It is a haven for rare herbs and medicinal plants; the famous Neelakurinji bloom which blooms only one time in twelve years is discovered here. The Thamirabarani stream originates from the eastern side of this high ground and flows into the Tirunelveli of Tamil Nadu. The season from December 2nd week in February is suggested for trekking for which a forest overtake has to be got from the Wildlife Warden, Forest Dept., P.T.P.Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram.
History of Agasthyakoodam Peak
Agasthyakoodam, also renowned as, Agathiyar Malai or Agasthyarkoodam or Agastya Mala, is one of the largest peaks in the Western Ghat with a height of 1,868-meter inside Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Trivandrum and Tirunelveli Districts of India. The mountain, lying on the boundary between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, is a pilgrimage center for devotees of the Hindu sage Agastya, one of the Saptarishi of Hindu Puranas. It is accepted that when Lord Rama was tired of fighting Ravana, Sage Agastya notified him to recite the Aditya Hridayam Sloka, this gave Rama the energy, bravery and conviction to conquer the demon monarch Ravana.
The Tamil dialect is said to be a boon from Rishi Agasthya. There is a figurine of Agasthya at the top of the peak where devotees offer pujas to rishi. Women are not permitted up the top. As people believe that the sage Agasthya was a bachelor, and so the indigenous here dislike if am outsider woman makes entrance into the shrine area.
Attractions of Agasthyakoodam
Agasthyakoodam is conspicuous for its size and isolation when seen from a distance. Apart from other hill stations in the country, Agasthyakoodam is not a popular picnic location to walk round. It is home for a number of rare and threatened medicinal plants and herbs. The fauna here include wild elephants, sloth bear, gaur and Nilagiri Tahr. With its wealthy flora and fauna Agasthyakoodam is now becoming popular among the ecotourists and environment lovers. Virtually untouched by human intervention, this high range spot still houses the uncommon flora and fauna for posterity. Far from the picnic spot, for a casual tourist, Agasthyakoodam presents the perfect setting for those who love to experience nature in its sublime serenity. It is a perfect place for hard treks and jungle camping.
How To Reach Agasthyakoodam Peak
- By Air: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, which is 6 km from the town has over 30 air links with convenient connections to the Maldives, Colombo, Singapore and the Middle East. Indian Airlines, Jet airways and many major airlines operate domestic flights to distinct parts of the country.
- By Rail: There are direct trains from Thiruvananthapuram rail head to all the major towns in Kerala as well as the major cities in India.
- By Road: Long distance buses operate from the Thampanoor Central Bus Station and short distance buses run from the city bus station East fort.
December to April months are the best season to have the trekking and is a distance of 28 kms to the top. Here trekking is permitted only between December and April months and it normally takes two days.