Agasthyakoodam is a forested peak in the Sahyadri Range of Mountains, and is considered the second highest peak in Kerala. Standing tall, at a height of 1890 meters above sea level, Agasthyakoodam ranks high among favored tourist destinations in Kerala and is located 61 kms north-east of Trivandrum. The forests are rich in medicinal herbs and lie at a walking distance from Kottoor near Neyyar Dam. The biodiversity of the region, complemented by the altitudinal variations, makes your tour to Agasthyakoodam all the more exciting and exhilarating.
Best Time to Visit
The best time for a tour to Agasthyakoodam is from December to April because this is the best season for trekking in the forests. Trekking permits are issued by the Wildlife Warden, Forest Department, PTP Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram. The trekking journey of around 30 km is a two-day program.
The herbal mountain of Agasthyakoodam is of religious importance for both Hindus as well as Buddhists, and is hence considered an important pilgrim center for both religions. It is believed to be the abode of the Hindu sage Agastya - a disciple of Lord Shiva, and the most important among the Siddhars who developed the Siddha medicine. Buddhists believe that Agasthyakodam was the abode of their deity - Bodhisattva Avolikideswara.
The Agasthyakoodam forests are a nature-lover's paradise and are widely known for the abundant wildlife and the rare medicinal herbs and plants they are home to. Your tour to Agasthyakoodam will ensure that you enjoy a close encounter with nature at her pristine best, wherein you can explore dense forests, snow capped mountains, sprawling grasslands and the scenic beauty of the mighty Sahyadri Range.
About 2000 medicinal plants are found in the forests and these are of great value to the traditional systems of medicine. Spanning over an expanse of about 1300 square kilometers, these forests are of various types, including the southern tropical wet evergreen forest, tropical moist deciduous forest, southern tropical dry deciduous forest, southern tropical thorn forest and subtropical montane forest, popularly known as the "sholas". Other than the medicinal plants, the forest vegetation includes a wide variety of orchids, mosses, lichens, ferns and other plants.
Tourist Places around Agasthyakoodam
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary - This is one of the major wildlife sanctuaries of Kerala and is situated on Thiruvanthapuram-Ponmudi Road, at about 50 km north-east of Thiruvananthapuram
Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary - Located 30 km from Thiruvananthapuram, Neyyar is a famous Wildlife Sanctuary, teeming with wild animals like elephants, sambhar deer, gaur, barking deer, mouse deer and wild boar.
Aruvikkara Dam - This is a famous picnic spot located on the banks of Karmana River at a distance of 16km from Trivandrum city.
Fairs and Festivals
The numerous fairs and festivals celebrated in Kerala are as varied as the land itself, and uniquely represent the culture and tradition of the state. Thiruvananthapuram being the capital of Kerala, it celebrates all major festivals of the state like Onam Festival, Thrissur Pooram, Aranmula Uthrittathi besides some tourist festivals like Food Festival, The Great Elephant Race, Nishagandhi Dance Festival to name a few.
How To Reach
By Air- The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.
By Rail- The nearest railway station is Thiruvananthapuram Central which is well connected with major cities.