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Vagamon Vacation

July 20, 2012

We took a small vacation in Vagamon, Kerala in May. I was a bit apprehensive of traveling to Kerala at that time of the year because of the intense heat but we had no other option as the train tickets were available only after mid May. And to top it, rains in Kerala were also expected around that time. I had somehow got it in my mind to take S on a long train journey and this seemed the most feasible of all options. Also, I we wanted to go to a hill station that wasn’t too commercialised . So off we went.

We reached Ernakulam by train. It was a fourteen hour journey from Bangalore and the train was thankfully delayed only by half an hour. A short spell of rain welcomed us there. From Ernakulam, we went by a taxi to Vagamon. As we were climbing up, we were treated to some beautiful views. I found the hills much more friendlier as the altitude was not as much as Ooty or Kodaikanal.

Once again, we were welcomed by a shower of rain as we reached our hotel ! We stayed in a hotel which was part of a two hundred acre estate at Vagamon. On the evening we reached there, we ( S, V and myself) happened to be the only guests. We were joined by a family of four the next morning. We went on a tour of the estate the next morning by a jeep. The jeep ride ended with a boating in the estate’s lake. S had been waiting for only this since morning and nothing else seemed to interest her much. The pedal boat ride in the lake was what she loved the most!Later in the morning, we drove around Vagamon soaking in the sights. It has some lovely views and vast expanses of tea estates. The tourist crowd is concentrated the most in places like the Kurusimala Ashram, Murugan Temple, Dargah, Pine forest and Vagamon Meadows. The drive around the place was surprisingly traffic free. We missed a visit to the tea factory as we happened to be there on a second saturday and the factory Β was closed.

Now, I come to the high points of the vacation. As I mentioned, S was keen only in the water activities and the waterfall we visited there didn’t really satisfy her as we viewed it from quite a distance and she wasn’t able to get in to the water. The first high point was we trekked nearly two kilometers to a tunnel which had water flowing through it. We went down hill through winding paths and after what seemed like an eternity, emerged in to a clearing with a tunnel at the other end. We waded through water and reached the tunnel. The guide who accompanied us carried S on his shoulders and I managed to cross the water without slipping over the moss covered stones and falling down. It was pure glee for S to be in the water outside the tunnel. But the climb uphill was really daunting and made me realise how much my physical stamina had gone down. S, on her part, climbed for most of the way and then the guide and V took turns to carry her.

The second high point was boating in the estate lake a second time, the next day. Wondering what was special this time? Well, the three of us happened to go on a boat ride all by ourselves for nearly half an hour ! A lake all to ourselves! All thanks to S πŸ™‚ Since we had some time the next morning before we had to check out of the hotel, we inquired with the manager if he could arrange for a boat ride for us. He obliged and we were driven to the lake in the jeep. That day was a busy day at the hotel as a bus full of tourists had arrived for sight seeing. As the jeep driver cum guide was cleaning the boats, he got a call from the hotel asking him to come there for some reason. He asked us to get in the boat and go as many rounds as we wanted and come back and dock the boat on the banks. Looking at our hesitation, he assured us that it was perfectly safe and he would be back soon. Β We discovered that it was fun and safe indeed!

We were circling in the waters for nearly half an hour and then successfully docked on the bank

We got back to Ernakulam that noon and it was then that my initial apprehension of visiting Kerala during May proved true. Was it hot! I should remember it the next time we plan a visit during summer. That and the leeches that emerge out of no where and wait for your blood at the first hint of rain. Other than these two, I assure you it was a cosy and comfy vacation.

Ewww..Leech bite on V’s foot

The giant cauldron at the Ernakulam Palace Β where we stopped by briefly

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11 Comments
  1. This looks like a great place Nithvin πŸ™‚ I have not heard about it until I saw it here.. nice one.

    Ewww.. I have experienced leech bites in kerala as well.. know how painful it is!

    loved the pictures too!

    • Thanks GB ! Yeah, it hasn’t yet become very popular, but if you are looking for a peaceful, short break it’s ideal.
      Those leeches are scary, right? Thankfully S & I were spared !

      • Yeah… looks very peaceful and not commercial. I would love to go there sometime πŸ™‚

        I was a leech-victim only once and that was too scary.. thank God, you both were spared πŸ™‚

      • You will love it. I think there won’t be rains between December-March and you don’t have to worry about the leeches πŸ™‚

  2. Nice pics, came here from R’s mom’s blog. This sounds to be a serene and less crowded place.

    • Thanks Sumana!

      Yes, it is. Perfect if you want to take a break from hectic city life.

  3. Hey, this sounds like a nice, quite place for a vacation. I love such offbeat places. Lovely pics πŸ™‚
    Leech bite! Sounds scary…

    • Thanks lifesong! yes, an offbeat place.
      Really scary these leeches are. They are so tiny you don’t even realise when they clutch on to your skin. I was seriously wishing I could float in the air as I was so terrified of getting one of them on me.

  4. Wow!!!! it looks great πŸ™‚
    There is fun in going in off peak season, as you can enjoy the place without crowds πŸ™‚

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