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Women Can Visit Agasthyakoodam Peak in Kerala, Says Forest Minister

Part of the Sahyadri ranges (Western Ghats) of mountains, Agasthyakoodam, at a height of 1,890 m above sea level, is the second highest peak in Kerala. (Image: Kerala Tourism)

Thiruvananthapuram: With activists planning widespread protests against the alleged “ban” for women at Agasthyakoodam, one of the tallest peaks in Kerala, Forest Minister K Raju has made it clear there is no such restriction for them to trek to the hilly spot.

He said the department just pointed out the practical difficulty to be faced by women while travelling to the peak and there was no ban for them.

Located about 70 kms away from here in the Western Ghats, Agasthyakoodam, also known as Agasthyamala, is one of the tallest peaks in the state. It is also a favourite spot of adventure lovers and trekkers.

“It will take three days and two nights to visit Agasthyakoodam, situated in the Peppara Forest Range. People have to trek through steep paths, passing through dense forests,” Raju said here in a statement. Wild animals especially jumbos are frequently sighted in this part of forest region. Several precautionary measures have to be taken if women are also among trekkers,” he said.

Adequate toilet facilities and rest rooms are essential.

To make such arrangements, the sanction of Union Ministry of Forest is needed.

“Restrictions to the peak was sighted taking into consideration the limitations of safety and security arrangements for women trekkers,” the minister added.

There were media reports that various women groups were getting ready to stage widespread protests against the alleged “ban” for women at the scenic Peak stating that it amounted to gender discrimination.