As the summers arrive, everyone starts looking for an escape from the scorching heat that scourges them. The best way to get away from the ever-increasing hot waves is by spending your leisure time in the hills. India, being fortunate enough, has been blessed with several hills and hill stations that offer you cool and breezy weather where you can just relax and rejuvenate!
However, time and again, the cash crunch makes it difficult for a general wayfarer to visit any hill stations. Nonetheless, this often prevents them from receiving the much-required relaxation that they look forward to, absconding from the noise and rush of the cities.
Advantageously, there are Hill stations that are much more reasonable but offer the same ambiance as any other expensive hill stations.
Yercaud, one of the jewels of Tamil Nadu is a living example of such Hill situated town that are hospitable yet are least expensive. For this reason, Yervaus has been often titled Poor Man’s Ooty.
Let’s dive more into knowing about this hidden gem of the southern state!
Situated at a height of 5326 ft Shevaroyan ranges of the Eastern Ghat, Yercaud is India’s one of the least expensive hill stations. The name is Yercaud comes from the Tamilian term “yeri” meaning lake and “Kadu” which means forest. It is believed that the town has been named after the natural elements it has been blessed with. The big emerald lake amidst the lush forests at a height of 1500 meters above sea level makes it a perfect site for visitors.
Talking about their residents, they belong to the tribal communities known as Vellalas or Malayalis which means hill men. They engage with the tourists with utmost generosity. Apart from tourism, They generate their source of income from agriculture as the town is rich in coffee, spices, and fruit plantations.
Places to wander in Yercaud
As dreamy as it sounds, Yervaud has been blessed with abundant natural features that are sure to blow your mind. Let’s look at those spots in brief.
1. Yercaud Lake
Also known as the Emerald Lake, This naturally formed lake is one of the prominent sightseeing locations in Yercaud. The lake is surrounded by hills enclosing it from three sides, on the other side there is a garden that adds beauty to the banks of the lake. Tourists can also go boating in the lake. Tourists can avail of Motor, row, self-pedaling, and self-rowing boats. However, make sure to visit the spot before 5 pm as it is restricted to visit it after sunset.
2. Pagoda Point
On the eastern part of the Yercaud hills, lies another breathtaking naturally carved site, known as the Pagoda or Pyramid Point. The Point has derived its name from four piles of stone that form the Pyramid Shape. There is a temple located at this place dedicated to Shri Rama. The Pagoda Point also offers a majestic view of the town of Salem from the top. The best time to visit the site is during the late evening.
3. Anna Park
Situated in the proximity of Yercaud Lake, Anna Park is home to a variety of plant species that solely grow in the hills of Servarayan. The park consists of four small parks namely deer park, children’s park, Gandhi park, and lake park along with a fountain at the center that adds to the beauty. Furthermore, there is a Japanese park enclosure that has the gorgeous Bonsai collection which is grown using the Japanese horticulture technique. Another point of attraction in the park is the magnificent rose garden that contains a miscellany of roses from the size of a button to that of a ball. The time to visit the park is from 10:30 AM to 9:30 PM.
4. Kiliyur Waterfalls
Another gem of a place, the Kiliyur waterfalls are a site of enthralment. Located at a distance of 3 Km from the Yercaud Lake, the falls are a result of the overflowing water from the lake that falls on the Servarayan hills. The waterfall is 300 feet long. To reach there, the Visitors are required to trek down for around 2 Km. The journey takes an hour to complete from the nearest road to the bottom of the falls. However, one needs to take care of their food and water bottles as there are no shops to eat or take a break.
5. 32 km Loop Road
And here is the best part of the entire Yercaud trip, the Loop road. The loop road is a long route surrounded by lush coffee plantations, quiet hamlets, green hill slopes, and wildlife inhabiting the site. The loop road offers you the exquisite view of major regions of the town including the Yercaud Lake, Mailapatti, Cauvery peak road, Semmanatham, Nagar and yercaud lake path. The best time to take a trip to the loop is either during the sunrise or during the sunset.
6. Mahameru Temple
Explore the Spiritual side of the Yercaud while paying a visit to the Lalita tripurasundari aka the Mahameru temple,situated 7 km from yercaud lake in the Nagalore village. The Lalita tripurasundari temple is home to world’s largest Sri-chakra Mahameru. In Hindu tradition, the Sri-chakra represents the unity of Shiva and Shakti and it is believed that worshipping the Mahameru washes off all sins and brings auspiciousness in natives’ life. The main sanctum sanatorium is built of white marble. There is a semicircle pit filled with water where devotees throw coins for their wishes to get granted. Overall, the ambience of the temple is serene and gives peaceful vibes. The energy in this temple is so strong that one can feel through it, and this energy makes it a wonderful spot for deep meditation. The timings to visit the temple starts from 6 AM in the morning to 7 PM in the evening.
7. Servarayan Temple
Another Important spiritual site in Yercaud is the 2000 year-old Servarayan temple dedicated to Shri Servarayan and Goddess Cauvery. The temple is situated in a narrow and dark cave that is located at the highest point in Servarayan hill at 5,326 ft. It is believed that the prime deity Shri Servarayan is the one who protects the town of yercaud and 67 other villages nearby. For the Local people of Yercaud, the temple holds immense significance. There is also a week-long festival celebrated for God Servarayan celebrated by the locals. The temple remains open throughout the day and closes by 6:30 PM in the evening. The temple can be visited in around one or two hours. However, tourists must be careful while going through the narrow route inside the caves.
8. Yercaud Botanical Park
Other than the natural features and spiritual sites, Yercaud is also known among the scientific community for its Orchidarium and Botanical Garden, maintained by Southern circle of Botanical survey of India. This Garden is the Third largest Orchidarium in India, being home to 30 varieties of endemic orchids. Some rare flora found in this garden includes Kurinji flower, Shevaroys Bombax, Insectivorous pitcher. The timings of the Garden are 9 AM to 5 PM. Cost of each ticket are as follows:
- Adults- ₹10 Kid-₹5
- With camera- ₹20
- Video camera- ₹300
- Film Shooting- ₹5000
Once can also book online tickets at www.bharatkosh.gov.in
9. Lady’s seat
Catch the view of the majestic eastern Ghats from the lady’s seat of the servarayan hills. According to the stories, there used to be an English woman who would enjoy the alluring view of the Ghats during the evening hours by sitting on one of the rocks that resembled a seat. There is also a children’s and gent’s seat near the Lady’s seat. To the southwest of the servarayan hills, there is a viewing tower that houses a telescope. Other than that, there is a small park near the site. The Lady’s seat can be visited from 7 AM in the morning till 7 PM in the evening.
Shopping in Yercaud!
One important activity that is a must-do whenever you travel to a place is Shopping. Although the town does not offer a variety of commodities to buy it does have an assemblage of authentic natural oils and perfumes. A prominent mart where you can buy these natural oils and perfumes is Bhawani Singh’s Perfumery where you can find several herbal products both for your skin and hair. Furthermore, Yercaud’s homegrown coffee powder and locally manufactured chocolates should be added to the shopping index.
All these commodities are naturally produced thereby making them safer and healthier for everyone.
How to reach Yercaud?
If you plan to travel to Yercaud then reaching there is an Easy Task thanks to the well-endowed infrastructure. The town is connected to the rest of the country through all three modes of transport:
- Airport: The nearest Terminal from Yercaud is Salem Airport at a distance of 47 km from the town. From there, taxis and private cabs to Yercaud can be easily accessed.
- Railways: The nearest railway route to Yercaud is the Salem junction which is at a distance of 31 Km from the town. After reaching the station, one can hire a taxi or board a local bus to reach the hilly town.
- Roadways: With well-connected and well-maintained lanes, Roadways form an efficient route for reaching Yercaud. One needs to be careful about the monkeys as they make travel a bit tricky. Also, do not forget to capture the scenic surroundings while touring through the road.
With The emerald-green lakes and forests, Yercaud has continued to spellbind its visitors. Not only are these sights relaxing and rejuvenating, but they also bring no hole to visitors’ pockets. So, The next time, you plan to travel to a place that is close to nature in its pristine form but are also careful about the travel budget, then stop worrying and make your next travel trip to Yercaud!
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the weather in Yercaud?
The weather is sunny yet moderately chill.
When is the best time to travel to Yercaud?
Due to its moderate weather, yercaud can be visited any time during the year. However one has to be careful during the monsoons.
What are some dishes to try on in Yercaud?
The Hill Town offers a variety of Dishes to hop on. Kola Urundai (a local non-veg dish), Saapadu Thali ( which comprises rice, lentils, veggies, pickles, chutneys, and sweet dishes), and Payasam and Sweet Pongal for the dessert.
What is the main festival in Yercaud?
The People of Yercaud celebrate a week-long festival dedicated to Shri Servarayan who is the presiding deity of the Ser