The hill station of Yelagiri in Tamil Nadu is a cluster of 14 hamlets or villages spread across 29 square kilometres, 3,460 feet above sea level. The drive to the picturesque idyll winds through 14 hairpin bends that open up to spectacular mountain landscapes; after every twist and turn, the city seems to fade away a little more.
The first thing that hits you on arrival in Yelagiri is the lack of noise. The beautiful rustic surroundings are extraordinarily quiet and when someone rings a temple bell somewhere on the hill, you can hear it as clearly as if you were right there. The smells of mango and jackfruit plantations are diluted by the subtle fragrances of fresh foliage. You suddenly realize how close you are to nature.
The most popular landmark of Yelagiri is the centrally-located Lake Punganoor. Pedal and manned rowing boats offer a chance to watch the beauty of the surrounding hills during a leisurely curise.
The hills of Yelagiri are also very popular among adventure enthusiasts in Tamil Nadu for trekking. Swamimalai, the highest peak in the Yelagiri hills at 4338 feet, is a breathtakingly beautiful 1-hour trek from Yelagiri. Paragliding is another sport that's drawing visitors. The hill station was recently chosen the second best natural spot in India for the sport, next only to Panchgani in Maharashtra.
But apart from all of this, it is the morning walks, the evening strolls, and guided jungle sojourns at night that epitomise the true charm of Yelagiri. As you gradually slow down to match the pace of the surroundings, a sense of wellbeing settles over you.
- Area: 29.2 sq km
- Altitude: 3460 feet above sea level
- State: Tamil Nadu
- Distance from nearby towns/cities: Thiruvannamalai (93 km), Tirupati (179 km), Bangalore (180 km), Chennai (240 km)
- Take away: Home-made honey, jackfruit, local agricultural products
- Rain fall.* 900 mm average
#1. At 4,338 feet, the Swamimalai Hill is a stunning hill located close to Yelagiri. If you love trekking, then make sure you don’t miss conquering this hill. Since the walk is quite easy, the beautiful view can be enjoyed by newbies and non-trekkers as well.
#2. The beautiful MuruganTemple (Velavan Temple) in Yelagiri, dedicated to Lord Murugan (Kartikeya in the north), exhibits a statue of Ghatotkacha (the son of Bhima and giantess Hidimbi in the Mahabharata) towards the entrance. This temple is nestled on a small hillock and attracts many local pilgrims from nearby areas. Every year Karthigai Thirunal (festival commemorating Lord Murugan) is celebrated with grandeur (July – August).
#3. Located in Mangalam, about 5 km from Yelagiri, the Government Silk Farm is home to silk worms and is also known as the Sericulture Farm. It is dedicated to Sericulture research and silk production. If you’re interested in visiting this facility , we suggest you call their office to find the visiting hours.
#4. On your trip to Yelagiri, visit the Jalagamparai waterfalls. The Attaru river flows through the Yelagiri Hills to form this stunning waterfall. Adventure lovers can opt for a 5-km long trek here to enjoy the beauty of this area in its purest form.
#5. The Punganoor Lake is one of the most famous recreational spots in Yelagiri. It is a man-made lake with 56.70 sq.mt area and is often frequented by boating and rowing enthusiasts. There's also a floriculture garden nearby that houses a variety of beautiful flowers.
#6. This temple near Yelagiri, is dedicated to the Nachiyamman Goddess who is known to be the traditional goddess of the tribal people. The quintessential South Indian style of architecture adds to the beauty of this temple.
#7. Organised by Tamil Nadu Tourism, the Yelagiri Summer Festival is a showcase of culture and art of the local people. It is celebrated towards the end of May or June annually.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT
June to February is the most pleasant time to be in Yelagiri. The 3-day Summer Festival in May is a time of festivity and cultural programmes.
The Yelagiri Paragliding Club hosts an international paragliding festival around September which you might want to attend.