Locals in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram will declare that a weekend drive to Ponmudi is among the best ways to spend time in the city. Families and friends alike are known to go on long drives up the winding paths for a view they insist rivals any other in the State. The slopes shrouded in mist fill one with a feeling of wonder and amazement. A large amount of rare flora and fauna can be seen here including mountain flowers, wild orchids and exotic butterflies. The temperature is equable throughout the year and the three hour drive from the city is justified once the valley comes into view. One can always stopover at the breath-taking Kallar River on the way, which flows parallel to the road in the opposite direction, with the picturesque Meenmutty Waterfalls only a little distance ahead. A large number of cottages and resorts have come up in the area. Trekking and camping options are also available for those interested in exploring this natural wonder on foot. The tree house view tower is another great place to visit. Ponmudi is indeed a rising hotbed of tourist activity. A hill so close to the city, yet nestled so near the protective arms of the sea.