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.
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