Vagamon: That off beat hill station of Kerala where rolling hills and tea estates meet - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Vagamon: That off beat hill station of Kerala where rolling hills and tea estates meet

Early morning sun shines on the tea estates of Vagamon, Kerala

I have always felt blessed to be living close to the Western Ghats. My ancestral town of Kallidaikurichi is just 10 kms away from the Western Ghats and the city of Bangalore where I live is also only about 4 hours away from this biodiversity hotspot. This proximity has allowed me to do countless trips (treks, road trips and other vacations) to the world’s longest UNESCO world heritage site. Even then, every now and then, I discover amazing places in the Western Ghats that blow my mind away. Kerala’s Vagamon is one such place.

Motorcycle trip to Vagamon, Kerala

This hill station, which is a local’s favorite, is way quieter and off the beaten trail than the other popular hill stations in the Western Ghats like Munnar, Valparai, Ooty, Kodaikanal and Madikeri. Located close to Periyar tiger reserve and Idukki reservoir, Vagamon has all the ingredients of a gorgeous hill station. It has tea estates, rolling hills, view points, sunrise and sunset points, super cosy weather and a truly laidback Kerala lifestyle.

The lush green tea estates of Vagamon, Kerala

Vagamon, at 1,100 meters above sea level is not that high,  hence it does not get very cold. Instead, it enjoys the perfect combination of bright warm sunny days and cool evenings, making it the perfect place for those relaxed nature vacations that include nothing, but lots of sunshine, lots of walking, good food, rich nature and a supremely quiet environment.

The rolling hills of Vagamon, Kerala

Vagamon is not the kind of place where you have a lot to see and do. In my mind, that is the charm of this destination, but if you wish to see and do something, there are the famous rolling hills of Vagamon that are surrounded by pine forests and tea estates. These rolling hills, which are similar to Nagaland’s Dzukou valley and Philippines’ Bohol, pretty much sets the tone for this mountain landscape.

A typical Vagamon landscape

Pine forest and view point, Ayyampara sunset point, Maramala waterfalls, thangalpara sunset view point, Kurishumala church and a few lakes in the vicinity are places worth visiting in and around Vagamon. One can either drive to these places or opt for a more scenic walking route. This is for people who feel like seeing or doing things while holidaying at Vagamon. But, if you ask me, this is the place that you can make your mountain home and just go about your daily life.

The tea estates of Vagamon hill station, Kerala

Vagamon does not have a lot of infrastructure like other hill stations, but it does have a small number of resorts, hotels and home stays. If you are not eating where you are staying, there is a main road in Vagamon town that offers a choice of a few restaurants. The food at these places is simple and good, but do not expect anything out of the ordinary. In overall, Vagamon is your poor man’s hill station, that is insanely beautiful, but still very much off the beaten trail. If Kerala, mountains and pure relaxation is on your mind, I would recommend Vagamon in a jiffy!

Nearest Airport: Kochi, about 100 kms or 3 hours away.

Nearest Railway station: Kottayam, about 64 kms away or Erattupetta, about 26 kms away.

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