Summer was almost ending; the schools were to reopen soon, it was then I decided to head to a hill station as it was ages since my family had last been on vacation. Trying to keep it low-key yet anticipating a beautiful downtime with my loved ones, I chose God’s own paradise-on-earth Kerala. Our itinerary started with Kochi, so the first thing we did after landing at Kochi was to rent a cheap and dependable car in Kochi. At the nth moment, my wife decided to head out for an impromptu tour of the city. Relying on my phone’s GPS and the rental car which did the job of taking us safely from one destination to another as planned we returned to our hotel room winded by the shopping experience, yet, eager for the trip that was next on our itinerary.
Travel to Vagamon
The rustic charms of Vagamon hill station located in Kerala and its breath-taking winding roads of picturesque greenery were what sold me on narrowing down the perfect location to spend quality time with my family. The winding roads are lovely to drive through just for the allure of the sceneries that provide solace from the body city life like a breath of fresh air. And I needed it to unwind from the work stress and to spend some quality time during the summer holidays in a one day picnic near Kochi with my wife and children. And driving through the twists and turns of the winding roads and safely too is only possible if you have an experienced car driver with lots of experience traveling back and from Kochi to Vagamon. This was probably one of our best budget vacations near Kochi.
Overview and Daily Activities
Our friendly driver recommended the Pattumalai Church near Peermade. True to his words, it was a sight to feast your eyes on as it lays amidst the hilltops adding on to its pristine beauty furthered by the beautiful lush green plantations. My children enjoyed their session of selfies amidst all the surrounding greenery.
Next, upon our one-day outing near Kochi was the Ulipooni Wildlife Sanctuary which is 10km away from Vagamon. My children had a hearty time with the mini picnic we had amidst the beautiful sanctuary. From there, we visited the Pine Hills where my family had a wonderful time trailing the woods after which we were done for the day and headed back to our hotel.
I had shortlisted the Vagamon Lake and Vagamon Falls as our agenda for the next day. Our driver who is from the locality described the Falls as Milky Way and true to its reference, the falls look like the milk that flows over it and not water. The artificial lake is beautiful laid surrounded by plantations, which makes it a rare view when you take a paddle boat ride, which costs you around Rs.200. My kids each accompanied by my wife and myself had a great experience of riding a boat for the first time.
How to reach Vagamon- Cabs from Kochi
On our 3-day visit to Vagamon, we covered the Mundakayam Ghat, Karikadu Viewpoint, Vagamon Orchidarium, and Floriculture Project. After feasting my eyes with the vistas, I realized that Vagamon during the summer could be an ideal destination for backpackers who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
While I wanted to ride the rental car, which was reliable and comfortable, my wife suggested to book a safe and comfortable taxi from Kochi to Vagamon instead. After heeding to her suggestion, I realized that it was one of the best decisions I had made which made our trip more enjoyable as we were assigned a friendly driver who knew all the beautiful places one could visit in a short duration of time. The winding roads of Vagamon also require an experienced local person behind the wheels so that you will enjoy the greenery on either side of the road.
Distance and Time Taken
Vagamon is approximately 106 km away from Kochi or Cochin where the two and a half an hour ride on our hatchback with an experienced driver made the journey more beautiful where throughout the drive we were welcomed by sights to behold.
We were able to start from our hotel in Kochi at the decided time and thus were able to enjoy our breakfast at a dhaba with many pitstops as my wife and I also wanted to savor the local cuisine served at the dhabas we found along the way. Our driver was very accommodating, and he was pleased to suggest the specialty food that one visiting Vagamon must try.
Overall, we had a great experience making picturesque memories to take back home while enjoying the comfortable hatchback riding through the many twists and turns of the roads. For our next weekend getaways near Kochi next year, I am making plans of traveling by train where we could hitch a ride from Kochi to Kottayam which is 43 km away from Vagamon.