travel information, Kerala
A mere one and a half
hour's road journey separates the beaches of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)
from the invigorating climate of Ponmudi Hills. The name Ponmudi, a hill
station so close to the sea, in Malayalam means golden crown.
On the way to Ponmudi,
the thick tropical forest greets one at the foot of the Ponmudi hill range.
The road passes under a canopy of thickly matted foliage. The forest recedes
gradually giving way to neatly clipped tea bushes.
As one leaves the
city behind, one enters the region of plantations - rubber, pepper, cardamom
and tea. The change is abrupt. The tappers can be seen going about briskly
gathering the milky fluid from rubber trees collected in coconut shells.
Coconut thatch mats cover almost one half of the road, over which women
spread black pepper for drying. One may come across a lone elephant ambling
along carrying his mahout atop and his breakfast of coconut thatch in
Tea estates at Ponmudi
are not as big as those in the Munnar hills. Large water sprays shower
the gardens. The 'mate', a septuagenarian shading himself with an umbrella,
can be seen reading aloud the day's news to the pickers. The pickers,
in response, either grunt indicating disapproval of the news item or remain
silent in agreement.
Trekking to the north
of Ponmudi Crest, one passes along a mini zoo, primarily of barasinghas,
on the edge of the forest. Entering the forest, the verdant shades of
green numb the senses. As does the avian orchestra. The brilliant red
southern trongon dot the trees like flowers. The air is full with the
loud raucous chuckling of heavy billed Malabar hornbills. The shrill notes
of the blue-black Malabar whistling thrush add to the cacophony. Even
the rare long-tailed paradise flycatchers flit gracefully from tree to
tree. It is like an open aviary.
Ponmudi - Transportation
Ponmudi is 61 km from
Thiruvananthapuram. It is within easy driving distance from Kovalam.
Tourist Destination in Kerala
Kerala in Details