The UNESCO has added Agasthyamala of the Western Ghats into the list of Biosphere reserves. This is indeed a welcoming move by the organization which has found out the importance of Agasthyamala, which is a part of the Western Ghats.
Older than the Himalaya mountains, the mountain chain of the Western Ghats represents geomorphic features of immense importance with unique biophysical and ecological processes. Agasthyamala is second highest peak of the Western Ghats. The Agasthyakoodam pilgrimage and trekking is great experience for all nature lovers and adventurers.
The Agasthyamala biosphere reserve is also home to around 2000 species of the plants having rare and immense medicinal uses. Researchers require special permission to enter into the deep forests of the Agasthyamalai.
The pilgrimage/trekking season in the Agasthyamala occurs every year for around 3 months. The Kerala Forest Department has restricted the number of Agasthyakoodam trekking pass to 100 per day. Passes are issued from the Forest department office in PTP Nagar, Trivandrum, Kerala as well through online website http://www.forest.kerala.gov.in .
Agasthyarkoodam is around 76 KM from Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala. The nearest motorable road is till Bonacaud Forest office. From Bonacaud forest office, the trekking starts. There is a Base station at Athirumala camp which is around 16 KM from the forest office. The top point of Agasthyamala, the Agasthyakoodam is another 8 KM from the base station. Read more about the trekking experience in Agasthyakoodam here.
Boanacaud is around 60 KM from Trivandrum. There are buses available from Trivandrum Central Bus stand and Nedumangad Bus stand till Boanacaud estate. If you are planning to go by bus for the trekking, the best way is to catch the Bonacaud estate bus at 5.30AM from Trivandrum bus depot.
Nearest Railway station is Trivandrum Central and the nearest Airport is Trivandrum International Airport.