Idukki's Cardomom Hills is known for its coffee, tea and cardamom plantations, the cool elevation and the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. A World Heritage Site, its called Yela Mala among tourists and it's a popular tourist destination. Similarly, in Tamil Nadu, too, there is a hill that's known for cardamom plantations. Yelagiri, the hill station in Tirupattur, is a popular tourist hotspot and a branch of the famed Anamalai Hills.
Yelagiri is filled with rose gardens, lush green valleys, and a breeze that carries the scent of various flowers. You can find the place on the Vaniyambadi - Tirupati route. The hill station is located at an elevation of 1410 m above sea level.
The main attraction of the place is the 14 hamlets and the numerous temples spread over the hills. In addition, Yelagiri offers fun recreational activities such as trekking, paragliding, rock climbing and picnic options.
From private to public property
Yelagiri, which was the private property of a zamindar family before India gained independence, was taken over by the government in the 1950s. Tourists can still visit the Zamindar Family Residence located in Reddiyoor.
Moreover, the unique and rare customs, traditions and architecture of the local tribes attract thousands of tourists from all over the country.
It is not as developed as other hill stations in Tamil Nadu like Ooty and Kodaikanal, but there is no dearth of beautiful sights here. Swamimalai Hill, at a height of about 4,338 feet, is the highest point in Yelagiri. Swamimalai is one of the favorite destinations of trekkers and has a beautiful viewpoint. There are several trekking trails through the dense forests. Mangalam is a small village located at the foot of this hill. There are other trekking options that include smaller peaks such as Jawadi Hills and Palamati Hills.
Jalagampara Falls is another popular tourist attraction in Yelagiri. Between the cliffs, the view of the mist-covered waterfall in itself is a special experience. You can reach the waterfall after a trek of about 5 km. The water here is believed to have the power to cure various ailments. It is an ideal place for picnics with family and friends.
Another important attraction of the place is the Nature Park, which is located on 12 acres of land adjacent to the Pungannoor Lake. The park is home to diverse and rich flora and fauna. The Nature Park features a musical fountain with multi-colored lighting, a fish aquarium, an artificial waterfall, a children's park, a bamboo house and beautiful gardens.
The Velavan Temple here is also famous for its beautiful architecture and the Karthigai Thirunal festival. This beautiful temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan. There are also the unique idols of Ghatolkachan and Ganapati here.
Apart from these, Yelagiri's has the pretty Punganoor Lake, the herbal farm protected by the Forest Department and the Nilavur Lake, which is known for its water sports activities like boating.
Celebration of summer
Every year at the end of May, the Yelagiri Summer Festival is organized for tourists. It is organized by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Board. As part of this, stalls of various departments, flower shows, boat houses, various cultural events and exhibitions of various breeds of dogs are organized. Many people from different parts of the country attend this annual festival.
How to reach?
Yelagiri is easily accessible from major cities like Chennai and Bengaluru. The nearest airport is the Bangalore International Airport, which is located at a distance of 145 km from the hill station. The Chennai Airport is the nearest airport located at a distance of 260 km. After landing at the airport, you can hire a taxi to reach Yelagiri.
The Jolarpet Railway Station is the nearest rail-head, located at a distance of about 21 km. The nearest bus stands are at the nearby cities of Tirupati and Jolarpet.