Six kilometres from Yercaud town, Servarayan is the highest point in Yercaud. The temple itself is a narrow, dark cave, with the idols of Lord Servarayan and Goddess Kaveri inside. The two deities are believed to represent the Servarayan Hills and the Cauvery River respectively. People come here in large numbers in May to celebrate the annual festival. The view of the countryside from Servarayan is spectacular.
As with most hill town lakes, the Yercaud Lake is the centre of all activity in town. It’s among the few natural (not man-made) lakes among India’s hill stations, and is also called Emerald Lake due to its distinct greenish hue. Boating on the cool waters of the lake is very refreshing. Anna Park near the lake is a great place for children to run about and play. Apart from the rich native flora, there is an exquisite Japanese garden inside the park.
Lady’s Seat is a rock in the form of a seat that overlooks Salem town as well as the numerous hairpin bends along the road leading to Yercaud. The view from here is enchanting, more so at night when Salem and the valley light up with thousands of twinkling lights. There is a viewing tower with a telescope open to tourists during the day. Gent’s Seat and Children’s Seat nearby are other vantage points to view the landscape.
An unusual landmark on the tourist map of Yercaud is the 32-kilometre Loop Road. Beginning and ending at the lake, the road goes through thick forests and coffee plantations across the villages of Nagalur, Semmanatham, Kaveri Peak and Majakuttai. Driving through this tree-fringed road is one of the most memorable experiences of Yercaud.
The Silk Farm is a fascinating place where you can see silkworms fed on mulberry leaves and their cocoons turned into silk thread. The live demonstration of the life cycle of silkworms and the methods of spinning silk is an educational experience no textbook can ever match.
The National Orchidarium and Associated Garden run by the Botanical Survey of India is one of the largest orchid nurseries in India. It nurtures and showcases 249 different types of orchids and other rare and endangered plants, including the highly-sought lady’s slipper, the intriguing insect-eating pitcher plant, and the kurunji plant that blooms only once in 12 years. The orchidarium is closed on weekends.
The overflow from the Yercaud Lake drops 300 feet into the Killiyur valley, creating the scenic Killiyur waterfall. The falls are extremely soothing to watch and hardcore trekkers can trek through thick forest from the lake to the bottom of the falls in about an hour.
This garden has roses of various colours and sizes. Note that the garden closes at 5 pm so be sure to reach before that.