Table of Contents
- About Yercaud
- Things to do in Yercaud
- How to Plan a trip to Yercaud
- Places to stay in Yercaud
Yercaud is a charming hill station in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, nestled within the Eastern Ghats. Its history dates back to the stone age with implements and evidence found at an ancient shrine around the Shevaroy Hills. But the hill town was discovered and developed as a mountain destination during the British occupation, between 1820 and 1840 and gained popularity over the years. As of today, Yercaud and its hills serve as a relaxing hilly retreat for travellers of all kinds. It’s tourism thrives on this fine balance of the town’s old-world charm and the picturesque beauty. Surrounded by hills, valleys, abundant wildlife and calming vibes, it is truly a hidden “Jewel of the South”.
[Also Read: 30 Places to Visit Before You Turn 30]
The Yercaud hills are located on the steep slopes of the Eastern Ghats, at an altitude of 4970 feet. The entire district spreads over an area of 382.67 sq. km, with the highest point at the Servarayan Temple, sitting at 5326 feet. The main town lies in the Shevaroy Hills, known for its lush coffee and spice plantations, orange orchards and other fruit cultivation.
Things to do in Yercaud
Apart from the local and popular attractions, you can also engage in other activities like –
- Take a tour of the Norton’s Bungalow – One of the oldest bungalows in the town, this old mansion-like house is perched on a hilltop and built in the classic colonial style. The highlight of this place is the ancient Bear’s Cave, situated adjacent to the Bungalow. But you need prior touring permits to visit both these places.
- Take a day trek to the Kottachedy Teak Forest – The extensive forested area lies at 11KM from Yercaud town. The entire area once used to be occupied by the native hill tribes. But years later, after they migrated, the local government turned this into a teakwood forest. The woods are perfect for day treks and forest hikes.
- Go for sunrise or sunset views at the Karadiyur Viewpoint – This viewing point lies in Karadiyur, at about 12KM from Yercaud town and overlooking a vertical cliff. The site offers an extraordinary view of the Mettur Dam and the surrounding valleys. The area is also great for picnics and day treks.
- Experience a local Yercaud homestay – Instead of luxury resorts and hotels, try a homestay with a local family and enjoy the experience of the local lifestyle, home-cooked food, and learn about the local culture.
Places to Visit in Yercaud
The major attraction of the town is Yercaud Lake, surrounded by beautiful gardens and wooded areas. But sitting at nearly 5000 feet, and surrounded by verdant hills and valleys, the town offers a host of other sightseeing options.
Check out some of these remarkable tourist places on your trip –
- Kiliyur Falls – The most popular and scenic Yercaud falls, Kiliyur sits atop 300 feet on the Shevaroy Hills. The perennial waterfall surrounded by forests and hills is great for swimming, boating, and hiking.
- Shevaroy Hills – The hills that surround the town, Shevaroy Hills boast lush and dense forests, orange orchards, coffee and spice plantations, among other towering trees and magnificent views. This is also a popular trekking zone.
- Lady’s Seat – A huge seat-like rock atop the Shevaroy Hills. It serves as an observation point overlooking the town and the ghat roads, perfect for scenic views of surrounding hills and valleys.
- Yercaud Lake – The most iconic and attractive feature of the town is this pristine, natural water body is also called the Emerald Lake. Surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful gardens, this lake is a hotspot for locals and tourists alike, great for boating, picnicking, trail walking, or sunset views.
- National Orchidarium – Also called the Orchidarium, this house of orchids houses a great collection of exotic and endemic orchids, among a host of other plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers, including the rare Kurinji flower. Explore the bonsai garden, foliage garden, topiary garden, rock garden, water garden, herbal garden, sensory garden and more.
- Tipperary View Point – This hilltop viewing point sits on the southernmost edge of the town. It overlooks Elephant Tooth Rocks, which are said to be the last remains of meteorites that fell on Earth ages ago. The surrounding area is also known for trekking trails and scenic views.
- Anna Park – A popular local spot located near Yercaud Lake, Anna Park houses a collection of all the species of plants and other trees that are found in the Shevaroy Hills.
Popular Places to Visit near Yercaud
Apart from the popular places here for sightseeing, you can also include these equally scenic destinations nearby. Explore these other popular places near the town –
- Thanjavur, 210KM – The historical town is a testament to Tamil Nadu’s imperial heritage. Home of the Cholas and the Maratha Kings of the 18th century, the town is dotted with ancient architectural structures. Discover the intricately carved temples and monuments, the classic frescoes preserved in galleries, palaces, and forts.
- Kodaikanal, 292KM – Situated at 2000 meters above sea level, Kodaikanal is one of the most popular hill towns in Tamil Nadu. This lush, green town is the perfect getaway from the city over a weekend on a long holiday and is known for hiking, trekking, rock climbing, water sports and cycling.
- Ooty, 245KM – The classic mountain destination of South India, Ooty has been an all-time favourite for all kinds of travellers. With its lush tea estates, hilly landscape, perfect weather round the year, and all this wrapped in an old-world charm, Ooty is truly the star of the Nilgiris. Visit the Ketty Valley & Waterfalls, St. Stephen’s Church, Kamaraj Sagar Dam, Botanical Garden, Rose Garden, and Pykara Lake & Dam, among other sites.
- Pondicherry, 235KM – The peaceful, old French town, is a mélange of heritage, modern trappings, and exquisite coastal landscape. Explore Pondicherry’s heritage monuments, historical sites, and the incredible landscape or seascape and experience a touch of vintage Europe with historical Tamilian heritage.
[Also Read: Lesser known hill stations around Ooty]
Best Places to Eat in Yercaud
Here are some of the top-rated restaurants you should try on your visit –
- Yercaud Tuck Box
- Hotel Sri Ventakeshwara
- Yercaud Coffee
- The Orchid Restaurant
- Sky Rocca Diner
- Sweet Potato Organic Restaurant
How to Plan a trip to Yercaud
How to Reach Yercaud
The nearest railway station to Yercaud is in Danishpet, about 37.8 KM away. But the nearest major railhead is in Salem, at a distance of 38 KM from Yercaud town. There are frequent trains to Yercaud from all major cities and towns in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states. There are also trains from other metro cities to Salem Junction. From either of these two railway stations, you can take a cab or rent a car to reach Yercaud.
Yercaud is well-connected to all major cities and towns in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states via NH 44, NH 48, NH 79 and SH 188. There are regular state-run and private buses from Dharmapuri, Salem, Erode, Trichy, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Mysore, Vellore etc. But the best way to reach Yercaud from any of these cities is to book a cab or rent a private car and drive down.
There is no airport in Yercaud, the nearest airport is at Salem Airport, 38KM away. The nearest international airport is at Trichy, 165KM from Yercaud. There are frequent flights from all major cities in Tamil Nadu and other parts of India. From Salem or Trichy, you can book an airport taxi or rent a car to reach Yercaud.
Best time to Visit Yercaud
Yercaud weather is that of tropical mountain weather, classic to the ghat areas and hence offers a great environment for exploring all year round. The summers are cool and pleasant and winters are dry and chilly. Monsoons usually have heavy rainfall but are also scenic. However, it’s best to avoid the hilly roads during the rainy season. The best time to visit this place is between October and June when it’s dry and cool and the temperature is comfortable enough to go sightseeing. If you want to experience the local life and folk culture, then visit in May, when the town hosts a seven-day Summer Festival with religious events, flower shows, boating races, village fairs etc.
Yercaud Hotels & Resorts
Yercaud offers a host of accommodation options from local homestays to hostels, hotels, and upscale resorts. Check out some of these best-rated hotels and resorts –
- Great Trails Yercaud by GRT Hotels
- Cliffhanger Retreat Yercaud
- Casita Inn Resort
- Meridian Hill Top
- Sizzling Stay
- Grand Palace Hotel & Spa
- TGI Star Holiday Resort
- Saffron Villa
- Sterling Yercaud