Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve

Established in 2001, the Agasthyamala [Agastyaarkoodam] Biosphere Reserve is spread across the States of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Located in the southernmost end of the Western Ghats, the Reserve covers an impressive area of over 3,500
Hosting one of the most diverse ecosystems in peninsular India, it constitutes an important biogeographical hotspot within the Western Ghats.

UNESCO’s - ‘World Network of Biosphere Reserves’

Agastyaarkoodam is a natural habitat of rare medicinal herbs and place was added to UNESCO’s list of ‘World Network of Biosphere Reserves’ in march 2016.
Agastyaarkoodam is a 1,868 meter tall peak within Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats of South India.
Agastyaarkoodam lies inside Kerala near the border with Tamil Nadu.


The name Agasthaymala, came from the great Hindu Sage Agasthya muni, whose statue is situated at the top of the peak and the sage,among Hindu Religion,is considered to be an perfect bachelor (brahmachari). It is now a popular pilgrim site, The air itself is said to have medicinal qualities. This peak are known for their abundance of rare herbs and medicinal plants around 2,000 medicinal plants used in Ayurvedic treatments are found here.

Agasthya Sage (அகத்தியர்) Sanskrit: अगस्त्य’

Agastyaarkoodam is also a pilgrimage centre for devotees of the Hindu sage Agastya who is considered to be one of the seven rishis (Saptarishi) of Hindu Purana. It is believed that Agastyamuni (saint) who is immortal still leave there in the mountain. There is a temple of Agastyamuni at the top, so you will find a lot of people on pilgrimage as well. Considered to be guru of Ayurveda system of traditional Indian medicine who is also considered as the father of Tamil literature and Siddha medicine. Most of his statues depict him with a stone crusher in one hand and a bowl of medicines in the other. He is also considered as the father of Tamil literature and Siddha medicine.


Agastyaarkoodam is the second highest peak in South India, about 70 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), capital of KERALA, in the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
It is one of the best trekking places in Kerala, or South India is accessible only by foot and is not only a scenic place but also a pilgrim center. ie trekkers have to take 24 km trekking from Bonacaud, which is the base camp of Agastyaarkoodam/Agastya Mala.
Rare orchids, trees, plants, birds and animals, the walk to Agastyaarkoodam offers stunning landscapes, sightings of rare flora and fauna and the challenge of a tough trek. It’s a dream destination for many trekking lovers. With a great altitude of 1,868 m (6,129 ft) from the sea level, it rests in the Sahyadris, western Ghats with pride in the form of a sharp cone.
Over 2000 species including lichens, orchids, mosses and ferns have been recorded in the area. The trek will challenge you at every level, so train yourself well before hitting the tough trail!
This hills is also known as Ashambu Hills and is the source/starting of many rivers like Kallada River, Achankoil River, Vamanapuram River, Karamana River, and Neyyar River in the Kerala side and the Thamirabarani River, Ramanadhi River, and Manimuthar River in Tamil Nadu side.

Plant of Eternal Health

The hill is heaven for bird watchers and is blessed with rare species of herbs and medicinal plants.A very rare and special herb/plant named 'Arogyapacha', famously known as 'Plant of Eternal Health', is a speciality of Agasthyamala, and it attracts many researchers to this area. The sides and slopes of Agastyaarkoodam is natuarally gardened with a special type green herbs, 'Neelakkurinjui' which usually blooms once in a 12 year. when it blooms, the whole area will be carpetted with the violet Neelakkuirinjis...! and it is an eyecatching sight for the nature lovers. Also, this place is home to many endangered species of wild animals too, like Lion-Tailed Macaques, Bengal Tiger, Nilgiri Marten, Nilgiri Tahr, Malabar Spiny Dormouse, Great Pied Hornbills, Gaur, and Sloth Bear.