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Yercaud

Yercaud is situated at an altitude of 1,500 metres on the Shevaroy hills of the Eastern Ghats, a little less famous as compared to Ooty and Kodaikanal. Yercaud got its name from the Tamil words, yeri and kaadu, meaning lake and forest respectively. The British discovered it in the early 19th century. The lofty hills are of extraordinary scenic beauty endowed with a salubrious climate. It is known for Coffee Plantations and Orange Groves. The coffee bushes blossom in April and offer a spectacular view. The highest point in Yercaud is Shevaroy temple, which is situated at a height of 5,326. The climate of Yercaud is a moderate one. Winters are fairly mild, which starts in the month of September and ends in December. During winter, the hills are covered by mist and it looks beautiful. The climate is also particularly pleasant; residents say with pride that they never need to use a fan. The most popular seasons are February - June and September-November. The monsoon season (June-August) is not the best time to visit as it rains heavily, hampering movement. The Salem Co-operative Super Market Branch and the Main Bazaar are the main places to shop in Yercaud. The summer festival has a 7-day set-up of flower shows, dog shows, boating races and a fair. Crowds flock to Yercaud during this season and hang around evening when the fair is rolling until 11:00 p.m. at night.

How to reach


By Air

The nearest airport is Trichy, 163 km from Yercaud. Other options are Coimbatore or Bangalore for convenient air connections. Coimbatore is 190 km away. They are all connected to Chennai, which has an international airport.

By Train
Ideal would be to take the Yercaud Express from Chennai. Salem Junction is 36 km away from Yercaud and Salem town is located at a distance of 33 km. Since Salem station is a junction, all southbound trains passing via Salem stop at Salem. Trains link Salem to Cochin, Erode, Trivandrum and Mangalore.

By Road
Yercaud 30 km away and an hour's drive from Salem can also be reached by bus or taxi. Regular bus services ply from Chennai, Salem and other important points. There are buses every half-hour from Salem. Yercaud is well connected by road to Trichy, Madurai, Bangalore, and Coimbatore. Buses, both private and government-owned, ply throughout the day to Salem. Private taxis are also available.

Contact

Tourist Office at Hotel Tamil Nadu, Yercaud

Hospitals

Government Hospital, 1km from Bus Stand.
Providence Hospital, 1km from Bus Stand to Lady's Seat on Road.
Government Primary Health Centre: Valavanthi (8km from Bus Stand).

Yercaud at a glance :
Population 3,6863 (1991 Census)
Altitude 1,500 metres
Clothing Cottons in summer and light woollen in winter
Languages Spoken Tamil and English
STD Code 04281
Temperature Range Summer Max 30°C, Min 16°C
Winter Max 25°C, Min 13°C
Rainfall 1,500 mm. Minimum ; 2,000mm. Maximum

Places of interest

Yercaud Lake

The Yercaud Lake with a picturesque pool surrounded by gardens and well-wooded trees are the first things that attract a visitor. The garden surrounding the lake is well groomed and best seen during the month of May when the Summer Festival is organised. One can avail the boating facilities available here. Boating in the cold water of the lake is enchanting as well as refreshing.

Anna Park,
Anna Park situated near the Yercaud Lake is very beautiful. Nearby, there are few other parks like Lake Park, Gandhi Park, and Children Park, which are worth visiting.

Lady's Seat
It overlooks the winding ghat road and provides a breathtaking view. This view is spectacular at night with the twinkling lights of Salem town in sight. The tourists can have a panoramic view of the plains below through the telescope mounted at the Lady's Seat.

Pagoda Point
Pagoda Point is also another viewpoint, which is worth visiting.

Holy Trinity Church
Holy Trinity Church is a century old and is beautifully maintained. Other churches include the 100 year old Trinity Church, the Sacred Heart, Lutheran, St Joseph's and The Retreat.

National Orchidarium
National Orchidarium is located 2 km away from the lake, with India's third largest orchid house (after the ones in Calcutta and Shillong). It has over a hundred species of orchids, including nearly 30 very rare ones. These include Vernonia Shevarayensis, Paphiopedilum Deuryi (lady's slipper orchid), the intriguing insect-eating pitcher plant (Nepenthes Khasiana), etc.

Killiyur Falls
Killiyur falls, 300 feet high waterfalls are situated amidst picturesque surroundings. The water comes via a stream all the way from the Big Lake. It is quite distant and worth the walk through the woods.

The Servaroyan Temple
The Servaroyan temple is situated atop Servaroyan hill. This temple is of great prominence and the tribals living in these hills celebrate their annual festival in May every year.

Small Lake
Small Lake is situated very close to town, which is famous for being fed by seven wells. A road bound the lake and towards one end of the lake is Montfort School and towards the other end is the town.

The Grange
The castle like building built by the then Collector of Salem, M.D. Cockburn who first introduced coffee from Arabia and apples and other fruits from South Africa between 1820 AD and 1829 AD in Yercaud is said to have played an important role in the revolt of 1857 AD.

Bear's Cave
It is situated near the Norton Bungalow on the way to Servaroyan temple. It is an important tourist spot. Temple here is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya. Its innermost shrine is cut out of a solid rock.

Around Yercaud

Enroute to Yercaud, you will come across the textile town of Salem. Ethnic handloom fabrics will be available at half the price, you would pay elsewhere.

Brightly coloured idols catch the right of the travelers, situated at the left side of the road just before the road begins to climb the mountains. There guardian deities, unique to Tamil Nadu only, are worshipped as protectors of villages and are often known as Aiyanars.

On the way up the winding hill road with its 20 hairpin bends, stop at a thatched wayside stall selling 'Fresh Garden Produce': packets of cloves and pepper. Then come the coffee plantations before entering cottage-dotted Yercaud.