The drive was awesome esp. the ghat route after Salem which was full of greenery and natural beauty and to add to that the vehicle used was an SUV one which made the driving experience all the more wonderful (thanks to this couple friend of ours for using their own Dicor :-)). Uphill driving was relatively easier as compared to places like Ooty and there are 20 hairpins to be crossed to reach Yercaud. It was quite easy to locate our hotel “Star Holidays” (that’s the only place wherein we could manage to book our rooms because of long weekend rush) which was on the main M.G. Road itself (oh yes, there was a M.G. Road there as well which was hardly like a small lane :-)). First impression of the hotel looked impressive, small cottages with cute li’ll balconies. We decided to check-in, get freshened and then leave for lunch as well as some sightseeing. Hmmm, now came the most difficult part i.e., finding a god hotel to eat. Almost every place was damn crowded with little food options left as lunch time was almost over. After some deliberations, we decided to settle for Shevroys. Food was ok but better than what was on offer at Star Holidays. Once our pet-pooja was done, we decided to roam around in the town and the first thing which one could notice was the Emerald Lake which was just in the center of Yercaud. We went for self-pedaling boats and it was quite a pleasant experience to just boat around on your own in the placid water. Rest of the evening we decided to spend in our hotel balconies itself, well overall it was a great evening except for the dinner served by Star Holidays Restaurant which was really bad.
Warned by last night’s food and service experience, next day we decided to venture out for breakfast to nearby areas and oh we landed up in Club Mahindra’s property which was hardly a kilometer away from our hotel. What a lovely place it was! Adorned with French architecture, the property boasts of amazing landscapes and décor. Breakfast was awesome and service guys were really hospitable. After a good cup of tea and sandwiches we left with an intention to come back again for buffet dinner. Next targets were Pagoda Point, Lady’s Seat, Gent’s Seat and Children’s Seat. These places were good but not well maintained, lots of dirt and litter here and there :-( and because of hot climate, we decided to quickly move to our next destination - The Servarayan Temple which is situated on top of Servarayan hill. Temple is inside a small cave and the surrounding areas were fabulous with a very pleasant climate – Don’t miss this place at all and try to go there in the evening to enjoy the sunset and lovely weather. The day ended with a scenic drive back to hotel and some fun n frolic in our same old cottage balconies. Next day, it was time to return back to Bangalore – but no our holiday was not over yet as we had decided for a stop over at Hogenakkal Falls which was enroute to Bangalore.
The drive downhill was lovelier as the ghats were full of fog – wow, it was truly beautiful. After almost 3 hours of easy driving we reached Hogenakkal, now Hogenakkal experience definitely deserves a separate post as it was really a marvelous experience. So, I will post the details of Hogenakkal later on. And with loads of enjoyment, full jollity, hila ke rakh dene wale PJs (trust me, some of our group members can win world level prizes if there was ever any PJ competition) and lovely songs by some of the good singers in groups, the trip ended on a beautiful note. We all reached back safely to Bangalore last night with lovely memories, exquisite reminiscences and only one sad thought – Why do Holidays end so soon :-(?
- In case you are looking for a vacation spot with lots of tourist attraction and places to see, then Yercaud is not the right place for you. But if you want to have a serene and peaceful trip and if you love the silent retreat with nature then definitely visit Yercaud.
- In case you are willing to shell out 3k-5k and if you can manage to get the booking, try out Sky Roca or Club Mahindra for stay, otherwise the place is full of economic options like Star Holiday or Shevroys. Though Star Holidays was having a beautiful property but the service was hopeless and food quality pathetic. Try to have food at other places, we tried out Hotel Silver breakfast (a small dhaba just near to Star Holidays on M.G. Road) and tea as well as Dosas were amazing. Other places like Indieco hotel (Club Mahindra property) also serve you good lunch and dinner buffet at Rs. 175/- person and breakfast buffet at Rs. 120/- per person.
- Incase you are not an expert driver for hairpins and uphill route, drive bit carefully. Though its not as difficult as Ooty but its not as cakewalk as Yelagiri too.
About Yercaud: Yercaud is a small hill station situated amidst the Shervaoyan Hills in the Eastern Ghats, close to the town of Salem in Tamil Nadu. It is at an altitude of 1,500 metres from mean sea level. Yercaud has been named so because of the lake located at its center - in Tamil "Yeri" means "lake" and "Kaadu" means "forest".
Distance from Bangalore: Approx 230 Kms (we started from HSR Layout)
Driving Route: Bangalore - Electronic City - Hosur - Krishnagiri - Dharmagiri - Salem – Yercaud
Road Condition: Very good as on Oct’08
Climate: Pleasant with bit cold esp. in the morning
Ideal duration of trip: Not more than 2 days