*** Giving details of a recent trip to Yercaud below; may prove useful for people planning a trip to the place ***
Went to Yercaud, a hill station near Salem in Tamil Nadu, India, a few weeks back.
HOW TO REACH?
Modes of transport I used:
Chennai to Salem: Train
Salem to Yercaud: Bus
Yercaud to Salem: Cab
Salem to Chennai: Train
If you are traveling by train, you can get down at Salem Junction. You can get buses (route no. 12/13) and autos right outside the railway station that will take you to the new bus stand which is about 10-15 min away. You can get buses to Yercaud from the new bus stand. When I went, the Yercaud bus was the last one parked at the right hand side end of the new bus stand.
The bus trip should cost about Rs. 11 per person while cabs are available for Rs. 450 – 500 per one way trip.
The road trip from Salem to Yercaud trip usually takes about 35 – 45 min. You can see 20 hairpin bends on the way and the view is good from a few points.
Planned the trip very late and hence didn’t get accomodation in the places I would have wanted to try out. Stayed at Star Holiday Inc’s resort (http://www.starholidaysyercaud.com/). Got a simple big room in the name of a deluxe cottage.
- Lower cost compared to the places I was originally trying to book
- Vegetarian food was good and there was a decent variety to choose from. The kitchen however looked awful
- No wardrobe in the room
- No dustbins
- Huge communication gap between front office and the other facilities staff. The only staff who were responsive were the ones at the reception and this resulted in huge time delays to get even simple things done
- No power backup (There were 3 power cuts during the 2 days I stayed there)
Choose Sterling Resort if you are a sucker for views and want to have a great view everytime you look out of your room as it is located very near Lady’s seat (see “Places to see” below). Not sure about the other facilities at the resort though.
Heard from friends that GRT Nature Trails and Lake Forest are among the best places to stay in Yercaud
Heard that vegetarian food at Hotel Shevaroys is good. Good veg food may be a bit difficult to get. Most hotels offer good choice of non-veg items.
In case you are not using your own means of transport, you can hire an auto or a cab. The hotel front desk should be able to help you here. Else, you can go to the lake and there will be a lot of local cab operators willing to take you for the sightseeing trip. The charges were about Rs. 350 for auto and about Rs. 400 for a cab when I went.
You can finish the sight seeing trip in about 2.5 to 3 hours. You can also undertake a road trip of about 35 kms around the loop (ring) road that takes you past many villages and coffee estates, especially if you have come in your own vehicle. This is not covered in the regular sight seeing trip.
PLACES TO SEE:
1) Yercaud Lake: You can go for boating. Charges were about Rs. 70 for a two-seater and Rs. 95 for a four-seater pedal boat for 30 min when I went (The same amount has to be paid as caution deposit). Timings were 9AM to 5:30 PM.
2) Servarayan Temple: The temple is located at the highest point in Yercaud inside a small, dark cave. You can get a good view of the hills around from this place.
3) Raja Rajeshwari Amman Temple: Located on the way from the Lake to Servarayan Temple, this is a small temple that also has a beautiful small idol of Lord Shiva at the centre of a very small pool of water.
4) Botanical Garden (Orchidarium)
5) Rose Garden (part of a Horticulture farm that also houses the Children’s seat)
6) Lady’s Seat: Offers a very good view of the hills, the plains and the ghat roads. A telescope is mounted here that can help get a better view (The telescope house was closed when I went).
7) Gent’s seat: Located some distance from the Lady’s seat. Another view point
8 ) Children’s seat: According to the guy who escorted me for the sight seeing trip, the British have the Lady’s seat it’s name and the local administration later named two other view points as Gent’s seat and Children’s seat so that men and children don’t have a cause to complain 😉 (Entrance fee: Rs. 10 for adults, Rs. 10 for still camera)
9) Kiliyur Falls: A steep trek leads to the falls. This trek is not recommended by the local people and is not at all advisable if you have children and old people in your group.
10) Pagoda point: I didn’t visit this place. It is supposed to be another view point
11) Anna Park: A small park with nothing much to see. Some plants were available for sale (Entrance fee: Rs. 10 for adults and Rs. 10 for still camera)
Yercaud is also home to educational institutions like the Montfort School and Sacred Heart Convent, which according to my tour escort, are very famous.
Many perfumaries sell perfumes, natural oils and pain relieving balms
Weather was good when I went. The days were bright and sunny while evenings were cool and pleasant.
- A petrol pump is available near the lake
- Yercaud is usually crowded on weekends and public holidays
Good place to relax and stretch yourself. Nothing much by way of sight seeing.