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The Wild Kerala - My Treasured Summer Vacation of 2023

Sarah Mohammed Wednesday, September 27, 2023
The Wild Kerala - My Treasured Summer Vacation of 2023

Traveling, it leaves you speechless and then turns you into a Storyteller.”

~ Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta, one of the greatest travelers of the world, underline the importance of ‘travels’ through the above quote. I spent my Summer Vacation of 2023 by traveling around in the ever-green Kerala, focusing on adventurous activities.

Vagamon Hill Station: Vagamon, locally called as the ‘Mystic Land’ owing to its amazing beauty, is a verdant foliage territory where one will be surprised looking at the variety of green shades all around. Our first destination was a vacation home called ‘Sanrah Bungalow’ which is in a quiet countryside on the higher altitudes of the Vagamon hills. Here, the nature comes to its colorful best with overtone of lush green everywhere and the elements are in perfect harmony. Throughout our stay there, I was enlightened with enchanting view of the jungle brook meandering through the valley down, its never-ending charming murmur, mesmerizing songs of birds in various tunes, lush green rolling hills all around and pleasant view of lonely woods that fringe the property.

One day, we visited the famous ‘Vagamon Meadows’ which is a collection of small hills with lush green grass, a popular tourist places that shouldn’t be missed. The Adventure Club there offers prospects for zip-lining and sky-cycling. Also, because of its terrain, the hills are famous for trekking, paragliding and rock climbing, making it a perfect attraction for adventure seekers. With the help of a local guide, we trekked the famous ‘Thangal Para’ hill which is around 2500 feet above the sea level. The trekking and rock-climbing experiences we gained from the place is unforgettable.

Pampadum Shola National Park: Literally meaning "the grassy forest where the snake dances", it is the smallest national park in Kerala where Nilgiri Marten, an endangered carnivore, is protected. The Park is also famous for Neelkurinji plants with bright blue flowers that makes the entire area looks blue when it blooms – however they blooms only once in 12 years!

We stayed at the forest accommodation called the ‘Marten Room’. At the evening, a heard of gaurs came to the grass land behind our room. They spread out everywhere enjoying their evening meal providing us with a visual treat. Next day morning we were fortunate to see a pack of wild dogs passing by the road in front of our room.

The Horse Ride through the Farm Route: The key farm villages in Kerala-Tamil Nadu border are Vattavada, Koviloor, Kottakamboor, etc., from where comes various fruits and vegetables. Due to the scenic beauty these villages are often referred as the “Switzerland of Kerala”. Most of these villages are connected to each other through horse track.

A family friend who is a farmer by occupation at Vattavada, gave us a big surprise by offering horses to ride to the nearby remote villages, a track of almost 20 Kms.

We started on horse-back from Vattavada through the farm route that zig-zagged the green hills and the woods. Soon, I realized that my focus shouldn’t be on controlling the horse but in enjoying the beautiful changing terrain around me – steep climbs, steep slopes, tall grass lands, open fields, meadows, woods – the land changed its forms continuously in a mystical way as our ride progressed – I was captivated by the beauty of the land around me. The experience was so magical that we were completely absorbed into the beautiful scenery around us. Occasionally, the horses stayed at some natural water sources to sip water and to rest. I felt I was at the top of the world. Every moment was unbelievably attractive that magically bounded us to the nature. No words can explain the feel the ride gave us.

The Kerala trip was action-packed and lively. While enjoying my holidays, I also learned new things to expand knowledge. The best message I got during this Vacation is that vacations are opportunities to try something new, a chance to discover new passions and places and thus to create lifelong memories.

Sarah Mohammed
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Praveen ANTONY
Sunday, October 8, 2023
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