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.
Did you know?
- The Nagesh Kukunoor-directed movie Rockford set in a boarding school was shot at Montfort School in Yercaud.
- The coffee plantations for which Yercaud is famous were introduced by the Scottish Collector of Salem, David Cockburn, in 1820.
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