Is the monsoon a good time for travel? Many would say no! But, believe it or not, there is no better time to enjoy the beauty of the rains than the monsoon months of Kerala. Onmanorama Travel will introduce you to some places that are best suited for monsoon travel.
We will take you to different places spread all over Kerala, from Ponmudi in the south to Bakel in the north, to the hills, to the backwaters, to the plantations, to the forests, to the rivers, to the sea... Of course, the Monsoon time in Kerala is a risky period. Various natural calamities are awaiting to happen, like landslides, sea erosions and whatnots. It is also the time when nature unveils her harshest facets. It is very uncertain of this season that makes this journey laced with risk, and adventure at the same time. We can enjoy monsoon without fear if the warnings of the authorities and the local people are followed. We can also chase the Monsoon like Alexander Frater. Even though we have already spoiled the verdant beauty of our landscape by filling the water bodies and smashing down the hillocks, let us enjoy the monsoon, in the hope that it will not forsake us as long as the Ocean and the Western Ghats are there! Here's the first in our list- Ponmudi.
Ponmudi is supposed to be the mountain ranges that are decorated with a crown of gold. The tribal people believe that the forest gods keep their treasures of gold here. The tourist location of Ponmudi is situated in Thiruvananthapuram district. From Thiruvananthapuram city, it's a 60 kilometre drive to Ponmudi in the Thiruvananthapuram – Nedumangad – Vithura – Kallar route. It is the highest Eco Tourism Centre in Thiruvananthapuram district. What about a trip in a KSRTC bus, enjoying the window seat and listening to some good music and getting wet in the drizzle ? There are many KSRTC bus services plying between Nedumangad, Vithura or Kallar and Ponmudi. The weather is comparatively cooler year round. The forest area will begin after Kallar. The route is dotted with hairpin curves, streamlets and small waterfalls many of which appear only during the monsoon.
Ponmudi's major attraction is the tropical rain forests. Eco Point and Golden Valley are the two important spots in Ponmudi. Top Station is located around 2 kilometres away from Ponmudi. Ponmudi Guest House and KTDC Cottage are available for accommodation. The rooms have to be booked in advance. Food is available at the Forest Department Canteen at Ponmudi and the KTDC Restaurant. The entry is from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Please take care to use low beams as 7 high beams can affect the visibility of vehicles coming in the opposite direction.
For more details, contact: DTPC, Thiruvananthapuram- 0471 – 2315397
Guest House, for Room Booking - 0472 22890230
KTDC Cottage - 9400008641
Other Important Tourist Spots
1. Kallar is a major attraction in the Ponmudi trip. Just like the name hints, the place is full of huge stones. Golden Valley and Meenmutti Waterfalls are close to Kallar. Golden Valley and surroundings are favourite haunts for bird watchers.
2. Peppara Dam & Wild Life Sanctuary is located at 29 kilometres from Ponmudi.
Things to note
Alcohol and plastic are prohibited in the Ponmudi Eco Tourism Centre. There is stringent checking in the Kallar and Ponmudi check posts. The stretch between Kallar and Upper Sanatorium, Ponmudi are under CCTV surveillance and observation of Ponmudi Police.
There are chances of landslides in the hairpin curves during monsoon. Vehicles should be driven slowly, with care. And enquire at the DTPC about the route and risks before starting the journey.
Follow the instructions of the security guards.
Never try to enter the waterfalls and streamlets on the wayside.
As there is possibility of lightning, make enquiries with the guard about safe places.
Ponmudi can get enveloped in fog at any moment, and this chance increases during the rains. Use defroster if the glasses get fogged. Fog lamps can also help while driving.