Vagamon 101: Exploring the Secret Town of Kerala

A very small hill town in the south-eastern Idukki District, Vagamon is Kerala’s well-kept secret. A place not familiar even to Keralites, Wagamon (alternate spelling, not a typo) is a fusion of Nature and adventure in equal and fulfilling proportions. Before we dive into the things to do in Vagamon, lets get to know the town a little.

The Landscape

The perpetual mist that wraps itself around the hills, valleys, and meadows of Vagamon is like a crown adorned by the queen; for the very same reason that it leaves you enchanted. With deep violet, almost velvety skies at dusk and hues of bright orange at dawn, the colour palette of Vagamon’s skies is vibrant and eclectic to say the least. (1).jpg

The landscape itself is rich with rocky hills, lush meadows, dense Pine forests, rugged areas, and even delicate flowers. The river Meenachil, originating from Kottayam, flows through the town, adding to its beauty.


With all this beauty quietly tucked in its arms, tell me, doesn’t Vagamon sound like a secret Kerala has been hiding for long?

Now, let’s water your curiosity and make it your general Vagamon travel blog.

What’s the best season for Vagamon?

Being a hill station, the temperature at Vagamon swings between 10 and 30, keeping it pleasant throughout the year.

In the monsoons, its many waterfalls come to life, gushing with ecstasy. In hot summers, the breezes take you by surprise, more pleasant than anywhere else in Kerala. In winters, paragliders enjoy the best of their times, as the weather is welcoming and the mist aplenty, making the whole scenario perfect for a memorable flight.


Which is to say that each season has its own charm in Vagamon. So in fact, you can visit it more than once, for a different reason and purpose each time.

How to reach Vagamon

By flight

If you’re flying down to Kerala, the nearest airport to Vagamon is the Kochi International Airport, COK at a distance of 95km from the town. You can take a private cab from the airport for Vagamon.

By train

If you’re coming by train, you’ll have to get down at Kottayam, which is 63km from Vagamon. There are direct buses from Kottayam to Vagamon at a good frequency.

By bike/car/public transport

If you’re planning a road trip by your own vehile or public transport, you can refer to this map we’ve made. You'll find it in our blog: Reaching Vagamon, Simplified.

By the Way

I’ve already uploaded a blog dedicated entirely to reaching Vagamon, with the tiniest details on the bus routes, taxi fares, flight rates, and more. You can check it out here.

Feel like leaving for Vagamon right away? Book the most fulfilling experience with us here!

Things to do in Vagamon

Vagamon for Adventure Buffs

1. Paragliding

The rule is this- your trip to Vagamon didn't happen if you didn't go paragliding! Come over for the most thrilling gliding experience you can have in South India, as you glide over green valleys and meadows, lakes and dams, and misty hills that take your breath away. We’ve tried this and we can only say one thing: each econd of the 20-minute flight is ecstatic!


Charges: The rates for Paragliding in Vagamon are INR 3500 with an extra charge of INR 500 for video shooting.

Here’s the good news: Zostelers get an exclusive discount of 10% on paragliding. You can book this experience directly at the reception at Zostel Vagamon.

2. Off Roading

Vagamon makes for a great place to indulge in some hardcore adventure. There are 3 routes for off-roading: one that takes you through the grass meadows (Uluppunni), another one that takes you through the thick pine forests, and a third one, which is strictly for professional off-roaders.


Vagamon hosts the perfect surroundings for off-roading, so we highly recommend the sport to all travellers and backpackers.

3. Rock Climbing, Mountaineering, Ziplining

Perfect Tense Adventures, an adventure site in Vagamon offers experiences like ziplining, artificial rock-climbing, paintball, archery, and more. If you're here to have some fun, you're definitely not ging to regret it!

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Imagine Kayaking amongst the greenery, ziplining with a vast view to marvel, and spending a day full of fun with fellow travellers. We're already hyped  up about this!


Sounds like a plan? Book your Vagamon experience here!

The best hikes in Vagamon

4. Kurisumala

Hike up to the hill, passing the dairy farm set up by the Catholic monks, which makes for an interesting place to visit in itself. With a Church atop the hill, the hike is a good way of rejuvenating due to the blissful vibes of the monastery, all the while enjoying the best of views.


5. Moonmala

The peak gives way to a splendid view of the 3 dams of Kerala. It is a great place to enjoy sunrises and sunsets and takes an hour and 15 minutes to reach the peak of the hill.

6. Kolahalamedu

The highest peak in Vagamon, you can expect the best of views from here. A hike to this place should be on your list no matter what else you plan to do in Vagamon.

7. Thangal Para

A religious place for the Muslims, the Thangal Para also doubles for a great hiking destination. The Dargah at the top of the hill is a sacred place for the pilgrims and sees the most visitors in the month of April.

8. Murugan Para

A third hill that is also a religious place, Murugan Para is often visited by Hindu devotees who want to pay their offerings to Lord Murugan in his rock-cut temple at the top. Yet another hiking place we love to visit.

Tourist places to visit in Vagamon

9. Pine Forests

Popular primarily for its thick pine forests, Vagamon sees a maximum of tourists for this very attraction. And yes, the visit is always worth it. Imagine walking into a gigantic space full of trees, taller than your vision goes. The forest also offers unique flora and fauna if you have the eye to spot them.


10. Enjoy Vagamon Meadows

The meadows of Vagamon sport colours like green, yellow, brown, purple, and red. The grass, soil, mist, and the sun, all come together to offer a sight that will leave you awestruck to say the least. These meadows have been covered in many Indian films and shows, making them all the more popular.


11. The famous suicide point, Mooppanpara

I believe that a place so beautiful as Mooppanpara should not be given a name of this kind. If you want to watch a sunrise/sunset that stays with you long after your sojourn to Vagamon is over, you might want to head here. I’ll leave it at that.

12. Marmala & Shivganga Waterfalls

While Vagamon is home to umpteen waterfalls, these two are the best ones to visit. Enjoy a dip in the cold, fresh waters as you’re surrounded by green trees and mist. Should make for a sight!


13. The Kurisumala Ashram

A Catholic Monastery, the Kurisumala Ashram sees monks from all over the world. The reason being the strong spiritual vibes of the place, resulting from a mix of the Catholic and Indian traditions.

Sadly, the Ashram has now closed its doors to most of the visitors, making it difficult to access. The reason behind this was the nuisance tourists caused in the Ashram, thus meddling with its clean aura and peaceful vibe.

However, if you’re really involved in meditation and would love to have a serene experience, Zostel Vagamon can arrange a visit to the Ashram upon request. You’ll have to be very quiet, genuinely interested, and considerate though. 😊 Also, it is only a 10 min drive from Zostel.

Unique things to do in Vagamon

14. Learn about Tea Plantation at MASCO tea farms

Zostel Vagamon arranges tours to the tea farms, where they show you how tea plantation is done in detail. Learn a thing or two about farming, sip on some freshly grown tea, and spend your time in the middle of scented tea plants.


15. Visit the Uluppunni tunnel

A 4km long manmade tunnel in the middle of the wild greens of Vagamon, the Uluppunni tunnel is a rarely visited place offering gorgeous views. You can spare half a day for visiting this place.

16. Day trip to Thekkady

The Periyar National Park in Thekkady is a popular tourist attraction in Kerala and is only a 2-hour drive from Vagamon. You can spot tigers, elephants, rare lion-tailed macaques, sambar deer, leopards and the Indian bison amongst other animals.


Zostel Vagamon arranges jungle safari tours to Thekkady upon request, with charge of INR 5000 (to and for) for a jeep that fits 7 people. The ticket to enter the Tiger Reserve is INR 100.

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Book your best Vagamon experience with us here!

How to get around in Vagamon

Since it is a very small town, getting around Vagamon can be a slight problem if you’ve not brought your own vehicle. However, at Zostel, two-wheelers are up for rentals. But to avail them, you’ll have to make a request in advance.

The only alternative to that, of course, is walking everywhere.

Heads Up:

Information on fuelling the vehicles will be provided by the manager at Zostel Vagamon, since there are no petrol pumps in the town.

The History of Vagamon

Vagamon has a fairly simple history of origin, just like many other towns. It was discovered by the Britishers in somewhere around 1926, when they saw the potential in its rich landscape to reap out tea plants. By 1930, popular tea plantation companies started setting up their own plantations here, and that’s how it became popular as a town of tea-estates. Fast forward to the 1950s. The Kurisumala Ashram was set up and that proved to change things for the land forever. The town started seeing development and residents since then.

However, Vagamon was never really popular as a tourist destination. Till date, it sees few tourists and fewer backpackers. So, if you want to indulge in a truly nature-oriented experience, Vagamon is the place to go.

How many days should I spend in Vagamon?

Although the answer is always relative to this one, I would recommend you to come here with 4 days to spare. A day for paragliding and offroading, another one to cover 2-3 hikes, one day to relax and visit the meadows and tea plantations, and a 4th one for the forests, waterfalls, and other places that interest you.

Vagamon tea plantations balcony view with hammock

Zostel Vagamon

Nested amidst the meadows and tea-estates lies one house-like structure, looking out at the marvellous views without sharing them with anyone. The picture you imagined in your head is of Zostel Vagamon, and its word to word what you just read. Here’s proof.

A happening little place in a laid-back town, Zostel Vagamon is a backpacking hostel in Kerala, which is easily a travellers’ haven for resorting to nature. With our largest yet common area that screens the marvellous landscapes through its glass walls, you don’t have to go far to find a spellbinding view.

Zostel Vagamon in Kerala hill station meadows

Book your Zostel Vagamon experience here.

Enjoy stargazing, bonfires, a game of carrom or TT, or lie down in the hammock as you watch an amazing sunrise or sunset, all from the foyer of Zostel Vagamon itself.

About Zostel

Zostel is Asia’s largest chain of Backpacking Hostels. With 34 homes across India and Nepal & counting, we provide travellers with budget accommodation and an unforgettable stay experience while travelling. We’re especially known to be a cool place to meet amazing people to have fun and travel with.

You can know more about us on our website. If you have a query, you can get in touch with us on our Instagram here. And if you liked this article, hop on this exciting trip ASAP; alright?

You can book Zostel Vagamon here!

Writer, Pranavi.