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Yercaud – Hill Station in Tamil Nadu, India




What is Yercaud famous For : Plantations And Orange Groves
Best Time to visit Yercaud : February – June and September – November (Avoid the monsoon season from July to August because the rain can get very heavy)
Climate:
Summer – Pleasant
Winter – Mild Cold
Clothing:
Summer – Cotton
Winter – Light Woolen
Languages Spoken : Tamil, Hindi and English
STD Code : 04281
Altitude: 4500 feet above sea level

Yercaud, a famous hill station in South India (but not as famous as Ooty or Kodaikanal) is located in the Shevaroy Hills of Tamil Nadu. Yercaud is a place for relaxation, for having a break from the busy city life that we all need; it’s not a place where you can see too many sights (basically meaning that if you want to cover a number of different places within a tourist site, then Yercaud is not the place for you. You should rest in the lap of nature, have a relaxed stroll through greenery and enjoy the waters of the lake). Yercaud is more like a heaven for vacationing.

Map of Yercaud at mapmyindia.com

Yercaud is located on the Eastern Ghats and promises a unique experience because of its unusual topography. While the rest of the region around Yercaud is dry, Yercaud itself stands out as a great contrast; it has a cool climate and a temperature that never goes above 30ºC. The current advantage of Yercaud is also that it is not so popular with tourists (rather, not very well known) and hence you get more value for your money here than in its popular counterparts in south India like Ooty and Kodaikkanal.
What are the attractions of Yercaud as a Hill station ? Yercaud’s pretty landscape mostly comprises coffee plantations that stretch for long distances, and thickly forested slopes. Before getting into this coffee-plantation hamlet, you have to drive through the textile town of Salem (also the closest town to Yercaud, around 30 km away). If you stop in Salem and try your hand at some shopping, you might pick up some great handloom fabrics at a price that is much cheaper than other locations.
While on the road to Yercaud, just before you start to climb into the hilly region, you can see an interesting group of brightly coloured idols to the left of the road. These are the guardian deities who are known as the deities who protect the villages, and are often known as Aiyanars.
The road journey is fun, not very dangerous, but if you have not driven on hills before, then you should learn how to negotiate steep turns and also how to learn patience. The winding road is famous for its 20 sharp (hairpin) turns. In between, if you are fond of the spices cloves and pepper, there is a small thatched stall at the side of the road called ‘Fresh Garden Produce’. Then come the coffee plantations before entering cottage-dotted Yercaud.
The name Yercaud is an amalgamation of two Tamil words ‘yeri’ and ‘kaadu’ meaning lake and forest respectively (and you will see why the name was well deserved). Yercaud was discovered by the British in the early 19th century. Along with its beauty as a Hill station, it is also famous for educational intitutions such as the Sacred Heart Convent for girls, Montfort School for boys and the Holy Cross Novitiate House. The highest point in Yercaud is Shevaroy temple, situated at a height of 5,326 ft above sea level.
And now onto the lake. Yercaud Lake is one of the prime attractions of the hill station, surrounded by well-groomed lush green gardens and well-wooded trees; and like all other lakes in tourist locations, you can get either paddling or rowing boats for the lake. The Summer festival held in May here is something to be seen if you are in the locality. There are a number of beautiful parks surrounding the lake such as Anna Park, Lake Park, Gandhi Park and Children’s Park.
Yercaud has some historical buildings, and is famous for its historic churches. More than 100 years old, Holy Trinity Church is well maintained and among the other churches, you can find the Sacred Heart Church, Lutheran Church, St Joseph’s Church and The Retreat Church. National Orchidarium with India’s third largest orchid house, 300 ft high Killiyur waterfalls, the Servaroyan temple atop the Servaroyan hill and the Small Lake famous for being fed by seven wells are some other highlights of the city.
There are some fantastic viewing points in Yercaud. Lady’s Seat offers you a spectacular view of Salem Town and Mettur Dam on the Cauvery River. Gent’s Seat or Pagoda Point is other viewing point that is situated very close to Lady’s Seat.
Shevaroy temple dedicated to local deity Servaran is situated atop Shevaroy Hills, at the highest point in Yercaud at 5.326 ft above sea level. Local tribes celebrate their annual festival here in May. It’s one of the main attractions of tourist visiting Yercaud.
On the way to Shevaroy Temple, there is the famous Bear’s Cave believed to be an escape route of a long gone raja (king) when he was attacked and fleeing.

Places to see
Yercaud Lake: The lake is one of the main attractions of this hill station, and combined with some beautiful surroundings, forms a magnet for tourists from places nearby.

Lady’s Seat: As mentioned above, this is a location where there is a sheer view of the hils, of the city of Salem located some distance away, and of the road that leads to Yercaud. Lady’s seat is the name given to a cluster of rocks on the south west side of Yercaud. There is a steep drop of about 200 feet below from this point.

Killiyur Falls: The Killiyur waterfall is located at a distance of about 3 km from the Yercaud Lake. Like other waterfalls, you get to see the sheer power of nature, with water falling from a depth. You can see the surplus water from the Yercaud Lake and other points of the Shevaroy Hills fall deep into the Killiyur Valley below, making a 300 feet waterfall. The ideal time to visit the waterfall is immediately after the monsoons.

The Grange: The Grange is one of the oldest buildings in Yercaud, built in 1820’s by the then District Collector of Salem, M D Cockburn.

Bear’s Cave: The Bear’s cave is situated near the Norton Bungalow on the way to Servarayan temple. It is an important tourist spot as it is considered one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya. It was also famous as a spot where a king managed to escape from a wild animal.

The Servarayan Temple: The Servarayan temple is situated atop the Servarayan hill, being located in a narrow and dark cave having the God Servarayan and the Goddess Kaveri inside representing the Shevaroy Hills and the Cauvery River. The local tribes celebrate their annual festival in the Servarayan temple during the month of May.

Places to stay:

Sterling Resorts
Gem Holiday Resort
Hotel Shevaroys
Sterling Days Inn Resort
Green Fort Inn
Hotel Shoba
Silver holidays Cottages
Hotel Tamil Nadu
Grange Resort (link)
Sky Roca
The Lake Forest Hotel Yercaud
Classic Cottage
Kongu Resorts
Ponkailash Holiday Home
Silver Holiday Cottages
Svayambh Villa
Yercaud International
Cliftons Inn

Nearest domestic airport: Trichy, 180 km away from Yercaud. Other airports are Coimbatore or Bangalore. Coimbatore is 190 Km away from Yercaud. All of them are connected to Chennai/Madras, which has an international airport.
Road: Yercaud is 190 km from Coimbatore and 237 km from Bangalore. Many buses pass through Yercaud on their way to Salem. You can drive up to Yercaud by a rented car, taxi or bus.
Rail: The nearest railway stations are at Salem (36 km). There are direct trains from Chennai, Coimbatore and Bangalore.

External articles:
1. Hotels in Yercaud (link)
2. Map of Yercaud (link)
3. Some photos of Hotels in Yercaud (link)
4. Visit to Yercaud (link)
5. Photos of Yercaud (link)
6. Ride to Yercaud (link)
7. Photos of Yercaud, Nilgiris, and Bandipur (link)
8. Photos of Yercaud and a brief write-up (link)
9. Montfort School in Yercaud (link)
10. Beautiful photo of sunset at Yercaud (link)
11. Blog on trip to Yercaud (link)
12. Some photos of Yercaud (link)
13. Blog on trip to Yercaud (link)
14. Blog on trip (link)
15. Blog on trip to Yercaud (link)
16. Blog on trip to Yercaud (link)
17. Lots of pictures of a trip to Yercaud (link)
18. Trip to Yercaud (link)
19. Photos of flowers, buildings, sun, scenery, etc at Flickr (link)




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