ESCAPE TO YERCAUD
The resort town of Yercaud is a lake surrounded by a forest. Located at the centre of the town, the beautiful Yercaud Lake shimmers in the midst of forests of teak, sandalwood and silver oak; expansive plantations of coffee, cardamom and black pepper; and orchards of oranges, guava, and jackfruit. Meandering boats stir the lake to life and the aroma of hot chilli bhajjis (giant green chillies fried in gram flour) and steaming masala (spiced) tea cuts through the cool air.
Situated 4,700 feet above sea level in the Servarayan Hills of Tamil Nadu, Yercaud is a quiet hill station with largely undisturbed natural beauty. There are no malls or entertainment arcades. Shopping involves fresh horticultural produce and most of the activity is centred on nature via trekking, camping, boating and dirt biking.
Yercaud is famous for its coffee plantations and orange groves. However, one stumbles upon a thrilling diversity of flora and fauna during trips around town. The orchidarium run by the Botanical Survey of India nurtures 35,000 sets of orchids, including 249 rare and endangered species. There is also a rose garden with delightful varieties of the flower. At the silk farm, you can see the fascinating process of silkworms being fed on mulberry leaves and their cocoons turned into silk threads.
You get a mesmerising view as night falls and the city of Salem lights up at the foot of the hills. For a moment, it looks like there’s a glittering sheet of stars both above and below.
- Area: 383 sq km
- Altitude : 4,969 feet
- State: Tamil Nadu
- Distance from nearby towns/ cities: Salem (35 km), Chennai (355 km), Coimbatore (195 km)
- Take away: Natural oils, perfumes, coffee powder and skin care products, handloom fabrics, cloves, pepper
#1. Lady's Seat: A beautiful viewing point
Lady's Seat offers the best view of the lovely valley and surroundings in Yercaud. According to legend, an English lady used to spend her evenings here while watching the beautiful views of the Yercaud Hills. It is also home to a viewing tower, that enables people to enjoy stunning views of Mettur Dam and Salem town. This viewing tower is open for visitors only during the day time.
#2. The Orchidarium: India's third largest orchid house
Visit the National Orchidarium in Yercaud' s Botanical Garden to see the most beautiful and carefully grown orchids in full bloom. Located at a distance of 2 km from Yercaud Lake, the Orchidarium is India's third largest orchid house. It houses more than a hundred species of orchids, including rare ones like Vernonia Shevarayensis, Paphiopedilum Deuryi (Lady's slipper orchid), the intriguing insect-eating pitcher plant (Nepenthes Khasiana), etc.
#3. Take a morning walk at Anna Park
Anna Park, Yercaud, is a beautifully maintained park that blooms with a riot of colours during the flower shows hosted there. It is a lovely garden located near Yercaud lake, which also houses a beautiful collection of natural species of plants and trees found in the Shevaroy hills. It is also famous for the Japanese park, wherein plants are grown in Japanese style.
#4. Tasty Bites in Yercaud
If you'd like to grab a quick bite in between visiting places in Yercaud, try this quaint little café. It is located near the Library and Sports Club Premises, opposite Montfort School. It serves delectable Italian and continental food and is managed by a friendly couple.
#5. Big Lake: Placid waters to refresh your senses
The Big Lake, also known as the Emerald Lake, in Yercaud lets you relax and unwind - whether by just gazing at the calm waters or by experiencing the lake by renting a boat. The hilly surroundings of this spot makes it a must-visit for everyone. The restful ambience is one of the highlights of the Yercaud Lake. It is also known to be the only natural lake in the hill stations of the south.
#6. Montfort School: A Relic from the Colonial era/ A symbol of legendary history
The Montfort School, a residential school for boys, has a legendary history that goes back to 1917. It was a European school founded during the First World War. The school chapel was built and consecrated during the period between 1936 and 1942. Its colonial-style brick façade and the lovely campus are worth visiting. Sashi Tharoor, Roger Binny and Nagesh Kukunoor are a few of the notable alumni of this school.
#7. Cascading Waters at Killiyur Falls
If you're up for a challenge before you see the gushing streams of this waterfall, visit the Killiyur Falls in Yercaud. The 255 steps to get there are well worth the climb. The falls take a breath-taking form during monsoons because the water levels reach the maximum level. To experience the beauty of the falls, one must visit place immediately after the monsoons.
#8. Yercaud: The unexplored history of Yercaud
The ancient history of Yercaud has a mysterious and unexplored charm around it. Research has shown that stone-age implements have been found around the ancient shrine located near Shevaroy Hills, about 5 km from Yercaud. It is also said that the first human settlement in the hills came from Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.
#9. Loop road: A picturesque drive around Yercaud
If you are looking to enjoy an unusual experience, a drive along the 32 km Loop road in Yercaud is definitely worth a try. This beautiful road begins and ends at the lake and weaves its way through thick forests and coffee plantations across the villages of Nagalur, Semmanatham, Kaveri Peak and Manjakuttai. Take in the picturesque surroundings and make your vacation most memorable.
#10. Servarayan cave temple: Home to the legend of Lord Shiva and Godess Kaveri
Located at the highest point in Yercaud and 6 km away from the town, the Servarayan temple is located inside a narrow, dark cave which is said to lead all the way to Thalakaveri, the source of Kaveri river.
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16°C - 30 °C
13 °C - 25°C
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best season to visit Yercaud is from October to June.
The summer festival in May coincides with the annual festival of Lord Servarayan. It has a seven-day exhibition of flower shows, dog shows, boating races and a village fair.