#6 of 33 Places to Visit in Trivandrum
Distance (From Trivandrum): 56 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): Full Day
Transportation Options: Bus / Cab / Auto / + Walk/Trek
Travel Tips: None
At a distance of 56 km from Trivandrum, Ponmudi is a cute picturesque hill station in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. It lies at an altitude of around 1000 m and is a popular destination for trekking in Kerala and one of the best weekend getaways from Trivandrum city. It is also among the popular Kerala tourist places, especially in summer season.
Ponmudi, meaning Golden Crown, is part of the Western Ghats mountain range that runs parallel to the Arabian Sea. Ponmudi is surrounded by scenic hills, spice plantations, tea estates, natural springs and winding streams. Ponmudi was founded by Rishi Parshuram, a prominent Indian mythological figure.
Ponmudi is blessed with scenic splendor and natural beauty. It has a carpet of thick tropical forest that rolls down to the foot of the hill range. A variety of wildlife inhabits the hills. The valley offers vistas of the hills and access to the Kallar River. Sightseeing in and around Ponmudi includes Ponmudi Waterfalls, Deer Park, River Kallar, Meenmutty Falls and Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary. Apart from sightseeing, Ponmudi is also famous for Ayurvedic medical treatments.
Along with other attractions, another main attraction in the region is Agasthyarkoodam, which is one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghat, with the highest peak at 1,868 m. Agasthyarkoodam peak is in the form of a sharp cone and is considered a heaven of rare herbs and medicinal plants. This peak is famous for its wilderness, and can be accessed only with the Forest Department's permission. Ponmudi is host to 283 species of birds, many of which are endangered and threatened. Birds endemic to this region include the painted bush quail, Malabar grey hornbill, Wayanad laughing thrush, broad-tailed grass bird and Nilgiri pipit. The grasslands of Ponmudi are the breeding grounds of the broad-tailed grass bird, a threatened species.
Ponmudi is connected to Trivandrum by a narrow winding road offering scenic views on the way. There are 22 hairpin bends along this short route which makes the journey a thrilling experience. Ponmudi serves as a base for several trekking and hiking trails. The famous short trekking trail starts from Kallar River Bridge just before Ponmudi and continues along the banks of Kallar River upstream till Meenmutty Waterfalls.
There are a number of cottages and dormitory accommodation facilities in Ponmudi. The Government Guest House offers 24 rooms and 10 stone cottages.
The best time to visit Ponmudi is from October to March.