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Friday 24 january 2020, agasthyakoodam trekking / agasthyamalai / pothigai malai.

pothigai malai trek

13 comments:

You had a great trip.. Especially the way you enjoyed throughout despite all the risk.. Photographs are awesome and lively..you went out of your way to make this trip a great adventure. Actually I was really thinking there are no shortcuts to any place worth going. Thanks for the wonderful experience

A detailed report of trekking,but very intersting for not everyone,who had visited and propose to go.pictures are well.The narration of myths are fine.Wish you all the best.

Thank you :)

Well written with detailed info..hope to go there once.

Hey Raj tnx ..yes you should try once :;)

Hats off for the detail write up. Ningalu manushyane kothippichu kollum.

Lovely Trek log, Anish ! Very detailed. We are planning to do this in 2021 (if there is no covid bans). This should greatly help us. Thanks A small suggestion, Please consider blurring your personal info from the first image :)

Thanks Anish. One of the best narrations, which clarifies many questions. Nothing wrong if you add & detai up how to register and what to pack for a comfortable trekking; which will make it complete and we need not refer to any other blogs/videos. Thanks a lot. God bless you. Guru Agathiyar bless you .

I have written very detailed about the registration process. Pls read the first paragraph once more. Thanks again for visiting the Blog.

No nicely written, i hope i could make this trek.

That's very very detailed information about the trek, me and friends were planning to visit there. my friends and brothers usually plan for trek once a year in vellingiri hills. but never know about the pothigaimalai, Earlier i Thought the vellingiri is difficult trek in south but after one person told that he visited pothigai malai during the vellingiri trek & explained about the difficulties of climbing there. so the conversation made me that, one day i will go there to experience. Again thanks for the information brother. valga valamudan....

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Are you interested in going for the two days Agasthyarkoodam Trekking or Agasthyamalai Trekking?

Agasthyakoodam or Agasthyarkoodam or Agasthyamalai Trekking route

Agasthyarkoodam alias Agasthyamalai is considered a sacred hill. It is known as Pothigai Malai or Pothigai Hills in Tamilnadu. (Malai means hills).

Despite the remoteness of these hills, determined devotees come here. Trekking to Agasthyamalai and back takes two or three days (depending on your health condition). The entry permits are issued every year in January.

Statue of Saint Agastya alias Agasthya Muni on top of Agasthyarkoodam or Agasthyamalai

Table of Contents

Entry passes to Agasthyarkoodam Trekking or Agasthyamalai

Option 1 – individual agasthyakoodam online passes.

Online entry permits are typically issued during the first week of January for a few days. 100 passes are issued in advance, for each day. Be sure to apply on the first day itself, as permits run out very fast.

Option 2 – Agasthyakoodam Group Passes

Another option to trek Agastyamala is to form a group of 10 people and apply for entry passes at the Thiruvananthapuram district forest department office. These group permits are issued except during the Monsoon season. During Monsoon season, it is highly risky to trek to Agasthyamalai as the rivers get flooded (at times Flash floods , too).

Ladies Trekking to Agasthyarkoodam

From 2019, ladies are also allowed to trek to Agastyamala. Dhanya Sanal became the first lady to trek to Agasthyamalai , officially. Dhanya trekked to Agasthyamalai in the middle of January 2019. There were reports of female devotees and tribal ladies, who used to go to Agastyamala earlier.

Agasthiyamalai alias Agasthyarkoodam or Agasthyakoodam Trekking Iternery

There are buses from the KSRTC bus station at Thampanoor, Thiruvananthapuram. The first bus to the trekking entry gate at Bonakad starts at 5 a.m. It reaches Bonakad picket station, where the forest office is situated in around two and a half hours. The distance is about 55 kilometers. The next bus from Thampanoor is at 5.30 am.

Those coming by bus must get down at the old tea factory bus top at Bonacaud. Then walk for around three kilometers or so, to reach the Bonacaud Picket Station.

You may also take your vehicle (two or four-wheeler). Private vehicles can go to the forest department office, i.e., Bonacaud Picket Station. Parking charges of rupees 40 and 100 are applicable for two-wheelers and four-wheelers, respectively.

Bonacaud Picket Station (Bonakad forest office) is the starting point for trekking to Agasthyarkoodam or Agasthya Malai. You are required to report here at 7 a.m.

Day One – The base camp is at Athirumala , around 15 kilometers from  Bonacaud Picket Station. It is relatively easy to trek this distance. Around 10 kilometers out of the 15 kilometers or so,  is plain country roads through forests. There are five camps (small sheds with one or two guides to give local information) between Bonacaud Picket Station and Athirumala base camp, around two kilometers apart.

You need to stay at the base camp here, on day one. There are two halls where you can put your mattress on and sleep overnight. There is a  separate area for ladies.

On the second day of Agasthyakoodam trekking , you need to start early in the morning. The trekking route passes through steep mountains and streams covering a distance of around six kilometers (one way) . You must return to the base camp on the same day. i.e., on the second day.

After walking around two kilometers, you reach Lathimottai. From here, the path on the right side goes to Bonafalls, which is closed to trekkers as there are a lot of wild animals there. Also, elephants killed two people a few years back. You need to go on the left side path, to reach the Agasthyamalai peak. If you walk for around four kilometers from the base camp, you need to cross the Karamana River. Then comes the Vazhappainthi (വാഴപ്പൈന്തി in Malayalam). There are ropes tied across these two streams to cross them.

If you start early in the morning return early, and are in good spirits to trek back to the Bonacaud Picket Station, you can do so. In that case, trekking is completed on day two.

Otherwise, you can stay at the base camp on the second day night. You can trek back to the Bonacaud Picket Station on the third day.

The last bus from Bonakad towards the city is at 5.45 pm. This bus goes to Vithura. Vithura is at a distance of around 22 kilometers from Bonakad picket station. From Vithura, you need to change the bus to go to Thiruvananthapuram, which is around 34 kilometers distance from Vithura.

Trekking Permit Issue Details

2024 trekking to agasthyarkoodam hills.

2024 trekking to Agasthyarkoodam is planned from January 24th to March 2nd. The trekking fee is Rs 2500 per person, without food charges. A maximum of 70 online permits and 30 offline permits are issued each day. All trekkers need to produce a fitness certificate obtained within seven days of the actual trekking starting date . Children aged between 14 and 18 need authorization letters from their parents or trek only with any one of the parents. Those below 14 years old are not issued trekking permits. A maximum of 5 persons are allowed in one ticket.

Please contact the Wildlife Warden Thiruvananthapuram at +91-471-2360762 for further details . Terms of trekking are given here in Malayalam.

2022 Agasthyarkoodam Trekking Details

Trekking is from January 14th to February 29th, 2022.  Booking starts on January 6th, 2022. Charges are INR 1331 per person. Online booking is available through www.forest.kerala.gov.in or service online.gov.in/trekking. 100 passes are issued for each day. In previous years, permits for the season get over on the first day itself.

Anybody above 14 years of age can apply for Agasthiyamalai trekking permits. Ladies too are allowed from 2019 onwards.

You need to take two doses of the vaccine and also a negative RCPTR test result taken within 72 hours of trekking to go for the trekking. Trekkers need to take a photocopy of the entry ticket and original ID proof with a photo. Trekking starts at 7 am. You must report on or before the time mentioned above at the Bonacaud Picket Station.

Due to the fast spread of the Omicron Corona Virus, all trekking permits to Agasthyakoodam that were valid from 18th January to 26th February were canceled by the District Collector, Thiruvananthapuram. The amount collected will be refunded online.

Latest update- 2022 Agasthyarkoodam trekking permits canceled from 18th Jan to 26th Feb

There will not be any offline bookings until further notice.

2021 Agasthyakoodam Trekking Details

Agasthyakoodam Trekking 2021 Details are given as follows. Due to Covid 19, the online booking facility will not be available for 2021 trekking.

Kerala Forest Department’s office at PTP Nagar in Thiruvananthapuram issues group passes for five and ten people . i.e. A group can consist of either 5 or 10 people. You have to go there in person and apply for the group pass. The fee is Rs 16000/- for five people and Rs 32000/- for ten people. i.e. Rs 3200 per person . You must inform them a few days in advance if you need food. Food charges are separate. Three people will normally accompany you as a guide and for carrying the cooking materials. Alternatively, you can bring food for a group of five or ten people.

All group members should submit a copy of their Aadhar cards. The submitted names can not be changed. Hence, only those who are serious about trekking should apply. Otherwise, you will lose that amount of Rs. 3200 for each person who has not turned up.

Unlike previous years, this year only a maximum of 30 people are allowed to go trekking in a day. Until they return on the third day evening, nobody is allowed. i.e., After a group of a maximum of 30 people are allowed entry for trekking, the next trekking is allowed only on the fourth day .

Covid 19 special notes :

  •  You may be asked to produce a COVID-19 negative certificate (taken within 24 hours or so) when you arrive for the trekking. Please confirm this with the forest department office when you apply for the group passes.
  • Some of the information in other parts of this post may not be relevant in 2021.

Agasthyarkoodam Trekking 2020 Details

Entry permits to Agasthyakoodam are issued from January 8th, 11 a.m. onwards, for a few days. 100 passes are issued in advance, for each day. Trekking is allowed from January 14th, 2020 to February 18th, 2020. The identification document number is needed to book the entry permits. Entry permit costs Rupees 1100 per person. One ticket can have a maximum of 10 people. All the participant’s ID numbers are required for online Agasthyarkoodam booking . The minimum age should be above 14 years. A group of 10 people (either on a single ticket or individual tickets) will get the services of a separate guide. The contact number of the wildlife warden is +91-471-236-0762.

There are canteens at Bonakad (the starting point of the trekking) and Athirumalai (base camp for the night’s stay). The Eco-Development Committee runs these.

You have to report at 7 am on the trekking date with the entry pass and Identity documents in original along with a copy of the same. At least one member of each ticket needs to give a declaration that the trekking is done at their own risk. The forest department is not responsible in any manner. This is required as wild animals are on the route and safety is a concern. The guides can help you to a certain extent only by advising you when wild animals are spotted or their presence is felt.

Agasthyamalai Trekking 2019 Charges

The following were the charges for the year 2019 Agasthiyamalai trekking. It has been revised in 2020. This information is only intended for those who want to compare the rates.

Entry pass charges are rupees 1000 per person. Food is charged separately. It costs around rupees 40 for breakfast if it’s idly and rupees 90 for Puttu (a local traditional food in the state of Kerala) and Kadala curry (another local food, generally served with puttu in the state of Kerala) as breakfast. Lunch costs rupees 70  and rupees 90 for dinner (Kanji in the local language or porridge in English). Tea is charged at 10 rupees. The camera is charged at INR 100. These rates or charges are as of January 2019  and are subject to change.

You are not allowed to carry plastic items, except for water bottles and lunch boxes. Such items are checked at the Bonacaud picket station (entry point to the trekking area), and rupees 100 or so are collected, as a caution deposit. When you return to the Bonacaud picket station, you will get this money refunded, provided you bring back those items that were taken with you. You are not allowed to carry biscuits or other similarly packed food items. You need to open such packs and wrap them in paper or put it inside your bag, to take them inside.

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Amazing article.

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Thanks Rahul!

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agasthyakoodam online booking

Agasthyakoodam Trekking: How To Have A Successful First Trek?

I covered a total of 48 km by foot in two days under challenging terrains and weather conditions. It was a personal record, and by the end of the trek, my legs had become jellylike. The struggle was real, but it was completely worth it because the experience I had in those two days was adventurous, to say the least.

The Agasthyakoodam trek is arguably one of the most challenging treks to undertake in Kerala. Standing at the height of 1,868 metres, the Agasthyakoodam peak (or the Agasthyarkoodam peak) is one of the highest peaks in Kerala . Moreover, unlike other treks in the Western Ghats, the Agasthyakoodam trek is open for registration only for two months every year, making it all the more exclusive.

I went on a solo trek to Agasthyarkoodam. In this guide, I will walk you through the Agasthyakoodam trekking itinerary that I followed to give you a complete idea about the hike. But before that, let’s dive into some interesting facts and history about this trek which makes it different to other treks.

Tips to get your Agasthyakoodam trekking pass

How to visit agasthyakoodam, where is agasthyakoodam.

First of all, it is essential to distinguish between Agasthyamalai and Agasthyakoodam because many people tend to use these terms interchangeably. 

Agasthyamalai (or the Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve) is a protected forest area in the Western Ghats between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It comprises three wildlife sanctuaries – Shendurney, Peppara and Neyyar. 

Recognised by UNESCO, the Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve is a biological hotspot. It is home to many rare and diverse flora and fauna, including more than 2,000 species of medicinal plants.

agasthyakoodam biological park

The Kani tribe (or Kanikkaran) are one of the oldest surviving tribes in the world that live in the Agasthyamalai hills indigenously. They depend on the forests here for their livelihood and are found both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Some of the tribals have recently been working closely with the Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC), including trek guides to benefit the trekkers.

Agasthyakoodam is one of the many mountains located within the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary (one of the wildlife sanctuaries in the Agasthyamalai hills) in Trivandrum, Kerala. It is the most well-known mountain as it has the highest peak in this region.  

Apart from the pure water and air present here, the forests around this peak have medicinal plants and herbs. The Agasthyarkoodam trek is one of the most diverse treks in the Western Ghats as it takes you through lush green forests, open grasslands and rocky terrains.

History of Agasthyakoodam

agasthyarkoodam trekking

Agasthyakoodam derives its name from a famous Hindu sage called Agasthya, mentioned in Ramayana and Mahabharata and found in ancient scriptures in the Hindu temples of South Asia. Agasthya was said to have meditated in Agasthyakoodam, making this mountain an important pilgrimage destination for Hindu devotees. 

The Kani tribe are ancient worshippers of Agasthya. Additionally, every year, thousands of Hindu devotees trek to the top of this mountain to offer prayers to Agasthya, who has a small shrine at the peak.

Until recently, females were strictly not allowed to trek to Agasthyarkoodam as Agasthya was considered celibate. However, in a significant judgement in 2019 , the Kerala High Court ruled trekkers cannot be discriminated against based on gender, and hence, the first woman successfully trekked the mountain in 2019.

How to get your Agasthyakoodam trekking pass?

Due to its ecological and religious importance, the Agasthyakoodam trek is open every year from the second week of January till March for close to 45 days. However, only 100 passes are issued by KFDC every day during this season. 

The link for booking the ticket during this season is made available on the  Kerala Forest Department  portal. In addition, a week before the trekking season begins, all the details about the trek are published in major newspapers across Kerala.

Note:  You have the option of doing the trek during the rest of the year along with a trekking guide, but the rates are significantly higher.

Cost of Agasthyakoodam trekking pass

As of 2019, the cost per head in a trekking pass was INR 1,000, and you can book up to 10 people in one pass. This cost involves the forest permit and accommodation. Meals are exclusive of the price, and you need to buy them separately. 

It is usual for Agasthyakoodam trekking passes to get sold out within minutes of the online portal going live. Hence, make sure you do the following to increase your chances of a successful booking:

  • Get ready with the following details before booking your pass: Name, age, contact number, type of ID proof, ID proof number and address.
  • Be ready with your debit/credit card details if you are booking with your card.
  • Fix a date that you would like to do the trek. Have a couple of backup dates as well, just in case.
  • Try to book from different devices at the same time.
  • Due to the heavy traffic, the website may get stuck sometimes. In such a case, refresh the website and proceed.

These tips will not guarantee a trekking pass but will increase your chances of getting one. I was lucky enough to get the trekking pass on my first attempt itself. Unfortunately, many people wait for 2-3 years to gain access to the ticket.

However, if you get the trekking pass, take its printout along with the affidavit you receive with it.

Note:  There is an option to book the ticket offline from PTP Nagar Forest Office, Trivandrum, but the process is tiring and cumbersome as people stand in the queue even before the booking begins. Hence, I recommend you do it in the comfort of your home.

Agasthyakoodam Route

agasthyakoodam route

The Old Tea Factory in Bonacaud is your landmark. It is an abandoned tea factory that also goes by the name of Bonaccord Estate. Once you reach Bonacaud, you can ask anyone about this place.

If you are coming by bus, you will be dropped at Bonacaud Post Office which is close to the Old Tea Factory.

From the Old Tea Factory, you have to walk 2 km further to the Forest Checkpost in Bonacaud. Also, know as Bonacaud Picket Station, this is the starting point of the trek where you complete your trek registration. If you are coming by your own vehicle, you can park your vehicle at the entrance here.

On Day 1, you have to trek to the Athirumala Base Camp. From the Forest Checkpost, the Athirumala Base Camp is about 16 km.

On Day 2, you ascend to the Agasthyakoodam peak, a further 6 km from the Athirumala Base Camp.

Agasthyakoodam Trekking Itinerary (2 days/1 night)

You can complete the Agasthyakoodam trek in 2 days/1 night as per your wish. But, if you can, try to do it in 3 days/2 nights to have a more relaxing experience. I completed the trek on a weekend as I didn’t want to take any extra leave from work. In any case, the itinerary given below remains the same:

You have to report to the Forest Checkpost in Bonacaud (Bonacaud Picket Station) by 7 am on the trek day. The Forest Checkpost is 2 km from the abandoned Bonacaud Tea Estate, which is your landmark.

You have to present your trekking pass, an affidavit and the original photo ID used while booking the trekking pass at the reception. Then, the forest officers will verify the same. This process takes close to an hour or so because there will be other trekkers along with you. 

agasthyakoodam peak

In the meantime, you can buy some snacks and have a vegetarian South Indian breakfast from the small shop present there. Also, don’t forget to collect your packed lunch from here because you will be reaching Athirumala base camp by late afternoon/evening only.

You can purchase bamboo sticks that will be useful while trekking if you don’t have a trekking pole. They are available at a nominal cost.

Once the formalities are completed, a forest officer will arrange all the trekkers present together. Then, he will give you a briefing about Agasthyarkoodam and the dos and don’ts during the trek.

After this, your bags will be checked thoroughly for plastic as Agasthyarkoodam is a plastic-free zone. Even packets of biscuits/chips are considered plastic. So if you plan to carry them, you will have to pay INR 100 for each plastic item, which will be refundable upon their return after the trek.

agasthyakoodam trekking booking

Hereafter, you will start the trek along with other trekkers in a group of 20. The first batch usually begins at 9 am. Then, your trek officially begins, and your final stop for the day is the Athirumala Base Camp. It is 16km from the starting point and takes 6-7 hours, depending upon your speed.

Every group of 20 trekkers is assigned a trekking guide. The trek guide is a tribal from the Kani community, so you may want to ask him questions about his life to understanding how this community thrives in the jungle. I was able to get a lot of insights about their lives and their economy by talking to one such guide.

The best thing about the trek is that you can do it at your own pace. Of course, there will be trekking guides at every stage of the hike. But there is no compulsion to maintain your speed with your group or the trekking guide. This is ideal as you get to take in the beautiful sceneries you encounter on the trek.

The first few kilometres of the trek is a straightforward walk through a thick forest with many water streams along the way. You can drink water or fill your water bottles from these streams. 

agasthyamalai biosphere reserve

After every few kilometres, you will see a campsite. Every campsite has a small house made of bamboo where a Kani trekking guide resides.  

Inside the forest, you will come across three rivers – Karamanayar, Vazapaithiyar and Attayar. Vazapaithiyar is a great place to take a bath and refresh if you’re in the mood. A few trekkers break here for the same. Attayar river is where trekkers usually halt to have their packed lunch.

From the Attayar river onwards, the trekking trail becomes narrow, and the climb becomes slightly uphill for the next 4 km. As the forest starts opening up, you will eventually get a first glimpse of the Agasthyarkoodam peak in the backdrop of a few mountains towering from behind.

agasthyarkoodam peak

You will be entering the open grasslands soon. But now, it will be hard to find water sources. However, the landscape of this open scenery offers some great views. Mountain views in no time will surround you.

The last stretch of this trek to the Athirumala base camp is an uphill trek of close to 6 km through an evergreen forest. By the end of it, you reach Athirumala base camp.

You will see 2-3 different dorms covered with aluminium sheets with a cemented floor. Your first job will be to show your trekking pass to the forest officer present at the base camp entrance to collect your sleeping mat. Then, occupy one of the spaces inside these dorms quickly to avoid being inconvenienced later. Keep your bag(s) on top of your sleeping mat to confirm your place.

Note:  You have to return the sleeping mat before leaving Athirumala base camp for Bonacaud.

You will get the first real glimpse of the Agasthyarkoodam peak in all its glory in front of the campsite. It is surrounded by other mountains on its flanks and covered with forest in the foreground.

trivandrum to agasthyakoodam distance

You can have tea/snacks from the canteen, and you need to collect the dinner token now as the forest officials prepare food based on demand. 

There are toilets/bathrooms for you to freshen up. However, if you plan to take a bath, I recommend you dip inside a small natural water stream present right behind the campsite. The water is cold, but it will be the most refreshing experience for your body after a tiring day of trekking.

You can explore many different areas around the campsite as it surrounds itself with a thick forest with water streams, huge rocks, and various types of plants and trees.

Once it becomes dark, dinner is served, and during this time, you can collect the token for breakfast the next day. In terms of food, don’t expect anything fancy because the supplies are limited. You will probably get some rice and curry for lunch/dinner.

Retire for the night in your dorm. As it becomes colder, cover yourself with a blanket. Be prepared for an inconveniencing night as there will be many people sharing space with you in your dorm. Keep an alarm for 5-6 am next morning. The climb to the Agasthyarkoodam peak starts early the following day.

Wake up by 5-6 am, freshen up and have black tea from the canteen. Collect your packed breakfast from the canteen and the token for lunch which you will be having after coming back. You can take your own pace but make sure you start trekking by 7-8 am. I’ll tell you why this is important later.

agasthyamalai hills

Take a small backpack to carry only the essentials (snacks, water bottles, etc.) you need for the climb. You can leave behind your main bag. Although it is risky, the idea is to make it easier for you to ascend to the Agasthyarkoodam peak. 

Note:  Don’t leave behind any valuables that you can’t afford to lose.

The distance from the Athirumala base camp to the Agathyakoodam peak is 6 km long. Although it may seem minor, it is one of the most challenging 6 km you will experience because the entire climb is uphill. Therefore, please do not underestimate this hike and take it slowly.

The trail takes you through a dense forest with water streams in between. As you ascend, you will get many mountain and valley views from the gaping holes of the forest, including different perspectives of the Agasthyarkoodam peak. Be sure to keep your camera shutters on.

Note:  You can spot elephants and other animals in these regions. Although a trekking guide will always be there throughout the trail, don’t walk alone to ensure your safety.

agasthyarkoodam

As you keep progressing, the forest cover ends and you will be hiking on a rocky mountain. Halfway through the trek, you will reach a deserted area with a small pond lying in the middle. This is where you have breakfast. 

Continue walking after that and follow the rocky path that takes you through a forest. The temperatures start dropping as you trek uphill. 

The final 2kms to the top is one of the most adventurous climbs you will be experiencing in a trek in the Western Ghats. 

Although you can ascend with your feet, you have to use the rope kept there to navigate through a narrow path of rocks inside a forest entirely uphill. This is just a trailer of what is to come.

agasthyamalai

After that, you walk through a small patch of forest before the forest opens up to a rocky mountain. Again, you have to climb a rocky cliff, but this time, your body tilts to 90 degrees approximately from the rocky surface beneath you. This climb is neither for the faint-hearted nor for people with a fear of heights. 

Once you cross this, you have reached the top finally!

After a climb of almost 2-3 hours, you have reached the best part of the trek. If you had started your trek early by 7-8 am, you would be getting to the peak by 10 am. The weather is ideal at this time, and you have enough buffer to trek back slowly. This is why it is crucial to start from Athirumala base camp by 7-8 am.

The views from the top are unbeatable. You get a bird’s eye of different mountains and valleys with the clouds floating in the middle. Additionally, you will also experience solid and cold winds at the top, due to which it becomes difficult to stay at the top for a long time. 

agasthyakoodam trekking pass

Enjoy this moment. After all the effort you took to reach here, you deserve it. So spend some time soaking in the atmosphere, take some photos and relax. There is no cover/shade here, but you won’t have to worry due to the cold winds.

Fun fact:  You can see the Athirumala base camp from the top. Once you spot it, you will appreciate how much distance you covered to reach here.

There is a shrine at the top that belongs to Agasthya Muni. Pilgrims do this trek to offer their prayers to the Agasthya Muni statue present here.

Note:  If you plan to trek back to Bonacaud the next day, you can take some more time at the top. In any case, don’t make it late beyond 12-1 pm as the forest becomes dark soon and there are wild animals there. Once you are back at the Athirumala campsite, have your lunch, relax and repeat the same routine you had the previous day before leaving for Bonacaud at least by 7-8 am the following day.

However, if you plan to go back to Bonacaud the same day, the following advice is for you:

  • Spend 1-1.5 hours at the top before heading back. Try to leave by 11 pm so that you reach Athirumala campsite by 1 pm.
  • While hiking back, descent slowly because the descent is riskier than the ascent. 
  • If you had planned to take a bath, you might have to reach the Athirumala campsite much before 1 pm so take that into account.
  • After coming back to the campsite, have your lunch and get ready within an hour. Try to leave by 2 pm. Don’t forget to return your sleeping mat to the forest officials before leaving.
  • It is possible to reach the starting point in Bonacaud within 4-5 hours. However, you have to walk fast.
  • Do take water/snack breaks in between but don’t waste too much time.
  • Once you reach the Forest Checkpost in Bonacaud, you must mark your attendance with the forest officer. This is mandatory as it ensures that no one is left behind. Also, get a refund for the plastics that you carried, if you had any.
  • There will be other trekkers who will trek back with the aim of finishing the trek in two days. If you don’t have a vehicle, you can ask one of these people for a lift. That is what I did. Public transport may be hard to find by the time you come back. 

Essential things to carry for the Agasthyakoodam trek

The following are the things that you need to carry to enjoy the trek:

  • Two pairs of quick-dry tees
  • One or two pairs of trekking pants/quick dry pants
  • Two pairs of socks
  • Breathable briefs/underwears
  • A waterproof jacket just in case it rains.
  • A lightweight jacket, to be worn at night. A windproof/waterproof jacket will also be fine.
  • A lightweight hat for sun protection
  • Sunglass (optional)
  • Lightweight and quick-dry bathing towel
  • Trekking shoes, preferably with ankle support. You can use a sports shoe as well but ensure it has a good grip on rough terrains.
  • Flip flops/sandals that you can use at the campsite.
  • A lightweight blanket to cover yourself while sleeping at night. The forest officials provide a mattress only.
  • A hiking backpack/rucksack to be used for the trek
  • A small foldable, collapsible bag that you can use for the hike to the Agasthyakoodam peak.
  • 2 bottles of water
  • Headlamp (optional)
  • Powerbank (useful especially if you plan for a 3-day trek)
  • Snacks – peanuts, dry fruits, energy bars, fruits, etc. Remove all the plastic, put them in a container, or cover them with paper as plastic is strictly banned.
  • Entry pass, affidavit and photo id
  • Spare cash to pay for your meals on the trek
  • Camera with spare batteries (in case you have one)
  • Salt (for leeches)
  • Trekking pole or bamboo stick from the Bonacaud Forest Checkpost

How to reach Trivandrum?

You have to reach Trivandrum first before making way for Agasthyarkoodam.

You can get inter-state buses from Chennai, Bangalore and other parts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Within Kerala, it is easy to get buses to Trivandrum from almost any location.

By train 

The train is the most economical and convenient option if you are coming from a nearby state. You will find plenty of trains from Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore to Trivandrum.

If you have less time or are flying from a faraway state, a flight to Trivandrum is your best bet. Trivandrum is well-connected to all the major cities of India via direct/indirect flights.

How to reach Bonacaud?

Bonacaud is 50 km from Trivandrum, and it takes close to 2 hours to reach there. There are three ways you can get to Bonacaud:

  • Hire a cab/auto a day in advance. This is the most convenient option, but it is also the most expensive one.
  • A KSRTC bus starts at 5 am from the KSRTC bus stand (Thampanoor) in Trivandrum and departs for Bonacaud (drops you at Bonacaud Post Office). You can enquire about the bus at the bus stand counter. It is the most economical option of the lot.
  • If you have a car, you can drive to the Forest Checkpost in Bonacaud and park your vehicle there. The road trip is pretty scenic, and this also solves your problem of going back home once your trek is over.

Where to stay in Bonacaud?

agasthyakoodam

Unfortunately, being a tiny village, Bonacaud doesn’t have an option for staying. 

You may choose to stay at Vithura or Nedumangad, which are two nearby localities. However, don’t expect much in terms of the quality of accommodation.

It is preferable to stay at Trivandrum as you have more options for food, accommodation, and public transport. You can leave early to Bonacaud on the day of your trek.

Best time to visit Agasthyarkoodam

It is preferable to book your trek during January or February as the weather is ideal for trekking. The summer season begins from March onwards (and lasts till May). Having said that, summers aren’t very harsh in Kerala.

Tips for the Agasthyakoodam trek

  • Your stamina is vital for this trek. Indulge in some physical activity daily for a month or two to train your body.
  • Do not throw any waste/garbage during the trek. As mentioned previously, this is a well-preserved region of the Western Ghats so ensure it remains the same.
  • If you don’t have your vehicle, you can request fellow trekkers (with cars) to drop you back after the trek.
  • Carry fruits and healthy snacks. They will come in handy during the trek. Don’t rely on the canteens.
  • It is advisable to be in a group to ensure you don’t lose your way or encounter animals during the trek , especially on Day 2.
  • Follow strict timings to ensure that your overall trekking experience goes smoothly. One slight delay can cause a chain of delays, thereby hampering your trek.
  • On the day of your climb to the peak, don’t leave behind any valuables that you can’t afford to lose.
  • Purchase your meal coupons in advance from the canteen instead of waiting till the last moment. For example, ask for the dinner coupon when you have lunch, breakfast coupon when you’re having dinner and so on.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is agasthyamalai biosphere reserve located.

Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve is located along the borders of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is spread across the districts of Trivandrum and Kollam in Kerala and Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.

How to book the Agasthyakoodam trek?

The booking for the Agasthyakoodam trek starts from the second week of January every year. The link for the online booking becomes available then on the Kerala Forest Department website. All the details regarding the booking details are also published in major newspapers across Kerala a few days before the booking begins.

After booking your trek online, you have to report to Bonacaud which is 50 km away from Trivandrum. There is a government bus that starts from Trivandrum for Bonacaud at 5 am daily. At Bonacaud, you have to report to the Bonacaud Picket Station (Forest Checkpost). From here, you start your trek in a group along with a guide to the Agashyakoodam peak. The entire trek is 48 km long and can be completed in 2 or 3 days at your convenience.

agasthyakoodam trekking

This trek was one of the most physically and mentally challenging treks I ever did in the Western Ghats. When things got more demanding, I had to push myself to take the next step. You will probably face such moments during the trek.

But it is all worth it in the end. You will learn a lot about yourself in this process. Additionally, the views that you get from the Agasthyarkoodam peak and the sights you see during the trek itself will linger with you for a long time. So if you are an avid trekker or want to experience the Western Ghats in all its glory, this trek should be on your wishlist.

Have you done this mighty trek in Kerala? If not, do you plan to do it someday but still have some queries? Let me know in the comments, and I will be happy to help.

pothigai malai trek

Jerry quit his 9-5 job to become a digital nomad and travel the world. Through Framedventures, he helps people have experiential and immersive travel adventures across India. He has travelled to 15+ states/UTs in India so far. Besides travelling, he's also passionate about landscape photography. Connect with him on his social media channels to get his latest travel updates!

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22 comments.

pothigai malai trek

Awesome blogs Jerry. Very well documented and so much in details. Appreciate it. Am planning to do the agastyakoodam trek sometime, thanks again.

pothigai malai trek

Thank you Shreyas! Hope you have an awesome trek at Agasthyakoodam. 🤗

pothigai malai trek

Damn brother🙏 you took me through a visual adventure at the comfort of my house. Very well documented journey details. Am planning to scale this mighty peak this year. Waiting for the online registration to start. I wanted to know two things: if female trekkers are allowed currently. What would be the cost of food tokens at the forest department canteens. Awaiting response Jerry.

pothigai malai trek

Thank you, Sharath! 😀

As mentioned in my blog post, female trekkers are allowed since 2019.

I don’t remember the exact cost of the food tokens but it was cheap. You’ll be good to go if you can carry INR 1,500-2,000. It’ll comfortably take care of all your food expenses during the trek.

All the best with your online registration! ✌️

pothigai malai trek

durga Manikandan

hi jerry wondeful message about the agasthiyar trek , my self a yoga instructor with few of my students climbing the agasthiyar peak on sep , your details are really useful , we are bunch of women , my question is if we cant climb the peak of the last 2 km is that ok or will it be missed badly , these rocks look scary ,guide us ,

Hi Durga! I sent you an email with the reply. Hope you received it and read through it.

I’m answering your question again for the benefit of others who may have the same doubt.

The last 2 km does look scary but it’s not very difficult. There are ropes to guide you and people around you will help you out.

I recommend you climb the peak because the views there are unbeatable. You won’t get that kind of view anywhere else on the trek (or even in Trivandrum) and you’ll be thankful to yourself for climbing the peak.

At the top, I recommend spending 30 minutes to an hour taking in the views, meditating or relaxing.

Hope this helps!

pothigai malai trek

Thanks for this amazing writeup. I am climbing on Jan 2023 and your infos will be highly useful for me. You just kept my sprint one level up for the climb. Thanks

Thanks Sandeep!🙂

Congratulations on getting the entry pass for the trek. Not everyone is as lucky as you.😅

All the very best for the trek!

pothigai malai trek

Hi Jerry, thanks for the elaborate write up. We are trekking in February 2023. Can you throw some light on the trekking option outside the booking window? How to book, cost, special permit requirements etc.. Thank you again !!!

I don’t have much idea about the booking outside the trekking window.

You can visit this website for more details. Check the ‘Agastyarvanam Biological Park’ section specifically for the Agasthyakoodam trek.

pothigai malai trek

Srinivasan Thyagarajan

Dear Mr. Jerry, Greetings. Read your blog and it triggered my intrinsic inner heart to plan and perform this trek. Nicely written by you with full details. I am 62 years old and would like to do this trekking soon. I live in Chennai with my family and now retired from the service. Recently, I had been to Parvatha malai and before that Kedarnath dham. Should you have more tips to guide me, kindly share the same. Take care. GOD Bless you. regards srinivasan

Hi Srinivasan!

Thank you for this lovely message.

You can follow all the details I’ve mentioned in the article for a successful trek.

If you’ve any specific concerns, do let me know! I’ll be happy to help.✌️

pothigai malai trek

If I plan to hike 2nd week of January 2024, when would the reservation open up online?

Hey Arun! Sorry for the late reply!

It usually opens during the 2nd week of January every year but there is no fixed date as such. You can also hike in the 2nd week of January provided you’re able to book the pass online when they open the bookings.

pothigai malai trek

Nice blog Jerry. I can see why you quit your 9-5 job. Please can you tell me about the afidavit for the trek, how to obtain it. And I heard someone say we should have some Life Insurance for going for this trek, how true it is?

I am planning for the trek in 2024. Please do let me know if any other documents are needed, I can’t find any source pointing at this. Please help. Thank you.

Hi Ganesh! Sorry for the late reply.

The affidavit will be sent to you when you successfully book the trek online. If not, you can also get it at the Forest Checkpost in Bonacaud. And life insurance is not needed.

The two important documents you need to have for sure are the trekking pass and an original photo id.

pothigai malai trek

Srinivasan S

This is the most detailed and informative inputs that i could get about this place. Am fortunate to get a slot in Feb’24. Looking forward to enjoying this in person. Will update after i complete my trekking. Thanks for all the inputs.

Thanks Srinivasan! Hope you enjoy the trek.:)

pothigai malai trek

Hello Jerry, super detailed blog, thank you! My husband, two cousins and I have got a slot olfor the trek Feb 6-8 (we decided to not to squash everything into 2 days).

Couple questions: 1. On the Day 1 trek, I understand there are streams and other such in the way. Are they deep? Will we get fully wet?

2. On Day 2, when we climb to Agasthyaarkoodam, is there an option to leave the trekking backpack at the basecamp? Or do we have to carry everything to the top?

3. Did you have any fellow female trekkers during yours, and anything they may have mentioned which would be good to know?

4. Since plastic is not allowed, do they allow plastic water bottle? And what about the plastic parts of the first aid kit, etc?

Please find my replies:

1. No, they aren’t deep at all.

2. Yes, you can leave your main backpack in your dorm. It’s preferable to carry a small backpack with water, snacks and the packed lunch on day 2 though as the ascent will be tiring.

3. No, I didn’t. But it is now open for females also so you don’t have to worry. They have separate washrooms for females and if I’m not wrong, they have a different dorm for females. I’m not sure what the policy is regarding couples.

4. Yes, you can carry plastic water bottles but ensure you’re not carrying the disposable ones. Similarly, I recommend you remove the plastic covers of packaged snacks, first aid, etc. and carry them in boxes to avoid inconvenience. The forest officials are a bit strict with plastics as it’s a reserved forest.

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Agasthyakoodam Peak in Kerala

Agasthyakoodam is nature’s ode to bird watchers. One of the highest peaks in Kerala, it has long been known as a bird watcher’s paradise and many gather here to catch sight of exotic avian species.  It can be viewed from near Neyyar Dam as well as Bonacaud. Agasthyakoodam is also known for its remarkable flora and fauna, especially certain rare medicinal herbs which have been discovered here. Over 2000 species including lichens, orchids, mosses and ferns have been recorded in the area. The peak was named after the sage Agasthya and is a popular pilgrim site. A shrine dedicated to him is located here and is frequented by devotees. The air itself is said to have medicinal qualities. The peak is a 90 minute drive with Bonacaud being the last motorable spot. Trekking is restricted as only a few people are allowed to go up the peak. One must get a forest pass from the wildlife office in Thiruvananthapuram with January to April being the recommended months. Contact Details:  Wildlife Warden Forest Department PTP Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram Ph: +91 471 2362291

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram Central, around 61 km from Bonacaud.

Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, around 69 km from Bonacaud.

  Topics: Trekking   Forest   Hill   Thiruvananthapuram  

Latitude: 8.803654, Longitude: 77.197952

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Altitude: 1890 m Above sea level

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All the tickets for the Agastyarkoodam Trekking event 2024 have been sold out. Due to the limited capacity and high demand, we are unable to accommodate any more participants for this year event. See you next year

Department of Forests and Wildlife - Agasthyarkoodam Seasonal Trekking 2024 - issues order granting permission to visitors.

class="project-title">In respect of Agasthyarkootam Seasonal Trekking 2024, the Government issues an order allowing the admission of visitors, subject to the conditions appended below.

  • 1. Dates for Agasthyarkutam Seasonal Trek 2024 are from 24th January to 2nd March
  • 2. Trekking online registration for the year 2024 can be started from January 10, 2024, at the rate of 70 people per day.
  • 3. Thiruvananthapuram Wildlife Warden may allow offline booking not exceeding 30 persons per day subject to maximum seat availability including booking cancellation. Offline booking should be done only one day before the trekking date.
  • 4. Trekking fee will be 2500/- (Rupees Two Thousand Five Hundred) including Eco Development Charge without food.
  • 5. Maximum booking for Agasthyarkootam trek in one day should not be more than 100 people including cancellation seats.
  • 6. Children between the ages of 14 and under 18 years are not permitted to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Registration with or without permit
  • 7. Medical fitness taken within seven days by the participants of the trek.The certificate should be produced before starting the trekking
  • 8. For Online Registration, Participant's photograph and Government approved ID copy must be uploaded at the time of online
  • 9. First aid kit and personal accident insurance should be ensured.
  • 10 The department reserves the right to suspend the trek at any time in case of inclement weather, risk of wildlife attack etc.

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FOR YOUR SAFETY

  • PLEASE OBEY THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTION FOR YOUR SAFETY
  • Please silence while walking in the forest
  • Strictly observe instructions of the guide
  • Avoid getting separated from the group
  • Avoid bathing in the streams
  • Take photos only with the permission of the guides
  • Avoid consumption of liquor, smoking etc
  • Start return journey from the Agasthaymala before 01.30 PM
  • Accommodation is restricted in sheds only
  • ENTRY WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO Agastyaarkoodam AFTER 11 AM

Who all can trek?

As the trekking is arduous and extends through dangerous paths, only persons with considerable physical strength can trek to Agasthyarkoodam. Children below 14 years will not be allowed. Both men and women can apply.

The trekkers have to reach the forest picket station of Vithura-Bonacaud at 7 am of the trek with the original photo ID card and the printout of the ticket. The visitors have to submit a self-declaration with signatures. Each group with ten members will be provided with a guide by the Eco-Development committee.

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Agasthyakoodam Trek

  • Introduction

Agasthyakoodam Legends

  • Trek Checklist

Getting to Bonacaud

Location map.

  • Trek Overview
  • Trek Experience
  • Trekking Tips

Online Resources

Agasthyakoodam (also known as Agasthyarkoodam) is a 1868m tall mountain within the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala. It lies on the border between Kerala and Tamilnadu. It is also known as Agasthyamala in Malayalam and Pothigai Malai   in Tamil. This mountain belongs to the Ashambu Hills, the southern end of Western Ghats.  There are over 25 peaks in Ashambu Hills and Agasthyakoodam peak is the tallest one among them.

The forests around this peak are famous for the abundance of rare medicinal herbs and plants. It is also far away from human settlements, making it one of the pristine natural forests in Kerala. It hides one of the richest concentrations of biodiversity in the entire Western Ghats. Among the peaks of Western Ghats, Agasthyakoodam ranks as a medium peak. However, it has a magical aura around it and as you trek up the mountain, you feel refreshed and recharged. People believe that even the wind here has medicinal properties and will protect or cure you from diseases.

The original inhabitants of these hills are a tribe known as “ Kanis ” . Currently there are about 400 Kani families living around these areas. Kani settlements are located near the basins of streams of Karamanayar and Neyyar away from the core area of Agasthyakoodam. Some of the tribals work with eco-development committees organized by forest department. Recently they also started working as guides/staff for the Agasthyakoodam trek.

Agasthyakoodam peak is also a pilgrimage destination for Hindu devotees who believe that sage Agasthya  meditated on the mountain. Sage Agasthya is one of the seven maharishis(Saptarishis) in Hindu puranas. There is a small shrine on the mountain top with an idol of Agasthya rishi and during Agasthyakoodam trekking season, people perform pujas here.

Agasthya sage is considered to be guru of Ayurveda system of traditional Indian medicine. Most of his statues depict him with a stone crusher in one hand and a bowl of medicines in the other. He is also considered as the father of Tamil literature and Siddha medicine.

According to one of the legends, Everyone including maharishis moved to Himalayas during the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvathi. This caused the earth to tilt to one side and Lord Shiva asked Agasthya to go to south and balance the earth again. Agasthya came to the southern mountains and he liked the place and stayed on. There are plenty of other interesting legends about Agasthyamuni .

Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve

Biosphere reserves are sites established by various countries under the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) operated program called Man and the Biosphere (MAB). This program aims to create biosphere reserves to protect biological and cultural diversity of a region while promoting sustainable economic development. Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve (ABR) was established in 2001 under the UNESCO MAB program. This is a large site covering about 3500 square kilometres and spans across the forests of southern Kerala and Tamilnadu. The areas in Kerala under ABR include Neyyar wildlife sanctuary, Peppara wildlife sanctuary, Shendurney wildlife sanctuary, Achencoil, Thenmala, Konni, Punalur and Agasthyavanam biological park. Agasthyakoodam is the eastern boundary of Agasthyavanam biological park. On the eastern side Agasthyakoodam is protected by Mundanthurai tiger reserve (Tamilnadu).

Agasthyakoodam Trekking

Agasthyakoodam peak and surrounding areas are protected reserved forest under the control of Kerala Forest Department and entry is restricted. Forest department allows a controlled pilgrimage/trek during January to March of every year. This pilgrimage starts on the day of the Makaravilakku festival in Sabarimala temple and ends on the Sivarathri day. Usually this means that the trek will be available for about 60 days. Only 100 entry passes are issued each day of the trek and the entry passes are given on first come first serve basis.

Usually entry passes run out on the first day of the booking. Alternatively you can also trek to Agasthyakoodam during the offseason, but you need to pay more (Rs.4000+ for a team of 5). This article is focused on the trek experience during the pilgrimage season.

People attempt Agasthyakoodam trek with a wide range of interests. Some are interested in the physically demanding trek alone, some are interested in exploring the flora and fauna around and for some it is a pilgrimage. This article is a comprehensive guide to Agasthyakoodam trek including trekking tips, online booking information and what you can expect on the trek.

Note that children and women are not allowed for this trek. There are religious as well as practical reasons for this.

Agasthyarkoodam Trekking Online Booking

Till 2013, booking for Agasthyarkoodam pilgrimage trek was a tedious process. Usually a couple days before the start of the trekking program, forest department would publish the date for getting entry passes. The entry tickets were issued from the forest office in PTP Nagar, Trivandrum. People will queue up from midnight for getting the entry passes and there is a huge demand for passes for the weekends. The booking process involved 2 stages. In the first stage, you will need to find an available date and then a application form will be issued to you with the date of trek entered. Maximum of 3 persons were allowed in a single pass. You need to fill up the form with details of the trek team members including details of their identity proof documents. You also need to attach copies of the identity proof. Finally you will submit the form at a second counter and pay the fee. Forest department will issue the entry pass later that day or the next day. Needless to say, getting passes was a nightmare. 

From this year (2014), you can book Agasthyakoodam trekking entry passes online! The link for booking trek tickets will be available on the official website of Kerala forest department on the opening day of booking. In 2014, this facility was rolled out through Kerala eService Delivery Portal and you can register an account for the portal anytime. For example, if the trek program starts on 15th January, the ticket booking will usually open on 12th January and the details of the dates would be published somewhere around 10th January in all major newspapers. Forest department website also provides a link for getting ticket availability status!

Up to 15 people can be booked on a single ticket and you need to pay Rs.500 per person. The trekking fee must be paid online, but only a limited number of banks are enabled for online money transfer. Before booking ensure that you have the following information available for each member of the trekking team,

  • Name, age and contact number
  • Type of identity proof (Aadhar, Driving License, Election Card etc.)
  • Identity proof number

Once you book the ticket and pay the money you get an option to print the entry pass. Always save a copy of the ticket before you print it. You can also access the entry pass later by logging into Kerala eService Delivery Portal and then selecting View Status Application => Track Application Status option from the left menu of the homepage.

The entry pass also contains an affidavit which the team leader of the trekking group must sign. On the day of your trek, you need to report to Bonacaud forest station at 7AM with the entry pass/affidavit and the ID proof originals of all members of the trekking team.

Alternatively you can get tickets through Akshaya centres or by going to the PTP forest office in Trivandrum. They all use the same system and hence it would be wise to book on your own from the comfort of your home.

Checklist for Agasthyarkoodam Trekking

Following is the checklist I use whenever I go on the Agasthyakoodam trek (or for that matter any overnight trek). Since you will be most probably going as part of a team, there are things that only one member of the team needs to carry for the entire group. This is indicated separately (G) in the following checklist. Please note that alcohol is strictly banned and the forest staff will check your luggage for it when you report for the trek. Please read the notes after the checklist,

Notes on Trekking Checklist

  • There is plenty of water along the way. Hence you don’t need to carry too much water. However conserve your water during the last stretch of your climb and keep the bottle filled up whenever you get a chance.
  • At the mountain peak, it may rain even during peak summer. Hence rain proof plastic bags are essential to protect your gear. Carry quality ones since you might have to convince the forest guards that you are not going to discard them along the trek.
  • A good hat is essential since sun will literally roast you when you cross the grasslands.
  • If you are trying to complete the trek in 2 days, a torch per participant is an absolute must. It would be dark by the time you return to Bonacaud.
  • Binoculars are heavy and carry it only if your group can share the load!

Bonacaud is a tiny village located about 50km from Thiruvananthapuram city. Bonacaud is the starting point for official Agasthyakoodam trek. If you are going from Trivandrum, you need drive  through the Ponmudi road via Nedumangad and then after about 1km from Vithura town, you need to take a right turn. After you cross Vithura town look for directions to Bonacaud. Ensure that you start early since it would take about 2 hours to cover the 50km winding roads.

Buses are available till the Bonacaud village, however to reach at 7am you need catch the first bus. The forest office from where you begin the trek is located about 1km away from the bus stop. If you are taking the bus, you need to walk this distance. The road from Bonacaud village actually passes through the side of an abandoned tea factory and there is a gate at the entrance of this road. If you are taking your car or bike, you can open the gate and then head towards the forest office. Note that this road is in bad condition and unless you are an expert car driver or you have an SUV, I suggest you take the bike. During our last visit, we found that almost all the cars had some sort of damage after covering this rough road.

Facilities Available

There is a small shop and a canteen at Bonacaud picket station. A toilet complex also is available right near the start of the trekking path. You can have your breakfast from the canteen and can also buy the packed lunch for the trek from here.

There is another canteen at Athirumala base camp. Canteen serves basic vegetarian food and tea/coffee. This canteen opens at 6am and closes at 8:30pm.

There are a number of forest camps along the trekking trail and are located near water streams. In case of emergency, you can approach them.

Trivandrum city to Bonacaud roadmap is given below,

The following map shows the trekking path from Bonacaud to Athirumala (waypoints indicated are explained in the tables given in trekking experience section),

The following map shows the climb from Athirumala to Agasthyakoodam peak,

Agasthyakoodam Wildlife

Forests around Agasthyakoodam has a rich wildlife ecosystem. Even the Bonacaud entry point has plenty of wildlife. I think forest department scares away animals from the trek trail during the 2 month trekking season. Always be prepared for wildlife encounter especially in the morning and evening. Elephants may cross your path when you are near Athirumala camp. Elephants take this route to reach Peppara reservoir for water. We have also spotted bear droppings along the route between Athirumala and Agasthyakoodam peak. Keep your eyes open!

Agasthyakoodam area belongs to Neyyar wildlife sanctuary and Peppara wildlife sanctuary. There are around 43 species of mammals including tiger, leopard, sloth bear, elephant, sambar, barking deer, Nilgiri langur and Nilgiri tahr. It is also home to over 230 species of birds, 45 species of reptiles and about 40 species of fish.

As you trek towards the mountain peak, you will come across natural Bonsai trees! Trees around the peak are stunted due to the heavy winds lashing throughout the year. They are also often covered with lichens, mosses and ferns. You will also come across plenty of small insects along the trek trail.

Agasthyarkoodam Trek Overview

Agasthyakoodam trek can be completed in 2 days or 3 days depending on your stamina and your interests. If you are looking to test the limits of your physical endurance and trekking is your main interest, I suggest you complete it in 2 days. If you are there to experience the forest or looking to explore the flora and fauna of the Agasthyakoodam, you need 3 days.

Between your starting point at Bonacaud and Agasthyakoodam peak, there is only one halting location. It is a small camp located at a place called Athirumala. It is located on the western valley of Agasthyakoodam peak and offers majestic views of the peak. Night stay here is safe since it is protected by trenches around it. The distance from Bonacaud starting point to Athirumala is around 15km and the distance from Athirumala to the mountain peak is around 5km. But note that during the 5km stretch you would be climbing almost 1000 metres.

Bonacaud to Athirumala Basecamp Trek (Day 1)

Whether you are going on a 2 day or 3 day trek, the first phase is always the same. You will start around 8am from the Bonacaud forest office after the formalities and then head towards Athirumala. You can reach Athirumala anywhere between 2pm to 6pm depending on how fast you trek, whether you take a bath along the way etc. Cover this stretch in slow pace and enjoy the nature and the water streams along the way.

Athirumala Basecamp to Agasthyakoodam and Return to Bonacaud (Day 2/3)

If you are completing the trek in 2 days, this is going to be a hectic day. You need to wake up around 5AM and get ready by 6AM. You then take a quick trek covering 5KM to the top. You should be on the top by around 10AM and need return by 11AM. You need reach Athirumala at 1PM and then after a quick lunch you need head back to Bonacaud by 2PM. Even then you need keep a steady fast pace to reach Bonacaud before nightfall (7PM).

If you are completing the trek in 3 days, you take the second day to visit mountain peak and return to Athirumala. On the 3rd day you can return back to Bonacaud just the same way you went to Athirumala. This gives you plenty of time to experience the forest, the mountain peak and the water streams along the way.

Agasthyakoodam Trek Experience (2 Day Trek)

Warning: The following section is full of spoilers! I strongly suggest you  to avoid this section if you like surprises during your trek.  

We usually go for a 2 day trek since we are always looking for a tough trek. But we also want to experience what the forest has to offer. We have been doing this trek for three years consecutively and hence has fine tuned our trek. This section may help you in planning your trek as per your needs.

After the check-in formalities at the Bonacaud forest station, you will be leaving for the Athirumala base station at around 8:30am. The forest beat officer (BFO) in charge will give a quick introduction of the trek and would remind you that you are going through a forest full of wildlife. There will be a number of other groups along with you and you can expect an overall strength of 40 to 60 people in the first batch leaving Bonacaud. One or two forest guards (from local tribal population) will accompany you along. Soon the group will get split into multiple small groups since everyone walks at a different pace. Usually the forest guards will be in front accompanying the first group. You will also encounter forest guards walking in both directions for random surveillance along the trekking trail.

The initial part of the trek is through a think jungle with cool morning breeze flowing through it. If you look around you can get walking sticks left by earlier teams (These sticks can be a major help when you climb down from the peak on the next day). This stretch of around 4km consists of moist deciduous and semi evergreen forests and you will come across the Karamana river at the end of it. There is a small shrine dedicated to the mountain god (Maladevan) and a forest camp is located here.

The next stretch of about 5KM between Karamana river and Attayar river consists of semi evergreen forests and there are plenty of water streams along the way. Vazapaithiyar river  is located somewhere in the middle  of this stretch and it has an excellent waterfall for an energizing bath! Usually trekkers will have their lunch at Attayar river.

After Attayar river, you will be walking through grasslands for about 4KM. You will see a towering mountain range on the left and towards the middle of this stretch, you will get a glimpse of Agasthyakoodam on your front left. You will be passing through small forest patches spread across the grasslands and it offers a refuge from the merciless afternoon sun.

The final stretch to Athirumala involves a vertical climb through evergreen forests. When you reach Athirumala covering a total distance of around 14km, you will be rewarded with a majestic view of the Agasthyakoodam mountain!

The forest officer in charge will greet you and will ask for your entry pass. Show your entry pass at the canteen and they will issue sleeping mats (on twin sharing basis!) for you. Find a place for your sleeping mat in one of the temporary grass huts. Take rest, have a cup of hot tea and then take a bath in the stream located nearby on the eastern side! You can also walk to the southern side of the camp which leads to another grassland.  From here you get a breath-taking view of the entire mountain range.

You need to buy food coupons at the Athirumala camp well in advance. Get your dinner coupon during tea time and then get your breakfast coupon during dinner. Similarly when you have your breakfast book your lunch. This is important since without prior booking/coupons you may not get any food from the canteen!

The following table summarizes the Bonacaud to Athirumala trek trail along with the distance walked, altitude and the time taken from the starting point at Bonacaud.

Next day wake up by 5am and get ready by 6am. Give the food coupons you have taken on the previous day and collect your breakfast parcel. Leave towards peak by 6:30am.

This initial stretch is through dense evergreen forests and you will be crossing a number of water streams. If you are lucky, you may come across monkeys, peacocks and elephants along this path. After walking for around 1.5km you will come across a giant rock on the right side. Climb on it to get a mesmerizing view of the valleys below and of the Agasthyakoodam peak. It is a perfect spot to have your breakfast and wait for the first sunrays to appear behind the peak.

It is easy to miss the trekking path along this stretch. Always look for yellow arrows marked on the rocks and it can be huge help in keeping you along the trek trail. During this stretch you will be crossing over to the eastern side of Agasthyakoodam. At around 2.5km, you will come across a huge rocky area with a small water stream running through the middle of it. Never walk too close to the cliff as the wind may throw you over it!

You need to cross over the stream and climb up on the other side. Then turn right and walk over the ridge to reach a huge open space. From here you get the entire view of Mundanthurai tiger reserve. This place is known as “Pongalappara” and devotees cook rice offerings here. Walk across this rocky plains and head to west to start your final climb to the peak (approximately 2km from here).

The temperature drops as you climb and and you will cross thick evergreen forests along this route. It is popularly known as “A/C Vanam” (A/C Forest). This place is treacherous during rainy season and as you reach towards the top, this climb becomes progressively difficult. Finally you will come across rocks which are nearly vertical. There are metal and plastic ropes available for the final climb. If you have fear of heights, climbing this would be tough.

As you look down, you will be blown away by the vastness of the valleys and the mountains below. You will also suddenly notice another majestic mountain range which seems to have magically appeared from nowhere! This mountain range of 5 peaks is known Ainthuthalai Pothigai.

As you reach the top, the first thing you notice is the ferocious winds at this height and if you are not careful, you might fall. Agasthya shrine/idol is located in the middle of a small forest on the peak and hence is protected from the wind. As you spend time here, you realize that you should have attempted this trek much earlier!

The following table summarizes the Athirumala to Agasthyakoodam Peak trek trail along with the distance and the average time taken from the starting point at Athirumala.

If you are on the 2 day trek, you need to climb down from the peak before 11:30am and even then you need hurry to reach Athirumala before 1:30pm. You will be able to spend about 1 hour on the top.

Ensure that you return before 2pm from Athirumala to Bonacaud. Even then you need to walk fast to cover the return distance before nightfall. If you plan to take a waterfall bath along the way, you should return by 1:30pm.

Agasthyakoodam Trekking Tips

  • Attempt Agasthyakkoodam trek only if you are physically fit. This is very important since you will be trekking through tough terrain for 50km in 2/3 days.
  • Never trek alone. Even if you are going alone, ensure that you are near another trek team. This is very important since animals such as bear may attack when you walk alone.
  • Always be alert and lookout for animals. Do not make loud noises. Animals such as elephants attack only when they are startled by close contact. So keep your eyes open.
  • Since you carry only one bottle of water, keep it filled whenever you get a chance. This is very important for the last stretch of the trek since water is rare on the top.
  • Keep an additional lightweight footwear (rubber sandals) in your bag. Most of the so called “trekking shoes” get damaged when you trek on rough terrain. You cannot trek barefoot unless you are used to it. Avoid the shoes getting wet.
  • When you are at Athirumala camp, it can be pretty cold and windy during the night. The grass huts are pretty basic, so you need jackets/blankets, socks etc. to keep you warm.
  • When you are at Athirumala camp, book your dinner during tea time and then book your breakfast during dinner. Similarly when you have your breakfast book your lunch. This is important since without prior booking you may not get food from canteen!
  • When you return from Athirumala, don’t forget to return your sleeping mats and collect your entry pass from the canteen.

Agasthyakoodam is a trekker’s paradise. It is a trek which will test your stamina, provide you with beautiful views of almost all types of forests and best of all you can relax in a waterfall when you are tired. Trekking through the forests full of herbal plants and trees rejuvenates you. Attempt this trek only if you are physically fit. And finally,

Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!
  • Kerala Forest Department Official Website
  • Kerala eService Delivery Portal
  • Kani Tribals
  • Story of Sage Agasthya
  • Agathyavanam Biological Park

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Agasthyakoodam Neyyar kerala

Agasthyakoodam Neyyar

Kerala’s second highest peak, the Agasthyakodam Neyyar, is 1868 meters in height and is located at Trivandrum between the borders of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is also known as Agasthyarkoodam in Malayalam and Pothigai Malai in Tamil.

Specialty Of Agasthyakoodam

The Agasthyakoodam hill is a paradise for bird watchers as they are more likely to spot exotic varieties of wild birds. This hill is situated far away from human settlements and that makes it one of the best pristine forest in Kerala. The peak was named after the Sage Agasthya and is a pilgrim spot too as there is a shrine dedicated to the Sage.

The sir in the mountain itself proves to be of medicinal property and certain rare medicinal herbs have been discovered in this mountain. The mountain is famed for its rich variety of flora and fauna found there. Trekking the hill is an amazing experience as the air is filled with the smell of the medicinal herbs growing there and gives a refreshing feel after the trek.

Nearby Places

Neyyar Dam, Agasthiyar falls and Lord Thirukuttralanathar temple.

Best Time To Visit

December to April is recommended as the best time to visit the place.

How to reach Agasthyakoodam Neyyar ?

By Air : The nearest airport is the Trivandrum International Airport which is at a distance of 69 kilometers.

By Train : The nearest railway station is the Thiruvananthapuram Central which is at a distance of 61 kilometers.

By Road : Bus services are provided from all over the State to Bonacaud and one can also hire a taxi to reach the place. Trekking is also an option for most people who like to enjoy nature’s trail.

Plan your Trip

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Agasthyamala A Trek to no Ordinary Mountain!

Cost on request, 5 days & 4 nights, 6129 ft max altitude, moderate level, cost on request.

Western Ghats is known to be the most bewitchingly beautiful region in the province of South India. There are many mountain peaks that have been explored by thousands of tourists in the past years. Holiday makers seek to fulfil every deep urge of tourists and provide with an adventure tour that not only is comfortable and affordable but also is an experience of a lifetime. Western Ghats is a home to rich and deep green grasslands, gorgeous mountain peaks, rare species of flora and fauna along with a special collection of medicinal herbs. Tourists from every age group can unravel the mystic aura of the beautiful Western Ghats. One such location in the Western Ghats is Agastya Mala near Trivandrum in Kerala.

Situated at an altitude of 6,129 feet above sea level, it is a famous destination for pilgrims and a paradise for adventure tourists. It is one of the highest peaks in Kerala and is extremely popular for medicinal plants and herbs. About 2,000 different varieties of Ayurvedic medicinal treatment ingredients are found in the area. Tea gardens commissioned by British during their rule in India are commonly found at the base stations of the mountain at Bonacaud, Brimore and Ponmudi. The Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve is a home to the rarest collection of flora and fauna. The Reserve is mostly open for tourists in the month of January and February and prior permission from the forest department is required to visit this region.

Agastya Mala offers its visitors the best combination of beautiful dense forests, calming grasslands, spectacular scenic beauty and an opportunity of coming face to face with wild animals. Major attractions around the area are the soothing Neyyar Dam (located at a distance of 23 kilometres from Bonacaud), the beautiful Karamana River, Neyyar River, shimmering Meenmutty Waterfalls, huge estates of Bonacaud and Ponmudi. You can add few more days to your trip and visit these nearby areas to get the true feel of Agastya Mala region and the marvellous Western Ghats.

Agastya Mala is also known as Agasthyarkoodam and is a pilgrimage centre for devotees of the Hindu sage Agastya. According to Hindu Puranas, there are seven sages (Saptarishi) and Sage Agastya is one among the Saptarishis. There is a statue of Sage Agastya at the peak of Agastya Mala and devotees are free to offer puja to the statue. It is believed that Tamil language originated as a boon from Sage Agastya.

This amazing trekking experience will start once you reach the capital of Kerala, Trivandrum. You will be driven to Bonacaud, a small village located at an altitude of 570 metres. This is the starting point of your trek. Agastya Mala peak is about 23 kilometres from Bonacaud but the trekking trail is about 35 kilometres. There are stunningly beautiful hills in this region including the Pandipathu and a few others. The fort like formation close to Bonacaud is another delight for trekkers and travellers. You will pass through Athirumala which is located at an altitude of 1041 metres above the sea level. The calming waterfalls, densely populated forests, mind-numbing grasslands, narrow pathways, remarkable streams and rocky trails during this tour will entice your mind and relax your body. One visit to this place and you will forget the need for spas and salons. You will also pass through Pongalapara, situated at an altitude of 1,460 metres above sea level. Seetha Kulicha Kulam and Muttidippara are also famous stops along your way. The elevation of this trail is so steep that a trekker can feel his knees hitting his nose with every step he takes especially in the Muttidippara region.

The summit of Agastya Mala is located at a majestic altitude of 1,868 metres. The glory of standing at this great heights while being surrounded by the most spectacular creation of nature is truly a once in a lifetime moment. The peaks that surround Agastya Mala welcome you with open arms. Anjila Pothi is a notable group of mountains standing close to Agastya Mala peak. These five breathe-taking mountains located at an altitude of 1,800 metres never miss to captivate the by-standers.

Campsites of this region are well maintained by the government. There are a few small forts with rooms and restrooms which can be used for resting at night. Few campsites might not have markings on them but the camps near Vazapathiyar stream and Karamanayar extremely helpful during your trip. Trekkers require food which will give them instant energy during this trip. There might be times when trekkers might feel loss of energy especially during steep climbs. Our representatives usually carry emergency food for such instances. A trip among the deepest mysteries of nature that will awaken your every sense organ is exactly what you are signing on for with us.

Trip Highlights

  • Agasthyarkoodam Biosphere reserve is UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Agasthyamala or Agasthyamalai is 2nd Highest peak in kerala.
  • Sage Agasthya is one of Saptharishis, revered as father of Siddha medicine.
  • Agasthyamala is located at altitude of 6129 feet, popularly known as Kailash of South India.
  • Best time to visit: Post Monsoon - December to March: The skies can be covered with mist with play of passing clouds and can be clear with bright sunlight. It will be windy & Nights getting cold.
  • Trek Distance: Trekking Distance is 45 km
  • Grade of Trek : Moderate. Previous trek experience will be helpful and an added advantage. Difficulty of trek is subjective.
  • Overall distance : Approximately 1540 Kilometres (60 Kilometres by trekking).

Trip Cost Includes

  • Food : During Stay and Snacks during Evening Refreshments only
  • Travel : Tempo Traveler/SUV Similar Non/Ac/Bus
  • Accommodation : Basic Multiple sharing or dormitory/Tent.
  • Group Size : Group size 12 and Above.

Trip Cost Excludes

  • Food : During journey
  • Toll Charges : Nice Road
  • Any Charges : Waterfalls etc,

pothigai malai trek

Important Information:

  • 1 pair of Shoes : Carry well broken/used Shoes with good Sole & ankle protection and that will sustain usage during the trek. Avoid wearing new shoes to avoid bite and blisters.
  • 1 Backpack : Light Weighted & approx 30 litres in volume with multiple pouches,good zip & straps.
  • Clothing & Toiletries : For your daily usage
  • 1 Jacket : Early mornings and nights can get really cold.
  • 1 Cap/hat : help in protecting your head and face from direct sunlight during treks.
  • 1 Water bottle : carry some reusable water bottles along.
  • 1 Towel : quick dry light towel.
  • 1 Head lamp / Torch : Keep it handy and use it only required.
  • 1 Personal Medical Kit : Carry few tablets such as crocin, Paracetamol, Band aid, cotton. ORS satchets. Glucose, Volini spray and crape bandage.
  • 1 Medic Kit : always pack a first-aid kit in case things go the other way.
  • 2 Batteries: Carry recharged spare batteries.
  • Gloves : Gloves that will keep your palms warm during extreme cold.
  • 1 Whistle : Whistle for signalling and use in times of distress only.
  • 1 Sun glasses : Carry tested and right one to protect from harsh Sunlight only.
  • Sleeping Bag : At times, there might be extreme cold and the camp beds might not be good enough to give you a good night’s sleep. It is better if you have your own warm sleeping bag.
  • Mobile : Use if for communication only. Check with trek coordinator of network availibility carry BSNL SIM if required.
  • 1 Poly Bags : To carry trash and wet clothes.
  • 1 ID Proof : Carry Photo ID proof DL / Voter Id/ similar.
  • Overnight Journey to Trivandrum.
  • Transfers to Bonacaud and Return by Private vehicle
  • Network : Weak & available intermittently.

Pickup points :

Team members are requested to select and book tickets. Reach respective points or places enroute. However, make use of Namma Metro for hassle free travel.Our event leaders will assist you all times for any assistance.

At 14.30, Madiwala, Bangalore

Summiters trek

View of Ashambhu Hill

Summiters trek

View of 5 Pothigai Hills

Summiters trek

View of Peppara Backwater

Summiters trek

flower in the place

Summiters trek

Anjila pothi and Tree

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Pothigai Hills | Agasthiyar Mountain | Sacred Mountain in Tamil Nadu

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The Pothigai Hills also called as Agasthiyar Mountain, is a famous mountain, and the height of the hill is more than 6000 feet, and this sacred mountain is situated in the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This is the favourite mountain of Rishi Agasthiyar, and he had meditated in this mountain for several thousands of years, and it is believed that still he used to frequently visit this holy mountain.

R E L A T E D

  • Pratyangira Temple, Ayyavadi
  • Arulmigu Chennimalai Murugan Temple
  • Asura Samhara Moorthy | Rishi Agastya as Asura Samhara Moorthy

As per legend, during the time of Lord Shiva’s marriage, most of the people went to the holy Himalayas, to witness the divine couple marriage. Unable to bear the weight of the human population, Ma Bhumi Devi prayed to Lord Shiva in order to reduce her burden, due to that Lord Shiva felt pity on her, and hence he told to Agastya to go towards South India. As per the instructions of Lord Shiva, Rishi Agastya went to the Pothigai hills and through his supreme powers he reduced the burden of Ma Bhudevi.

This mountain contains full of medicinal herbs which are used for preparing the Ayurveda and Siddha medicines. We can also find lot of animals like elephants, bears and tigers which would freely roam in the holy mountain without disturbing us.

One part of the mountain is located in Kerala state, and another part of the mountain is located in Tamil Nadu. Nearby this holy mountain, we can find lot of forests, temples and the holy river Tamirabarani.

In this mountain, some kind of tribal people are living and their main occupation is hunting of small animals, collecting wood from the forests and selling of inexpensive ornaments. We can find lot of trees like jackfruit and mango, and holy trees like Vilva, Arasa and Vanni are also available.

The Pothigai Mountain is mentioned in ancient Tamil Texts, and also in our holy Puranas, and it is believed that once Lord Muruga had given his divine vision to sage Agastya, and he also taught Tamil Language to him, and gave his divine blessings, and as a result he attained enlightenment. The famous Nayanmar saint Sri Sundarar had praised this divine mountain Pothigai in the famous Shaivite text “Thevaram”.

A temple for Rishi Agastya can be found on the banks of the Thamirabarani River. Sage Agastya used to give his divine appearance to his sincere devotees at this temple.

In order to visit this holy mountain, visitors must get an entry pass from the Trivandrum Forest Department or they can apply it through online also by paying the prescribed fees. But they would be allowed to visit only certain areas of the mountain only.

“OM SRI AGASTIYA MAHARISHIYE NAMAHA” WRITTEN BY R.HARISHANKAR

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Divya Darisanam

Unravelling the beauty of Ancient Temples, and dedicated to pure Divinity, I hope that my pages would serve as an alternative to quench the thirst (or form a base) for visiting these temples and other historical places in India. Hoping to bring blissfulness to the mind and the soul to all my readers. You as an important critic, I would really appreciate your valuable comments that will improve the quality of my write-ups on Temples and their Sthala puranams. Thank you for visiting my pages.

28 July 2011

Pothigai malai [ hills] a spiritual journey up the agasthiyar malai.

  • Avoid heavy weight in your trekking bag.
  • No need more than one cloth. Even no cloth is required. Take one towel.
  • Two problems when trekking in the pothigai hills is the Elephants and species. Prepare to manage the species.
  • Wear shorts and T-Shirts and / or comfortable clothing to make your trekking smooth.
  • Agasthiyar Malai [Hill]
  • Karaiyar Dam [ Thamiraparani Dam]
  • Agasthiyar Falls
  • Papavinasweshwara Temple
  • PanaTheertham Falls[ Baanatheertham Falls]

A Brief write-up on Papanasam Temple

Temple structure.

  • Agasthiyar Hill
  • Karaiyar Dam [Thairaparani Dam]
  • Papavinaswehwara Temple
  • Panatheertham Falls [ Baanatheertham Falls]
  • Athri Nath- Hills of Athri Maharishi

10 comments:

Hello!!!! GREAT effort:-)) Very scenic collection of pics too! trekking is not an easy job...takes a lot of effort & determination! excellent:-) Thanks! LUEN

pothigai malai trek

I went there last week and stayed at Dalovoi Hotel for 3 days. We had a Holy bath in all the falls and worshipped God. Thanks

We visited Pothigas Hills and stayed at Courtallam for three days. We had a Holy bath in all the Falls and worshipped God. Very nice trip.

pothigai malai trek

Excellent blog.. the striking similarity between the kailash and the pothigai is a great news

pothigai malai trek

we are visit pothigaimalai,it tooks 3 days to complete the trekking.. it was excellent.

Greetings. It’s really a wonderful narration about your holy trip. I really appreciate and pray the almighty to provide you all that you have wished for. I noticed from your blog that we need to get permission from the forest department for the trekking. Please guide me where we need to apply whom we need to contact can you able to provide the contact info. Thanks. Regards Prabhu.T

pothigai malai trek

very useful information for the seekers. Thank u

pothigai malai trek

Hi it is very informative,give me the contact details to get permission to carry out the holy trek.

pothigai malai trek

Wonderful writeup.It clearly depicts the places around..excellent pics.Plz mail your contact details as we plan to visit next week

pothigai malai trek

I am intrested in joining such trips. please let me know if i can join you in such pilgrimage

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The blog http://divyadarisanams. blogspot.com/2010/03/big- temple-also-known-as- brahadeeswara.html you have written is awesome, so rich with information. Just yesterday, a friend of mine, another native of Thanjavur, sent me your blog’s URL. It sure did take me back to my childhood when we used to spend hours at the temple. Just a few days back I was telling my son who has been asking me to take me Tanjore next time we visit India, about the fun and festivities that used to happen in the Brahadeeswarar Temple, around the Nivarathri time and during the Sadhaya Thirunaal. Your blog will be a big motivating factor to make that happen.

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AGASTHYRAKUDAM SEASON PACKAGE

keralaforestecotourism.com

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Description.

Agasthyakoodam is nature’s ode to bird watchers. One of the highest peaks in Kerala, it has long been known as a bird watcher’s paradise and many gather here to catch sight of exotic avian species.  It can be viewed from near Neyyar Dam as well as Bonacaud. Agasthyakoodam is also known for its remarkable flora and fauna, especially certain rare medicinal herbs which have been discovered here. Over 2000 species including lichens, orchids, mosses and ferns have been recorded in the area.The peak was named after the sage Agasthya and is a popular pilgrim site. A shrine dedicated to him is located here and is frequented by devotees. The air itself is said to have medicinal qualities. The peak is a 90 minute drive with Bonacaud being the last motorable spot. Trekking is restricted as only a few people are allowed to go up the peak. One must get a forest pass from the wildlife office in Thiruvananthapuram with January to April being the recommended months. Contact: 8547602951, 8547602948 Three days Package All day working. Open during Makaravilakku to Shivarathri only

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  • Open Time: 8:00am
  • Close Time: 11:00am
  • Indian Adult: 1580₹
  • Indian Child: 0₹
  • Foreign Adult: 1580₹
  • Foreign Child: 0₹
  • Max Capacity: 100

Availability

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keralaforestecotourism.com,AGASTHYRAKUDAM SEASON PACKAGE

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Pothigai Malai waterfall is called... - Agasthiyar Falls

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  • Agasthiyar Falls

Nice falls, Safe and secure. Can enjoy with family and friends. water is so fresh and you can feel... read more

pothigai malai trek

An amazing place, highly underrated and for some reason is overlooked upon a lot. It is a given... read more

pothigai malai trek

Pothigai Malai waterfall is called Agasthiar Malai. Curative properties

The lords Special saint Agasthiar mediated in this place. He was given a wonderful place to meditate and watch Siva and Parvathi's marriage from the South of India. Nowadays, most people can just watch the teertham at Kalyani and walk down and bathe in the Agasthiar Falls. Lots of youngsters and devottees still offer prayers to Agasthiyar here.

Just remove the cloths and with minimal attire drench oneself by standing under the waterfall. Come out with freshness and all the body ache gone.

This is one of the best places that are in Tirunelveli area.this waterfall is said be have a good medicinal effect and the name came from a famous person agastjiyar who lived in the old traditional era of tamilnadu.. This place is good to go with friends and families to have a pleasant bath at falls and a good location for site seeing.. Wildlife and vegetation are soo good in here.. And many places for sightseeing are near by this falls.. This waterfall is situated near the area papanasam..

With the heavy force of water, this waterfall is really awesome. There is water almost heavy to ease off our pains and stress , monsoons are perfect for a visit. Lot of monkeys all around the place. One definitely needs a personal vehicle to reach this place as it is a forested area.

We are in two have come to visit all falls near papanasam. We reached there from papanasam Sivan temple by Auto. As soon as u reached Sivan temple , all the autowala come to you and say they will cover a false for 500 or 400 . I suggest you not to take that instead u can get auto charging for 40 or 50 from Sivan temple to agasthiyar falls if you walk for 100 to 200m on road . This falls is crowdy and you won't get privacy because the space for bath under falls is less and it is seperated by a small wall for ladies n gents. If you plan to climb all rocks beside tha falls just be careful because it is slippery and flow is high.

pothigai malai trek

Very close to ambasamudram, agasthiar falls is a beautiful place with water year round. The falls has water all 365 days as it is the seepage water from the dams like karaiyar, servalar dam located above.Has small eateries nearby and can be reached by local transportation like buses and autos too.

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Agasthyarkoodam trekking: Online booking resumes

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Thiruvananthapuram: The online booking for Agasthyarkoodam trekking, that had been temporarily suspended, has been resumed.

The bookings were suspended earlier and the visitors' entry to Agasthyarkoodam was banned in the wake of the strict curbs imposed in the Thiruvananthapuram district amid a surge in Covid cases.

Twenty-five more people can make online booking from February 11 to 26 as the Covid curbs have been eased and the travel ban to Agasthyarkoodam lifted.

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Trial run of Kerala's first double-decker train on Pollachi-Palakkad route successful

Trekking enthusiasts can book the tickets on the forest department’s official website (www.forest.kerala.gov.in) or serviceonline.gov.in/trekking . Visitors have to strictly follow the Covid protocol.

The Agasthyarkoodam trek is one of the most difficult trekking routes in Kerala. The mesmerizing beautiful Agasthyarkoodam is also home to rare flora and fauna, and hence entry is restricted. But once a year, the public are permitted to enter Agasthyarkoodam with strict restrictions for a month.

The visitors have to trek 27km through the deep forest to reach the summit. Agasthyarkoodam is situated approximately 6,200ft above the sea level. Those who wish to visit Agasthyarkoodam this year should book now.

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IMAGES

  1. Pothigai Malai in Tamil Nadu, proposed to be the original Mount Potalaka in India

    pothigai malai trek

  2. அகத்தியர் (பொதிகை மலை) மலையேற்ற பயணம் /Agasthyarkoodam Trek (Ainthumalai pothigai Hill view)

    pothigai malai trek

  3. Trekzon : Agasthyakoodam Trekking / Agasthyamalai / Pothigai malai

    pothigai malai trek

  4. Trekzon : Agasthyakoodam Trekking / Agasthyamalai / Pothigai malai

    pothigai malai trek

  5. In the Trail of Sage Agastya Muni, a Short tour to Temples on the Pothigai Ranges

    pothigai malai trek

  6. பொதிகைமலை அகத்திய மாமுனியின் தடம் தேடி ஒரு பயணம் _ Pothigai Malai AgasthiyarTrekking

    pothigai malai trek

VIDEO

  1. Pothigai Malai Dr Premachandran

  2. Agasthiyar Malai Group Trek 2024

  3. Agasthyarkoodam / Pothigai Malai #agasthyarkoodam

  4. Agasthiyar hills Trekking #Pothigai malai 🌿🌿 September 2022🌿 Western ghats Kerala #Elephants 🦣🦣🦣

  5. அகத்தியரை தேடி ஒரு பயணம்

  6. அகத்தியரை தேடி ஒரு பயணம்

COMMENTS

  1. Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve| Trekking Booking

    Note: You have the option of doing the trek during the rest of the year along with a trekking guide, but the rates are significantly higher. Cost of Agasthyakoodam trekking pass As of 2023, the cost per head in a trekking pass was INR 1,800, and you can book up to 5 people in one pass. This cost involves the forest permit and accommodation.

  2. Agasthyakoodam Trekking / Agasthyamalai / Pothigai malai

    Agasthyakoodam Trekking / Agasthyamalai / Pothigai malai Five years ago i had an opportunity to trek the highly priced individual group trekking package to the peak but as the date approached i had to pull of the plan. I still remember the day when we started from home and after reaching Nilambur the fever which started two days ago accelerated ...

  3. Agasthyakoodam or Agasthyarkoodam or Agasthyamalai Trekking

    It is known as Pothigai Malai or Pothigai Hills in Tamilnadu. (Malai means hills). Despite the remoteness of these hills, determined devotees come here. Trekking to Agasthyamalai and back takes two or three days (depending on your health condition). ... It is relatively easy to trek this distance. Around 10 kilometers out of the 15 kilometers ...

  4. Agasthyakoodam Trekking: How To Have A Successful First Trek?

    2 bottles of water. Headlamp (optional) Powerbank (useful especially if you plan for a 3-day trek) Snacks - peanuts, dry fruits, energy bars, fruits, etc. Remove all the plastic, put them in a container, or cover them with paper as plastic is strictly banned. Entry pass, affidavit and photo id.

  5. Agasthyakoodam and the trekking

    Agasthyakoodam is also known for its remarkable flora and fauna, especially certain rare medicinal herbs which have been discovered here. Over 2000 species including lichens, orchids, mosses and ferns have been recorded in the area. The peak was named after the sage Agasthya and is a popular pilgrim site. A shrine dedicated to him is located ...

  6. Agastyaarkoodam

    The trek will challenge you at every level, so train yourself well before hitting the tough trail! This hills is also known as Ashambu Hills and is the source/starting of many rivers like Kallada River, Achankoil River, Vamanapuram River, Karamana River, and Neyyar River in the Kerala side and the Thamirabarani River, Ramanadhi River, and ...

  7. Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve| Agasthyarkoodam Seasonal Trekking 2024

    Dates for Agasthyarkutam Seasonal Trek 2024 are from 24th January to 2nd March. 2. Trekking online registration for the year 2024 can be started from January 10, 2024, at the rate of 70 people per day. 3. Thiruvananthapuram Wildlife Warden may allow offline booking not exceeding 30 persons per day subject to maximum seat availability including ...

  8. Pothigai

    Pothigai Malai. /  8.6166917°N 77.2462500°E  / 8.6166917; 77.2462500. The Pothigai Hills, also known as Agasthiyar Mountain is a 1,866-metre (6,122 ft)-tall peak in the southern part of the Western Ghats or Sahyadri of South India. The peak lies in Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu near the border of Kerala.

  9. Athri Hill Trek

    The Athri Hill Trek is a short yet beautiful trek located in the Pothigai mountain range of the Western Ghats near the village of Alwarkurichi. A hidden gem that is yet to be discovered by outdoor lovers, this trek is 25 kilometres from the Tenkasi district in Tamilnadu. The Athri Hill trail lies inside the north-eastern section of the Kalakkad ...

  10. Agasthyakoodam Trek

    Introduction. Agasthyakoodam (also known as Agasthyarkoodam) is a 1868m tall mountain within the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala. It lies on the border between Kerala and Tamilnadu. It is also known as Agasthyamala in Malayalam and Pothigai Malai in Tamil. This mountain belongs to the Ashambu Hills, the southern ...

  11. Agasthyamala: A Trek to the Paradise For a Total Rejuvenation

    The Pothigai Mountain. We can spot five folded Pothigai mountain which is located in Tamil Nadu. The final climb won't be scary even it is more vertical than other two since your brain will be used to tackle that situation at the height of 1850m. Don't attempt to take a selfie while climbing through rope, if so the wind will blow you for miles.

  12. அகத்தியர் (பொதிகை மலை) மலையேற்ற பயணம் /Agasthyarkoodam Trek

    Agasthyarkoodam is a 1,868-metre (6,129 ft)-tall peak lies in the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the Western Ghats of South India. This is the third high...

  13. Agasthyakoodam Neyyar

    It is also known as Agasthyarkoodam in Malayalam and Pothigai Malai in Tamil. ... as the air is filled with the smell of the medicinal herbs growing there and gives a refreshing feel after the trek. Nearby Places. Neyyar Dam, Agasthiyar falls and Lord Thirukuttralanathar temple.

  14. 5 Days Trip to Agasthyamala

    Day three - Trekking towards the mind-numbing Agastya Mala (4 hours, 6 kilometres - 1868 metres), Orchid Trail and back to the base camp (3 hours, 6 kilometres). Day four - Trek to Bonnacaud. Transfer to Trivandrum. Departure to Bangalore (12 hours, 740 kilometres). Day five - Reach Bangalore.

  15. Pothigai Hills

    The Pothigai Hills also called as Agasthiyar Mountain, is a famous mountain, and the height of the hill is more than 6000 feet, and this sacred mountain is situated in the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This is the favourite mountain of Rishi Agasthiyar, and he had meditated in this mountain for several thousands of years, and it is believed ...

  16. Pothigai Malai [ Hills] A Spiritual Journey up the Agasthiyar Malai

    It is a known fact that the Pothigai Hills is one among the India's Heritage Hills and rich in herbal plants. Our main reason to trek in Pothigai Hills is to see and be blessed by the Saint Agathiyar Shrine and bathe in the Agasthiyar Falls. Rishi Agasthyar is one of the greatest seers of the Vedas. Rishi is a title given to the great seers of ...

  17. Welcome to Kerala Eco Tourism- Official Ecommerce Website of Department

    Description. Agasthyakoodam is nature's ode to bird watchers. One of the highest peaks in Kerala, it has long been known as a bird watcher's paradise and many gather here to catch sight of exotic avian species.

  18. Agastya Mala

    Agastyarkoodam. /  8.6162889°N 77.2457278°E  / 8.6162889; 77.2457278. Agastyaarkoodam is one of the peaks in the Western Ghats of Thiruvananthapuram District of Kerala, near to the border of Tamilnadu, India. [1] This peak is a part of the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve which lies on the border between the Indian states of Tamil Nadu ...

  19. Agasthyarkoodam Trekking: Bookings will start on January 6

    The trekking season is from January 14 to February 26. This time too, the admission is for a maximum of 100 people a day. The ticket price is Rs 1331 per person. Bookings will start at 11 a.m. on January 6. Passengers must carry a complete vaccination certificate and a negative RTPCR test report taken within 72 hours.

  20. Pothigai Malai waterfall is called...

    Agasthiyar Falls: Pothigai Malai waterfall is called Agasthiar Malai. Curative properties - See 119 traveler reviews, 68 candid photos, and great deals for Tirunelveli, India, at Tripadvisor.

  21. Bookings under way for Agasthyarkoodam trek

    The annual Agasthyarkoodam trekking season will be held from January 18 to February 26 this year. The online registration for the trek got under way on Saturday. The number of online bookings per ...

  22. Pothigai Malai

    Pothigai Malai - Agasthyarkoodam. 4,768 likes · 161 talking about this. Pothigai Malai

  23. Agasthyarkoodam trekking: Online booking resumes

    The visitors have to trek 27km through the deep forest to reach the summit. Agasthyarkoodam is situated approximately 6,200ft above the sea level. Those who wish to visit Agasthyarkoodam this year should book now. Tags: Travel; The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will ...