Whoever invented water theme parks needs a real pat in the back coz he has succeeded in giving millions and millions of people an avenue for wholesome entertainment for a full day irrespective of the age factor.
These theme parks made a very late entry to this little state of Kerala, prior to which the closest one to Keralites was Black Thunder. The best water theme park is Kerala is undoubtedly Vega Land and its popularity has resulted in making this place little bit crowdy.
The capital city of the state - Thiruvananthapuram was bestowed with the first water theme park only 4 years ago. The park is christened "Happy Land". Eventhough it cannot be in no means compared with Vega land, it sure does give enough oppurtunities for an exciting day. Let us take a tour of this new water theme park created amidst very beautiful landscape towards the Eastern part of Thiruvananthapuram.
HappyLand is located around 25Kms from the Heart of the city. The drive through Kesavadasapuram, Nalanchira, Vembayam route via the Main Central road is a twisty one and it sets up the tone for the day. Watch out for the board of Happy land towards the right side (when coming from South) as it is quite easy to miss this one and proceed ahead.
The moment you reach this pretty prestine place the location is sure to make you give a very good first impression. The parking lot is pretty spacious too. Lack of popularity surely helps as this lot never seems to be full of vehicles even during the holidays.
The construction is quite colorful. Watch the entry point. The tomb like constructions are coloured in such a way that we will feel we are in a toy world.
The ticket rates are pretty cheap when compared to the popular water theme parks. Rs. 275 (INR) for adults. Get inside and the neat and clean changing rooms welcomes you. My kids are ready for a splash after the change over.
Half a kilometer walk ensues as we enter into the park and to make the stroll interesting lot of gizmos are around amidst the landscaping done without disturbing the natural undulations. This big pelican sits on top of the entry point itself.
The articial waterfall created amidst the natural rock creations has a kind of perfection which makes it look quite good and very natural.
As we walk further ahead we could see the sideprofile of the aritificial waterfall. It is sure to give the nature lovers a visual treat to see the water gushing out from top of those rocks.
Some really good professional has applied his creativity to the maximum to create life like structures in the midst of natural settings. What can one say about these set of monkeys sitting on top of the fallen trees trunk. My kids mistook it for real monkeys and was quite excited to see them in a group.
The first ride to enjoy is the lazy pool/family pool. As the name signifies we don't have much activity inside the pool, just lazily swim around and get a feel of water before plunging into the intruiging rides.
Watch this father - son combo lazily gazing around the lazy pool.
Towards the centre of the lazy pool there are some small slides, which are mostly aimed at kids. After getting a feel of water one can get on top of this thingy and enjoy the heavy shower from the top to get drenched completely.
Slide through the small pipe like rides which ends up in the lazy pool.
Some of the rides has interesting figures at the end, giving a feeling like the rider is coming out a snake.
Even though these slides are meant for little ones, people as big as this fellow can easily come out of this, but watch out for your back which is sure to touch down the bottom of the lazy pool.
My mouth is fully open not only because of the excitement of coming out through this narrow pipey, but also due to the thump which I got in the back.
Lazy pool seems to have some magic which will eat on our laziness, once we are out of it, all our laziness vanishes into thin air.
Time to move on to other stuff. Meanwhile keep your ears wide open for the announcement of wave pool, which will be switched on once every hour for 20 minutes or so. We heard one such announcement and we were already in the pool before the waves started.
Enjoying the big waves without the fear of wrath of sea is something which we can afford only in such pools.
A big green froggy is watching all the action in the wave pool. No wonder my kid wanted to take a ride in it, only to find out that the heat on top of the froggy is something which he cannot bear, thanks to the scorching sun.
Time to move on to the really lengthy twin ride in a rubber boat. Watch the beautiful settings, the length of the pipe and the twists and turns it take.
The ride starts from a pool and ends in the same pool. The upward journey from this pool is with the help of a conveyor belt, starting from this location
Once we are inside, it will take some time to reach the top. From the top it gains speed almost instantaneously, swirling to both sides and in between getting a feeling of being toppled upside down, it shakes up the whole body, and it is quite natural that a kind of scream emanates from our mouth almost instinctively. All this happens in complete darkeness.
For those who are standing outside watching the riders to come out, they can hear the scream coming out through the pipe, followed by a rush of water
This rush of water signifies that the riders are near and within a moment SPLASH, the rubber boat with riders are thrown into the pool.
Watch the amount of water displaced, just goes on to show the force with which we hit the water in this other wise calm pool being closely watched by three beautiful little dolphins standing right in the middle of the pool.
Aren't these fellows happy after experiencing this ride.
More adventours are to follow as we ventured into the longest slider which gives a freefall experience. The more the weight of the rider the more faster he moves and he may even jump up on the way.
We formed pairs and a racing kind off stuff was on display. Watch us streaming down just at the jumping point.
Once this point is crossed the speed increases and we are ready to hit the water in maximum speed.
If we practise a little we can simply hold the surfing sheet a little up and cover a pretty good distance through the pool without drowning. This ride also gives lots of excitement as can be seen in the face of this guy's wide grin.
If this ride was with a surfing board falling down in our belly, there was another one without any board and the we had to lay down on our back, facing the sky and fall down through this slide which is pretty steep.
During the fall we could feel butterflies flying our stomach and the touch down is superb with the our body hitting against the still water giving a very loud splashy sound. A real addictive kind of a ride which once experienced make us do it again and again. The height from which the ride starts is quite intimidating.
The pendulum ride was another slide kind of ride in which two person can sit in a rubber boat and slide down, the force of which will take them up in the opposite direction and the oscilllation motion ensures that the ride goes on for some more time. Since I was completely involved in this ride, I could not take a pic of this ride.
Lunch time and no need to go any farther as the hotel inside is good too..
By the time the lunch is over, our clothes were again dry. So before plunging in to water we decided to have some dry fun.
The kids play area is quite inviting. The tortoise shaped cool bar, the shoe shaped slider, the crocodile shaped merry go around, the helicopter, beautiful toy train, everything has the kind of color which any kid will get addicted to.
My kids had a thoroughly enjoyable time there. The helicopter thing was my son's favourite though.
The shoe shaped slider reminded me of a similar thing in Mumbai. My bro striking a pose in front of the shoe slide
It was really difficult to make the kids come out of the park. Finally somehow convinced them of more good rides outside. Decided to take on some of the other dry rides. The traditional swing was the first one to be enjoyed.
The next one proved to be more adventurous than what it seemed. The merry go around was travelling so fast that the occupants seated in the seats hanging from the top began to rise up high and at every point of time we feel as if we will be thrown out into wilderness.
Surprisingly my son too enjoyed this ride along with all of us who were courageous enough to get on top of this one.
One more merry go around thingy was waiting for us. This one was created in the top most part of this park. The ride while rotating, will also go up to about 25 feet height from where we could see the eastern ghats and the panoramic view is just mind boggling.
Beware of the fact that looking down can yield disastrous results as we will feel like we are suspended in thin air touching the sky. Needless to say it was a thrilling experience.
Time was moving in a fast forward manner, which signifies that we were thoroughly enjoying the day and we have only one more hour left before the scheduled close of the park at 6.30pm. We chose to relax in the pool by the side of natural rocks, which is christened as water fall pool.
The water gushing down through the natural rock formations has a tremendous amount of naturality associated with it.
We could lie down between these rocks and the water flowing down will give a superb body massage which will ensure that all the fatigue due to the days hard work is gone before we leave the park. There is a waterfall too, with crystal clear water droplets giving you the same kind of effect when having a bath in the natural waterfall
We all had a pretty relaxing time in this pool
At times such kind of places can bring out the kid inside you, as is evident from the water splashing exercise by this husband and wife.
It was only after the staff repeatedly mentioned about the closing time that we managed to get out of the pool. Just like our kids we too were not enough with what we had for the day. Thanks to the fact that this place is pretty close to our home, we could visit here whenever we feel to do. With lot of satisfaction of a fun filled day we drove back home all the while blah blahing about what we did today.
Name of the place:
Happy land water theme park, Thiruvananthapuram
At Vembayam, 25 kms north east of Thiruvanathapuram
When to visit:
Park is open from 10am till 6pm on all days
Rs 300 for adults.
Best time to visit
All through the year, monsoons are also good at this place.
There is a good restaurant inside the park. But the menu is limited.
Lots of Hotels available at Kovalam, Poovar or in Thiruvananthapuram.
Other places to visit (click on the links to see some exquisite photos too)