Agasthyarkoodam – Agasthyamala

Agasthyamala

Explore the mesmerizing beauty and cultural importance of Agasthyamala, a southern Indian mountain range celebrated for its distinctive biodiversity, revered Hindu landmarks, and abundant options for outdoor activities.

Nestled in the southern region of the Western Ghats in India, the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve stands as an awe-inspiring natural haven. This unspoiled sanctuary showcases a diverse spectrum of plant and animal life, housing some of the rarest species globally. With its profound cultural legacy and breathtaking landscapes, Agasthyamala beckons nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Delve into the verdant forests, witness cascading waterfalls, and stand in awe of majestic mountains, immersing yourself in the marvels of this extraordinary biosphere reserve. Discover the true allure of nature at Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve, where the enchantment of the wilderness unfolds. For detailed trip planning information, explore our website and unveil the hidden treasures of this remarkable destination.

The “World Network of Biosphere Reserves” established by UNESCO

Agasthyamala, a haven for uncommon medicinal herbs, earned its place on UNESCO’s ‘World Network of Biosphere Reserves’ in March 2016. Situated within the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats of South India, Agasthyamala is a towering peak standing at 1,868 meters. Nestled near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, this biosphere reserve showcases a unique blend of biodiversity. For further insights into the UNESCO-designated Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve, visit their official website and be captivated by the richness of this natural wonder.

Agasthyamala Moniker

The appellation Agasthyamala originates from the revered Hindu Sage Agasthya Muni, whose effigy graces the summit. Within Hinduism, the sage is venerated as a perfect bachelor (brahmachari). Evolving into a renowned pilgrimage destination, the air at this site is believed to possess medicinal virtues. The peak is renowned for its profusion of rare herbs, boasting approximately 2,000 medicinal plants employed in Ayurvedic therapies.

Agasthya Sage

Agastya Muni

Agasthyamala serves as a significant pilgrimage destination for followers of the Hindu sage Agastya, revered as one of the seven rishis (Saptarishi) in Hindu Purana. Legend has it that Agastyamuni, an immortal saint, resides in the mountain. The summit hosts a temple dedicated to Agastyamuni, attracting numerous pilgrims. Recognized as the guru of the Ayurveda system in traditional Indian medicine, Agastya is also hailed as the father of Tamil literature and Siddha medicine. Many of his statues portray him wielding a stone crusher in one hand and holding a bowl of medicines in the other.

Agasthyamala Trekking

Agastyaarkoodam, the second-highest peak in South India, is situated approximately 70 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), the capital of Kerala, within the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Renowned as one of the premier trekking destinations in Kerala and South India, Agastyaarkoodam is accessible solely by foot, presenting not only breathtaking scenic beauty but also holding significance as a pilgrimage site. To embark on this adventure, trekkers must undertake a challenging 24-kilometer trek from Bonacaud, the designated base camp for Agastyaarkoodam/Agastya Mala.

The journey unfolds amidst a rich tapestry of rare orchids, trees, plants, birds, and animals, offering trekkers captivating glimpses of unique flora and fauna. Positioned at an impressive altitude of 1,868 meters (6,129 feet) above sea level, Agastyaarkoodam stands proudly in the Sahyadris of the Western Ghats, presenting itself as a sharply cone-shaped peak. The region boasts a diverse ecosystem, with over 2000 recorded species, including lichens, orchids, mosses, and ferns.

A dream destination for avid trekking enthusiasts, the challenging trek demands preparation and training, as it tests one’s stamina at every level. Known alternately as Ashambu Hills, Agastyaarkoodam serves as the origin for several rivers, such as the Kallada River, Achankoil River, Vamanapuram River, Karamana River, and Neyyar River on the Kerala side, and the Thamirabarani River, Ramanadhi River, and Manimuthar River on the Tamil Nadu side. This majestic peak stands not only as a testament to nature’s grandeur but also as the source of life-giving rivers that flow through the verdant landscapes of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Everlasting Wellness Botanicals

The hill offers a haven for bird enthusiasts, adorned with rare herbs and medicinal plants. Agasthyamala boasts a unique and scarce botanical gem called ‘Arogyapacha,’ renowned as the ‘Plant of Eternal Health,’ drawing numerous researchers to explore its wonders. The slopes of Agastyaarkoodam are naturally adorned with the extraordinary ‘Neelakkurinjui,’ a green herb that blooms once every 12 years, creating a mesmerizing violet carpet across the entire area, captivating nature lovers. Additionally, this region is a sanctuary for various endangered wildlife species, including Lion-Tailed Macaques, Bengal Tigers, Nilgiri Martens, Nilgiri Tahrs, Malabar Spiny Dormice, Great Pied Hornbills, Gaurs, and Sloth Bears.

Forest Department Contact
Wildlife Warden, Forest Department, PTP Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram
Phone : +91-471-2360762

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