OT Travel Itinerary: Your Weekend Guide To Yercaud

Itching to get out of the city? Look no further than Yercaud for a two-day getaway
The hairpin bends which lead to Yercaud
The hairpin bends which lead to Yercaudsridhar.prabhakar/Shutterstock.com

In the Shevaroy Hills of the Eastern Ghats lies Yercaud, a hill station at an altitude of 1,515m above sea level. Its name in Tamil hints at the delights it offers: “yeri” means lake and “kaadu” means forest. You will be greeted with views of coffee and cardamom plantations; the pristine waters of Yercaud Lake; a range of viewpoints like Lady’s Seat, Gent’s Seat and Children’s Seat; splendid views of the bountiful greenery; and temples such as the Shevaroyan Temple and Raja Rajeshwari Temple.

Here’s how to spend a weekend in Yercaud.

Day 1


Yercaud Lake
Yercaud Lakesivananthan2001/Shutterstock.com

Head to Anna Park on your first morning. You can go for a walk, take a horse ride or simply relax in the tranquillity of nature and have a picnic. The park also has a children's play area. Anna Park showcases Japanese architectural techniques which adds to its charms. Flower shows are held throughout the summer so try to attend one if you can.

Since Yercaud Lake is in the vicinity of Anna Park, hop onto a rowboat or motorboat and set sail on its clear waters. Also known as “Emerald Lake” and “Big Lake,” it features a floating fountain structure which adds to the peaceful ambience of the place. It is claimed that the lake is the only one of its kind which is naturally formed across all the hill stations of Tamil Nadu.


The Yercaud Rose Garden
The Yercaud Rose GardenPrivinSathy/Shutterstock.com

On the opposite shore from Anna Park lies an ecotourism reserve called Deer Park. Other than its eponymous inhabitants, you can find peacocks, guinea pigs, pigeons, rabbits and ducks roaming around. There are several swings in the garden area for kids to play with.

Next, visit the Yercaud Rose Garden to stop and smell the roses. The different varieties of roses with their dazzling hues and heady scents make you feel like you have stepped straight into the pages of a fairy tale.

Two viewpoints called Children’s Seat and Gent’s Seat are a short walk from the rose garden. Take in the view of the hill station’s valleys from here.


The Lady's Seat viewpoint
The Lady's Seat viewpointYercaud-elango/Wikimedia Commons

As twilight falls, head to the most popular viewpoint of all in Yercaud: Lady’s Seat. The sunset illuminates the skies with swirls of orange and gold which leaves visitors in awe. There are benches where you can drink in the beauty of our living planet and listen to bird calls. A telescope has been placed here for visitors to look closely at Yercaud’s mist-covered hills and lake.

Day 2


Kiliyur Falls
Kiliyur FallsP.V.R.M/Shutterstock.com

Your final morning should begin with an early rise to see Kiliyur Falls. This 91m high waterfall is fed by Yercaud Lake and drops into the Kiliyur Valley. The best time to see it is right after the monsoon when it's swollen with rainwater. The climb to see it is arduous but tourists can have a refreshing swim in its clear waters or go on a boat ride in the valley to reward themselves. Those with a more adventurous bent of mind can trek from Yercaud Lake to the waterfall.

Next, check out the Shevaroyan Temple, the highest point in all of Yercaud. Located on the flat top of the Shevaroy Hills, the temple is inside a narrow cave. It is dedicated to Lord Shevaroyan and the god Kaveri, both of whom are worshipped by villagers of the region. A common lore says that the cave temple is over 2,000 years old and touches the Kaveri river in the state of Karnataka, around 480km away. According to local legends, if you throw at least one stone out of three into the site’s wishing well with your back turned against it, you will be successful in your pursuits. Whether these legends have any credibility to them is a moot point. Savour the time you have here.


Pagoda Point
Pagoda Pointtamilnadutourism.tn.gov.in/Website

After lunch, drive to Pagoda Point. It gives a bird’s eye view of the entire town of Salem, the neighbouring village of Kakambadi and the 21 hairpin bends of Yercaud. It is also known as “Pyramid Point” because of the presence of four piles of stones arranged in the shape of a pyramidal temple. Let the calm atmosphere of the place seep into your senses.

Next, it’s time to visit the National Orchidarium and Botanical Garden. This 18.4-hectare site has a diverse range of plants including ones which are endangered. Its 30 species of orchids are popular with tourists but it is the Kurinji flower which draws the most attention when it blossoms once every 12 years. This purplish blue flower gave the Nilgiris its name as “nil” means blue and “giri” means mountains in Tamil. The site is divided into many zones such as a topiary garden, bonsai section, butterfly area, herbal garden and rock garden, to name a few.


Silk World
Silk Worldseritourismsilkworld/Facebook

Wrap up your day with a visit to Silk World, a centre where visitors can learn about the region’s sericulture tradition. Exhibits on mulberry cultivation, silkworm rearing, silk reeling, silk twisting and silk weaving explain all the steps that go into silk production. Besides this, there are 3D artworks on the floor, an “infinity well” where a pair of parallel mirrors create a series of smaller and smaller reflections that appear to recede to infinity, and a gravity well, among other installations. You will have a fun time exploring them all.

Where To Stay

The Great Trails Yercaud and the Sterling Yercaud provide a luxurious stay for guests. For budget options consider Hotel Shevaroys and MM Resorts. Backpackers should consider Hotel Shoba Yercaud and Breezy Land Residency.

Getting There

The nearest airport and railhead to Yercaud are Coimbatore International (186km) and Salem Junction (32km), respectively. Regular bus services are available between Yercaud and Salem, which is further connected to Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Tiruvannamalai, Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Pondicherry and Tirupati, among other places.

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