The paradisiacal hill station of Yercaud, which is the sought-after destination of many tourists, is in Tamil Nadu’s Salem district. ‘Yer’ means lake in Tamil and as the name suggests a breathtaking lake amidst the hills awaits visitors to Yercaud. This hill station, known as the poor man’s Ooty, is pocket-friendly and generally less crowded unlike other similar tourist spots.
You have to manoeuvre 20 hairpin curves to reach Yercaud, which is 30km from Salem, and it is one of the hill stations in the Eastern Ghats with lesser tourist footfall. This mesmerizing spot is 230km or a less than a five-hour drive from Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka state.
Nature’s perfect combo of mist-covered hills, gentle cool breeze and verdant forest provides an ethereal experience to the travellers. Besides the thick forest, Yercaud boasts of sandalwood and teak trees, and orange orchards. Pepper, cardamom, coffee, guava and jackfruit are cultivated close to 4,970ft above sea level. The main attractions are Anna Park, a botanical garden and a rose park, among others. The tourists are also attracted to the rock formations known as Lady’s Seat, Gent’s Seat and Children’s Seat.
Yercaud, which is replete with forest and hills, is also the sought-after destination of people who are into trekking and adventure sports. A one-hour hike through the jungles from Anna Park will take you to the Kiliyur waterfalls. The waterfalls could be seen flowing with abundant water during the monsoon season. The Tippery viewpoint, which is in south Yercaud, is also a much-liked spot for trekkers.
The Yercaud Lake, which is also known as the Emerald Lake, is one of the prominent natural lakes in south India and the tourists can go on a boat ride in the lake. The boat ride is the best way to enjoy the beauty of nature in Yercaud.
The children can have a great time at the deer park, which is near the lake. Besides deer, the park is home to peacocks and swans. A wonder that is worth visiting is the white rock, which is known as the ‘White Elephant Tooth Rocks’.
The drive through the 32 km-long road surrounding the lake can definitely provide an out-of-the-world experience. The road is tightly hugged by the forest and coffee plantations. Undoubtedly, the man-made Kottachedu Teak Forest is also a place of interest for travellers. Once people used to stay in the region where the teak forest is right now but they vacated their homes after the outbreak of the plague. Later, the state government converted the area into a teak forest.
Though Yercaud is a throughout-the-year tourist destination, it is better not to tour this hill station during monsoon season. It would be a different vibe on rainy days but all travellers may not like the nip in the air and overcast conditions. The best time to visit Yercaud is from October to June as the weather will be pleasant with temperature hovering between 14 and 25 degree Celsius.