(Also known as Agathiyar Malai or Agasthyakoodam) is a 1,868-metre (6,129 ft) tall peak within Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats of South India in Trivandrum and Tirunelveli Districts of South India. The mountain lies on the border between the Indian states of Kerala (in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram district) and Tamil Nadu (in Kanyakumari district, Tirunelveli district). The perennial Thamirabarani River originates from the eastern side of this hill and flows into the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.
Agasthyarkoodam is a pilgrimage centre for devotees of the Hindu sage Agastya, who is considered to be one of the seven rishis (Saptarishi) of Hindu Puranas.The shrine was installed under the auspices of the Chenkottukonam Madathipathi Jagadguru Swami Sathyananda Saraswathi Thiruvadikal who entered the forests with Hindu Aikya Vedi activists and his followers especially from the Kani Tribe demolished the cross erected by Christians. The Tamil language is considered to be a boon from Agasthya. There is a full-sized statue of Agathiyar at the top of the peak and the devotees can offer pujas themselves.
The lower elevations of this peak are also known for their abundance of rare herbs and medicinal plants. Around 2,000 medicinal plants used in Ayurvedic treatments are found here. Europeans, particularly those from England, were the first to establish tea gardens around the base stations of the mountain at Brimore, Bonacaud, and Ponmudi.
The Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve harbours rare flora and fauna. Tourists are permitted to the area only with permission from the forest department of Kerala. Annual trekking passes to the peak are issued from the forest department during January–February only.
Other major rivers which originate from the mountain are the Karamana River, which flows through the Thiruvananthapuram district and is the major source of drinking water to the city, and the Neyyar River (also in the Thiruvananthapuram district).
The person who want to go for trekking in agasthya mala should take permission from, 'The wild life Warden, Forest Department, PTP Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram,
Kerala, India. Tel: 0091 471 2360762'.
Trekking is also available as a package, for booking please contact: 0472 2862344.
Trekking season is usually during, Nov, Dec,April, May
For more information contact Toll free no: 1800 425 4747
Images courtesy: placeforholidays.com