Ponmudi hills – Best Places to Visit & Things to do
Ponmudi Hills is also called the golden peak, or the Kashmir of Kerala is a hill station in the Trivandrum district. Ponmundi Peak is part of the Western Ghat mountain range and is at an altitude of 1100m. You will be mesmerized by the scenic road to the hill station.
The long winding road through hills and valleys is rejuvenating. Ponmudi Hill is the perfect getaway from the hectic life in the city. The tranquil atmosphere of the hill station will rejuvenate you.
Ponmudi has valleys and hills with forest and tea plantations. It plays an important role in the biodiversity of the Western Ghats. The region is host to 283 species of birds and 323 species of butterflies.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Ponmudi Hills is from October to March. During the winter months, Ponmudi Hills becomes misty. The chilly hill station becomes the perfect getaway and is a treat for the eyes. The glistening waterfalls and the sparkling Kallar river look picture perfect. The winter chill adds to the charm of the hill station. It is the ideal weather to participate in the various activities available in Ponmudi Hills.
During summer, the scenic hill station provides a great respite from the high temperatures in Trivandrum. If you travel to the Ponmudi Hills after the rains, the entire region looks vibrant and green.
How to get there?
There are no direct trains to Ponmudi Hills. The nearest railway station is Trivandrum central railway station is roughly 55 km away. Trivandrum international airport is approximately 50 km from the hill station. Trivandrum airport has excellent domestic and international flight connectivity.
You can reach Ponmudi Hills by road. The highways are well connected and well maintained. The Ponmudi hills are linked to all major cities in South India. There are several buses, rickshaws, taxis, and car rental services that ply from Trivandrum (61 km). The scenic route provides a breathtaking view of mountains and tea gardens. For local sightseeing options, you can walk or avail of car rental services.
Places to visit
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
The Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is in the catchment area of the Peppara Dam. The dam is built on the Karmana River. The 75 km sanctuary is an evergreen forest and myristica swamp. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is a must-visit for any wildlife enthusiast. It is home to elephants, gaur, sambar, barking deer, and wild boar.
The sanctuary is home to indigenous birds like the Malabar Grey Hornbill, White-bellied Treepie, and the Small Sunbird. It is a popular picnic spot in the hill station. It is a perfect destination for wildlife photography lovers.
The picturesque Golden valley is 16 km from Ponmundi. Golden valley is the perfect location for nature lovers. The luscious green valley is located along the banks of the Kallar River is known for golden sand and crystal clear sand. The Kallar River or the “River of stone” has a rocky riverbed. There are boulders and pebbles of all shapes and colours. The valley gets its name from the golden stone present here. People love the calm ambience and clear air.
The Mini Zoo is a popular destination in Ponmundi Hills. The major attractions at the zoo are Barasingha and Swamp Deer. The zoo is beautiful near the forest has some unusual fauna. It is the perfect destination for families as most children enjoy the zoo.
Menmunty Falls is one of the main attractions near Ponmundi Hills. The beautiful Menmunty Waterfalls have some small natural pools and rocks located on the way to the waterfalls. You will need a permit and guide to visit the falls.
Agasthyakoodam is one of the prettiest places to visit in Ponmudi. Agasthyakoodam is the second-highest peak in Kerala. You will be delighted by the unique flora and fauna of the region. Birdwatching enthusiasts will be able to spot unusual birds at Agasthyakoodam Biosphere Reserve. You will need a guide and permit to visit the reserve.
Things to do
There are various adventure and outdoor activities at Ponmudi Hills. It is a dream location for adventure sport lovers. Some of the popular things to do around Ponmudi Hills are:-
There are various trekking routes in and around Ponmudi Hills. Some of the popular trekking trails are Varayadumotta, Seethatheertham, Manchala, and Marathwada. Varayadumotta offers a panoramic view of the hills along with Nilgiri Thar.
Seethathertham is another popular trekking trail. You can find the ruins of temples and the footprint of Goddess Seetha. The trek to Manchala is organized by Ponmudi Ecotourism. Marathwada is a trek to the interior of the forests in the western ghats. We advise you to use a local guide while trekking. There are rock climbing activities available at Ponmudi Hills.
The hills provide the perfect location for paragliding, novices, and expert paragliders can paraglide relative safely.
Canoeing and Rafting
Ponmundi offers a range of water sport activities. You can enjoy popular activities like canoeing, waterskiing, white water rafting on River Kallar.
Aaranmula Boat Races
The Aaranmula Boat Race is held between August to September every year on the Pampa River. The boat races are a part of the Aaranmula Temple festival held during Onam. The boat race is one of the oldest races in Kerala. According to legends, the famous snake boats used in the race were designed by Lord Krishna.
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