K Dhanya Sanal, spokesperson for the Union Ministry of Defence, on Tuesday became the first woman to reach Agasthyarkudam peak.
K Dhanya Sanal, spokesperson for the Union Ministry of Defence, on Tuesday became the first woman to reach Agasthyarkudam peak.

Dhanya Sanal becomes first woman to trek to Agasthyarkudam

ANI | Updated: Jan 15, 2019 23:21 IST

Agasthyarkudam (Kerala) [India], Jan 15 (ANI): The 38-year-old K Dhanya Sanal, spokesperson for the Union Ministry of Defence, on Tuesday became the first woman to reach Agasthyarkudam peak, a biodiversity hotspot and the second highest peak of Kerala.
Sanal started trekking from Bonakkad on Monday after the Kerala High Court lifted the ban on women's trekking to the hilltop on December 9 last year.
As many as 100 women registered themselves for trekking this year but Dhanya Sanal was the first woman turned up for trekking.
Dhanya reached the Athirumala base camp around 3 pm. "The first 7 kilometers was not that much hard but after that, 4 kilometers was a very tough terrain called tropical mountain forest. It was a very steep terrain. After reaching the base camp, we took a halt. The Forest Department has arranged accommodation and two women staff too," said Sanal.
"Strong wind was blowing throughout the night. Today morning we started trekking. It was a very tough day today," she added.
In an exclusive interview to ANI, Sanal, while trekking to the Agasthyarkoodam on Monday, had said that she would follow the instructions given by the state's Forest Department and would avoid going into the prohibited areas where the tribal people are residing.
"I will take the pathway and will not go into the prohibited areas and hurt the sentiments of the locals," she told ANI.
According to media reports, this peak was banned for the women trekkers as for the Kani tribal people the hilltop is the final resting place of the sage Agasthya, who holds similar importance as Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala temple.
Kani tribal people contend that if the women trekkers are allowed to climb the hill top, it will violate their religious beliefs and customs. Unhappy with the HC order, the Kani tribe, which lives in the foothills of Agasthyarkoodam, is also holding protests at the base camp in Bonacaud.
The 'unofficial ban' was lifted by the Kerala High Court on December 9 last year after hearing a petition jointly filed by three NGOs, namely, Pennoruma, Kannur; Women Integration and Growth Through Sports, Malappuram; and Anweshi Women's Counselling Centre, Kozhikode), seeking the lifting of ban on women's trekking to the hilltop. (ANI)

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