The charms of Agastya (Agastya kootam) Then February is the ideal time to stopover at Agasthyarkoodam. With backpacks on, shoelaces tied and the thrill of adventure gushing, you can start this three-day expedition by getting a pass from the Bonakkad forest office, about 70kms off Thiruvananthapuram.
Translated in English to mean the ‘abode of Sage Agastya’, Agasthyarkoodam is replete with the gurgling of streams and rivulets.
In the 60 kms of trekking along with butterflies fluttering in the fresh air, you would also find leeches crawling up your legs from the moist soil. Funnily enough, there is also a stream named Attayar.
Some 6,200 feet above sea level, the hilly slopes are tea estates and vineyards, and some areas are strewn with rich medicinal plants and tall grasses.
Three or four waterfalls, one of which is where the Karamana river originates, are here. Make sure to carry woolens and sweaters as the nights are freezing and all you will be provided with is a mattress on the bare cemented floor.
Once you cross the Ezhu Madakku Mala, the rocks get slippery, and it would even be advisable to get a good pair of trekking shoes.
On reaching the peak, the powerful wind will have your clothes flutter, tickling you and making you feel like a dove in the sky. When you reach the sanctum, you’ll realise why this place is so mystifying.
Though the whole hill will be dipped in mist and chills, the sanctum always will have a streak of sunlight on it. Highlights of Agasthyakootam: Agasthyakootam is the second highest peak in Kerala. Agasthyakootam is above sea level of 1900 Meters. Agashthyakootam is an abode of Rare medicinal plants and herbs.
Tourism in Agasthyakootam: This is one of the beautiful hill station in Trivandrum. The scenic beauty and the abundance of wildlife and herbal and medicinal plants attracts people. Agasthyavanam is actually a Biological park. This is a prilgrim centre for both buddhist and hindus. Trekking trails is an another actractions for tourists.
How to Reach Agasthyakootam:
Rails : The nearest railways station is the Thiruvananthapruram central railway station, located at 61 km from Agasthyakoodam.
Airways: The nearest airport is the Thiruvananthapuram International airport, around 75 km from Agasthyakoodam.
Roads : The place has well access by means of roads. You can get buses and taxis from almost all parts of the district to Agasthyakoodam.
Things to remember when you plan a trip to Agasthyakootam:
1. Women are not allowed here, considering the bachelor life of the deity Agasthya.
2. If you could visit the place when 'Nilakurinji' blooms, it will be the best, but it only blooms once in a 12 year period.
3. Get the permission from Wildlife Warden, Forest Department, PTP Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram for trekking.
4. Better plan your trip during the months of December to April to have smooth trekking facilities.