Yercaud is a hill station at an altitude of 1515 metres altitude in the state of Tamil Nadu in Southern India.
Reach Salem and then it is 22 km uphill. Regular interval buses are available from Salem central bus stand. Pay ₹22 per person and just alight before the last bus stop at Yercaud, near the lake most of the hotels are nearby from the lake. While returning better to get the buses from the starting stop at Yercaud rather than the lake side stop as it is not easy to stand in the bus on the hilly road.
By planeThe nearest airports are at Trichy (163 km), Bangalore (230 km), Coimbatore (190 km) and Chennai (340 km).
By trainThe nearest rail head is Salem Junction (35 km).
By carThere are good roads connecting Yercaud to various places in South via. Salem.
It is 358 km from Chennai (via. Tindivanam)
222 km from Bangalore (via. Hosur - Krishnagiri - Dharmapuri - Salem - Yercaud). It will take approx 5 hr to drive. One day trip is sufficient from Bangalore. Start early morning reach yercaud around 9AM, spend the whole day and start from yercuad around 4PM. It is enough. Only thing is you will not be able to see the falls as it will take time trek.
190 km from Coimbatore (via. Avinashi)
163 km from Trichy (via. Namakkal)
271 km from Madurai (via. Karur)
80 km from Mettur (via. Toppur)
If you need more comfort than can be provided by an auto rickshaw, a normal four seater car will cost approx ₹450 for the same day trip.
All rates are for the month of February; they may ask extra charges at peak season.
Anna ParkThe park is next to the lake. It is typical park used to host the “Flower Show” in the month of May. The “Japanese Park” inside Anna Park is a must see. Children can play around and elders can take rest. The entrance ticket will be ₹2 for adult and ₹10 for camera. The minimum time can be spent: 30 min for laymen.
Arthur SeatA bird’s eye view of the Big Lake, Yercaud Town and the Shevaroyan Peak is available from this vantage point, which is reached by taking the steep road going north from the centre point of town 1 km from town.
Bears CaveThis is a private property to which one does not have access except with permission. The old European Bungalow was once owned by Norton a famous Criminal lawyer of Chennai. Adjoining this bungalow is a cave which goes deep into the hill. After the first 60 feet or so one has to go down on all fours to proceed further in.
Bears HillThis hill is the one diagonally adjacent to Monfort on the South Eastern side of Yercaud. It also lies to the East of Sacred Heart Convent; one gets a panoramic view of the portion of Yercaud covered with Schools and Seminaries. 2 km from Yercaud Town.
Bell RockA rock in the BSI campus makes bell sound when you hit it with a stone. You have to climb to reach the rock. The entrance ticket will be ₹3 for adult and ₹10 for camera. It is closed on Sundays and National Holidays. The minimum time can be spent: 25 min for laymen, a few days for nature lovers.
The Big Lake Or Emerald LakeThe first thing you sees as you enter the Yercaud town is this placid lake in a wonderful surrounding of hills and natural shoals. Also a beautifully landscaped garden on one bank. It has boating facility. This lake is the only natural lake among all the hill station lakes in the South. A floating fountain is constructed by MALCO , at the center of the lake. The lake is surrounded by a “Deer Park” and “ leisure park” and “Tamil Nadu Hotel”. Boat services are available at reasonable rate (₹75 for 2 seats and ₹95 for 4 seats). Self-pedaling (15 min) and rowing boats (30 min) are available. You have to pay the same amount as caution deposit. The safety measures are followed strictly. The minimum time can be spent: 20 min. The Natural shoal seen around the Petrol Bunk, Round Tana and adjoining the Anna Park are about the oldest shoals of natural species of trees that you can see around the Shevaroys. Another shoal of this type can be seen adjoining the Orchidarium. In the interests of conservation this last stronghold of original trees should be preserved and replenished for the future.
Deer ParkSituated in the Lake. Suitable for Kids to playground. 9-5 except Tuesdays. Photogenic bridge.
Fairholme BungalowOne of the many colonial bungalows on Tipperary road that are well maintained to this day. It is complete with antique furniture that takes one back to the days of tea parties and hunting. It is being run as a heritage hotel and is open to visitors.
The GrangeThis is one of the oldest buildings in Yercaud, built some time in the 1820s MD Cockburn the then Collector established the first commercial plantation in this area and planted coffee, oranges, apples and other fruit trees brought from South Africa. The other coffee plantations in Tamil nadu are said to have originated from this humble beginning. During the Sepoy Mutiny, great efforts were made to strengthen the roof and ramparts were built with gun emplacements and 3 canons were mounted at vantage points. A large cellar was made to hold provisions for about 6 months in case there was a long siege and the Europeans of the area had to hold off insurgents. Well this never happened and all was peaceful during those years. There is a well planned and executed resort alongside the Grange, set amidst coffee & orange plantations and Silver Oak Trees, a delightful get away for the well heeled traveller.
Heaven's LedgeA scenic west-facing cliff that has beautiful views of the sunset. It is in Gowri Estate on the loop road and has been converted into a campsite to promote sustainable tourism.
Horticulture FarmIt has Rose Garden and Children Seat. The Rose Garden is filled with various varieties of roses from Button Rose to Very Big Rose. A “Green Rose” plant is grown along with beautiful rose plants. Saplings of various plants are available at reasonable price. The entrance ticket will be ₹2 for adult and ₹10 for camera. The minimum time can be spent: 35 min for laymen, a few days for nature lovers.
Kiliyur FallsThis delightfully breathtaking water falls is 3 km from the Yercaud Lake and should be visited after the South West or North East Monsoon. The surplus water from the Yercaud Lake and the other reaches of the Shevaroys Hills fall deep into the Kiliyur Valley in a breath-taking 90 m (300 feet) fall. The views from the bottom and top of the falls are breathtaking. The view from the top of the falls into the Valley is heart stopping. The path to the falls is now an easy trek on a concrete path that was recently constructed (as on 2nd October 2011). Anyone should be able to trek to falls now, since iron stairs have been put up at the steep paces, about 250 steps down the concrete and steel stairway. Rethink with old people and small kids. The parking point is 3 km from town and it is another 2 km trek from there. In dry season, it is completely dry. It also provides a beautiful view of the valley.
Kottachedu Teak ForestThe hills tribes who cultivated these lands are said to have abandoned this area after plague struck the area. These lands were than utilized by the Government for a Teak Wood plantation. Vaniar River passes through this Teak forest and leads to the Vaniar Dam. Bisons are frequently seen in the Teak Forest. 11 km from town.
Lady's Seat, Gent's Seat and Children's SeatThis is a cluster of rocks on the south west of the Yercaud hills over looking the ghat road and the town of Salem to the south. There is a natural rock formation in the form of a seat where reportedly a white English Lady of yeaster years spent her evenings viewing the magnificent panorama before ones eyes. There is a sheer drop of about 60 m (200 feet) at this point into a private estate in the valley below. There is a man made viewing tower with Telescopes. One can see the magnasite deposits on the plains and on clear days a view of Mettur Dam. One should not miss the night view of the Salem town with millions of twinkling lights. On the right of Lady's Seat are Sterling Resorts, Gents Seat and Children's Seat. There is a mini park and it is a breath taking spot for a picnic. 2 km from town.
Montfort SchoolMontfort School was established in 1917 in Yercaud by the untiring effort of Bro.Denis. The school was named after the founder of the Order of St.Gabriel. St.Louis Marie Grignoin de Montfort. Its vast campus with attractive buildings, spacious play grounds, well planned and beautiful gardens, and a swimming pool which is the envy of all the schools in the South.
Orchidarium-Botanical Survey of IndiaThis is one of two orchidariums run by the Botanical Survey of India. It has a large collection of native orchids. One can see the rare Ladies Slipper, an insect-eating orchid. A rare tree Shevaroys Bombax which was reported on one of the private estates has also been identified and multiplied in this farm. A treat for plant lovers. Closed Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays.
Pagoda PointThis lies on the Eastern side of the Yercaud hills and is also known as Pyramid Point. The name comes from the hill tribes having made four piles of random stones in a Pagoda or Pyramid formation reportedly to mark some event. Today there is a Rama Temple which lies between these Pagodas. One can get a grand view of Attur and Ayothiapattinam from this picnic spot. 5 km from town.
RetreatThe retreat belongs to a religious society founded by St.Don Bosco (1815-1888). The Saint wanted his spiritual son, popularly known as Salesians of Don Bosco, to work for the poor land abandoned youth through schools, technical institutes, agricultural and trade schools. The retreat serves as a novitiate house where students of the religious order stay and study.
Shevarayan TempleThe Shevarayan is a flat-topped hill with a plateau. The view from the summit on all sides is magnificent, one looks down on a mass of mountains and hills far and near, with the plains spread out like a map between the Shevaroys and the nearest hills. The Yercaud town and Nagalur is well seen from this hill. The Shervarayan Temple is at the top of this hill. It is dedicated to Lord Shervaroyan. The temple is a narrow and dark cave and seated inside are God Shervarayan and Goddess Kaveri representing the Shervaroyan Hills and the river Kaveri. The annual festival in the month of May is a colour event in which thousands of tribal people of the hill take part.
Silk Farm & Rose GardenOne can see the cultivation of Mulberries, the growing of silk worms and the method of spinning silk. The Silk Farm (go little ahead from Lady's seat and take a mud road on the right) does not allow outsiders The season for breeding is during monsoons. In the Rose Garden, you can see a good collection of colourful roses and also purchase nursery plants from here 2 km from town.
Sri Raja Rajeswari TempleThis is said to be the Goddess of all Gods in the Hindu Pantheon and by praying to her one can attain wealth and prosperit and be elevated to higher levels of spirituality. This temple was founded by Tirukovilur Thapovanam Srila Sri Gnanananda Giri Swamigals Parampara Disciple HH Swami Poornananda Giri in the year 1983 and now succeeded by his son V Sri. In this temple the Goddess Sri Raja Rajeswari is seen surrounded by a plethora of Gods.
Tipperary View PointOne can reach this southern most view point of Yercaud by taking the Tipperary Road. From there one can see the Elephant Tooth Rocks. Which are reportedly said to be the remnant of a meteorite which fell to earth. It is pure white rock compared to the Black Granite available on these hills. The Estate adjoining known as Tipperary Estate was once a posh hotel catering to the elite of British India from 1930 to 1940. The night view from this spot-with the lights of Salem in the distance is mesmerizing. 2 km from town.
White Elephant ToothOne is on the Southern Spur of the Shevaroys below the villages of Guntur and the other is in the east overlooking the Ghat road, above the 18-m (60-ft) bridge. The larger one next to Guntur has two rocks about 35 m (120 ft) high and consists of pure white quartz, which is in stark contrast to the greenery around and the black of the granite available around. Easy to climb up but hard to climb down as the material is soft and crumbles beneath your feet. 9 km from town, it is a days trek up and down. Alternatively one can trek down to the plains and catch a bus to return to Yercaud. The Smaller one which can be reached on the short cut to the 60-ft bridge from Tipperary Estate is said to have seen some Gold Mining Activity. It can be reached in about 2 hours time and from there another 1 hour to the ghat road, from which one could catch a bus to Yercaud or Salem.
Yercaud TownYercaud town is at an altitude of 1515 metres above sea level. The Taluk headquarters is in Yercaud. The town has a number of seminaries and convents where brothers and sisters of various religious orders have their training schools. The Montfort School and Sacred Heart Convent are famous in the country. There is a large native Shandy (bazaar) every Sunday and a smaller one on Wednesdays, where vegetables (Chiefly native produce) and fruits are sold.
Dirt bikingYou can do dirt biking in a place very near Grange Resorts. It is around 4 km from the lake. Take the road to Pagoda point from Anna Park and it is carried out next to the T junction to the right. It is indeed an adventurous experience. There are different tracks available for the dirt biking and all of them are available at different rates. ₹100 is charged for the basic ride and ₹400 for a detailed one. It has fair varieties of Dirt biking bikes including one for kids.
Village visit to SampakamPlaces on the 10-km drive to Sempakam: Horticultural Station, Sholay Forest, Raja Rajeshwari Temple, Chakra Maha Meru Temple, Priya Plantations, Big Banana Trees.
Some good sellers are 'Agathiar Herbarium', founded by Former Prime Minister Shri Chandra Shekhar, which is on the way to Shervaroyan Temple, and Bhavini' perfumes, on the way coming back from ladies seat. Ask any local person they will tell you the address for lots of this type of places.
Eggetarian Restaurantaddress: Near the LakeOn Kamaraj Street.
Karuppiah's Chettinad Messaddress: Near the lake.Tasty chappathis @ ₹18 each.
Waterfront Restaurantaddress: Opp. Lake.
Glenrock Estatephone: +91 4281 223264, +91 98865-82263address: http://glenrock.inAn eco-friendly camp with tree houses.
The Greenberryresortphone: +91 4281-223333address: Pakoda Point Road
phone: +91 9943655222address: Jarinakadu
Hilton Hill Resortsaddress: Opp. Bus Stand.Cottages with view.
phone: +91 4281 222288
The Last Sholaphone: +91 4281- 226737
Pon Kailash Holiday Homephone: +91 4281 222555address: Five Roads Junction, Near Montefort SchoolMr. Abdul Quayyoom, very friendly manager.
Rahm's Housephone: +91 -99427-32644Owned by Brothers of Holy Cross.
phone: +91 4281 222620address: Ondikadai Junction
phone: +91-94437 00000
Star Holidaysphone: +91-4281-223337,+91 9443553618 (molibe)Next to lake.
Sterling Resortphone: +91 4281 222700address: Near Lady's Seat
Tamil Nadu Hotelphone: +91 4281 223334address: Near the LakeYouth hostel provided for a minimum of 20 occupants.
Uma Lodgephone: +91 4281222562address: State Bank buildingOld and cute rooms.