Ponnumthuruth or Golden Island in Varkala

The Ponnumthuruth Island From A Distance

Sharing is caring!

Ponnumthuruth or Golden Island in Varkala

As we had plenty of sleep on our 16 hour bus to Kollam. We were full of energy so just after checking in. We asked the owner of our hotel to provide us with some scooters on rent for the next few days. Which he said that will be there in an hour, so we immediately changed our clothes and went to the pool.

We were notified when our scooty was there, but only one, and the other one would have taken some time. So we thought to take the other one from the rental shop nearby. After our swim, we had our breakfast in the same hotel, as we were not going towards the Varkala Cliff which is known for its cafe and food joints. Not too far from our place, but we wanted to start our day visiting the Ponnumthuruth Island or the Golden Island which closes very early.

The Ponnumthuruth Island – With hidden Royal Gold

Towards the south of Varkala at a distance of 12 km is located the Ponnumthuruth Island. Which literally means the Golden Island, with the story that the queens of the Travancore Royal family used to hide their gold and ornaments on the Island to keep it safe. We were not going for a treasure hunt as there is no more gold left. But they say that the beauty of Mother Nature can be experience here at the best, and if you are at Varkala this is one of the spots you shouldn’t miss.

The Ponnumthuruth Island From A Distance
The Ponnumthuruth Island From A Distance

Just do a google map search and you won’t see anything, not even the Island. But it is there which made me more excited about the place.

The Ride Towards the Island

We were enjoying the ride, humming some bolly tunes on the way. As you don’t get such open and beautiful roads back in town. Finally, we reached this area covered with coconut trees all around and the entrance to a mosque. We stopped there seeing the sign which said Ponnumthuruth Island with a phone number.

We called the guy and he told us to wait as he will be coming in sometime. As from here, you need to take a country boat which will take you to the Island. We had no other resource on how to reach there, except the one where the villagers take you to the Island. The person came and told us the rate of the boat and that as we were the only ones there. We need to pay full and if there were other groups that day he could have taken us with them at a lower price.

He was charging Rs 350/person for taking us there and return after we are done exploring the island. But later gave us a discount of Rs 50 and called the guy who will be taking us there. The one who had the boat, and was already there on the other side. We then went through the village and later into the forest of coconut trees. This boosted our expectation of the Island, that if this side is so beautiful. What will we get to see at the other side, we reached the spot from where we shall be boarding our boat.

At a distance, we were able to see the Island in the middle of the Anjengo Backwaters. With so many trees all over the Island, we thought we will have to make our way into the forest. And expected no wildlife, as it won’t be an easy task for them to reach here.

The New Way of Rowing the Boat

We waited there for our boat to arrive, and later saw this old man rowing towards us with this huge bamboo piece in his hand. The whole scene looked really beautiful and my picture of the boat guy got featured on many accounts of Instagram. This was a new way of rowing the boat where he pushes the stick down and later force pulls the boat towards the direction he wanted to take it to.

We got on the boat for the best ride of the day. It has been fun that we have used so many means of transport in the last 24 hours. From the bus, train, our scooters and now the boat. I can tell you the boat rides in the backwaters of Kerala are really an experience everyone would love.

The Temple on the Island

The guy dropped us on the opposite side of the Island which had a proper path, built for you to enter the Island. And told us that he would return in 30 – 60 mins, maybe he was going back to bring more people here. Giving us the time to explore the Island by then. The path took us to the Shiva Parvathi Temple, which is natively called the “Thuruthu kshethram”. The temple is about 100 years old and was in ruins at first and later was rebuilt.

The best time to visit the temple is during the Sivarathri festival when the place looks enchanted. As people stay on the Island even at night and there will light all over the place. Making it a view to admire from even from a distance.

Behind the Temple

We later discovered that there was also a gate made of roots. Which gives you the access to the other side of the Island. With a small playground built with swings and seesaws for kids to play. And then you reach the shed built with planks for you to relax when the sun is at its best. With the view of the backwaters surrounded by trees and also the bridge at a distance.

Kayaking Around Ponnumthuruth Island
Kayaking Around Ponnumthuruth Island

And visiting that part ends your exploration of the Island, but there is another activity you can do here. Like not on the Island but the village we came from the Kayak Ride, We saw many people kayaking around our boat.

So that was the end of our visit to the Ponnumthuruth or the Golden Island in Varkala. See you guys in the next one.

1 Comment

  1. Beautiful pics 🙂

Leave a Reply