Ponmudi: the ‘Golden Peak’ is a picturesque hill station so near to Kerala’s capital city Thiruvananthapuram. It’s just a one and half hour’s drive but the experience it offers will last long for sure. It’s a trekker’s paradise housing tea gardens, spice plantations, breathtaking nature and wildlife for sure. What else needed for a perfect weekend getaway!
The winding streams with their cool chilly waters and the woods set in the midst of serene surroundings, is sure to attract any visitor to Ponmudi Hills. It forms part of the Western Ghats mountain range that runs parallel to the Arabian Sea. The climate is pleseant and it is the a base camp for trekking and hiking for adventure trips to the nearby locations. Tea gardens of Ponmudi are also very famous and they make it a picture perfect location.
Ponmudi is located at a distance of 61 km north east of Thiruvananthapuram at an altitude of over 1,100 m above sea level. The narrow winding road simply offers an adrenalin pumping drive along with a scenic view all along the way. As you drive along the hilly road of 22 hairpin turns; the forest recedes gradually giving way to neatly clipped tea bushes. Small rapids can be seen along the drive some even flowing across the road.
Ponmudi hill top overlooking the scenic Golden Valley offers a wonderful view of the hills, and a number of chola forest and streams .Located in a rich forest area, this whole place offers lot of scope to those who are interested in tropical vegetation. There is also plenty of wildlife found around these hills. For the adventure seekers, Ponmudi hill station offers many adventure sports like trekking, rock climbing, and mountaineering. One can go on long leisurely walks along the meandering roads that wind up the hill. The view down the valley from the cottages and resorts up the hill is nothing other than breathtaking.
Golden Valley is an access point to the river Kallar .The cool crystal-clear water and its sheer wilderness of the park will enthrall the traveler for sure.. Leisurely strolls, fishing in the Kallar river and bird/butterfly watching can also be indulged in.
Another attraction in the area is Agasthyarkoodam which is one of thehighest peaks in the Western Ghats and the highest peak in the district. This peak is famous for its wilderness offering much scope for trekking and hiking, and can be accessed only with permission from the Forest Department. Meenmutty Falls is a popular tourist spot in this range.
Despite all of it’s beauty and feel; Ponmudi is yet an unexplored destination, especially for travelers from outside the state, and is a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of city life where one can relax without being disturbed, amidst tranquil surroundings in the lap of nature.