A journey of about five kilometers from Vagamon, down the Elappara route, will take you to the Thangal Para, of religious significance to Muslims. There is a durgah here which is the resting place of Husrath Sheikh Fariduddin Baba, a Sufi saint, who is believed to have reached Kerala from Afghanistan about 800 years ago. Legends say that the Sufi saint, who had great spiritual powers, reached here on horseback along with 40 followers.
Near Baba’s durgah is a huge rock. People believe that a small stone, with which the Baba used to grind his paan, metamorphosed to become this huge rock. Ganjusakkar (a sweet dish) is the main offering here and the festival, Uroos, is conducted during the month of April.
Picturesque Kurisumala is located about eight km from Vagamon. During Easter, this Christian pilgrim centre attracts thousands of devotees to the church atop the hill.
The Kurisumala Ashram is a Catholic monastery that attracts monks from across the world because of its unique mix of spiritual elements and practices from the Christian and Indian traditions. The Ashram is situated in 40 acres of land of spectacular greenery.
Inside the Ashram compound, there is a church, a guesthouse, a library, a satsang hall, a vegetable garden, a dairy farm, a bread-baking unit and a milk processing centre. The Cistercian abbey here was built in 1958 by Abbot Francis Acharya of Belgium and Fr. Brede Griffiths of England. The monks here wear saffron robes, walk barefoot and eat vegetarian food. The surroundings offer a tranquil ambience that is ideal for meditation and rejuvenation.
Murugan Para, to the east of Kurisumala, is a hill that houses a rock-cut temple dedicated to Lord Murugan. Hundreds of devotees visit the place every year.
Other rocky areas
Among the rocky stretches of Vagamon are some suicide points like the V-shaped ravine, the Mooppan Para.
The highest place in Vagamon is Kolahalamedu, which has towering pine trees with needle-covered branches. Kolahalamedu, which attracts a lot of visitors, has been declared as a protected area.