Have you ever seen heaven? I am sure you haven’t! Unless you have visited this heavenly place in Kerala called Vagamon. To be very frank, I was a little sceptical about the place when my husband told us the plan. He had a business meeting in Kottayam and he decided to take us along and extend the stay by another 4 days. The meeting would be hardly a few hours and he had the weekend and 2 more days which he planned it as surprise Kerala tour packages for family. I trusted his choice completely and started preparing for the tour. He knew my curiosity and told me specifically not to search the internet for more information on Vagamon!!! The little devil that he is, I didn’t want to let him down and kept my fingers crossed and so did our kids. So we 4 were ready to board the flight to Kochi on a Friday morning in August. The plan was to drop in our resort at Vagamon and get settled. We will have the lunch after which my husband would go for the meeting and be back in a few hours. We were at leisure to enjoy the hospitality watching TV in the resort that day. The next four days would be strictly family time with no official calls or meetings. That was the deal we struck! It was a 2-hour flight from Mumbai to Kochi and we were in our comfortable taxi arranged by Pritam’s office people. The taxi would be with us till we boarded the flight back home. The driver, Appu, was quite friendly. He was a young boy of 22 and spoke English and Hindi decently. He soon got friendly with my little mischievous kids – Arpit who was 5 and Ankur who was 2. We were quite excited about the trip because it was the first tour with Ankur.
An hour later, we reached a beautiful place the driver said was called Thodupuzha. It was amazing! And I was surprised to know that this lush place was a town area. I was wondering if the town is so beautiful and picturesque, how beautiful the hill station will be? To add to my wonder, Appu stopped by some farms which had a beautiful natural stream flowing through. He was asking whether we would like to see Thommankuthu waterfalls. But since we would get late, we decided to see it on our way back to the airport. Wow, I was all eyes for exploring our Kerala travel packages to Vagamon. Soon we could see different hues of green everywhere. And we were in our beautiful resort called Adrak Resort hidden among the pine trees and a lot of greenery. The climate was pretty pleasant too. Usually, the hill stations would have me worried about the children as they tend to fall sick with a cold climate. But this was just right. We had a sumptuous Kerala lunch spread on a plantain leaf complete with a delicious Kheer which was called Payasam here. Apparently, the entire spread was too good. We were served about 15 to 20 dishes including many varieties of pickles and chips. Each had a different taste and as good as it felt watching the food spread out on the leaf, in different colours, having a different aroma, it tasted too good! Though the children were a little fussy eating most of the dishes which had a lot of coconuts, they enjoyed the chips and the kheer. My husband soon left for his official meeting and we enjoyed our afternoon nap after the wonderful feast. By evening, Pritam was back after the meeting and was quite happy that it went well and we got some good rest. It was not yet 5 and hence, we decided to take a stroll around the resort which in itself was heavenly. We watched the sunset while having tea from the resort’s garden. We spent some time in the pool there before we had our dinner.
The next day morning Appu, our driver, was ready to take us on a tour of Vagamon, which he proudly presented as the most visited place in Kerala tour packages for couple. He gave us a list of places to visit and asked if we had any preference. Since we wanted to see every place in this heaven, we asked him to take us to the waterfalls which seemed very inviting. So our first destination was the Vagamon falls. It was a small waterfall with water flowing like milk. You cannot get very close to the viewpoint. It was pretty crowded and we could see the cars parked from 1 km away itself. The climate was cool and the waterfalls really were an exciting location for the kids. Then we were on our way to visit the Maramala waterfalls. On our way, we passed by a rubber estate which was an amazing view. Tall and lean rubber trees and the sun trying to touch the earth through the dense and tall plantation were nothing less than a beautiful painting.
Then there was a tea estate on one side which looked very inviting. Appu was telling us that he knew the owners and they had a resort on top of the estate hill which was even more beautiful. We made a note in our mind to visit the place while we are here.Until then, I was under the impression that the Munnar honeymoon packages only offered these tea gardens and plantation resorts in Kerala. I was wrong. Appu informed us that plantation tours and resorts were quite common now in Thekkady, Wagamon, and even in some parts of Kottayam and Thodupuzha. He even told us that there was a lake on the other side of the estate where we can enjoy boating. We stopped by a couple of interesting places on the way to stretch out legs and to take quite a few pictures. The shutterbugs were pretty busy since everything you see around looks so beautiful!!! So the next day we were out visiting the pine forest which was quite near to our resort. That was a lazy day as all we visited through the day were the green meadows and the lake where we went boating. We spent the rest of the day enjoying the gardens in our resort and decided to change our plan a little.
We asked Appu if the tea estate’s resort was available and he came with a positive response. So we decided to check out of the resort and stay in the estate resort instead for a night. Since we did not have too much of luggage, we moved out after our breakfast. It took us a while to reach the resort uphill. It was amazing. Actually, they had a couple of cottages which were regularly booked on Kerala holiday tour packages and the owners were staying in a third one. They had a few caretakers and a cook who spoke only the local language but Appu and the owners made things easier for us with their translations. The cook was happy to make a special lunch for us asking us for our favourites. I was happy that the kids got to eat something home-made that they liked.
While we looked around the estate, we were thrilled to see the beautiful emerald lake on one side of the hill. The entire day we were roaming the tea estate and we enjoyed plucking the tender tea leaves, the aroma of which was really tempting! We had a simple lunch from the worker’s canteen which was maintained by the owner himself with the help of another cook. The food was simple but very tasty. Even the kids enjoyed it. Appu told us that many newly married couples visited the place in their honeymoon packages for Kerala and enjoyed the sunset. We realised that he was just teasing us and we told him that we would love to watch the sunset too and romance like them!!! Arpit was all giggles when Appu made us pose like one of those ‘romantic’ couples with the sunset in the background. It soon started getting very cold. The place was nothing less than a hill station and the campfire at our resort was a huge surprise. The hosts were too sweet. They probably missed their grandchildren and were all praises for my 2 little masters who were quite obedient, once outside the house! They wanted to see the happy smiles on the children’s face and made up the campfire and also a barbecue. We really enjoyed the homely atmosphere and the wonderful hospitality. The next morning we left to Thekkady as it was only a few hours’ drive from Vagamon.
We started early in the morning and reached Thekkady in a couple of hours. We were not planning to stay back there and hence just got into a guesthouse where we freshened up and had our breakfast. We went boating in the Periyar Wildlife Reserve and even spotted a couple of Bison and Elephants. The kids were overjoyed at seeing the elephants and the colourful birds. There were many couples on Kerala tourism honeymoon packages and some families along with us on the boat. After the boating and the lunch, we went on a quick jeep safari to the Periyar Tiger Reserve. We were not so lucky to see live tigers, but we did spot some deer and monkeys, much to the delight of the kids!
By night we were back in our estate resort and the next day morning, back to the airport to board our flight back to Mumbai. It was heavenly if I had to explain the entire trip experience!