Tourism In Ponmudi
Ponmudi is a enthralling hill station located 61 kilometres north east of Thiruvananthapuram city, capital of Kerala. The word Ponmudi means “Golden Peak”. It is a part of the Western Ghats mountain range that runs parallel to the Arabian Sea.. On the way to Ponmudi, the thick tropical forest greets one at the foot of the Ponmudi hill range. The road passes under a canopy of thickly matted foliage. The forest recedes gradually giving way to neatly clipped tea bushes.
While you are travelling to Ponmudi from Thiruvananthapuram City, when you enter to the expanse of plantations - rubber, pepper, cardamom and tee, you can feel the real difference. This difference is really abrupt & amasing, you may feel you were in a different world few hours before. The tappers can be seen going about briskly gathering the milky fluid from rubber trees collected in coconut shells. Coconut thatch mats cover almost one half of the road, over which women spread black pepper for drying. One may come across a lone elephant ambling along carrying his mahout atop and his breakfast of coconut thatch in his trunk. One will compulsively pause every now and then to take in the spectacular sweep of the hill ranges, tea-estates and the mist-covered valleys, peppered with little toy-like stone cottages painted in pretty violet, pink, or white with pointed and peaked roofs. The smiling faces of the tea-pickers in the green lush valley are all too soothing.
Major attractions of Ponmudi include Golden Valley and a number of rivulets and rapids, some even across the road. Located in a rich forest area, There is also a rich wildlife around these hills. Golden Valley is a sneak peek offered to the beauty of the hills. It is an access point to the river Kallar. Well-rounded pebbles, lush green trees, the cool water, fishes and the sheer wilderness of the park enthrall the visitor.Another attraction in the region is Agasthyarkoodam which is one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats and the highest peak (1868 m) in the district. This peak is famous for its wilderness, and can be accessed only with permission from the Forest Department. Meenmutty Falls is also a famous attraction in the range.
Tourists can stroll through the many tea estates here, although they are not as big as those in the Munnar hills. Trekking to the north of Ponmudi Crest, one passes along a mini zoo on the edge of the forest. Entering the forest, the verdant shades of green numb the senses. The brilliant red southern trongon dot the trees like flowers. The air is full with the loud raucous chuckling of heavy billed Malabar hornbills. The shrill notes of the blue-black Malabar whistling thrush add to the cacophony. Even the rare long-tailed paradise flycatchers flit gracefully from tree to tree. It is like an open aviary.
Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is about 67 km away