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No Plastic This Time To Agasthyarkoodam; Trek Starts 15 Jan
The 20 km trek is tough one involving steep of climbs; Only adult males (Indian) are traditionally permitted to make the trip | By Yentha
On Jan 03, 2015

Trivandrum: It’s that trek that many in the state look forward to. Agasthyamala trekking season of 2015 will open on 15 January. The booking begins on 8th January. The season will be up to February 17. This time around the Forest department has taken into account the environmental degradation and has made some relevant decisions.

“Liquor & cigarettes are banned along with plastic bags. Those who bring anything in plastic bags will have to leave it at the starting point, that is, the Bonacaud forest check post. They will have to buy eco friendly bags provided by Forest guards and transfer their belongings to that. We request everyone, if possible, not to bring plastic bags for the trek,” informed Wildlife Warden, Sunil, while talking to Yentha.

The trek is through the rich bio diversity of Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary. These measures are being taken in the best interests of protecting the flora and fauna. He added, “The plastic waste from previous years has caused a lot of problems. So from this year onwards, we have decided to ban plastic bags.”

He further said, “We have also decided to provide trekking poles for the trekkers at the starting points. A lot of people bring their own poles and finally dump them on the route. This should be avoided.”

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

 

The 20 km trek is a tough one involving a lot of steep climbs to reach to the top of 1898m Agasthyarkoodam peak. Only adult males (Indian) are traditionally permitted to make the trip mainly due to the lack of facilities at the Athirumala base camp and the strenuous risky nature of the trek, according to the forest department.

The trek charge (includes stay) is Rs.500 per head and one group cannot have more than 15 members. There will be extra charge for food packets which is available at the Athirumala base camp, where the trekkers stay overnight after a day’s trek. The booking can be done online through the Forest department website from January 8 onwards.

 
 
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