Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Golden Isle: Varkala - An island worth exploring


We have been to Varkala umpteen times. But never heard of Golden Isle. One of our family friends suggested this place. On google search and local enquiry found that this is an island which has a temple inside. But more details were unavailable. Anyway it being near to our home we decided to explore this place on a weekend.

After getting up "early" in the morning we got ready for the journey by about 11am. The party consisted of two families.

The route -
Thiruvananthapuram -> Kazhakkoottam (NH 47) -> Attingal (NH 47) -> Turn left to Kadakkavur -> Vakkom -> Golden Isle.

The local name of "Golden Isle" is Thuruth. Any route queries to locals should be about "Thuruth Temple".
From Varkala one can reach this place via the Varkala, Vakkom route.
Just before a newly constructed bridge amidst a lot of trees we saw a small board - Golden Isle. The "smallevity" of the board made us little apprehensive about the place.
Anyway got inside.
The place looked deserted. But we could see the lake. On enquiring with the only soul marching in that yard, found out that we could get a boat from there to the thuruth and that we are in for a lunchless outing. Anyway we waited for the boat here. The weather was little cloudy. But the lake was slowly growing upon us.
The boat arrived



We started our boat journey.

Bye bye to our starting point. See the wakes created by the yamaha powered water cruiser.



The photographer in me suddenly jumped out and started clicking all around. The cloudy weather means the water color was not blue. Still it was a worthy coz it is this changing colors which makes one enjoy the same place again and again.
The boat driver announced that we can now see the "thuruth" (island) . You can see the island the center portion of this image



The thuruth was getting closer & closer. The boat cruise through this vast lake was slowly getting into our head and the expectations about the golden isle was soaring up.

The entrance to the isle is visible now. Hmmm not bad.




On entry to this island itself there was a hanging rope with a tyre. To kick off things tried all type of stunts in that piece of toy. The ropes strenght was tested by mass equalling or above 80 kilograms.


There was a small pooll near by. Did not venture into that due to the non availablility of spare dress.

Next there was an "eerumadam" means a tree house. The steps are made up of wood and constructed in such a way that even children can climb to the tree without losing the effect of climbing a real tree.



Tried different poses to see whether there is any resemblance to spieces which matches desperatly close to mankind




Still we were at the entrance of the island. One elderly man came to us and told us that we can walk inside the island whereever we want. In between he will come and guide us. When we told that we did not have lunch expecting some sort of resort here, he brought us two packets of payasam from the temple. Yummy yummy we gulped it fully from top of the tree itself. It was so tasty. Another pic from the entry point.



We started walking in. Next was a children's park. The kids were happy. Even we were happy too. We tried see saw, sliders and started jumping around releasing all our negative energies.


After exploring each of the machinery available in the park we began our trek inside the island. The natural landscape was reminiscent of a forest.



In between there were some stuff kept for relaxing. Made full use of it. The experience of lying here with the cool breeze from the lake and surrounded by greenery is something which takes us to another world.


These chairs were simple in design and it blended with the natural landscape well. The person who designed this had a clear intention on the ambience matching. My friend enjoying the comfort of the three piece wooden chair


I found comfort amids the creepers where there was wooded bed.

Slowly this resort was making us more and more amazed. So neatly arranged, no crowds, cloudy weather, waterfront view.. What more can one ask for?



Another chair, but this one was kept facing the lake. The beauty of all the furnishing is that, the presence of these piece of small furniture is not visible in a single look. The vast view of the lake from this point is still fresh in our cache memory


Another chair amidst the trees.


We kept on walking more and more deep into the forest. Meanwhile I was trying innovative ways to look impressive. Found an evil dead style tree and posing before it with those branches appearing to be generated from by back and shoulders. But the fact is that no one apart from me could understand the concept.


More deeper into the isle amidst the forest.



Soon we reached an open place where there was a boat and the gate to the temple was visible. Decided to take some rest at this place.

One set of foreigners came from somewhere inside, entered one of the boats and they went away. The scenary of the row boat ferrying in the lake was a treat to the eyes and soon the intensity variation of that frame was available in the CCD pixels of my cam.

All the views from this point looked like a painting.

The kids enjoyed a session of coconut throwing.

After breathing in a lot of unpolluted air we started our walk again. Now we saw the temple - the thuruth temple.



There was a well near the temple. The water from the well was really cool and really clear too. Enjoyed the clear waters for a change from our routine of using chlorinated drinking water.
Next there was a ground sort of open space. Kids were happy again after the long walk. A view from the ground. A small boat was visible long way ahead.

Decided to test the zooming levels of the camera. Zoomed in and clicked a pic. Voila, now I could see more clearly.


Not satisfied with the zoom, zoooooooomed it more. Now I could see the man.


The kids started to play with the only toy available with us. A soft ball. Soon we could not resist the temptation and started playing with them.

Throw it higher and higher. Still the earlier boat has not moved much distance - it is visible in the background.
By this time it was already 4pm and we forgot that we didn't have lunch. More than us there were four kids who also were not fed anything apart from the payasam and some drinking water. The concerned parents in our body suddenly jumped out and the nature enthusiasts suddenly vanished. Had a brisk walking to the return point.

The boat was waiting for us.


The yamaha was ignited to life, and off we gooo.. bye bye island.



The boat jetty from where we alighted was soon visible.

Suddenly the nature enthusiasts propped up again and asked the driver to have one more rounds through this beautiful lake. He agreed and we continued our journey. Some more clicks



The clouds were getting darker and darker. So we decided to finish of the journey. The boat man dropped us and he whisked back through the gorgeous waters, which was also a treat to watch.




Overall it was a great experience. They charged very nominal rates.

This place is worth a visit for its natural beauty, flora and fauna, the ambience created by nature, the cool breeze, the dense trees, and above all to breath fresh and unpolluted air.

Team outings can also be arranged here. Only vegetarian food will be served at the island, since there is a temple in the island. For this we have to contact the concerned person in advance.

Update- Another outing in 2010
We went there again in 2010, this time with a whole bunch of relatives. This time called the manager for arranging a lunch too and what transpired was something we will never forget. The food was so tasty and the hospitality they provided was something truely great. Having lunch atop a buidling with the vast lake flowing by the side, viewing all the flora and fauna, oh an experience which I cannot describe in words. Every preparation was homely and since they served fish too the lunch was arranged in the boat jetty and not in the island. We proceeded to the island after having food and needless to say we had a real good time.

Good to see that the owner of this property has commented here with a link to the website

12 comments:

Ankit said...

Beautiful Pictures ..

subu.ps said...

thanks Ankit!!

Mohan said...

Seems to be an interesting place. Thanks for all the details and a whole set of pics! Sure, will add it to my list of 'to visit' places :)

Shrinath Vashishtha said...

Exotic locale with out-of-the-world natural surroundings! Loved the pics and the details. You guys seem to have had a gem of a good time, Subu!

Look forward to visiting Kerala (God's Own Country) soon. I have a lot of friends there, including you. Cheers! :)

A TRIBE & LANGUAGE GO EXTINCT IN ANDAMAN

subu.ps said...

@ Mohan, Yes it is an interesting place, to be precise a naturally beautiful place. Don't expect five star facilities there. Thanks for dropping in and commenting. I am a fan of your blogs

@Shrinath Vashishtha. yes we had a good time. The kids had good company and they enjoyed the space while we adored the nature.

Welcome to God's own country dear Friend !!!

deepazartz said...

Beautiful place with so much greenery around...Ne'er heard of it...should try to visit the place sometime...

Thanks for sharing it with us:)

rocksea said...

thanks for letting us know of the thuruth. will check out some day.

MADHU RAO | (INDImag.COM) said...

Lovely place and pics.

What do you do for a living Subu ? I would want to do the same if I can see all the places you keep going to :-)

subu.ps said...

@deepazartz: Thanks, it was unknown to me tooo.
@rocksea: yes it is worth a visit (a half day outing is good enough)

subu.ps said...

@Madhu Rao: Haha, I do write/manage software development and puts in atleast 9 to 12 hours work everyday, but strictly for 5 days only. The weekends are completely for outings and time with my family.
All these trips have been made in the past 6 to 8 years. I had a log of all these which I am uploading

Sundari Venkatraman said...

Te pics are just awesome. Lovely place. Don't know whether I will get to see it in person. But I am glad that I could see the place through your pictures. Thank you :)

sharath.ms said...

Hi Guys !!

Please do visit www.golden-isle.com.

Thanks
Sarath S
Co-Owner(Golden isle)

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