Ponmudi is a breathtaking hill station situated at the southern stretch of Western Ghats. Located within a short driving distance from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, Ponmudi literally means The Golden Peak.
The first thing that travellers to Ponmudi notice is the thick tropical forests that carpets the foot of the hill range. Hairpin bends, steep climb and mist covered stretches marks the route to Ponmudi from Kallar, located at the base of the village.
Located close to Agasthyar Hills, one of the biggest peaks in Western Ghats, Ponmudi offers excellent trekking and camping opportunities. Trekking through the thick forests one gets to see assortment of mountain flowers, unusual butterflies and small rivulets. However, the incline is steep and the trek rigorous.
For those who prefer casual strolls instead of trekking, Ponmudi would leave them impressed. A walk through the tea gardens is a feast for the eye and the senses.
Ponmudi is primarily divided into the Upper and the Lower Sanatorium. Kerala government has started an ecotourism project in the Upper Sanatorium area to promote tourism.
Plenty of birds, both native and migratory, have made hills of Ponmudi their home. The Ponmudi Hills are also a natural habitat for Nilgiri Tahr. Though they number around a couple of hundreds, it still forms an important habitat for the endangered species.
Sightseeing in and around Ponmudi includes Ponmudi Waterfalls, the Deer Park, River Kallar, Meenmutty Falls and Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary among others. Apart from sightseeing, Ponmudi is also famous for Ayurvedic medical treatments.
WHERE TO STAY
There are a number of cottages and dormitory accommodation facilities in the hill station. The upper sanitorium has only one KTDC-run resort. The lower sanatorium offers more options with tourist lodges and guest resorts. The Government Guest House offers 24 rooms and 10 stone cottages.
WHERE TO EAT
Ponmudi provides limited options to eat. The restaurants serve local cuisine consisting of both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian fare.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Ponmudi is from October to March. Another great time to visit the hill station is immediately after the monsoon season when the entire region is carpeted with luscious greenery.