If it’s a hill station in #Kerala, the famous stop has to be Munnar, but I decided for something different this time, and found a very popular hill station among locals and almost unknown to rest of the tourists community. Vagamon was the pick for this time, the journey has been very tiring, many discouraged to go there and to my surprise, several weren’t even aware of how to go to Vagamon from Kochi! And not to mention the hurdle I faced to communicate with locals due to difference in languages!
But as stiff-neck as I was, I wanted to take all the hassle and visit this place, nothing could stop me. Though there was an easy way to reach Vagamon by private car, I chose the complicated one, going by government run local bus.
Travel from Fort Kochi to Vagamon: How to go to Vagamaon:
By Public BUS
Fort Kochi -> Vittila (in Ernakulam) (take the early morning bus at around 7am) -> Kottayam (If coming from other part of kerala, one has to come to Kottayam to go to Vagamon) -> Pala -> Erattupetta -> Vagamon — this will take an entire day (better to carry some food and water) but costs 10% of private transfer.
Honestly while deciding to go to Vagamon by local bus, I wasn’t aware that I had to change 5 buses, I had read somewhere that from Kottayam there are buses available to Vagamon, but I couldn’t find any direct bus. From Kottayam to Vagamon each bus conductors and bus stop offices used to guide me with the next bus to be taken and where to get down and that’s how I reached Vagamon. When taking local buses in Kerala, help of locals are required, the best part is, Kerala people are very friendly and anxious to help in whichever way they can; this particular thing has been a treasure for me in this Kerala trip.
** Private car cost to go to Vagamon from Fort Kochi – 3500 INR for 2-3 pax, it takes around 4:30 hrs
** if possible, take a self drive car for 2 days to go to Vagamon, which is again a very good option.
Vagamon is a small village with few thousand population, while the place is still developing for tourists, to see the abundance of vivid fluorescent natural green everywhere has been the winning prize to come here. And this beautiful simple village has few sightseeing to go for, though there are quite a few options but I chose only three and the Pine forest.
Places to see in Vagamon, #Kerala:
Thangalpara: Thangalpara looks like dwarf giants have bent their blunt buttocks right on the air. Many blunt rock formation one on the other have formed this easy hikers delight. Once up at the top, the place is very windy and even on a sunny afternoon, the place is very comforting. The scenic view from the hill top is picture perfect. A good one hour can be well spent here.
** No entry fees required **
Meadows: Imagine giant ants have constructed huge upside down bowl shaped mud houses and have camouflaged them with honey gold dry grass. That’s how the meadows in Vagamon look like. A far stretched land with up and down humps and a walk with an umbrella is amazing. Half or three quarter of an hour is good to spend here.
**Entry fees: INR 10 per Indian**
Vagamon Lake: The best place to spend the afternoon at, while seating beside the lake for a long time is cool and breezy, the boat rides are quite playful and funfilled.
- Entry fees: 10 rs per Indian
- Boat ride cost:
- Kayak boats: RS. 100 per boat
- Paddle boat: Rs. 200 per boat
- Bigger boat for 6 people: Rs. 250 per boat
Pine Forest: Apart from the lake, Pine forest was one of my favourite in Vagamon. A forest with only numerous tall, half-starved brown trees and green dabbed on them from waists to the heads, so the forest looks bushy when one looks up. Staying right next to the forest, was easy to go back anytime there, when the morning was playing hide and seek with the sun, evening was soft-red and seeing the sun setting behind the greens.
Travelling around Vagamon:
- Vagamon seems a rightly seasoned fairly land only the spices are still kept aside. So nothing is over the top yet not photo-shopped.
- Getting around Vagamon by public transport is almost not possible until one is staying close to the bus stand area, but stay options available there aren’t quite advisable. So, stay should be at about 7 km away from the bus stand area, which is closer to pine forest/ Thangalpara etc. Now from these places getting any auto/ private car by own is almost impossible.
- The hotel can help you to get private car arranged for tour or transfer to the next place
- Or one can get their own car (if local)/ hired car with or without chauffer service to reach here and going around during the stay
- Better to get your own private car during the stay in Vagamon
- It’s never very cold here, the weather is quite pleasant in early morning.
- A car for full day tour to Vagamon may cost about INR 2000.
Stay at Vagamon: 1 to 2 nights stay is enough in Vagamon. Try to stay close to the Pine forest area.