the Neyyar Dam) are the two base places to start the trek. Trekking to the top of the peak which is 28 km long is of a moderate level and provides a trekker with scenic views and various floras and faunas along with some birds on the way to quench your thirst of staying closer to nature.
The 28 km long which takes 2 days of trekking is divided into two phases, one which starts from the forest check point of Bonacaud and ends in the base camp that takes a day that is about 20 km long trek and another that starts from the base camp and ends at the top of the peak that is about 10 km uphill until reaching the top. The trekking is of a restrained level but is actually fatiguing.
The trekking to the top itself is a great experience as the wind that flows in this peak almost all the time is supposed to heal and cure away the inhaling or any other diseases owing to the rich presence of rare medicinal and other herbs.
Apart from offering some of the truly captivating views of the valley below, emerald surrounding and the village of Tamil Nadu as well as Kerala, the top of the peak is also famed for a shrine of sage Agasthya which is considered to be of great religious importance to the devotees and paying homage and worshipping with a true heart there is supposed to heal and fulfill a devotees desires.
Visitors can also indulge in picnicking and clicking some snaps with your partner or loved ones in this natural place to spend some time. Or you can nature walk in and around the mountainous site, climb the rocks and watch the various species of birds in this place for further fun and excitement.
- Women are not allowed to trek to the peak.
- For trekking, permission should be granted from the wildlife office in PTP Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram.
- To carry camera, binocular, comfortable trekking shoes, sun screen lotion, bedding, thick shocks, energy capsules, water and most important salt for leaches.
- Advance book the trek in order to enjoy the trekking as the number of persons trekking to this mountain are being controlled owing to natural reasons of not affecting the biosphere reserve and the mountain by tourism.
Ideal time to Visit: The ideal time for trekking to the top of this worldly peak is from December to April when the climate and the weather conditions remains at its best offering the best period to relish the trekking as well as the nature’s beauty.
Accommodation: The dormitory at the base camp of the trek at about 20 km away from Bonacaud offers decent accommodation with basic facilities to the tourists.