I am a marketing professional holding a postgraduate degree in management. I live in Chennai and have traveled extensively in Tamil Nadu.
The name of this town is derived from two Tamil words, "yeri" (lake) and "kadu" (forest). It was so named because of the dense forest around the lake. Yercaud is at an altitude of 1,500 meters on the Shevaroy Hills of the Eastern Ghats. It is blessed with pleasant weather throughout the year.
It is the third most popular hill station in Tamil Nadu after Ooty and Kodaikanal. Yelagiri is a close challenger to Yercaud because of its proximity to Chennai and Bengaluru. While both the hill stations have ideal weather during the off-season (monsoon and winter), Yercaud has a more pleasant summer than Yelagiri.
10 Gorgeous Places in Yercaud
- Emerald Lake
- Anna Park
- Killiyur Falls
- Rose Garden
- Botanical Garden
- Pagoda Point
- Lady's Seat
- Montfort School Church
- Shevaroy Temple
- Sri Raja Rajeswari Temple
1. Emerald Lake
Yercaud is the only hill station in Tamil Nadu that offers boating services in a natural lake. The lakes in Ooty, Kodaikanal and Yelagiri are man-made. This lake thus has a unique charm with its surrounding hillside views and greenery.
Tourists can take motorboats or oar-drawn boats. The fitness-seekers can opt for the self-pedaling boats. Boating is not allowed after dark, and one should try to reach the ticket counters before 5 pm.
2. Anna Park
This is a group of four small parks known as Lake Park, Deer Park, Children's Park and Gandhi Park. Anna Park is a well-maintained garden near the Emerald Lake. The park has many indigenous plants and bonsai varieties.
The park has a nursery offering many flowering plants at nominal rates. Children have a play area that includes rides such as see-saws and slides. Adults can enjoy the long walks inside the gardens.
3. Killiyur Falls
The excess water from the Emerald Lake flows downstream and drops through the rocks as Killiyur Falls. There is a trekking route that takes one from a point near the Emerald Lake to Killiyur Falls. The trek is enjoyable in the company of birds, greenery and a gentle stream.
An hour-long trek culminates in a 300-foot waterfall. The visual treat offered by this staircase waterfall makes the trek worthwhile. It is important to carry enough water and snacks, as shops are hard to find on the trekking route.
4. Rose Garden
The Rose Garden is near the Children’s Seat viewpoint. The flowers are in full bloom during the summer months. One can walk through the pathways along the rose beds and marvel at the well-manicured garden and tall trees. A walk amid the blooms will lift one's spirit. The Annual Flower Show in May is a highlight of the Rose Garden.
5. Botanical Garden
This is a quiet place on the road to Lady's Seat around 3 km from Emerald Lake. This place cannot be compared with the Botanical Garden in Ooty. It is a small garden and has fewer plant species than its namesake garden in Ooty.
For reasons unknown to me, this place is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. One can best enjoy this place if they visit with low expectations. It is secluded, with a rustic charm.
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6. Pagoda Point
There is an old temple resembling a Pagoda near this viewpoint. The mysterious piles of stones are arranged in the form of a pyramid resembling a pagoda. The temple here is dedicated to Lord Rama.
From this viewpoint, one can get great views of sunrise and sunset. The long, winding road leading to Yercaud is visible from here. At the nightfall, one can drink in the view of the beautifully lit town of Salem.
7. Lady's Seat Viewpoint
Lady's Seat is another stunning viewpoint on top of a unique rock formation. It has a viewing tower with a telescope. Mettur Dam, valleys, plains and Salem town are all visible from this point. During the colonial era, a native English lady used to spend her evenings watching the view from this rock, hence the name.
There are two other viewpoints nearby with similar-sounding names—Gent's Seat and Children's Seat.
8. Montfort School Church
The main building of the school was built during the colonial era. Moreso than the school building, the bigger attraction is the chapel inside the school. The Montfort School Church is a symbol of Franco-Indian architecture.
The school boasts a list of distinguished alumni that include Roger Binny (former India cricketer), Mohan Sivanand and several noted politicians.
9. Shevaroy Temple
Shevaroy Temple is at the highest point in Yercaud. The temple is in a narrow and dark cave. A few people believe that the cave leads to the river Kaveri, as the temple is dedicated to Goddess Kaveri. One cannot verify this belief, as the cave is closed to visitors. Goddess Kaveri is considered the protector of the 67 villages around this temple.
One can have a good view of the Yercaud town and Nagalur from this hill. The view of the forests will be breathtaking since this place is the highest point on the hill.
10. Sri Raja Rajeswari Temple
Sri Raja Rajeswari Temple is on the way to Shevaroy Temple at a distance of 4 km from the Yercaud Bus Stand. It is dedicated to the Goddess Shakthi, considered the most powerful of all Gods.
The temple is on a slope, and one needs to walk up around 50 steps from the road. This temple is neatly tucked in amidst the surrounding greenery.
Travel and Stay
Yercaud is at a distance of 366 km from Chennai. The nearest railway station is in Salem Town. Salem is well connected to all major cities in South India by road and rail. It takes 7 hours of drive time to reach Yercaud by car. The best route from Chennai is to take the GST road up to Ulundurpet, where one needs to take a right turn towards Salem Town.
There are many stay options worthy of consideration. Sterling resorts offer a stunning valley view. Shevaroy Hotel is known for its ornate gardens. TTDC Hotel is known for its wonderful food and proximity to the lake. Grange Resorts is in the middle of a jungle for those who seek solitude.
For more details on the other two offbeat hill stations apart from Yercaud, please read Three Offbeat Hill Stations in Tamil Nadu.
Yercaud as a Hill Station
© 2019 Mohan Babu