Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Agasthyakoodam

A very famous mountain peak situated in the Western Ghats and considered 
sacred by the Hindus is 'Agasthyakoodam'(Agastyakoodam,Agasthyar Koodam,
Agathiyar Malai).It is above 1890 meters above sea level and is situated 61 kms  from Trivandrum.It lies in Trivandrum and Thirunalveli Districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
This  mountain is very beautiful which contains special and rare medicinal herbs,trees and Wild animals.It is believed that Sage 'Agastya' who was one among the 'Saptharshis' (Seven Sages) performed penance on this mountain peak and hence the name derived for this mountain.
'Sage Agastya' possessed immense powers and he was the author of many books including 'Agastya Samhitha' in which he describes about the atomic value of elements.He had contributed much for the upheaval of Tamil Language.
He was the inventor and founder of 'Sidha' branch of medicine which has some similarities to Ayurveda.There are Sidha Medical Colleges in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
There is a story to reveal the powers of Agastya Muni.(Sage Agastya).
When the marriage ceremony of Devi Parvathy and Lord Shiva took place at Mount Kailash all the Gods and Semi Gods summoned for the marriage there.
The Gods themselves feared that the Earth would lose its equilibrium since all of them stationed at mount  Kailash.To reciprocate this 'Sage Agastya' was chosen to stay at 'Agastyakoodam' mountain.When Agastya stood on Agastyakoodam peak, by his immense powers the Earth maintained its equilibrium and the marriage ceremony was conducted nicely at Mount Kailash.
But Sage Agastya was unhappy that he could not attend the marriage ceremony and so to please him once again the 'Shiva-Parvathy' marriage ceremony was conducted exclusively for Sage Agastya at the 'Chengannur Mahadeva Temple' premises.





At the peak of the mountain there exists an Idol of Sage Agastya which devotees worships.Kerala Government and Tamil Nadu Government issue passes for trekking the Agastyakoodam mountain.
Kerala Government allows public to trek the mountain during the 'season' from January to March every year on application.
This year the season is from January  14 to March 10.The passes can be obtained from Wild Life Warden's Office at Rajiv Gandhi Nagar,Trivandrum on payment of rupees Five Hundred.A maximum of 100 people are allowed per day.Identity card and photos are required with the application.Children and ladies are not allowed for trekking.A team of 15 people will get the assistance of a guide.Smoking,Drinking,Cooking etc are forbidden in the forest area.The forest department will not be responsible for any possible attack from wild animals.Other details  will be available from the Wild Life Warden's Office at Rajiv Gandhi Nagar in Trivandrum.Details to get passes during other periods of the year will be also available from this Office.
The lower elevation of the peak has abundance of medicinal plants and herbs which are used for Ayurvedic medicines.At the base stations like Bonacaud, Ponmudi etc there are vast tea estates.
The Agastyakoodam lies within Neyyar Wild Life Sanctuary and extends in Trivandrum and Thirunalveli Districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.The River 'Thamirabharani' originates from this peak and flows to Thirunalveli District of Tamil Nadu.Rivers 'Karamana' and 'Neyyar' also originates from Agastyakoodam mountain and flows through Trivandrum District of Kerala.