Vagamon, a holiday retreat
Vagamon is a holiday retreat and picnic spot, about two hours drive from Pala in
Kottayam district. It is a mountainous place with many
hills, meadows and velvet lawns.
You can reach the hill station from Pala in Kottayam district or Peerumedu
or Thodupuzha in Idukki district. It is 20 kilometres from Kuttikannan
on the Kottayam-Kumily road .Nearest railway station is Kottayam and
the airport is Kochi.
Forest plantations and tea gardens dot the landscape. The Forest
Department maintains a pine plantation at Kolahalamedu near Vagamon which attracts many
visitors.You can walk down the road through the pine
plantation or climb the hill for a splendid view of the valleys. Kolahalamedu is one of the highest spots in the area and,is
renowned for its annual paragliding.
There are three mountains at Vagamon-- Thangalmala, Kurisumala and
Muruganmala. Thangalmala is
sacred to Muslims. It houses the dargah of Sheikh Fariduddin, a
saint from Afghanistan who lived and died there eight centuries ago.
Muruganmala has a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Murugan. Many Hindus
visit the temple for worship.
Kurisumala, meaning mountain of the cross, is a pilgrim centre for
Christians. Many gather there during the Easter week to follow the way
of the cross. Sculptures dot the way. At the top of the Kurisumala is a
shrine with sculptures of Jesus Christ near it. At the foot of the
Kurisumala hill is the Kurisumala ashramam which was established in
1958. The inmates practice a mix of Christian monasticism and Indian tradition
The District Tourism Promotion Council, Idukki, maintains a tourist
centre promoted by the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, at
Vagamon. There are meadows and a pond where picnickers can spend an
evening. The cool breeze and fresh air will enliven visitors. The entry fee is
Rs. 5 for adults, Rs. 2 for children up to 12 years. The fee is Rs.50 for video and Rs. 2000
for film shooting.
At a distance from here the Forest Department nurtures a biodiversity
reserve. There is a typical suicide point there which is visited
by many. (But no suicides have been reported from there! You will also
see little biodiversity in the reserve.)
The best time to visit Vagamon is from June-October. If you
like a chilly weather, it could better be December.