Just a two-hour drive from Trivandrum, Ponmudi is not quite the hill station you might be used to. It’s quite literally, the top of a hill, and very little else in terms of infrastructure. But who’s complaining when there are unobstructed views of the Western Ghats, eh? While the road to the peak is motorable, it’s an adventure to park the car halfway up, and then walk. Best known for tea plantations, the trekking trails here are quite something else.
And the best part is that most of the time, especially from October to February, the fog and even really low rain clouds add that misty effect making it a really picturesque hike. The 22-hair-pin bends to the tops means that you can expect waterfalls to splash onto the road, shortcuts to involve crossing little rivulets and sometimes, jumbo elephants making the road their own. After all, the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary does fall in the same territory. Oh, and did we mention that there are two gorgeous falls on the way as well?
Yup, the Kallar and Meenmutty Falls must be a pitstop to marvel at. But don’t go wandering off upstream on your own. Hire a guide from the tourist department, and enjoy it even more so, knowing you won’t get lost. The Kallar one is easier to get to as it’s not too far off the road, but the Meenmutty one, more dramatic as it’s three-tiered, is slightly tricky to reach. When you’re done chasing waterfalls, make your way to the Golden Valley (or better still the Golden Peak) which is a lone peak worth the climb up to.