LOCATION: It is 61 KM far away from the city
HOW TO GET THERE: The state owned KSRTC buses are available from Thiruvananthapuram to Bonacaud and cabs are also advisable to reach there.
ENTRY FEE: No fee for the visit
TIME: It is 24 hrs open for visitors
Bonacaud is the base station of the famous peak, Agasthyarkoodam in the Agasthya hills located in Thiruvananthapuram district. The Agasthya hill range is famous for its abundance of rare herbs and medicinal plants. There is a tea estate in Bonacaud, established by Britishers. The hill resort Ponmudi is near to Bonacaud. Bonacaud (natively called Bonakkad) is now used as a base camp for trekking to Agasthyakoodam. The exact name of the place Bonaccord named by British and it means good faith. Until 70s the factory was very much lively but now it is closed. It has lots of shooting locations including the forests, waterfalls and tea estates. The estate has cardamom, coconut, pepper and tea.
On the road up, one can see a tall watch tower from where one can get a clear view of the Peppara dam and its catchment area, enchanting lush green Agasthya hill ranges and the factory and buildings dotting the Bonacaud estate and the winding roads. The place has a famous Bona falls, truly place with a lot of fauna. The Bona waterfall is six km away from the Bonacaud tea factory. One has to take special permission from the Forest Department to visit Bona Falls. Those want to visit this falls, one have to walk as vehicles are not allowed there.
TIPS AND GUIDANCE:A 4 km trek is needed to reach the waterfall. Park the vehicles around 2 km away from the checkpoint. It is an attractive and lovely waterfall. The next four km involves trek through the forest path. Permit for the trek can be obtained from the forest check post. The best season to make a visit is October to March. Tourist can make use of the Information Centre of the Forest Department at Bonacaud.
LOCATION: It will take 60 KM to reach this spot from Thiruvananthapuram districtand almost 20 km from Palode.
HOW TO GET THERE:Every three hours there are straight buses to Brimore from Trivandrum central bus-stand. Otherwise you can get into any bus going to Palode, get off at Nedumangad, Chullimanoor and get a taxi from there
ENTRY FEE:Rupees 50 per head for adults and rupees 100 per vehicle
TIME:10 am to 6 pm for getting the pass
Brimore estate was originally established by the Europeans in 1800s and planted with Tea, Rubber, Coffee and other spices. The British had realized the beauty of the landscape and have preserved the same for us.The first checkpoint is the Mankayam eco-tourism zone office in the Palode range.We need to take the pass from the office for each person and camera, but which will not cost you more than 100 INR.From there on wards the restricted area is starting NO HORN, NO ALCOHOL, and NO PLASTIC zone.At the gate we need to sign in the visitor’s register along with vehicle details.Once we are done with this, security person will show us the estate office from where we need to collect another entry pass for traveling inside the estate property. This amazing hills were having the same climate nature of Braemore village in England and that’s why British have named it as Brimore. Thisestate was run by British before independence and now it’s owned by a Keralite. Although the estate is not functioning now because of labour conflicts, the cottage inside the estate are being given to tourists. There are 3 cottages with different tariff.The estate is comprised of about 765 acres rising from about 900 feet above sea level at the entrance to about 2200 feet above MSL.
There is a trekking path to Ponmudi from Brimore. It’s almost 8 KM with 2 or 3 hills to climb. It will take almost 2 hours to reach Ponmudi through the dense forest. There is one Ayyappa Temple inside the forest which is open only during the first of every Malayalam month. In the top of the hill, there is a bungalow owned by the estate owner.
TIPS AND GUIDANCE: There is KTDC cottages which renovated and named as Golden Peak is well maintained. Although the tariff is on the higher side which is 2000 rupees for a deluxe room per day. Jeep safari is also available on rent from 8AM to 6 PM for visiting various tourist spots. The jeep safari will cost 1500 INR for 5 persons. Take proper preparations for a forest trip and trekking.
NEAR BY: Beautiful waterfalls are the main attraction of the estate. Madam waterfalls, lower Kurisadi waterfalls and Anatheri waterfalls are some of them in the top list. The potential of the streams to generate power was also recognized by British and the remnants of a Pelton wheel used for generating power to run the factory can be seen even today at Anatheri water falls. You won’t get any other refreshments over there.