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Agasthyakoodam Tour Packages

The Agasthyamalai hills, situated at the Southern most tip of the Western Ghats is notable for its very rich and diverse vegetation, dotted with high concentration of endemics. It is considered as a divine grove, which remains as the cultural meeting point of two southern Indian states, Kerala and Tamil Nadu; rich in myths, folk knowledge, biodiversity and associated cultural practices. These hills form the major peaks, towards the tail end of the Western Ghats, before it abruptly falls into low hills at the Kanyakumari (Cape Camorin) district, the southern most tip of the Indian Peninsula. This is a compact range of hills with a main range descending equally steeply to both the western and eastern sides and this is the only part of the Western Ghats where some stretch of the western slopes are also in Tamil Nadu (Nair, 1991).

The dense forests of these hills provide home for many narrow endemics of phytogeographical significance, such as Paphiopedilum drurii, the sole representative of slipper orchids in Peninsular India, and Agasthiyamalaia an endemic tree genus, etc. Considering its immense conservation potentials, the area has been protected as a Biosphere Reserve since 2001. The angiosperm flora of the area has largely been explored and recorded more than 1100 species (Mohanan and Sivadasan, 2002). Of these more than 30% are endemics and 27 species belong to various threat categories. However, no effort was done earlier to explore the bryophyte diversity in this area.

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