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“Nice location- poor man's ooty”
Review of Yercaud

Yercaud
Ranked #1 of 31 things to do in Salem
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed October 3, 2012

This is a location which is considered as poor man's ooty and hence it is clear that anybody can visit this place. We had an opportunity to stay at Skyrocca and the breathtaking views were excellent and we enjoyed our stay thoroughly. Make sure you visit the Servarayan temple in the hills and take walk alongside the lake.

10  Thank KSCNAIR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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393 - 397 of 413 reviews

Reviewed September 13, 2012

Recently I drove to Yercaud which is around 220 km from Bangalore. This was my first trip with my car and I was pretty excited. Yercaud came out as a perfect desitation to fulfill this excitement. NH7 till Salem is as smooth as silk and the ghat road to Yercaudoffers awesome surrounding and a good road to drive up the hills. The hairpin bends are not at all intimidating if you are a careful and responsible driver. Though not a very popular destination as advertised in some reviews I have seen, I found it quite comparable with other hill stations if you are ready to explore it on your own. The lake is nice a place to relax in the afternoon. Height of the Killiyur falls is a treat for the eyes and of course you are going to shed some extra pounds for this treat as you have to walk way down to reach the falls. Monfort Anglo-Indian school dating back to early 19th century will make one nostalgic. The best part to me was the early morning drive to Shevoran temple(roughly 7km from the Yercaud lake) as we had an uninterrupted view of the hills and the valley below soaked in early morning sun. This is something which no one should miss. Of course there are standard view points but not comparable to this one as pristine as it could be. You can halt at your libertly and just get soaked in the beauty. We stayed in Grange resort which is a decent property in the midst of a coffee estate, but yes it's a costly proposition. Foodwise, I suggest Tamildadu hotel which is near the Lake and offers food which is value for money. Overall, I found Yercaud as a perfect weekend getaway from Bangalore and a nice hill station to relax. Exploring it by driving on your own is just going to further unwind and rejuvinate you.

8  Thank Kaus7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2012

I recently visited Yercaud. It is a really good hill station. It has everything which a Hill station should have: A nice lake at the center of the town with boating facility, a fantastic waterfall very near to the town (just 3.5 kms from the center of the town), few good parks & two awesome View points !

Although there are many hotels & resorts, Hotel Tamilnadu, which is a TTDC (Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation) property, is a good & low cost option for accommodation. Even the lowest tariff rooms (Rs. 550/-) are decent.

While going to Killiyur waterfall, tourist should know that it takes a small walk (of approx. 1 km.) & few steps to reach till the waterfall from the vehicle parking point. Both the View points Lady's seat & Pagoda good & worth visiting.

Overall, if you are in Bengaluru or Chennai & you have two days & you want to take a nice break from the hustle & Bustle of city life, skip Kodai - Ooty & Visit Yercaud !

6  Thank Rohit B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2012

Yercaud is a hill station about 32 kms away from Salem in Tamilnadu. Travel uphill from Salem and just after the 20th hairpin bend on the road you are at Yercaud, a guest of the Queen of the Shevroys. The Shevaroyan Hills (anglicized to ‘Shevroys’) are part of the Eastern Ghats of Tamilnadu. Salem is well connected by road and rail to both Chennai (Madras) and Bangalore.

At 1500 metres (about 5000 feet) above sea level, Yercaud is a quiet place where about the most strenuous thing you can do is relax! Surrounded by lush coffee plantations, picturesque Yercaud is ideal for long walks in the company of good friends or in complete solitude. The local administration sends out the eco-conservation message for Yercaud really well through numerous strategically placed signs that say "Leave nothing but footprints…take nothing but memories".

Yercaud apparently gets its name from a combination of the Tamil words ‘yeri’ (lake) and ‘kaadu’ (forest), which works out to a pretty descriptive “Lake Forest”. The best time to be in Yercaud is in the warmer months between May and October. May-June is peak tourist season. The annual summer festival is usually held in the second week of May when there are boat races on the lake, flower shows, dog shows and locally grown fruits flood the stalls.

Honestly though, Yercaud is a hill station that really has not gotten its due compared to Ootacamund & Kodaikanal. And perhaps it is just as well that it hasn’t – for it continues to be pristine for the most part, unspoilt by crass commercialization and the litter of rampant tourism. Since it is not a ‘hot’ tourist destination it is also more reasonably priced than its better known sister hill stations Ooty & Kodai.

M. D. Cockburn, the then District Collector of Salem is credited with having introduced coffee cultivation in Yercaud in the 1820s. Apart from coffee, fruits such as oranges, guavas, bananas, pears and jack fruit and spices like black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves are also grown here. The forests of Yercaud have teak, sandal wood, eucalyptus and silver oak, with silver oak being the most visible tree species.

One can also pick up pretty good home made jams, chocolate and natural honey at Yercaud. The other interesting local produce is herbal oils – extracts of eucalyptus, lemon grass, almonds and aloevera gel.

The salubrious, cool environs of Yercaud also drew Christian educationists to set up schools here which have since gone on to earn themselves formidable reputations. The most famous of these is unarguably Montfort School, now almost a century old. The Sacred Heart Convent is also well known as an educational institution of repute.

The major scenic attraction in Yercaud is the Yercaud Lake, which has a backdrop of the hills and a reasonably well maintained garden on its banks. Boats (self pedaling and rowing) can be hired at reasonable rates.

Apart from the lake, the Botanical Gardens, Silk Farm and Rose Gardens are well worth visiting. The National Orchidarium located about 2 kms from the Lake is also worth the trip – it is supposedly the third largest orchidarium in India.

Other sightseeing locations in and around Yercaud include:
- Servarayan temple, which at a height of 5326 feet is the highest point in Yercaud. The temple itself is within a narrow, dark cave and has deities of Lord Servarayan and Goddess Kaveri, the deities of the Shevroy Hills and the Kaveri River. The flatlands just a little further up from the temple offer excellent views of the surrounding hills
- Bear’s Cave – a natural cave formation on the way to Servarayan temple
- Kiliyur Waterfalls
- Lady’s Seat, Gent’s Seat and Children’s Seat – all view points overlooking the plains, with Lady’s Seat offering the best view of Salem
- Pagoda Point which is yet another vantage viewpoint, and also home to a large temple

TIPS:

1. Yercaud is excellent if you like trekking and over recent years has developed into a well recognized trekking destination. Most up market hotels offer guided trekking trips into the nearby coffee plantations with well informed guides.

2. The homemade fruit jams, chocolates and natural honey are good buys – they are fresh, unadulterated and do not use artificial preservatives.

3. Good quality eucalyptus and lemon grass oil is available at Yercaud. However, mention your purchase interest publicly and you could well find yourself being hustled into visiting one or the other of the local “perfumeries” by cab or autorickshaw drivers who obviously earn handsome commissions for the sales generated from uninformed tourists. The typical routine at these perfumeries is to first establish credibility by taking you on a ‘no-commitment’ stroll around their herbal garden, casually crushing leaves or flowers and putting them right under your nose to inhale the goodness – once you are suitably ‘softened’ up, you are escorted into the nearby office where slick hard sell begins and before you know it you have bought a couple of thousands worth of oils, rubs and gels that you didn’t even need in the first place! Our advice is avoid the perfumeries and buy from any of the better established shops in town…and if you must visit a perfumery leave right after the ‘no-commitment’ stroll around the herbal garden!!

4. The temperature does not drop below 10ºC and so light woollens are quite adequate. At the upper end, the temperature never exceeds 30°C. The ‘winter’ season is September through December.

5. If you plan to take a train from Salem on your return journey, it is prudent to make allowance for an extra couple of hours above the actual Yercaud-Salem road travel time of about an hour. This is because thick, opaque mist can suddenly roll in from the hills on to the road and the reduced visibility can make driving either very slow or altogether impossible. Cutting it fine could well result in your missing your train.

6. The better accommodation options in Yercaud include GRT Nature Trails, Sterling Holidays Rock Perch, Lake Forest Hotel, Grand Palace Hotel and Shevaroys Hotel. Tamilnadu Tourism’s (TTDC) Tamilnadu Hotel located very close to the lake is the best bet for budget accommodation.

11  Thank TMenon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

Yercaud offers its visitors great views and moreover: a very comfortable climate - much cooler than in the Salem area at the botto of the mountain.

You might pay a visit to the very special and lovely Bhawani Memorial School, founded and run by Professor Anantaraman on the outskirts of the central city on Yercaud. Supported by a foundation http://www.bamf.uottawa.ca/

7  Thank Robbert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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