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Visiting Wonderful Vagamon | Kerala’s Best Kept Secret!!

Written by Poorna & Brinda

“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

Vagamon

The lovely living room

Vagamon

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.

Vagamon

Vagamon

We saw this big log with many wild mushrooms growing on it.

Vagamon

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 never say NO to exploring new things and were game for it. Maju, accompanies us for the drive to sunset point at Ellapara We leave the home stay and hit the highway.
After few kilometres of drive on the highway we take a detour. This is a hill road and sheer climb to the highest point in Mavadi hills. Winding road through plantations and forest take us to the sunset point. We are in time to watch sun go down in the horizon.
We are on top of a hill with lovely view of valley below. A small and beautiful church is on top of the hill. We watch the sun go down in the horizon. It is a spectacular sight.
We reach the flat top with superb views of the valley!
 
Vagamon
The the sun starts to go down in distant horizon
 
Vagamon
Vagamon
Vagamon
The church with the Garuda Sthambha!
Vagamon
As we prepare to leave, we notice the church – where we had parked the car – with a brass pillar in front. It looks like Garuda Sthambha or the holy flag post which we normally find in front of Hindu temples in South India.
We get curious and go closer to check. Yes, everything is same except for a “Holy cross” on the top of the post! It is unusual and surprise to us. Maju said churches in in Kerala uses such pillars for flag hoisting.

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!

Vagamon

Vagamon

Vagamon

Vagamon

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!

Vagamon

Vagamon

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 !

Reaching there

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

Stay options

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.

Travel Tips

  • 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

Maramala Falls

Pine forest

visiting wonderful Vagamon

Tea lake

visiting wonderful Vagamon

Illikal Kallu view point

visiting wonderful Vagamon

For those who love adventurous activities in Vagamon, here is what they can do!

visiting wonderful Vagamon

  • 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.

Routo – The Right Route & Travel Support For The Motorist Traveller

Thank You

Thank you for stopping by “Travel Twosome”. We hope you liked this post on Vagamon and enjoyed reading it. Please share it among your friends by clicking the buttons below. Our aim is to share our experiences to inspire you to travel more!

 

 

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About the author

Poorna & Brinda

We are Brinda and Poorna from Bengaluru, the “Silicon city” or “Garden city” of India.

We travel together. We caught the travel bug 20 years back. On our honey moon, we traveled over the sea, in the train, by bus and in an aircraft! Our adventures probably started in that year. It continues, ever since.

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