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Old 10th June 2009, 23:01   #1
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Default Vagamon heights - A surprise package

Part 1 - The search for a holiday location

Only three more days to go for the school vacation to be over. Still I have not gone for a holiday with my kids and family.
Where to go? Only two full days available.

Munnar, Kodai, Ooty all ruled out either due to the distance or the place has become tooo familiar.

Sometime, during a trip to munnar had heard about Vagamon. Searched the net for Vagamon. Got some pics. Wow nice.
Yes I have fixed this.
But where to stay. Caman google man. yeah some phone numbers propped up. Dial it. Some say resort is under renovation. Some say sky high prices. Some say nice packages. Which to chose from? By instict chose the one where the guy was so courteous in his talks.

The resorts name was "The Vagamon Heights". Called up him again and he was offering, Stay, food, horse riding, fishing, trekking + boating @ 4000 per family (2 adults and 2 kids). Seems quite interesting. We booked 2 rooms as we were 4 adults and 2 kids. Got some discounts as peak season was over.

So another chance for me to drive through the hills amidst natural flora and fauna.

The journey
Come friday morning and as is the usual habit, started the journey 1 hr late than what was planned originally. We hit the road by 6.30 am. The twisties of MC road (Main Central road) were enough to charge me up. But I was not doing high speeds just to avoid travel sickness for those on board.


The MC Road
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-01mcroad.jpg



We reached Ranni at about 8.45am. Decided to have breakfast here. By about 9.15 we left this place. Next point was Erumeli - which is one of the synonyms of religious harmony. The mosque at erumeli is visible from quite a distance and as we approach the junction we could see the ayyappa temple also.
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-02vavarupallierumeli.jpg


From Erumeli we proceeded to Kanjirappally, but soon found out that we were climbing some ghats. The drive, the roads and the scenary was so superb that I did not even bothered to stop for enquiring the route. After climbing the ghats for some 30 kms, I got a call from the resort guy and enquired about where I am. When I told him that I am climbing a ghat, he told me that I have lost route and now I have to turn left from Mundakkayam. Thanked for the call and continued enjoying the journey through these ghats. Stopped at 2 - 3 spots for some photo shoot and to enjoy the cool breeze.

Vagamon heights - A surprise package-03erumelimundakkayamroute.jpg


After some time reached Kuttikanam. Kuttikanam - Elappara route also is awesome. A must drive route for all the driving enthusiasts. The greenery just got better due to rains which started some 1 week ago.


A photostop at kuttikkanam
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-04kuttikanamghat.jpg



Had a stop at elappara to climb a small hill and rejuvenate any fatigue, if present. following two snaps taken from this hill
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-05elappara.jpg
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-06elapparascene.jpg

Till elappara it was the typical kerala ghats. From Elappara we have to take a deviation to vagamon. Believe me this road is different. It is a sort of a valley. No hill to climb, but really winding roads amidst the green blanket covered mountains. Still cherish the memory of driving through this lane.
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Soon we reached vagamon after complete driving pleasure and enjoying thoroughly almost all the route covered. .

Thanks to my innovative googling to find out the shortest route available and help from some of the friends due to which I travelled through the longest route possible covering almost all the hills which I was not supposed to take .

We travelled a distance of 230 Kms.

The route was
Thiruvananthapuram > Ayoor > Anchal > Punalur > Pathanamthitta > Ranni > Erumeli > Mundakkayam > Kuttikkanam > Elappara > Vagamon.

Still we were pondering on how the resort will be.
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Old 10th June 2009, 23:05   #2
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The last pic takes the cake man! The road looks so inviting..
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Old 10th June 2009, 23:35   #3
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Google helps!!! Roads in that area are really scenic. How was the road condition with monsoon starting? Waiting for rest of the travelogue.

Last edited by unni.ak : 10th June 2009 at 23:37.
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Old 10th June 2009, 23:50   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mohit View Post
The last pic takes the cake man! The road looks so inviting..
it indeed is inviting

Quote:
Originally Posted by unni.ak View Post
Google helps!!! Roads in that area are really scenic. How was the road condition with monsoon starting? Waiting for rest of the travelogue.
Google surely helps. But somehow I made a mess of it and missed routes whereever possible. but all those misses were a blessing in disguise.
Roads were quite OK

Last edited by sps : 10th June 2009 at 23:50. Reason: missed to answer one question
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Old 11th June 2009, 01:15   #5
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Default Part 2 - The entry to the resort

Part 2 - The entry to the resort

The Vagamon height resort is in the vagamon - pullikanam route some 1.5kms from vagamon.

We reached the gate of the resort. We had a look around. Only the gate and a small security check post. Where is the resort? We crossed the gate, reminiscent of the gate in the Evil dead movie.

Soon one guy came to us and told to register our names there. He opened another gate and told us that we have to travel 2 - 3 kms through this jungle trail to reach the resortís office. Seems quite interesting. Started the journey slowly as it was a narrow road.

We saw this board there
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-0702-caution-board-dsc03762.jpg



As we moved forward found that we are moving through thick dense forest
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-0703-road-resrt-dsc03825.jpg


We reached a point where there was a small river crossing and over some rocks. Crossed the river and we were approaching an open area with a lake. It simply took our breath away.
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-0701route-resort-dsc03733.jpg


A view of the lake from this road
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-07-03-lake-way-dsc03730.jpg


Then it was a climb through some dense forest and soon we reached the resortís office on top where a big horse was roaming around alone. This journey of 2 km was an amazing start to the things to come.

My innova resting after a nice workout
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-0704near-resort-office-dsc03530.jpg

A small cafeteria near the resort's main office
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Check in
The check in process was quite simple. After the check in process, one guy was assigned to us for all the support. He guided us to the cottage. Voila the way to the cottage itself was very inviting.

It was a three storey building. There was a small hanging bridge which landed in the first floor. It was a sort of open air dining room. The second floor contained one cottage and the ground floor another.
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-08resort.jpg

Vagamon heights - A surprise package-0801stepsdsc03562.jpg


The view from inside the cottage was good, because we feel as if we are amidst thick dense forest with the sound of insects and some birds to accompany. Even the bathroom had big windows, which if opened we have a feeeling of getting a bath amidst the woods.

A view of the woods from resort's window in the afternoon and later in the evening when fog came down
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-10viewfromresortwithoutfog.jpg

Vagamon heights - A surprise package-09viewfromresort.jpg

Part 3 - activities at resort to follow
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Old 11th June 2009, 08:51   #6
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Oh my, Vagamon looks so inviting! I have never visited the place, but it needs to be marked as a must visit place.

The resort looks good too. Loved those pics of dense forests. With a window with that kind of view, I wouldn't need anything else to spend a few rainy days!
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Old 11th June 2009, 09:46   #7
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SPS, excellent pics. The place looks inviting and the resort too. Keep them coming !!

Abhi
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Old 11th June 2009, 09:46   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjay_in View Post
Oh my, Vagamon looks so inviting! I have never visited the place, but it needs to be marked as a must visit place.

The resort looks good too. Loved those pics of dense forests. With a window with that kind of view, I wouldn't need anything else to spend a few rainy days!
luckily camera cannot capture the real beauty, otherwise people won't go anywhere
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Old 11th June 2009, 09:55   #9
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Awesome pics there and very interesting place it is. I guess the road and the location is really inviting. Waiting for more details. Great show.
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Old 11th June 2009, 10:07   #10
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It is One Hill Station which is not yet commercialized.I would say ,better than Munnar.sadly ,lacks Lodging for random number of tourists visiting.
Kolahalamedu Darga- A tamil Muslim Pilgrimage Centre is near to Vagamon.
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Old 11th June 2009, 10:33   #11
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Default Part 3 - Activities at the resort for the rest of the day - offroading in a 4x4, view

Part 3 - Activities at the resort for the rest of the day - offroading in a 4x4, viewpoints, rose garden & boating

After a rest of 30 minutes, our guide took us for sight seeing in a 4 x 4 jeep. The jeep itself was good since the passenger cabin on the back was open roof.

We were starting for an amazing experience which we didnít expect. Soon the jeep was travelling in some roads atop the hills in such a way that we had huge steep inclination for company on both sides. We were swaying to both sides since there were absolutely no roads.
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-18track.jpg


We reached one of the view points from where we could have a breath taking view of the natureís creations.
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-14viewpoint3.jpg


The kurisumala church is visible from here
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-12kurisumala.jpg

another view from the same viewpoint
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-13viewpoint2.jpg

We could also see the route which we take, which if one sees wonít believe that vehicles can be driven through.
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-19hilltrack.jpg

A view of the track which we took. On the right hand side hill, you can see the jeep trails on top
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-20track.jpg


After spending some time there we were ready to climb further up
The 4x4 with kids ready to climb up
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-15offroading.jpg


There were 4 such view points. Due to lack of time and impending rains we could go to only one more view point

Then started the decent. For a change this guy was decending steeply and not in a zig zag manner.Looking down one feels really scary. This one ride is much much better than the artificial rides on the water theme parks.
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-27hilltrack.jpg


Halfway down the decent there was a rose garden. Since it was not season only very less flowers were there. Can imaging how it will look like if all the roses planted there have flowers.
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-24rose.jpg
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-26roses.jpg


Continued the decent and soon we reached the bottom which had a nice lake. The boats were ready and we experienced the cool water in the comfort of this pedalling boats.
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-31boating.jpg


Soon it started to rain, but when we are in such an august company of the nature how could we run for cover. Just opened an umbrella and enjoyed the boating amidst the downshower, an experience we will cherish for a lifetime.
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-32boating.jpg

As we reached back our cottage, thick fog was descending
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-33fogresort.jpg

our steed was taking rest under the comfort of a tree
Vagamon heights - A surprise package-35innuparkedresort.jpg

Soon daylight bid goodbye to this beautiful showpiece handmade by nature and undistured by the tourist invasion.
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Vagamon heights - A surprise package-11viewpoint1.jpg  

Vagamon heights - A surprise package-22rosegardenwithlakeview.jpg  

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Old 11th June 2009, 10:39   #12
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Truly breathtaking pictures. Very nice place to visit before it gets infested lot of people.
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Old 11th June 2009, 10:53   #13
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This is one hell of a place!

Great find, and thanks a ton for sharing!

A must visit place for sure!

Waiting for the rest of the enchanting pictures.
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Old 11th June 2009, 12:50   #14
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Wow, what a place. Pl give the details of the resort like contact nos. etc.

Btw you forgot to "deface" your Innova number place in the 4th photograph
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Old 11th June 2009, 12:53   #15
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sps, nice pics dude.

Friends, this place is just 50km away from my hometown. PM me if any of you want directions or more info. However I do not have any local contacts here, so I may not be able to help you with stay arrangements and stuff.

This place is not exploited like Munnar. Very quiet and lush green all around.

There is an abbey on top of one the hill. But now they don't allow outsiders much.
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