Saturday, July 14, 2012

Vismaya Water Theme Park, Truly magical, BUT .....

(This travelogue is based on a trip to Vismaya water theme park, Kannur, Kerala, India on Oct 2011)

Onam, a festival which all Malayalees celebrate, irrespective of the religion, caste or creed is truely an occassion for families to get together and to have a fun filled times amidst the chaotic lifestyle of today.
Come another Onam, and we found ourselves at my Wife's native place at Calicut, in the central part of Kerala. This time our joy knew no bounds when the pookkalam (a flower arrangement) made by us looked really good and all the strain, our legs and backs suffered during the making of this pookkalam went to oblivion when we saw this.

Frankly speaking it looked more good on photos than in real.

The pookalam thing and the grand feast for lunch and gossip sessions kept us entertained during the first day of vacation.

At this time a plan was charted out to visit a water theme park at Kannur owned and managed by one of the leading political parties in Kerala, which is currently in the news for all the wrong reasons.

The gang comprising of 8 people including 2 kids started the journey pretty early, Kannur being distant from Calicut by about 90km, we expected to reach their in one and half hours time. But all our hopes were laid to rest, when we took around 1 hr to reach the outskirts of Calicut.
We thought that the bad condition of Calicut city roads will end once we reach the outskirts, but our expectation was completely doomed as we got to see some of the worst roads soon. The condition was so pathetic that we felt that the persons responsible for this must be given capital punishment.

It was really surprising that a National Highway could be maintained in such a sad state. (Note: By March 2012 normalcy was restored and the roads are now pristine condition, don't know whether the change of governments in between had a hand in this). We even thought of going back, but that too will taken another 1 hour or so. The expectation that the roads will soon be good kept us moving forward.

The sign board pointing to Muzhappilangad made us swerve to the left of National highway to take a detour to the only drive in beach in Kerala. This might also help us to give a temporary relief from the bad roads. We passed another beach called Dharmadam on our way to Muzhappilangadu. The roads by the side of beach always bring in a freshness.

I had been to Dharmadam during my previous visit to Kannur. Infact we had spend some good time here. (Watch the beautiful dharmadam in my older blog post here). This time also we didn't stop as we had a long way to go to water theme park. Some resort construction were going on near an estuary in the Dharmadam beach. It will be an interesting tourist spot once ready.

The drive in beach - Muzhappilangadu made its appearance on the front windshield.

I had no confusion whatsoever on what to do next, the vehicle was on the beach sands, zig zagging across the wide unaccopied beach.

I did not dare to take the vehicle to the waves though as the salt water might bring in some early rusting to the underbody of the vehicle. The vastness of this beach is simply amazing. It is very much akin to the wonderful beaches of Goa. The re was a huge cloud cover and we felt like tiny dwarfs in a giant world. Such beaches makes us feel so small in this magnanimous world and brings about a humbleness. Flying discs were flying out from our hands, guys were jumping around in water and on sand just like they are seeing the sand for the first time in life and it was pure fun.

The pathetic journey was erased from memories as the waves kept lashing on our bodies. The shallow depth made me swim so much away from the coast line that my better half began to shout as if I was carried away by the waves. When I turned around I saw that I had travelled a good 100 metres into the sea, even then I could feel the sea bottom. This beach is surely a swimmers paradise with the only problem being the sand, which tends to mix with the water making it difficult to go underneath the waves with eyes open.
We had decided to spend only half an hour here, but it was almost 2 hours when we bid good bye to this beautifuly beach and made our way to the so called roads filled with ponds, ditches, boulders and whatever obstacles one could find in a dirt race.
We reached Mahe, a union territory inside Kerala after a painstaking journey of 3 hours. The booz loving malayalee's paradise is famous for its low fuel prices, due to which road sides are completely filled with fuel pumping stations and people are stationed outside each of those pumps, frantically inviting all the vehicles to come and fill up. I too followed suite as the 3 Rupees difference per litre is an inviting proposition. The roads were getting worser and worser and the speed of travel was as low as 20 km/hr.
Sun was shining right on top of us when we entered Kannur city. Even the city roads were in real bad shape, I wonder how people cope up with this. All the tax payers money seems to be in someone's pockets rather than being put to good use. All of us were discussing about how faulty our decision was. But in the corner of our mind we were expecting the unexpected at Vismaya, the name meaning itself was "Magic".
We passed the snake park and the Magic land - Vismaya opened the doors for us, the puff clouds and brick red building perched atop hills making even the parking lot looking great.

The number of vehicles gave an indication of the crowd inside, so there must be something special in this park. More neat buildings welcomed us as we made our stroll towards the entry trying to set aside our horrendous journey, which drained half of our energy.

Paid ticket rates around Rs 500, changed our dress and got inside the Vismaya, expectations sky high as even the modest water theme parks like Kottakkunnu amusement park in Malappuram had given us a memorable day. (watch the kottakkunnu amusement park here).
The first thing we noticed is a high rise building with a traditional kerala architecture standing high with the widespread greenery in the backdrop.

The giant wheel installed on one of the top points is sure to give a great view of the surroundings.

We did not rush into things as we thought of first taking a look around before starting our activities. This place sure is vast and it requires quite an amount of walking to reach every nook and corner. Decided to take a look at the dry rides before pluning into the water. The dashing cars seems to be the only dry ride around. Surprisingly there were no huge crowds waiting for this ride. Soon we were hitting against each other in the electrically driven dcars with a puzzling steering mechanism and the fun has started.

Very near to the dashing cars, was a beautifuly toy train for the kids. The lawns maintained near the track made it look more lively.

Since no more dry rides were around, we decided to make a swift move to the water rides. All the rides seem to originate from the same building. Watch this

A dip in the pool is the best thing to start our water sojourn. As we approached the family pool we began to feel slightly uncomfortable.

Seven of us jumped into the pool. 2 males, 3 females and 2 kids, and within no time we found that all eyes of the people inside the people were on us, to be more specific, on the ladies. It was surprising to note that there were more number of onlookers on the pool side than on the water and they were gazing as if they were seeing ladies on water for the first time in life. We tried to ignore the stares and tried to play in water, but the number of onlookers increased and we were starting to feel embarrased. My wife and her co-sister immediately wanted to get out of the pool and they did so, but the staring continued and we had a horrid time escaping from the scene and fled the arena.

There is an artificial waterfall around, but no one was willing to give it a try. Watch the crowd around and the onlookers.

Quite interestingly the number of females here could be counted using my fingers. The numbers are not surprising given the kind of attitude people are showing. The day began badly, with the bad roads and when we thought the water theme park will make up for it, things are not working in our favour. We started cursing ourselves for coming to this place. Still we started to prowl around to look for other options since this is a huge park.

The free fall ride was tempting, so rushed towards that. An agonising wait followed for 30 minutes in a queue waiting for our turn. Since we had nothing else to do waited there, watching the activities happening around.

Finally our turn arrived and the ride was not too long though, just go up once and fall down to a pool of water splashing it all around.

Did not feel worth to wait in the queue for another try. There was a mono rail car moving around the park, which is a good proposition, since we could get an overall view of the whole park. Another queue followed. This time the queue was in a dark room with steps leading to the mono rail starting point. But as we moved up the steps slowly, we could get an aerial view of the whole surrounding. A lake was also to be seen at a distance.

There was a fort like construction at the far end of the water theme park. On enquiry found that it is the haunted house.

Need to explore that once we are done with the overhead ride.

Saw a huge creature along with some colorful rides in another corner of the park. The kids were excited when I said that it is a kids park with a dinosaur around.

Our turn for monorail ride came. It was slow gentle ride through the park covering almost all the water rides around. It would have been interesting if we started with this ride. We will get to know what all rides are there and the behavioural aspect of the crowd around.

The complexity of piped rides, was on display

The artificial waterfall, looked realistic from this overhead car.

After the ride we had a quick lunch from a restaurant inside. The lunch time was already over and hence the place was less crowded. But the neatness of the place left a lot to be desired.
We started our walk towards the haunted house and the park with dinosaur
There was a large pond and the walk way was mostly through its banks.

There was a rail track on the pond side with a toy train. The colors were contrasting and a ride in that will surely be a good experience.

Sadly it was non operational.

The walk was little too much, but it helped us get away from the mad rush in the water ride area and we seemed to be at ease here. In between there were some creations which made us pose before them to take photos

The dino in the kids park was looking more original amidst the tree cover.

Our next entry was to the haunted house, kids opted against, so the y waited outside. The haunted house reminded us of the film city bangalore. There was nothing much to fear and the skulls, bone and skeleton's inside this house seemed to be well behaved than those with some flesh and running blood in them which we saw earlier.
This park sure is blessed with a lot of natural landscape. Combined with that the architecture also is good. Watch this construction right near the haunted house.

It is a bathroom neatly tucked under those artificial rocks. It seemed that we are spending more time in this area than the other. The view of the main buildings in the upper part of the park was really good from here

The kids were still excited, since the dino visit was still pending. I alread had seen through the camera image that there are only a few rides around. But the perception of kids are different and that might be enough for them to enjoy. The dino in the kids park was welcoming us with an aggressive stance when we entered

The day was coming to an end and the light started to fade. The dino was starting to look more original in the fading light.

When we were about to leave the park, two lads appeared and one of them started to climb on the huge dino. There was a board clearly stating not to climb on the structure as it is dangerous both for the climber as well as for the statue. But who cares !!

This attitude sums up it all !!

A beautiful park, the rides are almost well maintained tooo. Restaurant is bad.

This place is definitely not worth a visit, if you are from female gender until the men visitors here learn to respect privacy of others!!!


Shrinidhi Hande said...

Looks like a nice place. Good writeup.

Roshmi Sinha said...

Nice pics. Thanks for sharing :)

I get to travel to places I have never been before, courtesy your blog posts and pics. Good to know that your charmed life continues.

PS: Belated Happy Onam!

Roshmi Sinha said...

BTW, who constructed that haunted house, history if any??

Vietnam Tour Packages said...

Truly magical place...a complete variety of adventure in just one destination.

Anonymous said...

Liked the post said...

@ Shrinidhi, Roshmi, Shiana Agarwal.. Thanks for your nice words said...

@ Roshmi
This story happened during last year's onam. Next Onam is at the end of this Month (August). As I earlier mentioned this is only "the travel perspective of my Life".
That haunted house is artificially created reminiscent of ancient forts.

vrajesh said...

nice collection..i will link you

Anonymous said...



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