Ponmudi is a hill station situated about 61 km away from Thiruvananthapuram in the state of Kerala, on the Western Ghats along the Arabian Sea. Located at an altitude of 1000 m, it is one of the highest hill stations in Thiruvananthapuram.
Popularly called Golden Peak, Ponmudi is surrounded by scenic hills, spice plantations, tea estates, natural springs and winding streams. Ponmudi was founded by Rishi Parshuram, a prominent Indian mythological figure. Though a quaint place, it has a turbulent history. This land has been ruled by the Ays, Venads and Varmas, and was invaded by the Cholas and Mughals.
Some notable tourist attractions located in Ponmudi are Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Echo Point and various trekking spots. Mist-laden valleys, especially Golden Valley near Kallar River, also draw tourists. Travellers can find a deer park and wood and stone cottages coloured in bright hues while visiting here.
Ponmudi tourism picks up during August and September when the Aaranmula Temple Festival and Aaranmula Boat Race are held. This hill station is also the gateway to Varkala, an important pilgrimage site where the 2000-year-old Janardanswamy Temple is located.
Tourists can spot barasinghas in the mini-zoo located north of Ponmudi Crest. Meenmutty Falls are also located in the vicinity of this hill station, though tourists need to seek permission from the Forest Department for exploring it. Apart from sightseeing, Ponmudi is also famous for Ayurvedic medical treatment, which is also a part of a few Ponmudi holiday packages.
Tourists can also trek and hike in the Agasthyar Hills located close to the hill station. The best time to participate in adventure activities in Ponmudi is in the months of January and February.
The nearest airport to Ponmudi is Trivandrum International Airport, which is situated 61 km away. Trivandrum Central railway station is the nearest station and connects this hill station to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. Buses that run every 2 hours also ply from Thambanoor bus stand to Ponmudi. Tourists can also reach Ponmudi by driving down the Thiruvananthapuram-Nedumangad-Chenkotta Highway. The best time to visit Ponmudi is from October to March.
Popular hotels in Ponmudi include budget, bed & breakfast as well as guesthouses and lodges for tourists.