WHAT THEHEEBEE SAYS :
Bangalore is one of the places which has abundance of places nearby which are best suited for a weekend gateway. For driving enthusiasts it is a great mix of fun and adventure. One such place is Yearcaud near Salem in Tamilnadu – approx. 200 Kms from Bangalore.
We were desperately planning for a break from monotonous life. A unanimous decision was made to explore Yercaud by a self driven road trip.
We did some basic research on the climatic conditions, road conditions, road directions, hotels, sight seeing etc beforehand. Prepared ourselves and booked our resort rooms around 2 weeks in advance.
It was a three day travel. We (4 adults and 2 kids) started on a Sunday – 24-Jan and returned back on Tuesday – 26-Jan.
About Yercaud :
Yercaud is a popular hill station located in the state of Tamil Nadu in South of India. It is approximately 210 Kms from Bangalore (Karnataka) and 30 Kms from the city of Salem (Tamil Nadu). “Yercaud” means “Lake Forest” in the native “Tamil” language, signifying the abundance of dense forest surrounding the lake on top of the hill station.
The Route :
A very precise route is available through Google Maps. Please click on above map or this link to directly take you to Google Maps.
The Travel : Bengaluru to Yercaud
Our journey started at 6.39 AM on Sunday. We had planned to start latest by 6.00 AM but it was still not bad to start at a delay of max 39 mins with two kids.
Our machine was up to date Honda Brio in excellent condition.
At 06:56 AM we crossed our first toll gate at Attibele and crossed Karnataka border to enter Tamil Nadu border. Toll charge : 25 Rs.
Roads were clear and traffic was very less due to Sunday. We kept on moving ahead at a constant pace and reached Mc’Donalds around 07:19 AM. There was no specific need for us to stop here. But we had go to know that there are not much good hotels on the way and hence we stopped here for a bio break before heading forward. Its a decent place with Mc’D, a South Indian restaurant, a Petrol Bunk and clean wash rooms. We recommend this as a must stop for refreshment and bio break.
We swapped driving and again got back on track. By now we had covered 43.7 Kms from our starting point.
The road conditions and sparse traffic supported us to maintain a steady pace. Very soon we reached our next speed slowing point – Toll gate # 2 : Krishnagiri Toll Plaza at 07:48 AM. Toll Paid : 70 Rs. Distance covered : 70 Kms.
As we started a bit early, kids were still sleeping. So we decided to keep on covering as much distance as possible. Our next halt was – Toll gate # 3 : Krishnagiri Thopur Toll Plaza at 08:41 AM. Toll Paid : 86 Rs. Distance covered : 135.5 Kms.
Once you cross this toll gate then the scenic beauty on both the sides of road increases. You pass by huge hillocks and through some zig zag roads. A pleasure to drive with a lot of greenery around. We kept on cruising and reached – Toll gate # 4 : Salem Toll Plaza at 09:16 AM. Toll Paid : 69 Rs. Distance covered : 172 Kms.
Few Kms from this toll gate is a diversion to left which passes through the Salem city. We stopped at the start of Salem to again swap driving.
Passing through Salem was very easy and comfortable. GPS navigation showed us precise way. City was having moderate traffic. People were following traffic rules. Cops were controlling the traffic. We did not find any bottleneck while passing through Salem. We wanted to wait for few mins as ladies were eager to check on some utensils shops. But we took a unanimous call to check that during our return journey and hence we kept on proceeding to Yercaud without halting at Salem.
By 09:40 AM we had almost crossed Salem and started our ascend to Yercaud. We paid one more toll on the Ghat – 30 Rs which was the last toll before reaching Yercaud.
Climbing the hill was very exciting and adventurous. As it was morning time, it was very pleasant and we could find a lot of clouds passing through the deep valley. It was a very scenic climb with all the excitement around 20 hairpin bends. But you need to drive cautiously as a lot of folks drive at speed and rashly. Also there are a lot of monkeys on the ghat road who sometimes just jump on the road which is quite dangerous. Please keep your car windows closed. These monkeys are notorious and can well jump inside the car to grab food. Need to mention that authorities have kept the ghat road in a very good condition. It has fence towards the valley side. All hairpin bends are painted and roads are clean.
By 11:0 AM we had reached atop the Yercaud hill to our hotel – Golden Nest Resort. It took us little over 4 hours with a very short bio break. One way toll paid was Rs. 280.
Climate at Yercaud :
Climate at Yercaud was very pleasant. It remains moderate through the year. One can easily feel the difference in climate on top of the hill. Everything was welcoming us. No traffic hustle-bustle, no honking, no pollution and no hurry. We spend some time to relax ourselves. Temperature was moderate during day time. As evening approached it turned cold. Evenings can actually trigger a lot of cravings to eat some barbeque’d food with a drink. Nights are quite cold with a lot of cold winds and mist flowing through – an ideal time to have fun over campfire. Its a strong suggestion to everyone – choose a hotel/resort which has provision of campfire, you are going to love it at Yercaud.
The Resort: Golden Nest Resort
Golden Nest Resort stayed up to expectations in terms of location and quality of room. It is situated on a hillock. One side has valley view and other side faces the Yercaud lake.
We had booked two superior category rooms. It has one living room with a TV, sitting arrangement, sofa-cum-bed, pantry, refrigerator, microwave oven. One air-conditioned bedroom, balcony, TV, cupboard and attached bathroom with geyser and bath tub. There is one common bathroom also. Rooms were clean and all things were properly arranged. Hotel has a valley facing restaurant. On call service is also quick and satisfactory.
Sight seeing at Yercaud :
Yercaud has many sight seeing points. Majority of them are about beautiful valley and mountain views from different points. We visited only a few of these places as we wanted to rest more than roam.
Below are few of the recommendations :
* Yercaud Lake : A man-made lake is situated in the center of town. It is also known as Emerald lake. Boating is the main attraction here. Deer park is located adjacent to the lake.
* Botanical Garden : It is located very near to Yercaud Lake. It is a place to get some pleasant feeling with greenery around. It displays some rare species of flowers. It also has an orchid park which displays a lot of rare orchids.
* Shevaroy Temple : This is said to be the highest point in Yercaud. It contains a small cave temple. It gives a good viewpoint.
* Pagoda Point : This is a very good view point. It gives a very good view of Salem city. It is very famous to view sunrise.
* Kiliyur Falls : This was the most beautiful place we visited. To reach the falls one has to do steep down climb of approximately 200 steps. Dense vegetation, big rocks, sound of flowing water… a very soulful place!! #mustVisit
* Lady’s seat, Gent’s seat and Children’s seat : These are names given to group of rocks. Each one is a view point from where one can get splendid view of Salem city.
* Sarvarayan Temple : This is another temple famous among the local tribe. It is a narrow cave temple. One can get beautiful view of Yercaud from this point.
There are many other small sight seeing places in Yercud. But we intentionally kept it a limited list as we did not want to make our trip hectic. Some updates to this blog post may come if we again get a chance to visit Yercaud.
Closest to Nature, Closest to God — early mornings of Yercaud :
It is a divine feeling to see a town/city wake up. How the slow & delicate sun rays bring in a hope of new life to everything. We always make it a point to keenly observe how the town wakes up to a new life. We had set up our alarm clocks to wake us at early morning 5:00 AM. At 5:00 AM it was chilling cold outside and wind was blowing at a high speed. It was not possible to come out of the room without putting on some good warm clothes.
In spite of the chill, we stood to our determination and then came the enlightening moment. Slowly from behind the hills and trees came the first rays of sun. There was fog and mist everywhere. It was giving a cotton cover to the whole town. Birds woke up slowly. Fresh bloomed flowers were making the climate more beautiful. Words wont do a justice to describe the feeling. Leaving it to the pics to explain it.
Early morning climate was very mesmerizing. It triggered us to further venture into the town to see how it wakes up. So we cleaned the mist on car glass and started off on a new adventure.
We passed by the lake and were surprised to see how beautiful the nature is. Silent water with a layer of mist. As if it was from a completely different world.
Walking alongside the lake, we reached the main circle of Yearcaud.
The morning chill, mist, freshness and now we spotted something very interesting – there were small tea and food shops which were just gearing up to start the business. How could we loose this opportunity?
We had three cups of fresh Irani-Tea. It was very refreshing. The guy was very enthusiastic to find a customer as early as this time of the day.
By the time we were enjoying the tea, we spotted an elderly couple who was just preparing a wood-fire stove to cook snacks. We approached them and checked if food is ready. And here we hit a road-block, neither we knew their language nor did they knew ours. But the language of food is universal and we were able to manage with a delicious piping hot breakfast of Idli, Dosa, Omelette, Saambar and Chutney.
We had a very memorable time spend in Yercaud. It helped us relax and get a fresh energy to get back to the normal life. We started our return to Bangalore on the second day around 3 PM in noon and reached Bangalore in evening. We carried with us pleasant memories for life time. As we write this blog we are very sure that Yercaud still has a lot more for us and we will keep on visiting it.
We end this blog and leave you with some random pics to enjoy.
Saravana Bhavan Elite is located very near to the Lake and is a very good option available in Yercaud for hygienic veg food.
Irresistible lunch at Saravana Bhavan Elite.
At many placed you will find such natural dose of energy. Go for it!
Clean and shining autos lined up.
Beautiful view of the majestic lake. It tells some silent stories. Stories of strength, courage and patience.
Life jackets are mandatory for boat rides. THEHEE’s kido thoroughly enjoyed her first ever boat ride.
There is greenery and beautiful flowers in abundance at Yercaud.
A good Samaritan has put a huge map of Yearcaud near the lake.
With my friend Dr. Rikesh Joshi. The Joshis made a great company in the whole trip. And its the type of company which makes it successful. I am sure we have many more merry travels in the coming days.
Finally that’s what the odometer read when we concluded this memorable journey.