Places of interest include:
- Ponmudi Hill Resort -40 km from Nedumangad
- Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI)
- Koikkal Palace (Numismatics museum) - 0.5 km from KSRTC bus Station.
- Peppara Dam & Wild Life Sanctuary- 20 km
- Meenmutty Falls 30 km from Nedumangad
- Happyland Water Theme Park- 15 km from Nedumangad
- Thirichittoor Rock at Venkavila - 3 km from Nedumangad
- Arasuparambu Sree Sastha Temple- 2 km from Nedumangad
The Golden Peak’ or ‘Golden Crown’) is a hill located 61 km north-east of Trivandrum city and 45 km from Nedumangad Town, at an altitude of 610 m. It is a part of the Western Ghats mountain range that runs parallel to the Arabian Sea. Ponmudi is connected to Trivandrum by a narrow winding road with 21 hairpin curves which offers scenic views.. The climate is always cool and pleasant and it serves as a base for trekking and hiking. The tea-gardens here were rightly famous in the yesteryears, though many are defunct now. Other attractions near Ponmudi include Golden Valley and Kallar and a number of rivulets and rapids. Located in a rich mountainous forest area, the place may be of interest to nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and adventurers. Golden Valley offers vistas of the beautiful peaks and is an access point to the river Kallar flowing wildly over a rocky bed. A trekker's paradise, the idyllic Ponmudi is turning out to be the perfect getaway, be it for the tourist or for the harassed city dweller. Ponmudi is second perhaps only to Munnar in scenic beauty.
How to reach: 65 Kms from Trivandrum City, by bus, car or, if one is adventurous, by bike!.
Accommodation: The cottages managed by Tourism Department ßaddress etc
Contact Address: The Divisional Forest Officer
Trivandrum – 14
Phone: 0471 2320637
Another attraction in the region is Agasthyarkoodam, a spectacular peak in the Western Ghats that rises to a majestic height of about 1890 m )in the form of a sharp cone. It is is part of the Sahyadri mountains and is the second highest peak in Kerala, after Anamudi. A bird watcher's paradise, this legendary mountain is accessible by foot from Kottoor, near Neyyar Dam and also from Bonacaud tea estate, on the road to Ponmudi. Teeming with wild life Agathyarkoodam is a haven of rare herbs and medicinal plants and the slopes offer a breathtaking views. Agasthyarkoodam (‘the abode of Agasthya’) is famous for its legendary connection to Sage Agasthya, the custodian of medicinal knowledge and the healer of ancient lore. Hence, the aborigines dislike the presence of women on the hill, and women are not normally allowed up the peak. Many rivers have their origins in the peak, some like Neyyar flowing west and others like Tamraparni flowing east to Tamil Nadu. The peak and its forest environs, which offer unparalleled opportunities to the adventurer and the scientifically curious, can be visited only with the permission from the Forest Department. Meenmutty on the way to the peak has a beautiful waterfall and is a popular destination for nature lovers. December to April is the season advocated for trekking, for which a forest pass has to be obtained from the Wildlife Warden, Forest Department, Thiruvananthapuram.
About 40 km from Nedumangad Town, on the road to Ponmudi.
Kallar, famous for round-shaped boulders and pebble, is situated en route to the popular hill station of Ponmudi. The place gets its name from the River Kallar, which flows through the region. Kallu means 'stone' and Aru means 'river,'. It is a favourite haunt for picnickers and attracts many with an interest in trekking, angling and bird watching. The main attractions are the nearby Golden Valley, and the Meenmutti waterfalls. Unlike the Meenmutti waterfall, the Golden Valley is easily accessible form the main road. Here one can take a dip in the crystal clear waters to cool off, and also watch the many rapids and small pools that dot a good part of the river in this area. Apart from Golden Valley, those with zeal for trekking and bird watching can take the narrow track, starting from the right from the side of the Kallar Bridge. The track will lead one to a medium sized, but captivating waterfall, popularly known as Meenmutty. The waterfall is situated 3-4 kms from the main road. On the way to the waterfall, one could come across ample bird life, and many species of butterflies. The forest here is mostly tropical in nature, and during the rainy season, one has to be on the alert for leeches.
How to reach:
By bus, car, bike -- 60 Kms from Trivandrum City.
a heritage building, today houses the folklore museum and numismatics museum.
Visiting hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on all days, except Mondays.
The Koyikkal Palace, situated far of away from the city, was actually built for Umayamma Rani of the Venad royal family who ruled the land between 1677 and 1684. The palace is a double stroreyed traditional nalukettu with slanting gabled roofs and an inner courtyard. Today, the palace houses a Folklore Museum and a Numismatics Museum set up by the Department of Archaeology. The Folklore Museum, a treasure house of quaint musical instruments, occupational implements, household utensils, models of folk arts etc, was set up in 1992. The exhibits here draw attention to the rich cultural background of the State. The exhibits include rare articles like Chandravalayam (not found in any other such museum in Kerala), a small percussion instrument used as an accompaniment while reciting the ballad Ramakathappattu (the story of Lord Sree Rama); and Nanthuni , a sweet sounding musical instrument made of wood and string used while singing the Onappattu and Nanthunippattu during Onam the harvest festival of Kerala. The Folklore Museum housed on the first floor of the palace also has a wide range of household utensils including wooden kitchenware, brass/copperware etc. representing the lifestyle of the Keralites during different eras. Thaliyola (old manuscripts), Chilambu (a sort of anklet) used by Umayamma Rani and Maravuri (dress material made of the bark of trees) etc. are well preserved here. Oorakkudukku a device for intellectual exercise used by the Yogis as a pastime, Gajalekshmi - a lamp representing the goddess of prosperity - Lekshmi-seated on her elephant (this lamp is usually lighted at dusk and during the harvest season to welcome the goddess) are other interesting exhibits. The Kettuvillakku - a ceremonial lamp (artistically made out of coloured paper and locally available light wood splits/rails), lit during festivals at the Bhagavathy temples of southern Kerala; a model of the most impressive of Theyyams - the Muthappan theyyam , a Patayani kolam model ; the headgear and dress used by Ottanthulal artistes exhibited here give an insight into the performing as well as the ritual art forms of Kerala. The Numismatics Museum at the Koyikkal Palace is the only one of its kind in the State. Occupying the ground floor of the palace, the coins here belong to different parts of the world as well as to different eras. This rare and historically valuable collection is a vestige of the trade relation of the State in the bygone ages. Among the exhibits are some of the oldest coins of Kerala - Ottaputhen, Erattaputhen, Kaliyugarayan Panam etc. A Venetian coin named Amaida, believed to have been presented to Jesus Christ, is also a property of this museum. The most valuable among the Indian coins found here are 'Karsha'. These are nearly 2500 years old. Rasi, the world's smallest coins are also on display here. Sreekrishna Rasi, one of the rasis (regional coins) issued by the local kings of Kerala around the 10th century, Anantharayan Panam - the first modern gold coin of Travancore in circulation in the 15th and 17th centuries, Kochi Puthen - one of the coins of the Kochi kingdom which also had variations like Indo-Dutch Puthen (1782 AD). Lekshmi Varaham - the silver coins minted in Travancore, Rasi Palaka (the coin board) - a wooden board with small niches used to count small coins (counting up to 100 to 200 at a time), coin mints etc are preserved here. Nearly 374 Roman gold coins, each worth up to five hundred thousand rupees today, depicting Roman gods and goddesses like Venus, Hercules, Mars, Ceres, Genius, etc and rulers like Hardin (AD 117 - 138) are also among the collection. The museum also has coins used by various Indian dynasties - the Gwalior royal family, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Tipu Sultan, Hyder Ali, etc.
This exquisite palace shines as an excellent example of the traditional domestic architecture of Kerala. According to the Vastusatra – the traditional architectural science–this building can be classified into "Nalukettu" a quadrangular building with an open courtyard in the middle, which is seldom to be scan today. This double-storiedbuilding with gabbled roof is considered to be one among the oldest palace of Venadu dynasty.This palace was in the ownership of Travancore Devaswam board after the state reorganization. In 1979 government of Kerala took over this palace and declared as a protected historic monument. Today Kerala's largest Folklore museum and numismatic museum are fused here.
(5)Peppara Dam & Wild Life Sanctuary
About 32 km from Nedumangad enroute to Ponmudi. Peppara wildlife sanctuary is a 'gene pool' sanctuary, with a rich variety of flora Pepparaand fauna. The terrain is rugged with rushing streams, flat meadows, gentle to steep hills ranging from 90m to 1717m. The sanctuary was set up in 1983 taking into account its diversity in ecological, faunal and floral content. The sanctuary has substantial natural vegetation cover ranging from sub tropical forests to tropical evergreen forests and is dotted with large hills and numerous hillocks with Eucalyptus plantations. The sanctuary is home to elephants, sambhar, lion-tailed macaques, leopards, and assorted birds. Gaur, barking deer, wild boar, tiger and the nilgiri langur are also among the main inhabitants of the park.
Peppara is accessible from Vithurai on Thiruvananthapuram Ponmudi road. This sanctuary with its rich fauna and birds is emerging as a big attraction to wildlife enthusiasts. It is spread over an area of 53 sq km on the Western Ghats. The place is fascinating for its damsite, thick forest areas, eucalyptus plantations, crystal clear streams and rocky terrains ideal for adventure expeditions.The sanctuary has a rich population of mammalian fauna and is emerging as a big attraction to wildlife enthusiasts and ornithologists. Elephants, sambar, leopard, lion-tailed macaque and cormorant are commonly seen here. A boat ride on the site is a fulfilling experience. Although Peppara is theoretically open all year, the main season is from January until May
(6)Neyyar Dam & Wildlife Sanctuary
Situated in the Agasthyamalai hill ranges in the south of the Western Ghats, in Nedumangad and Neyyatinkara Taluks of Thiruvananthapuram district, Neyyar is a popular picnic spot.
The Neyyar wildlife sanctuary established in 1958 is located at the foot of the Western Ghats, 30km east of Thiruvananthapuram. It is spread over an area of 128km. The landscape is hilly and wooded. Wildlife is represented here by wild elephants, Sambhar , Jungle cat, Gaur, Niligiri langur and the Niligiri ahr. Tigers and Leopards have also been sighted up. Besides there is a large population of crocodiles and otters . A crocodile farm was set in 1977. Gardens near the dam are decorated with larger then life statues. Boats can be hired to view deer and other wildlife on an island in the reservoir area of the dam.
The sanctuary has a wide variety of vegetation and landscape, ranging from tropical wet evergreen forest to grasslands. The best way to explore the sanctuary is by boat. Climate conditions are moderately hot and humid, and hottest in March and April.
The enchanting Agastyagoodam mountains in this area provide an opportunity for hiking, trekking and mountaineering. The Agasthyagoodam hill range features prominently in legends and Hindu mythology. The Range takes its name from Agasthya, an ascetic, who is reputed to have performed penance in the area. On the upper reaches of the Neyyar reservoir there are two magnificent waterfalls; Meenmutty and Kombaikani waterfalls.
Accommodation is available at the Forest Department Inspection Bungalow and Irrigation Department dormitory. The sanctuary is accessible by boat, jeep or on foot up to Kottur Dry Stock Farm and Amboori, beyond which access is limited to boats.
One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Kerala, falling from a height of some 300 feet. It is a favourite tourist spot of south India and has to be reached through dense tropical forestland. The name Palaruvi means ‘stream of milk’. Areas marvelous for evergreen forests and temples of Lord Ayyappa. In kulathupuzha the fresh water swamps, harbouring fishes, are ideal bathing ghats. The temple at Kulathupuzha, Aryankavu, and Achencoil, attracts many devotees. The perennial waterfall at Palaruvi, near Aryankavu attracts a lot of visitors. The journey to Palaruvi through the dense tropical forest is a spellbinding experience.You will even find facinating "Toddy shop" or "Kallu shapp" with tipical curry's on your way from punalur.
The surrounding mist-clad blue hills and green valleys form a stunning backdrop to the milk white burst of foam that resounds through the otherwise tranquil virgin forest. Visitors love the cool shower. Ayurvedic physicians sometimes prescribe a bath in the waters of Palaruvi.
How to reach:
From Trivandrum by road via palode. Kulathupuzha-60 km
Aryankavu - 75 Km.
Palaravi - 73 km.
Achencoil - 104 km
Accommodation: Forest Rest House – Achencoil, KTDC hotel at Aryankavu, private lodges at Kulathupuzha, Achencoil
Thirichittoor Rock (Thirichitta Paara) is located 3 km north of Nedumangad in the Nedumangad - Vembayam route at Venkavila. The view of Nedumangad Town and Trivandrum City from above the rock is beautiful.
How to reach:
Thirichittoor is easily accessible from Nedumangad with KSRTC buses.
Situated about 16 kms. from the city is Aruvikkara both a pilgrim centre and a picnic spot, with a waterfall nearby. The spot houses a temple, with a rock cut shrine dedicated to Goddess Bhagvathy, the divine embodiment of female power. Near the Durga Temple here is a stream full of fish that fearlessly come close to the shore to be fed by the visitors is another attraction. It is another favourite local destination is Neyyar Dam, a dam site with the lake providing a picnic spot as well as opportunities for boating and hiking. The famed Sivanada Yoga Vedanta Ashram is located here. The small Aruvikkara dam which provides water to the state capital Thiruvananthapuram is worth seeing.The place is of a lot of tourist interest and the site of a mini dam. It is both a pilgrim centre and a picnic spot.
Thenmala is a small village at the foothills of Western Ghats and predominantly a forest area. The famous Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary is the most important ecotourism resource of Thenmala Ecotourism. This Wildlife Sanctuary is of about 100 sq. km. and harbors large varieties of flora and fauna. Thenmala : "Then + Mala" , i.e. in local parlance "Then" means honey and "Mala" means hillock i.e. it mean honey hills. The honey collected from Thenmala forest region is of good quality and of high medicinal value because of the unique floristic composition of the forests. The Shenduruny forest - declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1984 gets its name from an endemic species of tree called Chenkuruny (Gluta travancoria). In the central region of this moist, mixed deciduous forest, spread over hilly terrain of over 100 sq km, is the 26 sq km artificial lake formed by the Parappar dam built across the Shenduruny and Kulathupuzha rivers.? But beautiful surroundings guaranteed to give those exhausted batteries a recharge is not all that the forest is famous for. According to some recent archaeological studies, Shenduruny was the cradle of one of the oldest river valley civilizations in India.