Wonderla, earlier well-known as Veega Land, is one of India’s popular and top rated water themed amusement park.
Wonderla’s inception was in the year 2000, Wonderla Kochi (earlier known as Veega Land) is an amusement park that gave a new face to tourism in Kerala. Located in a top of lush green hill, this beautiful park has crossed 1 Crore visitor target this year. It has 54 land, sky, water kids rides which are built in international standards and faultlessly maintained. The park has received ISO 14001 certification for eco-friendliness and OHSA 14001 certification for safety, it is the first park in India to get it. In all these years it enjoys the status as a family fun destination and is extraordinary.
Wonderla was the brain child and set up by Kochouseph Chittillappalli, originator of V-Guard Industries. Wonderla is located on top of a hill at Pallikara, Kochi, just 12 kms far from Kochi.
The star attractions in Wonderla are the water rides. Indeed the water here is safe and contamination free and it is checked and purified continuously. In Wonderla, there are 4 types of rides, family rides, kiddies’ rides, hair raising rides, and water rides. Every year many new rides are launched. Facilities consist of lockers and dressing rooms, clean toilets, multi cuisine restaurants, life guards, conference hall, prayer hall etc. Inside the park outside food is not allowed.
Wonderla is a supreme place for a family day out. Kids will really cherish the waters and rides. They are the Balarama Cave, Wave Pool, Moon Walker, Caterpillar Ride, Wonder Splash, Happy Kangaroo, Sky Wheel, Musical Fountain and Laser Show, Fun Glides, Rapid River, Bullet Rides, Magic Carpet, Dragon Twister, Fish Pond etc. all set to provide thrill and joy not only for the kids but also the elders. Wonderla timings: 10:30 am to 6:00 pm on week days and from 10:30 am to 7:00 pm on weekends and holidays.
Designed meeting all safety requirement of kids, these tender yet fun-filled rides entertains the kids and capture their imagination.
Wonderla offers you the largest variety of water rides. List consists of watery coasters to fun pools to beach like wave pools to a rain disco where you can dance in the rain, float in the river, and splash around as much as you want. In the pools the water used are after reverse osmosis treatment, during winters it is solar heated.
Dry Rides at Wonderla include high-tech land rides, sky rides, hi-thrill rides, all full of fun and adventure. There is an element of surprise in these rides – 3D virtual reality to thrillers, musical fountain & laser show and there is something for everyone.
Known as the oldest teak plantation in the world, Nilambur with its beautiful forests and wildlife, located on the banks of Chaliyar, is known as the teak town of Kerala. Nilambur Pattu and Kovilakom are the twin examples of Nilambur unique cultural heritage.
Nilambur Kovilakom –
Kovilakom bears testimony to Kerala’s architectural heritage. Nilambur Kovilakom refers to the royal residences of the rulers of Zamorin, who were reigned Malabar in the bygone era. These architectural wonders are known for its grand frescoes and artistic wood work which are prefect blend of creativity and Vastu Shastra. The royal family of Nilambur Kovilakom were the rulers who took care of the land and collected the food tax for the Zamorins.
Nailambur Pattulsavam –
Nilambur Pattu is one of the most elegant festivals of Eranadu and Viradoor temple (connected with King Virad with whom the Pandavas lived during exile). The ancient temple festival is famed for its Kalampattu ritual or exquisite powder drawing on the floor created by Nilambur Kovilakom. The six day festival is celebrated during the Malayalam month of Dhanu (January/February). ‘Pattu means the songs sung in praise of the Lord by the Kurup community or Kuruppanmar. A ritual that has come down the ages, this reglious function is held at Nilambur Kovilakom in Vettaikkorumakan temple at Nilambur. Considered to be one of the royal duties, according to Nilambur Kovilakom records, the festival is also known as Pattu atiyanthiram.
Kalampattu is a traditional art form performed as an offering in order to get the blessings of deities like Bhadrakali, Ayyappan, Vettakkorumakan, the serpent god etc. The picture (kalam) is drawn on the floor using five colours accompanied by singing. The Velichapadu mostly belonging to the Namboodiri community does the Kalapradikshinam (going round the kalam matching steps to differing rhythms), Nalikerameri (breaking of coconut as offering) and kalammakkal (closing ceremony) marking the end of the proceedings.
Uniqueness of Nilambur Pattu –
This festival, related to ancient warfare, hunting and tribal chieftains, is an important part of the festivities. Every year Vettakaran Pattu is held during the initial weeks of January for two weeks. Although there isn’t much relevant data available regarding the history of Nilambur Pattu, legend has it that every year the tribes-who used to live in and around the Nilambur forest paid homage to the royal family of Nilambur Kovilakam.
A mega carnival organized as part of the festival. Many cultural programmes graced by cine stars and play back singers add glamour to this annual fest.
Rich in heritage – More than festival –
Nilambur Pattu provides the residents of Nilambur an opportunity to cherish the old memories of the Nilambur Kovilakam. Presntly Nilambur Pattu is being promoted as the tourism festival-cum cultural event and it is celebrated with Great Spirit, pomp and pageantry. People from all religions and race from far away destinations participate in this cultural extravaganza and it plays a leading role in promoting religious tolerance and harmony. Nilambur Pattulsavam is conducted by Nilambur Municipality in co-ordination with Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samthi and Nilambur Merchants Association from 2005 onwards. The district tourism promotion council (DTPC) of Malappuram provides a favorable support for the promotion of this unique kaleidoscope and currently it is a prestigious event of Kerala’s tourism calendar.
Accessing Nilambur –
Nilambur can be easily accessible by raod from nearby towns such as Manjeri and Perinthalmanna.
What worked: There’s an Elephant camp at Kumily Kerala that’s a great family experience. Elephant rides and feeding them are just some of the many activities on offer here. I travelled with my two kids – they were excited but reluctant at first to go on the ride. So instead, they joined in on an elephant bath. The elephant lies down while you scrub it clean with brushes and coconut fibre. The elephants then reward you with a splash. The kids and I loved it! After the bath, we went on an elephant ride and fed the elephants. There is a person dedicated to taking photographs, so carry your camera with you!
What didn’t: It is slightly expensive, but it’s worth it when you see how well the animals are treated.
GO NOW Kumily and nearby Thekkady are both popular with tourists, and can be visited any time of year. I stayed at Greenwoods (00-91- 9446574383; greenwoods.in; K K Rd, Kumily).