Lady Slipper Orchid
View of Unnamed Peaks drenched in Mist
View of AgasthyaMala Peak from Athirumala
Thursday, 23 October 2014 12:55
Vividity in Wilderness
Vellarimala forms a part of a high hill range of what is otherwise known as Camel's Hump Mountains, a part of Western Ghats. Most of the hill range falls in the Meppady Forest Range of South Wayanad Division, This block of compact high mountains is floristically and faunistically similar to the Nilgiri Hills.Situated at a altitude 6333ft Vellari Mala lies heart of Western Ghats is also known as Camel hump Mountains. River Kanjirapuzha, a tributary of the River Chaliyar, meanders through the rocky terrain, creating cascades and many breathtaking waterfalls. The land's beauty and topography is truly a trekker's paradise. Trekking to Vellari Mala starts from Muthappanpuzha . It will take one full day to climb this peak .The Mountain terrain here resembles South American rain forest.
At a distance of about 6 kms from Muthappanpuzha on the way to Vellari Mala, there is a beautiful stream of frothing water gliding down a huge inclined hill called Olichuchattam waterfall. A good place for camping at the top is Masthakappara and on the way, one can see the Vavulmala peak at a height of 7764 ft above sea level. Masthakapara – resembling elephants head is the closest peak to the Chembra in the Vellarimlaa ranges.One feels every step worthwhile after visiting Kethampara, Kanjipara hills in the eastern side of Vellarimala.
The tallest peak in this range is called Vavul Mala. At an altitude of 2339m, tallest of the Western Ghats to the north of Nilgiri Hills. The view of Vavulmala peak wall from west in the evening is really feast to eyes. The sunset and Sunset from the high hills makes visit memorable for a life time.After visiting Kethampara one can encounter elephants and Indian gaur enroute to hill. One of the interesting thing os whole evergreen forests is it is home to verity of birdlife and animals. Flowering plants such as Rhododendron arboreum found in the high hills of Himalayas can be seen at Vellarimala hill ranges.The absence of beatles , crickets and cicadas reminds as if one is trekking in the popular Silent valley with absolute silence.Sweet smell emanating from Rhododendron Flowers surround the hills vermillion red flowers lits the forest on fire.
Monday, 27 January 2014 11:43
A pass for Mountaineers
A Himlayan Pass was named after George William Traill , the 2nd British Commissioner of Kumaon (1816-1836), as Everest was named after George Everest, the illustrious Surveyor-General of India (1830-1843). A comparison between the two, though not relevant, is interesting. Both Georges earned the distinction sometime after relinquishing their posts and even the legend of Radhanath Sikdar related to the discovery of Everest has a parallel, Malak Singh Buda, in the first crossing of the pass in 1830. Both Traill and Everest began service in India with the East India Company about the first decade of the 19th Century.
By Himalayan standards, the Pindari glacier and the Traill’s Pass do not match most of the giants. The Pindari is neither the largest nor the longest of the glaciers nor is the Traill’s Pass, at its head, the highest of passes. However, Pindari has been the most frequently visited Himalayan glacier since the mid-19th century when a bridle-path with dak bungalows at suitable intervals between there and Almora was built. Even today, it is so popular a trekking destination that a tenfold increase in the number of beds available is unable to cope with the influx.
What faces a visitor to Pindari glacier at the Zero Point, along its left lateral moraine, is an immense wall of jagged, broken ice criss¬crossed with thousands of seracs and crevasses. The upper icefields of the glacier are invisible from there and the near level ice mass at its lower end at the snout below recedes into insignificance. What people call the Pindari glacier is actually a huge icefall passing over a steep slope, through which a direct ascent has yet to be made. Above this lie the icefields of the surrounding heights and the névé basin of the glacier, some 8 kms long, separated from the ridge above with a text-book fashion bergschrund. The lowest point on the ridge at 5400 m is the Traill’s Pass. Beyond the pass to the north and east lies the Lwan valley whose catchment is the Gori ganga valley.
Trails pass is a high altitudes pass named after famous explorer and is on the head of Pindari glacier which is one of the most accessible Glacier & lies on the outer ring of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary in the Kumaon Himalaya. The Pindari Glacier forms the snout of the river
Pindar which forms the main tributary of river Alaknanda which further joins the Bhagirathi to form The Ganges at Dev Prayag. Trails pass bridges Pindari Valley with Lawan Valley (Nandadevi East Base camp ).
The everlasting beauty and the breathtaking view of the snow clad summits of Nandakot,Maikotli, Nandakhat, Panwalidwar and the mountain slopes proceeding towards the icy splendor of the Himalaya makes you feel your spirits soar, and exhilaration becomes your Companion. The mere sight of these mountain can arouse the most maddening effect of human passion.
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 15:19
A peek into Abode of Devi
The Long Staaf Col, is a Saddle or depression between two mountain ridge,Mt.Nandakhat based on Pidari valley and Mt. Nanda Devi East based on Jawahar Parvat in Lawan Gad area from Martoli side in Kumaon region.
Known too as “Nanda Devi Khal” also and height is 5,910m(19,503ft). This part of Col is very sharp and narrow first explored by Dr. Tom Longstaff along with two swiss guide Alex and Henry Brocherel in the year of 1905.Climb’s have been recorded from Lawang Gud area.No records or attempts of entry to Nanda Devi Santuary is available till now.
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 12:07
Pilgrimage with a difference...!
Legends say that priest's used to worship gods connecting the two famous Hindu shrines in Garhwal Himalaya!.Still common man believe it as myth.And here is your chance to be a part of the quest. Adventure with a difference, grand mountain scape . If you feel this as intresting voyage join us in our venture!
Panpatia Expedition is journey across the most remote regions in Gharwal himalayas. Panpatia Snowfield is amongst the biggest snowfield in Gharwal Himalayas (around 10 kms in length and 2-3 kms wide). This connects 2 holy shrines, Badrinath and Kedarnath. Per legend this is the only direct route followed by the mythical priest who performed Puja at both the shrines in a single day! I decided to test my skills and followed the route from Badrinath- Neelkanth Khal - Panpatia Glacier- Parvati Gully - Panpatia Col - Sujal Sarovar- Ransi.
Extending a grueling,awesome, pictorial, beautiful, knee-crackling trek brings to Mandani valley in Garhwal Himalayas which terminates at Kedarnath and crossing three cols simultaneously, Mahapanth Col (4602m), Bishali Col (4755m), Yeonbuk Col (4654m) one reaches Mandani valley.
Monday, 10 June 2013 22:14
An Adventure Pilgrimage
Western Ghats is known to be the most bewitchingly beautiful region in the province of South India. There are many mountain peaks that have been explored by thousands of tourists in the past years. Holiday makers seek to fulfill every deep urge of tourists and provide with an adventure tour that not only is comfortable and affordable but also is an experience of a lifetime. Western Ghats is a home to rich and deep green grasslands, gorgeous mountain peaks, rare species of flora and fauna along with a special collection of medicinal herbs. Tourists from every age group can unravel the mystic aura of the beautiful Western Ghats. One such location in the Western Ghats is Agastya Mala near Trivandrum in Kerala.
Situated at an altitude of 6,129 feet above sea level, it is a famous destination for pilgrims and a paradise for adventure tourists. It is one of the highest peaks in Kerala and is extremely popular for medicinal plants and herbs. About 2,000 different varieties of Ayurvedic medicinal treatment ingredients are found in the area. Tea gardens commissioned by British during their rule in India are commonly found at the base stations of the mountain at Bonacaud, Brimore and Ponmudi. The Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve is a home to the rarest collection of flora and fauna. The Reserve is mostly open for tourists in the month of January and February and prior permission from the forest department is required to visit this region.
Agastyamala offers its visitors the best combination of beautiful dense forests, calming grasslands, spectacular scenic beauty and an opportunity of coming face to face with wild animals. Major attractions around the area are the soothing Neyyar Dam (located at a distance of 23 kilometres from Bonacaud), the beautiful Karamana River, Neyyar River, shimmering Meenmutty Waterfalls, huge estates of Bonacaud and Ponmudi. You can add few more days to your trip and visit these nearby areas to get the true feel of Agastya Mala region and the marvellous Western Ghats.
The purple peak of Agastya Mala is also known as Agasthyarkoodam and is a pilgrimage centre for devotees of the Hindu sage Agastya. According to Hindu Puranas, there are seven sages (Saptarishi) and Sage Agastya is one among the Saptarishis. There is a statue of Sage Agastya at the peak of Agastya Mala and devotees are free to offer puja to the statue. It is believed that Tamil language originated as a boon from Sage Agastya.
This amazing trekking experience will start once you reach the capital of Kerala, Trivandrum. You will be driven to Bonacaud, a small village located at an altitude of 570 metres. This is the starting point of your trek. Agastya Mala peak is about 23 kilometres from Bonacaud but the trekking trail is about 35 kilometres. There are stunningly beautiful hills in this region including the Pandipathu and a few others. The fort like formation close to Bonacaud is another delight for trekkers and travellers. You will be camping at Athirumala which is located at an altitude of 1041 metres above the sea level. Residing in this gorgeous base camp will be one of the most exciting bits of your trekking experience. You can catch a view of a portion of Agastya Mala from here. The vertical rock-face beautifully covered by dense forests in its base. The noticeable hill named Viluvarai stands at the left of Agastya Mala. The junction of Agastya Mala and Viluvarai hills is called Pongalappara. The hill at the right of Agastya Mala is called as Sanghu Muthirai. There are other groups of hills around Agastya Mala including the Ainthuthalai Pothigai. The misty sight of these breathe-taking green hills is enough motivation to continue on your trail further.
The calming waterfalls, densely populated forests, mind-numbing grasslands, narrow pathways, adventurous activities, remarkable streams and rocky trails during this tour will entice your mind and relax your body. One visit to this place and you will forget the need for spas and salons. You will also pass through Pongalapara, situated at an altitude of 1,460 metres above sea level. Seetha Kulicha Kulam and Muttidippara are also famous stops along your way. The elevation of this trail is so steep that a trekker can feel his knees hitting his nose with every step he takes especially in the Muttidippara region.
The summit of Agastya Mala is located at a majestic altitude of 1,868 metres. The glory of standing at this great heights while being surrounded by the most spectacular creation of nature is truly a once in a lifetime moment. The peaks that surround Agastya Mala welcome you with open arms. Anjila Pothi is a notable group of mountains standing close to Agastya Mala peak. These five breathe-taking mountains located at an altitude of 1,800 metres never miss to captivate the by-standers.
There are many trekkers and holiday makers who have organised adventure games in the region. You can co-ordinate with our representative for details regarding some of the on-going thrilling adventure activities. There are plenty of rope activities which are not very tedious to the mind and body of adventure trekkers. Therefore, you can enjoy these activities without any sort of prior training.
The best time to visit Agastya Mala will range between the months of December to March. Depending on the permission and passes provided by the forest department, you can plan your trip. The weather conditions during October and November are usually pleasant and light rain showers are occasionally observed during the period. The winter season kick starts from November onwards but even though the overall temperature does not drop below 18 degree Celsius.
Campsites of this region are well maintained by the government. There are a few small forts with rooms and restrooms which can be used for resting at night. Few campsites might not have markings on them but the camps near Vazapathiyar stream and Karamanayar extremely helpful during your trip. Trekkers require food which will give them instant energy during this trip. There might be times when trekkers might feel loss of energy especially during steep climbs. Our representatives usually carry emergency food for such instances. A trip among the deepest mysteries of nature that will awaken your every sense organ is exactly what you are signing on for with us.
The view of distant hills covered in mist and a glimpse of the river skirting through the deep valley is really a feast to the eyes.
Trekkers are all geared up for yet another trekking season to Agasthyakoodam (or Agasthyamala) that will commence on January 13. In accordance with the tradition being followed by the Kani tribal community in the region, the season commences on the Makaravilakkku day, which falls on January 13 and will come to an end on Sivarathri, which falls on February 24. All the 4,200 passes on offer were sold within two hours after the commencement of the online booking. The number of trekkers will be restricted to 100 persons a day and women and children are not allowed to trek beyond Athirumala, 6 kms away from Agasthyakoodam peak as the tribes are performing ‘poojas’/rituals during the period.
5735 feet. It is the highest peak in Coorg/ or Kodagu district of Karnataka.
Dense tropical rain forest with moderate inclinations.
Easy to moderate, no prior experience required.
It is a must to listen to the sound of Chelavara falls. It is on the way towards hill from virajpet. On the base of hill there is Nalaknad palace built in 1792 by Dodda Veerarajendra and also Padi Igguthappa Temple, of the deity Igguthappa, is one of the Oldest temples of the Kodavs build by King Lingrajendra in 1810.
All seasons have their own charm. The change in the colours of meadows, woods and rains always makes it appealing to the eyes of a trekker.
During Monsoons it is advised to be prepared to tackle leeches on the way. Apart from it this region is a part of Shola forests and there has been moments of Elephants. So it is advised to be very careful for camping.
Western Ghats of Karnataka
Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Peppara Wildlife santuary of Western Ghats ; State of Kerala.
1,868 m (6,129 ft) Above Sea level
Evergreen Moist deciduous forest with steep descents and ascents.
Food & Accommodation
Forest Huts to stay at Athirumala.
40 km Bonacaud to Bonacaud
Herbs & Medicinal plants including Arogyapacha, a medicinal herb, Flora and Fauna.
Mid December to March.
Entry to Santuary
Available from Forest Department ; Trivandrum.
There are natural streams and waterfalls on the trail quench your thirst. No water available at the summit of Agasthyarkoodam.
Carry your personal Basic First Aid kit.
By Air : Trivandrum Airport ; Kerala
By Road : Reach Trivandrum and drive 70 kms to Vithura to reach Bonacaud Estate
By Rail : Trivandrum central railway station