Agastya Mala, also known as Agasthyakoodam or Agastyarkoodam, is a forested peak located 70 km from Thiruvananthapuram, in the Western Ghats of South India. It is located at a height of 1,868 meters (6129 feet) above mean sea level. The peak is the second highest peak in Kerala, South India.
The Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve is known for its rich bio-diversity. The reserve is under consideration for being selected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The biosphere reserve covers an area of 3,500.36 sq km. The biosphere reserve is spread over in Kerala and Tamil Nadu; 1828 sq km lies in Kerala and 1672.36 sq km in Tamil Nadu. The biosphere reserve encompasses Neyyar, Shendurney and Peppara Wildlife Sanctuaries along with nearby regions like Thenmala, Punalur and Konni.
Agastya Mala is the habitat for 2,000 varieties of medicinal plants, of which at least 50 are rare and endangered species. Rare animals include the tiger, Asian Elephant, and Nilgiri Tahr.
A valuable and rare herb by name ‘Arogyapacha’ (Plant of eternal health) is attracting the attention of modern researchers to this hill. Another important plant found in the vicinity of this place is the Neelakurunji flower which blossoms in every 12 years. The flower is found only in two places of Kerala and Agastya Koodam being one
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Agasthyakoodam is between the months of November and April.
How to Reach Agasthyarkoodam
The nearest airlink to Agasthyarkoodam is Trivandrum International Airpor, located at a distance of 61 km from Agasthyarkoodam. Taxis can be hired from the airport until Bonacaud in Kerala which is the base point for a trek to the Agasthyarkoodam peak.
Ambasamudram railway station located in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu is the nearest junction from Agasthyarkoodam.
Those desirous of planning a trek to Agasthyarkoodam can reach Bonacaud in Kerala by road. Buses are also available from district headquarter throughout Kerala until Bonacaud.