Vagamon

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Vagamon
Wagamon
Hill station
Vagamon Meadow 1
Vagamon meadow
Nickname(s): Scotland of Asia
Vagamon is located in Kerala
Vagamon
Vagamon
Location in Kerala, India
Vagamon is located in India
Vagamon
Vagamon
Vagamon (India)
Coordinates: 9°40′50″N 76°52′0″E / 9.68056°N 76.86667°E / 9.68056; 76.86667Coordinates: 9°40′50″N 76°52′0″E / 9.68056°N 76.86667°E / 9.68056; 76.86667
Country  India
State Kerala
District Kottayam, Idukki
Government
 • Type Democracy
Elevation 1,200 m (3,900 ft)
Languages
 • Official Malayalam, English
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN 685503
Vehicle registration KL-37, KL-35
Nearest city erattupetta, Elappara, Kattappana, kottayam,
Nearest Railway Station

Kottayam,

Nearest airport = Cochin International Airport

Vagamon, also spelt Wagamon, is a hill station located in Meenachil taluk and Kanjirappally taluk of Kottayam district and Peerumade taluk of Idukki district of the state of Kerala, India.

Climate[edit]

Darayan Kanam

It has a cool climate, with the temperature between 10 and 23 °C during a summer midday. It is situated 1,100 metres above sea level.

History[edit]

Vagamon was used by the British for tea plantations and they were followed by Christian missionaries who built their abode of service at Kurisumala in Vagamon. National Geographic Traveler has listed Vagamon on their directory of the "50 most attractive places to visit in India".[1]

Tourism[edit]

Western Ghats as seen from Vagamon View Point

Still untouched by commercialisation, the sleepy town is surrounded by valleys, green meadows, pine forests, mists, fogs, tea estates, waterfalls and overall greenery.[citation needed] The landscape is mostly hilly bald with green meadows. Vagamon is also home to a variety of flowers and orchids. Three hills - Thangal, Murugan and Kurisumala hills - are the representation of the chief religions in Kerala, i.e. Hindu, Muslim, and Christian which represent the cultural harmony. Vagamon has amenities for trekking, paragliding, mountaineering and rock climbing. However, business interests are trying their best to exploit and sell and market Vagamon for tourists.[citation needed] How much benefit the local people are receiving from tourism boom is to be seen.[original research?] The efforts made by the Kurishumala Ashram have helped the farmers of Vagamon to improve their earnings by ensuring better prices for milk and marketing opportunities.[2] Vagamon also host the only Ultra Trail Marathon in Kerala, every January. It is organized by Soles of Cochin, a non-profit running Club.[3]

Geography[edit]

Waterfall on Vagamon road

Vagamon is at the fringe of the Western Ghats and the foothills on its lower side reach up to Teekoy with a gradual descent. This narrow strip of descending land gives a vital connectivity to the plains as both sides of Vagamon up to Kuttikkanam on the south-west and Moolamattom on the north-east, are marked by steep and inaccessible hill slopes. Travelling by the hill highway in this section is an exhilarating experience,[original research?] with deep valleys and views all around. Reaching Vagamon itself involves traversing a meandering road that is cut into solid rock and lined with pine forests.

Transportation[edit]

Vagamon Road

The road to Vagamon from Erattupetta (Erattupetta is also known as the gateway of Malanadu) opened an easily accessible and direct route to Vagamon from the plains. This road, which was constructed in the 1950s, was an engineering marvel and is rated a state highway. The road was made in treacherous and dizzying terrain under the initiative and leadership of Acharya Francis who established the Kurisumala Ashramam. About a dozen workers died during the construction at the hanging cliffs, and a 20-foot-tall memorial tower stands in honour of those who gave their life for this road project at the beginning of the road in Teekoy town junction.

Education[edit]

¤ DC School of Management and Technology (DCSMAT) and DC School Of Architecture And Design are the two institutions, promoted by DC Kizhakemuri Foundation and co-promoted by DC Books, located in Pullikkanam near Vagamon. DCSMAT, one of the leading management colleges in Kerala, has two campuses located in Thiruvananthapuram and Vagamon.[4] DCSMAT offer courses such as Master of Business Administration (MBA), Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com), Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). DC School Of Architecture And Design provides courses such as Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design (BA Interior Design) and Bachelor of Architecture (BArch).

  • College of dairy science under veterinary university near veterinary hospital is the newly formed educational institute in Vagamon.

Schools[edit]

  • Gov. HSS Vagamon
  • St. Alphonsa EM school
  • INDO-AMERICAN International school
  • St. Anthony's HS Vellikulam near Vagamon
  • St. Thomas HS Pullikkanam near Vagamon

Location[edit]

Vagamon is located 15 km from Kottamala ,39 km from Thodupuzha, 23 km from Erattupetta, 33 km from Palai, 45 km from Kumily, 22 km from Kuttikanam and about 65 km from Kottayam. Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport, while the closest railway station is Kottayam. There are many fine resorts available in the surrounding areas with affordable cost for trekkers. Key tourist centers such as Thekkady, Peermade and Kulamavu are straightforwardly reachable from Vagamon.

Places of interest[edit]

  1. The nearby Kurisumala Ashram is an abode of calm and spiritual delight. This hill area includes 12 sub mounds where pilgrims visit. Travelers can enjoy trekking and climbing this high hill. The area is fully surrounded with tea estates and lakes.
  2. Hitech Bull Mother Farm KLDB Kolahalamedu.Acclaimed as a top research-oriented facility in the dairy sector in the State, the high-tech bull mother farm comes under the Kerala Livestock Development Board (KLDB), which was born after the integration of the Indo Swiss Project, Kerala, and the Bull Station in Dhoni in 1976. (restricted entry)
  3. Vagamon Meadows: The rolling green meadows of Vagamon has a lake amidst them. It has for long been a favorite location for shooting movie songs
  4. Bible Believers' Assembly is located on Zion Nagar, Vagamon its a place to worship God in Truth and Spirit. It is the first Pentecostal church in Vagamon now with Malayalam, Tamil worship services
  5. Mitraniketan: Padma Shri Laurie Baker's & wife Dr. Elizabeth Baker's residence and hospital (now the residence is known as Ashasadan) also home to nurse Alina Cattani, and Dr. Hildegarde Sina, built by Laurie Baker in 1964 his inimitable style of architecture.
  6. Pine Forests: A valley having huge lofty pine trees lined in rows (pine valleys is one of the Most attractive place in Vagamon)
  7. Murugan Hill: It is situated near to Thangal Para. A Murugan temple is situated which is devoted to Lord Muruga with gorgeous stone age carving.[5]
  8. Paragliding and Paragliding Festival
  9. Mooppanpara: It is a v-shaped canyon, one of the admired viewpoints as well acknowledged as a suicide point. The outlook from the summit of the strenuous climb is amazing.

Feature films in Vagamon[edit]

Song sequences of many South Indian films are shot in Vagamon. Recently, the Naseeruddin Shah starrer - The Blueberry Hunt -and Mammootty starrer The Great Father was also shot in Vagamon and surrounding area.

Issues[edit]

Organised crime activity

In August 2008, the Kerala Police said it had begun investigations two months back into a training camp organized in December 2007 by the banned SIMI activist[6]

Natural disaster

Always be alert and keep yourself safe by not standing on a hilltop when there is suspected rain since there can be a lightning hazard.

On 18 August 2014, two tourists from Kozhikode died in Vagamon, after lightning struck them. Others who were with them sustained minor injuries. The incident happened at around 4:30 PM when the tourists were hanging around the barren hill tops. Both fell after the lightning hit them and their dresses had burnt out. Though both were taken to hospital, they died by the time they arrived.[7][8]

People[edit]

Vagamon consists of mostly Malayali people. In addition, there are a lot of Tamil people in Vagamon. Tamil people arrived here as labourers on estates. These people settled here and now they are also the part in government, education, farming, etc.

In some cases of official purposes, Tamil is also used as an additional official language. In some rural areas of Vagamon, Tamil people have more dominant population than Malayalis. Now, most of the Tamil people speak Malayalam. Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are the most widely practised religions in Vagamon.

Notable people[edit]

Books[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]