The Rock Leaves a Point

Illickal Kallu is one of those tourist attractions in Central Kerala which came into picture quite late, but is bringing a lot of travelers these days. With the closest small town being Teekoy at thirteen kilometres, the place has good access to most places even though the roads are not that good these days just like in the case of Ilaveezhapoonjira. There is quite some distance to cover to reach to the top, and cars go only until a certain point after which you need to go for Mahindra jeep service and quite some climb by foot after that. The view is special here because a part of this rock has fallen off, and the rest remain nicely there. There is a beautiful view of green Kerala visible from the top too. A lot of people will be here during the evenings to take some nice photos of sunset.

This place can be visited on the way to Vagamon because it is only thirty kilometres from there. A Vagamon combo is always great. Among the bigger towns, the closest one is Erattupetta at nineteen kilometres. Both Palai and Thodupuzha are situated at around thirty one kilometres from here. With Ilaveezhapoonjira located only twelve kilometres from here, a trip can actually combine the two places. Kattikayam Waterfalls is also very close from here. There is more than one route to travel in this direction, and it is better to ask the locals and choose the roads which are in the best shape. From Kochi area, the distance varies between eighty five and ninety five kilometres according to the area from where you begin your journey. The distance from the big towns of Ernakulam district are: Muvattupuzha – fifty four, Perumbavoor – seventy two, Aluva – eighty eight, Angamaly – eighty eight, Kothamangalam – sixty two, Piravom – sixty one, Koothattukulam – fourty four.

*All photos of Illickal Kallu shown above were taken by me on my Asus Zenfone Max during my last visit.

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Vagamon Revisited

Vagamon is a destination that goes back to childhood, and it was only a developing tourist place at that time. One can say that even now, it is a lesser hill station compared to Munnar and Thekkady. The elevation is surely less, and it might not be as cold as it can be in Munnar. On these days, when the road to Munnar is not that great, we decided to go on another trip to Vagamon, and the result was an interesting one. The shooting of Pranav Mohanlal starrer Irupathionnaam Noottandu was going on at the place, and the number of tourists was low. The traffic was also low, and the roads were not that good. There are some areas where the road is in a pathetic state, thanks to the rain which was continuous and had hammered the state.

Well, the journey this time was still better than the last one, as there was not much of a crowd there, and the options were still there. We saw a new suicide point coming up as an attraction with those usual destinations, and it is certain that it could be something to look out for next time with much more being built around that area. There are not many restaurants here now either, as it used to be then. The town hasn’t really developed that much as Munnar and Thekkady did, and the Kurisumala Farm was closed at that time. But the climate was cooler than ever, and the fog added further beauty to the scenic world. It was the combination of Muharram, Sree Narayana Guru Jayanthi, Fourth Saturday and Sunday.

*All photos of Vagamon shown above were taken by me on my Asus Zenfone Max during my last visit.

Click here to go to the latest movie reviews.

TeNy

Being There: Vagamon

The first time I went to Vagamon was during my school days, and during that time, I didn’t know that this place was a hill station. I used to think about it as another scenic place because it was very close to my place, and it might the one hill station which I can go for a one day trip from my location. It is also the only hill station to which I have driven the car all by myself. It is not located not that high as compared to the other popular hill stations like Munnar, Ooty, Kodaikanal, Yercaud and Valparai, and the roads don’t have that much of complicated turns. There is also more than one path to reach there even if you are coming from the same direction.

You can combine the journey to Vagamon with Ilaveezhapoonchira which is another destination on a hill on the way, and is a place of amazing scenic beauty. The first time I was at Vagamon, it was not that much of a big tourist destination, but things have become different now. But still, it doesn’t bring many people from outside Kerala for visit. It is located about a hundred kilometres from the city of Cochin, and the nearest big towns Palai and Thodupuzha are about thirty five and forty five kilometres from Vagamon. Sixty five kilometres away, Kottayam is the nearest railway station. The Cochin Airport is close to a hundred kilometres from Vagamon. Here are ten photos which I had taken during the journey to this particular place, on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310. Even though I have only limited captures of the beauty of the place, I am hoping that this serves as inspiration for your future visit 😀

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The Favourite Shots

I am sharing a few of the favourite shots taken on my camera through this post. I don’t claim that any of them is worthy of a special photography award, but as I have not shared them on this blog, I feel that I will share them anyway. The camera used is a Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 on each and every occasion, and they were all taken at different places. The first one is from Vagamon or somewhere near the place when we were on the way there. I loved this path! It was like the road less taken, and the journey was also very good towards the place of beauty!

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We stayed at Coonoor during our journey to Ooty. Unlike most of the people who keep going on a trip to Ooty and Kodaikanal, I have only been the former once and I have never been to the latter, and that has come as a surprise to many people. I was more than happy to stay here though, as there was so much tea, and walking with tea all around, was always going to be a thing of joy. There are also some interesting place around this one, and Coonoor is not a lesser town.

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Ilaveezhapoonjira remains that blessed tourist place which is so less explored. It will always be something of bliss to be there, and the view is always splendid. The fog actually provides an even better experience. It provides the feeling being somewhere beyond the world that we know, and it is during one of those days that I wish to be there again. I don’t think that I am that much of a traveller any more, but if I go into that more, may be I will be back there and witness the fog and rain.

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The lovely model tourism village, Kumbalangy has been among my favourites for very long. It has a nice place to enjoy the beauty of nature in the form of backwaters. I have visited the place for a very long time, even before it developed. There are some nice shots which one can manage from here and it can be joined with a Fort Cochin-Mattanchery trip during the usual journey to Kochi, and the place also has some old churches around which adds to the beauty. The place gives the opportunity for more beautiful photos.

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Athirappilly Falls might be the best known waterfalls in Kerala, and located well within reach from the Cochin International Airport, the place is visited a lot, and I have wandered around the place quite a number of times myself. With Vazhachal Falls also nearby, this is one shot which I always love. The shot actually reminds me of a number of computer games with waterfalls, and it is actually the place where parts of a lot of Indian movies were shot, including the most talked about flick of recent times, Baahubali and the upcoming Puli. There were also shots for movies like Dil Se, Pukar, Guru, Madras Cafe and many others.

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I have always loved the sculptures of gargoyles on the church buildings, and that interest increased with the movie I, Frankenstein. When I climbed to the top of this church tower at Thrissur, and looked down, I felt like a gargoyle on the tower even though the churches here don’t have that. But looking down from there looks good, as it is known to be Asia’s tallest church, and there is some good view from the top. You do see this church in a lot of movies shot in the city, dominating the skyline – like in Pranchiyettan and the Saint and Thiruvambadi Thamban.

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Munnar has inspired a lot of interesting photos for me, but nothing like a walk through the tea gardens. It has been a long time favourite hill station for me as I have visited the place multiple times. This shot was taken on a beautiful day when we stopped on the side of the road for taking some photos. After some great morning tea, wandering through the tea plantations was going to be an interesting thing to do. After all, tea is life and most of my life has been about it. I still wonder what I will do without tea – I will be without my strength and also without many other things. Then there are movies like Life of Josutty which reminds you of the beauty of Kerala highlands!

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