Saturday, July 24, 2010

Team Day Out @ Ashtamudi Resort

God's own country surely is in the eyes of those in the resort business, because of its tourism potential. At times it feels that these resorts which are coming up in every nook and corner will eventually eat up the beauty of the place as it is sure to disturb the eco system. But such resorts also has helped in enhancing the image of the state and also in bringing up more and more tourists, whom otherwise will never know about such beautiful places. These resorts also has given a lot of options for those strangled in the IT grills of the corporate world to have a solace in the name of team outings which sure helps to renergize, revitalize and strengthen bonding, all of these eventually leading to more productivity (in most of the cases!!).

Well, yours truly had a chance to be part of a team outing of a very vibrant team of one of the companies from the first Technopark of India, which happened to be in God's own country. The chosen destination was the Ashtamudi resorts at Quilon (Kollam), Kerala managed by the resort giant, Club Mahindra. All those who might have travelled in train from Thiruvananthapuram via Kollam might have seen the numerous amount of bridges, the train will pass through, most of them over backwaters, many a times which we will think of how great it will be to have a life in those lake sides enjoying the brilliant landscape and calmness around. This resort which has been built up on the banks of ashtamudi lake surely helps to quench this passion.

It was a day outing and we had a early morning start from Thiruvananthapuram. The route is

Thiruvananthpuram -- (NH 47,72km) --- Quilon (Kollam) --- Neendakara --- (turn right after neendakara bridge) ---- Club Mahindra resort

The National Highway 47, was in bad shape thanks to the heavy downpour. Still it can be termed as one of the best maintained roads considering the pathetic road condition in many other parts of the state.

Passed quilon in about 1 hour, after which the distance to Neendakara felt much more than the 10kms, due to the really bad roads. The arrival of Neendakara is signified by the fish market and this beautiful church just before the bridge.

Just after the bridge turned right through a narrow road. We have to travel 4 kms through this road. A little ahead, we approached a bridge and the first sight of it made me stop the vehicle.

Stood on top of the bridge enjoying the vast lake and the chinese fishing nets. Soon we saw huge dark clouds approaching us from a distance.

The dark clouds soon engulfed the bridge and it was a sight to enjoy.

Waited for the rains to lash across and the vast view ensured that we could see the rains approaching us from a distance. Watch the rains at a distance.

The sound of rain falling on water was slowly increasing as it was coming more and more closer, still we stood there coz it was a real sight to enjoy and we do love rains. Finally it lashed on the bridge.

Needless to say we were drenched in water, by the time we were able to get inside the vehicle. I did not start the vehicle, but enjoyed the rains from one of the best locations to enjoy natures fury.

Soon we proceeded with our journey and reached the resorts. On a first look we could not see any buildings around even after we passed the gate. The reception was a small traditional kerala house. There was a small club house also nearby with some indoor activities. Kids were soon inside the club house.

The rest of the team were still on their way. I could get a glimpse of the lake from inside the club house. Seems very promising, but the clouds were still looming large.

Games of foosball took centre stage followed by carroms, after which the entire team arrived. We all moved to the party hall which was housed in a separate building. This type of construction surely, has helped in not disturbing the naturality of this place. Most of the houses seemed to be traditional ones already exisiting the area, which has been spruced up by good interior designing.

Watch the roof of the party hall, a typical Kerala style tiled roof.

Inside party hall everything was neatly arranged.

Club Mahindra surely keeps with their ad campaign of having great holidays, as they arranged a game organizer who took over the mantle of keeping us entertained.

A loosening up session soon followed which made all the 30 member team to be on the centre dancing to the tune of music along with using their minds to tightly compete in an interesting team game. 

More and more team games followed soon all the members got involved and the host was successfull in giving us a quality time together and in no time it was 1pm and we soon had a good lunch. I took a stroll out just to have a feel of the sprawling resort.

There are different kinds of cottages around. All of them were small traditional kerala homes.
This is a premium double storeyed cottage facing the lake.

Another one which was also on the lake front.

But the most interesting cottage here is the one which is floating in the lake. This one is sure to give one a floating experience right through out their stay

The floating restaurant was a pleasing sight too.

Tourists are transported around in an ecofriendly battery powered vehicle.

How about reading a novel or a just relaxing in the swing right besided the lake enjoying the cool breeze.

There was a neatly maintained swimming pool too.

Saw this beautiful and bright colored passenger boat disturbing the calm waters by sounding a weird horn passing across.

The view of the beautiful fishing nets was waiting to be shot again and again, and I did take around 20 snaps of the same frame at different times of the day.

Meanwhile the team had completed lunch and it was time for a boat cruise through this lake.
Not only the elders but kids also found new friends and could be seen engage in animated conversation.

Our ride for the lake cruise was ready. The sight of it stationed in lakeside was a beauty.

The clouds was cleared and sky became blue. The color of lake also followed suite.
Got inside the beautiful house boat.

Another guy from Club Mahindra soon took over and more games was arranged along with the cruise.
The cruise gave another dimension to the beauty of this place.

The view of the floating restaurant from inside the boat.

Watch the lakeview cottages amidst the trademark coconut trees of Kerala.

But the most beautiful sight was this floating cottage.

As we moved further deep in the lake, the number of cottages on the frame increased. No doubt, it would be a great experience to be in one of these cottages.

We enjoyed the cruise in the sprawling lakes as much as we enjoyed the games inside the boat. It was already 4pm in the evening we retuned to land.

Immediately we moved on the swimming pool and kids park.

There was a big air filled ball near the pool. Out of curiosity we asked one of the staff on its purpose and he immediately responded by giving us a demo on its usage. These pictures tells the story of what happened next.

Soon another game started and it was fun at pool.

Once the pool session ended, kids were off to the park and needless to say they tasted each of the equipment.

A game of badminton near the lakeside is a different experience alltogether.

There were lot of activities happening, but the coolness of the place ensured that energy levels are not drained out.
Eventhough it was almost dusk, kids were wanting more and they got really happy when they found this jumping board with lots of colored balls.

What followed soon was a series of jumping, diving, falling and whatever they can do on board the jumping board. It was fun watching them enjoy, eventhough Club Mahindra was charging separate for all these small small amusement items in addition to the day out rate.

The sky had almost cleared up and the lake scene became just more superb.

The fishing nets again got into my frame, but this time it was the clouds which made me click this.

All good things have to end and today was no different. It was time to move on, but we have no complaints as we had an excellent rejuvenating day when everyone enjoyed.

Slowly but steadily we began our return journey. The dusk presented us another opportunity to stop at the bridge where we stopped on our onward journey.

It was a hectic day, but a day which surely helped us rejuvenate. Thanks to the organisers at Club Mahindra for coordinating the activities and to all the guys and gals for giving a good company.

Quick Facts

Name of place:
Club Mahindra Resort @ Ashtamudi

Quilon, 75 km from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.

Beautiful lakefront cottages and floating cottages.
House boat cruise through the sprawling Ashtamudi Lake
Lots of Indoor and outdoor games.

Any time seems to be enjoyable. Even rains are a treat to watch from these cottages.

The resort houses a floating restaurant which serves food.

Other nearby attractions
1. Aquaserene - amidst backwaters
2. Golden Isle - Varkala


Viper said...

just love the clouds...nice narration too..!!

Anu said...

nice pics as usual! and i really envy you for the number of holidays u seem to get! and the wonderful places u go to! I havent been to ashtamudi yet... planning to go sometime!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

We're trying Jungle Lodges this month end... CM resort next on target

Roshmi Sinha said...

Another wonderful post intersperced with some great pics! Your life sure is a number of small holidays/vacations... said...

viper bhai, thanx !!! said...

hello Anu!!
Well this is just my weekend passion and all trips are mostly single day trips to locations nearby my home. These trips makes me fresh and prepare for the challenges I have to face!!! I know that there is no need to tell you about the benefits of holidaying with family and friends :) said...

hello Shrinidhi
Thanks for ur visit and comment. All the best for your jungle loges trip said...

Hello Roshmi
Thanks for dropping by and for the nice words.
Well this is just the holiday perspective of my life !!!

chitra said...

Awesome pictures.I loved the lakeside cottages.

JoshiMukard said...

Hi chetta, Another nice post from you. In general, your posts are always informative. The one thing I like the most about your writing is your honest love for nature. You are so involved in the beauty of the place, sometimes you even forget or fail to notice the negatives of a particular place. Once Mr. Balachandran V, your friend, commented about this on one of your posts. But I dont mean to say you should include the 'other side' as well.

I have noticed, your love for nature makes you enjoy even simple things you see on the roadside like a twisted tree or a rock which looks like a lotus bud. Your photos speak volumes. I like this attitude of yours.

You may be wondering how I know Mr. Balachandran. Infact I have read most of your posts. Right from your college trip to Kathmandu with Padakam gang, and your bullet trip to ooty with Mr. Bala, and friends.

Your blog always makes me feel nostalgic, and wanting to come back to kerala. But I do visit kerala through your blog daily.

Saumya said...

you know what... i love travelling...but have not travelled much..(ll definitely do in the future)but your blog makes me feel as if i have half visited the place!!! said...

hello Chithra
Thanks!! The lakeside cottages are pretty good for a stay too. A tad expensive though said...

Hello Joshimukard
That was some comment. Needless to say I am flattered.
Your judgment is quite correct. I love to see the positives and share the positives. Negatives are there everywhere. Without positives and negatives there will no balance.
Do visit Kerala once in a while!!
This state is rapidly changing. Don't know for how long we can call this God's own country.
I am really happy to know that u get to c kerala through my blog. said...

hello soumya
thanks for dropping in and commenting.
Why wait for future, if u like to travel. There is no such planning needed for traveling, if you love to do that. There are a lot of beautiful places around your own home which you might have not visited. I am doing this only. No long distance travels. Just roaming around places near my home, whenever i get a chance.

Mridula said...

Lovely pictures. have to head to Kerela one day.

Key West Resort said...

Superb pictures!!! Excellent post.I want to thank you for this informative read, I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up your work..

kerala travel and photoblog said...

Nice to see another blog on kerala from a person with similar interest. Even though am from kollam itself, your blog just told me there are many places still to be explored in and around.

Pawan Patil said...

The Ashtamudi Lake is so named because of its eight 'arms' or channels is the gateway to the backwaters. Backwaters is the most popular tourist attraction of Kerala. Tourist across the seas comes here to visit the amazing location and for many travelers who prefer to stay at budget resort in kollam.


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