Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is a captivating spot nestled on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram. The wildlife sanctuary is blessed with an abundance of evergreen forests, hills, valleys, and freshwater swamps.
This wildlife sanctuary which is spread over an area of around 75 Sq Km, is a shelter to a variety of animals including sambar deer, elephants, and lion. Several endemic bird species including White-bellied Treepie, Malabar Grey Hornbill, and Small Sunbird can also be found here.
With its exotic wildlife and rich flora and fauna, Peppara is indeed a paradise for the nature buffs and wildlife lovers.
Location: Thiruvananthapuram-Ponmudi Road, Trivandrum, Kerala.
Timings: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Entry fee: INR 50 for adults and INR 35 for kids.
How to reach: Trivandrum Bus station is around 39 km away from Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary and hence, one can travel to this place through the bus. One can also prefer train journey to reach here.
Nestled in Nedumangad village, around 18 km away from Thiruvananthapuram, the Koyikkal Palace was built for the queen of Venad royal family whose name was Umayamma.
In the present, the palace is known for its folklore museum and Numismatics museum which are set up by the State Archaeological Department. A visit to this museum will introduce you with the remarkable art of Kerala which is stored here in the form folk arts, household utensils, and musical instruments.
The museum also houses a rare article called “Chandravalayam” which has become a major attraction for tourists. Vacationers, in large number, visit this place to watch its coin collection which has coins from different periods.
Location: Sathram Junction, Nedumangad, Kerala.
Timings: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
Entry fee: INR 5 for kids and INR 20 for adults.
How to reach: You can either hire a taxi or board a bus from Nedumangadu bus stop.
Apart from being a popular pilgrimage site, Agasthyakoodam is truly a trekker’s paradise. A forested peak perched at an altitude of 6128 feet, it is reckoned as the second highest peak of Kerala. It is a 28 km long trek which can be completed in 2 days.
The trekking expedition kickstarts from Bonocaud, a place situated around 30 Km away from Ponumudi. The forest area of this trek is rich in medicinal herbs with around 2000 medicinal plants on its land and is situated in close proximity to Kottoor. Agasthyakoodam forests are also widely known for its rich wildlife and sprawling grasslands.
For all the nature lovers and wildlife buffs, Agasthyakoodam is among the best Ponmudi tourist places that one can’t afford to miss.
Location: Sahyadri Mountains, Neyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala.
Timings: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Entry fee: INR 500
How to reach: Agasthyakoodam is located around 35.5 km away from Trivandrum. One can reach to the Bonacaud village through a cab or by boarding a bus.
Situated around 45 km north-east of Thiruvananthapuram, Mankkayam is one of the famous Ponmudi tourist places. The Chittar River emerges from the massive hill range of Chemunchi and flows down through the dense forests creating a tributary called Mankkayam.
The two most mesmerizing waterfalls in this region include Kalakayam and Kurissadi. The area around the Manakkayam waterfall is covered with thick forests. After spending enough time at this serene spot, you can also head for a trek to Varayadin Motta which is home to the endangered species of wild goat.
If you wish to explore the beauty of nature in its purest form, there is no better place than Mankkayam to experience it.
Location: Brimore, Kerala.
Timings: 8:00 AM-4:00 PM.
Entry fee: INR 50 per person and if you wish to take your vehicles inside, the entry fee will be INR 200.
How to reach: The nearest bus station to Mankkayam waterfalls is Palode Bus station. Apart from it, you can also opt for a train journey from Thiruvananthapuram.
Regarded as the tallest peak in Ponmudi mountain ranges, Varayattumotta is popular as a home for mountain goats called Nilgiri Tahr. In Malayalam language, Nilgiri Tahar is called as Varayaadu and this is how the mountain got its name.
This mountain peak stands tall at an altitude of 1100 meters and can be easily reached from Ponmudi or Mankayam check post. This mountain ridge is quite steep and hence very few trekkers opt for trekking through this route. Even if you choose to trek this treacherous trail, you will be accompanied by a forest guide.
Most of the trekkers climb the mountain hill and get on their way back to Ponmudi. For all the adventure seekers, this is one of the most sought-after places to visit in Ponmudi.
Location: Ponmudi Mountain Ranges, Kerala.
Timings: Any time of the day.
Entry fee: No entry charges.
How to reach: There are 2 trekking routes to this site. While the first one is from Manakayam check post, the second is from Ponmudi. Both of these places are easily accessible by KSRTC bus or car.
Nestled on the banks of Kallar river, Golden Valley is a scenic Ponmudi tourist place known for its crystal clear water, lush green valley, and golden sand. This valley can be reached through Kallar Bridge. Once you reach this panoramic spot, admire the clear gushing water of the river or take a dip into it.
Golden Valley has been named after the pebbles and golden stones present at this place. If you have been looking for an enchanting spot to visit in Kerala, this one definitely deserves a place in your travel itinerary.
Location: Kallar River, Ponmudi, Kerala.
Timings: It can be visited at any time of the day.
How to reach: Golden Valley is situated at a distance of 13 km from Ponmudi town. This distance can be easily covered by a car within 15-20 minutes.
An ethereal village situated around 45 Km away from Thiruvananthapuram, Kallar is widely popular for its aesthetics and brightly coloured pebbles. Being a popular Ponmudi tourist place, it also boasts numerous enticing trekking routes and has been a favourite spot for adventure enthusiasts since ages.
The hamlet is home to several species of birds which is the main reason why it is a favourite spot for nature buffs. Kallar village got its name from the pristine river Kellar that runs across this region. It shares close proximity to tourist places such as Meenmutty Falls and Agastyakoodam too.
If you have a thing for beautiful and unexplored places, Kallar will certainly leave you stunned with its serene surroundings and unspoiled landscapes.
Location: Ponmudi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
Timings: You can visit this place any time of the day.
Entry fee: Entry is free.
How to reach: Kallar is just 45 km away from the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram and you can easily reach here by hiring a taxi. The nearest airport to the village I Trivandrum International Airport.
Sri Krishna Swami Temple
A Hindu temple in Thodupuzha town, Sri Krishna Swami Temple is situated on the northern side of Thodupuzhayar river and on the west side of the temple, you will find a main civil station. The main deity in the temple is Chathubahu Sreekrishna. Sastha, Ganpati, and Nagaraja are some other deities which are worshipped here.
Lord Krishna presides in this temple as Navneetha Krishna who holds butter in his right palm. In the present time, the popular Chothioottu feast is conducted here which offers free of cost food to pilgrims.
If you happen to visit here during the months of March or April, you would also get to see the joyous celebration of the annual festival in the temple. With its religious significance and impeccable location, it is one of the key places to visit in Ponmudi.
Location: Sri Krishna Swami Temple, Todupuzha, Idukki, Kerala.
Timings: The temple could be visited on any day of the week between 3:00 AM to 12:00 PM or 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
Entry fee: No entry charges.
How to reach: The nearest railway station to this temple is Kuruppunthura which is around 41 Km away from Thodupuzha.
Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary
A beautiful home to several endangered species, Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary is a Ponmudi tourist place where animals are set free to live in their natural habitat.
Though there are few restrictions that have to be strictly followed in the sanctuary, tourists are permitted to enter the premises after some formal verification. Presenting a perfect blend of mesmerizing beauty and adventure, this wildlife sanctuary is visited by tourists from all around the globe.
Once you get into this place, you can relish the exotic flora and fauna or head for a jungle safari along with your forest guide. If you have an undying love for adventure, you can also indulge in enthralling activities such as caping and trekking.
Location: Shendurney Wildlife Division, Thenmala, Kerala.
Timings: Any time of the day.
Entry fee: There are no entry fee charges, though a permit is mandatory.
How to reach: Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at a distance of 66.4 Km from Kollam. One can reach here either by car or by boarding any bus from Kollam.
Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve
A unique site situated in the Western Ghats, Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve flaunts exorbitant peaks that rise up to an altitude of 1868 meters above the sea level. The biosphere reserve mainly constitutes tropical forests which are home to around 2254 plant species.
It also acts as a genetic reservoir for plants such as Jamune, Plantain, Pepper, and Cardamom. This place also comprises some popular wildlife sanctuaries including Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, and Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary.
The reserve is inhabited by about 79 mammal species, 88 reptile species, and 46 fish species, out of which 75 are endemic. On your visit to this scenic spot, you will also get to spot several tribal settlements around it.
Location: Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
Timings: 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Entry fee: Entry remains free of cost.
How to reach: Reach to the starting point of the trek by cab. Once you reach this point, head for a trek which will continue for about 20 Km and take you to a camp station called Athirumala, which is the last camp station.