Imagine you are in a beach in Kerala. Having experienced the cools and blue waters , you seem to think of going to a hill station and enjoy the coolness. Though the first places that might come to your mind would be Idukki or Wayanad, both of these places doesn’t have the luxury of beaches and hills.
Thiruvananthapuram (or Trivandrum), the capital city of the God’s own country is the best place for this wish. Trivandrum already has its mark in the tourism map of the world for the famous Kovalam and Varkala beaches.
Though the district is not showered with nature’s beautiful places, it has the uniqueness of having hot and blue arabian sea and the tiny but remarkably pleasing hill station, Ponmudi.
If anyone thinks about best time to visit, the immediate answer that comes to the mind will be during the monsoon and winter. This is simply because although Kerala has a moderate climate throughout the year, the lowest of it would be in that period.
However, Ponmudi season cannot be described in a particular time. This is simply because, the beauty of Ponmudi hill station varies across seasons.
During the harsh rainy season of Kerala, a sunny day after the rains brings in the misty Ponmudi. This is a visual treat to watch.
Winters gives you the shivering cool winds while by the start summer, the whole hill station turns into a dry and yellowish look longing for the summer rains.
Ponmudi (The Golden Peak)
The Ponmudi hill station is situated at a height of 3600 ft in the amazing Western Ghats of Kerala. It is part of the Palode range of Thiruvananthapuram forest division.
It is at a distance of 54 KM from the Trivandrum Central Railway station and bus station. A deviation in the Trivandrum Palode route from Chullimaanoor leads you to Ponmudi via the Vithura town and the Meenmutty waterfalls.
As one pass the Vithura town and Kallar, the zig zag ride starts through the hair pin bends one after the other. Several tea estates can be seen enroute which adds to the natural beauty of the path. The drive itself is a unique and mesmerizing one.
Ponmudi shows its real magic only when you reach the upper sanatorium after crossing all the hairpin bends and the lower sanatorium. The panoramic view from the highest point in the upper sanatorium is the most mesmerizing of all.
There are several view points in and around the upper sanatorium. The place also hosts the wireless station for the Kerala Police department.The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research has a beautiful campus as well near to the upper sanatorium.
There is an amenity centre in upper sanatorium which provides light refreshements and restroom facilities for the tourists. The lower sanatorium has a Kerala Tourism Department Corporation (KTDC) hotel, a police station and a post office.
Ponmudi nearby attractions
Ponmudi hill station is surrounded by many other blessed scenic places which are already enlisted in the Kerala tourism map. If you are planning for a trip to Ponmudi, the below mentioned places can also consider in your travel list.
Kallar and Meenmutty waterfalls
Kallar is on our way to Ponmudi hill station, Kallar gets its name from the River Kallar, which flows through the region. Kallu means ‘stone’ and Aru means ‘river’, hence the name Kallar.
Kallar river is well known for its abundance of attractive, round-shaped boulders and pebbles, especially in the upper reaches and middle portion of its course.
Meenmutty waterfalls is also in the same route , The beauty and the easiness to attain perfect refreshment make it a regular getaway place.
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
This sanctuary spread over 53 km2. in the Western Ghats is accessible from Vithura. With its rich flora and fauna, Peppara dotted with hillocks and forests is a great attraction for wildlife enthusiasts.
Resorts in Ponmudi
Since it is a remote location from Trivandrum city, Ponmudi has least number of nearby resorts.
Golden Peak resort owned by the Kerala Tourism development corporation (It is also called KTDC ponmudi) is one of the good option for the Ponmudi stay.
Night stay facilities are available in KTDC ponmudi hotel (Goldern Peak resort) at a limited basis. It is always better to book the rooms in advance for a safe and comfortable stay.
Another good option is the RiverCountry resort in Vithura. They are having very good packages for the foreign tourists at reasonable rates. You can follow the link to get more details about the packages that , the resort is offering.
The trekking possibilities from Ponmudi is the latest development in the tourism activities there. There are several nature clubs and travel groups which organizes trekking.
As the area is under close monitoring of the Kerala Forest departments, prior permissions need to be sought for hosting any events. Ponmudi weather is also a contributing factor for the large number of visits by not only tourists, but also the people in and around Thiruvananthapuram.
Agasthyarkoodam trekking is one of the best trekking experience near Ponmudi. Agasthyakoodam is the second highest peak in Kerala and one of the best trekking places in Kerala.
The mountains are almost at a height of 6,129 ft. above sea level. The trek to the peak is almost 28 km from the Bonacaud and it will take 2 days to complete the trekking.
Another alternative is the Braemore Estate. The adventure travelers will love this place because of the richness in the number of trekking paths. The main trekking routes are towards Ponmudi hills and towards Kallar river, both will take around 1.5 hours to complete.
How to reach Ponmudi hill station
Ponmudi nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram, about 61 km away
Ponmudi Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 67 km away
Ponmudi By Road: Ponmudi hill station is well connected to Trivandrum and Kerala by a wide network of roads.Nearest Bus Stations Nedumangad and Vithura. KSTRC buses to Ponmudi from either Thiruvananthapuram (Thampanoor) or from Nedumangad
Important points for your trip to Ponmudi
There are KSRTC buses from Trivandrum Central bus station or Nedumangad bus station to Ponmudi. The timings can be checked by contacting the KSRTC central bus station office.
The hill station (mainly the upper sanatorium) is allowed to visitors only till 5 pm. So please make sure to reach there well before that to enjoy it in the best way.
Plastic items are not advised in the hill station. Please do not litter the area.Consumption of alcohol is strictly banned in the hill station.