Achankovil, a small village located deep inside the western ghats forest is accessible by road. However due it is location selecting the right route could be confusing.
By Bus: The state owned KSRTC operates buses in this region.
From Thiruvananthapuram side take a northbound bus that goes via MC road. Get down at Kottarakkara or Ayoor, both are on MC road.
Further the route is Option 1: Kottarakkara --> Punalur -->Thenmala --> Aryankavu -->Shenkottai --> Achankovil
Option 2: Ayoor --> Anchal --> Kulathupuzha --> Thenmala --> Aryankavu -->Shenkottai --> Achankovil Option 3: Ayoor --> Anchal --> Punalur -->Thenmala --> Aryankavu -->Shenkottai --> Achankovil
From Kollam side take a bus to Kottarakara, Punalur or even direct to Shenkotta. Also there are frequent buses to Kulathupuzha from Kollam. Look for suitable connection services. From Kottyam side agin, Kottarakkara on MC road or Punalur is a good gateway point for further connections to Achankovil.
By Car: Option 1: Thiruvananthapuram -38km-> Kilimanoor -16km->Ayoor -7km-> Anchal -19km-> Kulathupuzha -11km-> Thenmala -13km -> Aryankavu -15km->Shenkottai -25km-> Achankovil (144 km)
Option 2: Thiruvananthapuram -->Nedumangad -->Palode --> Madathara --> Kulathupuzha --> Thenmala --> Aryankavu -->Shenkottai --> Achankovil (125 km) The first option , though looks a bit longer, is a faster option. Up to Ayoor the SH1 (MC Road) its 4 lane highway. The road condition is pretty good all the way through.
Option 3: Kollam -25km-> Kottarakkara -19km-> Punalur -21km->Thenmala -13km-> Aryankavu -15km->Shenkottai -25km-> Achankovil (118km) The Shenkottai to Achankovil route: Shenkottai --> Panpozhi --> Mekkarai --> Kottaivasal --> Kumbhavurutty --> Achankovil (25km) Punalur to Achankovil route via Mullumala (difficult to drive) : Punalur --> Alimukku --> Karavoor --> Mullumala --> Achankovil (45km) In short, head to Shenkottai and then drive back to Achankovil.
Achankovil to Sabarimala route: Achankovil - 40km-> Konni - 19km -> Vadasserikkara - 17km -> Laha -36km -> Pamba (112km ). The stretch between Achankovil and Konni is quite tough to drive. The road is through forest and is the typical jeep track (mud road). Further the Laha to Pamba stretch too is witin the forest, but road is in good condition. By Train: For Achankovil , Sengottai (SCT) and Kollam (QLN) are two practical railway stations with long distance rail connectivity. Kollam is about 120km and Shenkotta is about 25km from Achankovil.
The pomp and fanfare apart, touring backwaters of Kerala in houseboat is an expensive affair. The rates are usually steep, running into a couple of thousand rupees per night, even during the off season.
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