“Where is it” “How to go to there”…..These were the questions asked by our friends when we posted the spectacular pictures of our trip to this lovely place two years back after after visiting wonderful Vagamon!
Vagamon. The name itself sounds romantic! We had heard about this place few years ago when we were browsing some travel journal. The place looked enchanting with rolling hills and coffee estates.
You should make a trip to this beautiful place sooner than later. Before it gets crowded and becomes another Munnar.
We will help you have a memorable trip Visiting Wonderful Vagamon with detailed information on the place. Here is our experience of the place.
During Christmas 2014, we did plan to visit this place. It was a long road trip covering Kerala and also parts of Tamil Nadu. Our aim was to spend at least a day visiting wonderful Vagamon in Kerala
Leaving Kovalam, we drive through rubber plantations of Kottayam and Chengannur. Excellent winding road brings us to the Vannilla County Home stay. Fortunately this place is still uncrowded and you don’t find many Vagamon resorts and even Vagamon hotels are very few.
We had read about this lovely secluded home stay in the middle of coffee and vanilla estate. A heritage bungalow built by British, this is a now the home of gracious hosts Mr Baby Mathew and his wife.
The verandah of the house
The lovely living room
Since our stay was only for a night, Mr Mathew wanted us to see few Vagamon tourist places around his home. He also listed things to do in Vagamon. But of course after a sumptuous lunch.
The first was a short trek to a natural swimming pool in the middle of the forest closer to the home stay. We are excited as he explains that we have to trek for two KMs inside the forest to reach this place.
We take out the car and drive for few kilometres before our guide Maju ask us to park on the side. We get down and start to trek to the “Natural Swimming Pool”. A trek through the forests bring us to a lovely natural pool with a stream!
The short trek goes through lovely forest area along a small stream which flows on the rock creating a natural pool.
We saw this big log with many wild mushrooms growing on it.
We are not keen on getting into the water and swim. But after seeing the serene surroundings and crystal clear water, we get into the water and spend few minutes. We get back to home stay for a nice cup of tea. Mr Mathew suggests that if we are not tired, we should visit the sunset point near Teekoy at Ellappara.
We return to home stay and have a sumptuous dinner. Mr Mathew tells us that we should visit the meadows at Vagamon and Kalvary mount on our way back. We have no clue what this was all about. He says “You go there and will be mesmerised by the beauty the place”.
Vagamon is also famous for its shola grass lands. There are many Vagamon tourist places which Mathew wants us to explore. But he is disappointed that we are not staying there for more days to explore the waterfalls, rocks, treks etc. We tell him that we will return again and bid good-bye to the gentle host after an excellent breakfast in the garden.
The drive from Vanilla county to Vagamon meadows is very scenic!
Statue of Jesus on the way to Kurishumala shrine
We stop at the shola grass lands. Also known as Vagamon meadows. This is a “must see place” when you are visiting wonderful Vagamon! There is an information centre by forest department were we park our car and walk to the grassland. The grass has turned brown and we could see why as scorching sun hits you.
This is a lovely place. The rolling hills and the grasslands give a feeling of European landscape. At a distance we could see a song being shot for a Malayalam movie. The forest guard tells us that this is a popular spot for shooting songs in South Indian movies. We can’t agree more!
The grasslands of Vagamon!
We drive to Kalvary Mount. We are curious as Mr Mathew never told us what this is all about.
Lovely landscape on the way to Kalvary mount!
A dirt track from the highway takes us to the top of the ridge. As we drive on the ridge, we get the first glimpse of what is in store!
It is a wow feeling!
We park the car and explore the place. The backwaters of Periyar river formed by Idukki dam creates a natural spectacle!
Coming down on the dirt track…
After spending 45 minutes we drive down to highway, have a cup of tea and head to Bangalore with a promise tat we shall be back again to the place. To explore its lovely water falls, peaks and amazing landscape!
Travel Information for visiting Wonderful Vagamon !
By Air – The nearest convenient airport is Kochi which is at a distance of 100 KMs.
By Train – The nearest railway station is Kottayam which is at a distance of 56 KMs.
By Road – Vagamon is well-connected by road. Kerala state transport run buses frequently from various cities in Kerala. Vagamon is well-connected to places by road.
For those of you who plan to drive to Vagamon in car, here are the routes.
Bangalore to Vagamon by car/bike – https://goo.gl/maps/aCnEx22CioS2
Chennai to Vagamon by car/bike – https://goo.gl/maps/CvVNsM9Txtk
Hyderabad to Vagamon by car/bike – https://goo.gl/maps/CRZr9CT6tRu
Vagamon resorts are few and so far has not mushroomed. Only Vagamon resort one can think of is Vagamon Heights. You have small home stays which are personal and nice. Our choice is Vanilla County. Mr Mathew and family are excellent hosts! Vagamon hotels are few and not great.
- You need minimum 3 days to for visiting wonderful Vagamon and do justice.
The best time for visiting wonderful Vagamon is immediately after rains when Vagamon weather is at its best. It will be gorgeously beautiful at this time. Winter is also a lovely time to go as Vagamon weather will be nice. The Vagamon temperature is pleasant during most of the year except during peak summer months of April and May when day time may be hot.
- Here is our itinerary
- Day 1 – Vagamon meadows, Kalvary Mount, Kurisumala shrine, Para Gliding
- Day 2 – Trek to Illikal Kallu peak. Illikal Peak at 6000 ft., is the origin of the River Meenachil and many other rivers. The natural rock formation atop the mountain take on a mystical meaning to those who view it from afar. A 3 hour climb to the top is a rewarding experience to trekkers as well as to those who wish to see the origin of one of Kerala’s life-giving rivers.
- Day 3 – Maramala waterfalls, Poonjar palace, Boating/Kayaking in Tea lake, Illikal Kallu view-point, Pine forest
Illikal Kallu view point
For those who love adventurous activities in Vagamon, here is what they can do!
- While visiting wonderful Vagamon, like any hill station requires driving around and walking around to see places.
- Wear a good walking shoe while going outdoors. If you are planning a trek then make sure you carry your trekking shoes.
- Wear a good cap while on outdoors. Even in winters the day sun will be quite harsh
- Carry a good binoculars. You will enjoy exploring the scenery and also birds.
Those who are adventurous can go for rock climbing and paragliding in Vagamon is another fascinating way to explore the hills.
- The hills are excellent for cycling. You should try. Check out this awesome photo album of Rajesh Nayak here
- Vagamon gives you lots of chances to do landscape photography. Carry a good camera.
- Vagamon can be combined with your trip to Munnar or Thekkady. Vagamon to Munnar is a lovely drive.
- Make sure you savor the Kerala cuisine while in Kerala!!
Visiting wonderful Vagamon is an exhilarating experience. It is still pristine and unexplored. That is going to change soon as it becomes a popular destination. We have seen what has happened Coorg, Ladakh, Wayanad, Chikmagalur, Munnar etc.
So, we strongly recommend you to visit it sooner than later!
Lastly, the road conditions may change due to various factors. If you are planning to drive to Vagamon, it will be good to join a road trip enthusiasts’ FB group HVK Forum managed by H V Kumar, the doyen of road trip in India. You can get the latest updates on the road conditions in this very active group.
We strongly suggest that you download customised Routo app from H V Kumar. HVK as he is fondly called, provides you customised route maps, live support on the road trip and will also help you with hotel accommodation as well. Check out all details here.
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