Trekking at the Mystical Agasthyarkoodam

Agasthyarkoodam is a pilgrimage center for devotees of the Hindu sage Agastya, who is considered to be one of the seven rishis (Saptarishi) of Hindu Puranas. In Tamil traditions, Agastya is considered the father of the Tamil language and the compiler of the first Tamil grammar called Agattiyam or Akattiyam. There is a small stone statue of Agathiyar at the top of the peak and the devotees can offer pujas.


Agasthyakoodam kerala

Agastyaarkoodam is 32 km from Neyyar Dam and 22 km from Bonacaud, near VITHURA & PONMUDI The major city and airport nearest to Agastyaarkoodam is Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), and its Trivandrum International Airport, around 61 km away. The nearest railway stations are Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, and Ambasamudram, Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu. The trekking path, nearly 22 km, is from Bonacaud.

Agasthyarkoodam Trekking

Agasthyakoodam trek Agasthyarkoodam

This place can give you mesmerizing trekking experiences that are not possible elsewhere in the world. Agasthyarkoodam is Kerala’s one of the highest peaks and is part of the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve which lies conjointly in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Agasthyarkoodam forest preserves various medicinal plants that give it a mystifying aura. It is a treasure trove of medicinal flora that is not found elsewhere. The place is part of UNESCO’sWorld Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2001. Trekking at Agasthyarkoodam is perfect for those who seek unforgettable memories in the terrain or others who wish to live free from worldly woes. The place can bestow lifelong cherishing memories to wildlife lovers and passionate trekkers.

Agasthyarkoodam attracts three types of people to its mystical realms; pious devotees, ardent trekkers, and wildlife photographers or ornithologists. Agasthyarkoodam got its name from the pious sage Agasthya who meditated for a long in the forests. The famed sage Agasthya is a pioneer of Tamil Siddha Ayurveda and literature. Atop the hills, there is a monumental statue of the pious saint. Visitors of the place can instantly comprehend the reason why sage Agasthya chose here of all places to meditate. The place had enough medicinal plants for his extensive research.

The place also claims to have lore that explicates Agasthya’s connection with the place. When all the heavenly residents and asuras rushed to the Himalayas to attend the Shiv-Parvati marriage, the whole equilibrium of earth underwent a change. Ultimately, Paramashiva sent Agasthya to the place to restore the equilibrium of the earth.

How to get an entry pass

Agasthyarkoodam falls under the extreme scrutiny of Kerala Forest Department and one can visit the place only with a pass. The department allows public access to this place on two modalities.

Every year the forest paths will be opened during the Sabarimala Makaravilakku period. Normally, trekking is allowed for 60 days during the period. You can get a pass during the period through the Kerala Forest Department website or the Kerala e-service website. A pass will cost you 1000 INR. The limit for trekkers per day never exceeds 100. On average, only 4000-6000 people are lucky enough to visit the place. The server difficulties of websites further doom the hiking plan.

Except for during the monsoon, the website will accept the booking for groups of 10. Entry passes are available after the payment of 2000 INR through Forest Permanent Online Pay. Each group will have access to 3 guides throughout the trekking. The public can use one more method to book access to the place. After the second booking, if someone is unable to go trekking, another person can join the trekking in his stead. However, to do so, one must submit the affidavit of the booked hiker, ID proof copy, entry pass copy, booked party’s ID proof copy, and 1000 INR (fees once paid are non-refundable) to Wildlife Warden’s office, Vatiyoorkav. It can be submitted in person or through an authorized third party, but submission is not permissible via online. Trekking the Agastyarkoodam is possible only through the above-mentioned procedures.

The base camp of Agastyarkoodam trekking is at Bonacad estate. Bonacad lies around 50 km from Trivandrum city. Hikers need to reach the place by 8 am. Trekking from Bonacad is not permissible after 11 am. Bonacad is reachable via private vehicles or KSRTC buses.


Keep your backpack as light as possible. During the peak season periods, wildlife photographers may have to return empty-handed as they won’t be able to click any of the animal photos. Therefore, please avoid telelens and binoculars. You can refill your water bottles frequently from the rivers and streams on the way. Please include only the necessities in the checklist.

  • Hats
  • Food items (fruits, glucose, dry fruit)
  • 2 or 3 dress
  • Bath towels
  • I liter empty bottle
  • Blanket, bed sheet, or sleeping bag
  • ID proof, entry pass
  • Hiking boots
  • 1 pair slippers
  • Lightweight backpack
  • Emergency first aid kit
  • Raincoat (based on season)
  • Camera (take extra battery)
  • 1000 INR

Things to Remember

  1. Buy food coupons from the Athirumala camp base
  2. Approach trekking with due sincerity
  3. Take care of yourself. Remember that your injuries can impend the prospects of the whole group
  4. Obey the instructions of forest guards and guides
  5. Keep your voice low in the forest
  6. Do not wander away from the trekking spot. You may be prone to the attacks of wild animals there
  7. Enlist in the trekking only if you are physically fit
  8. Behave well to fellow hikers especially ladies
  9. Behave in a friendly manner to guides and canteen workers. May come handy later!
  10. Remember always that you are in a dense forest with minimal facilities
  11. Refrain from collecting souvenirs from forests and collect only cherishing memories instead.
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