Yercaud- In the Shevaroys

The school vacation of my daughter was about to get over in 10 days and it was time to take the family on an outing. After the usual debate, we zeroed in on Yercaud.

Yercaud is a hill station on the Shevaroy hills about 230 kms from Bangalore. Being a Club Mahindra member, we got a booking at short notice in their affiliate Lake Forest resort for 3 nights. Otherwise, one has to book at least a week in advance in any hotel in Yercaud. We started late in the morning and reached Salem, 200 kms away. The route is quite straight, starting from Bangalore and passing through Hosur, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and onto Salem. At the first circle, you take a left towards Yercaud. The distance from Salem to Yercaud is just 30 kms, but the drive is just fantastic. We climbed up a mountain with 20 hair pin bends and numerous zig-zag curves. The drive was so beautiful, that we stopped at one point to admire the view and even had lunch there. Yes, we carried our own lunch.

On reaching the top, the first thing you see is the lake and our resort happened to be just half a km from the lake. I have to devote some space to describe the resort because it is simply fantastic. It has around 10 bungalows depicting British times. The bungalows are in fact in the erstwhile Eastlynne Farm Estate. One of the bungalows ( now a recreation room) was built in 1896 and belonged to Charlotte Rosario. I don’t seem to remember her historical significance. The resort is surrounded by a forest having tall trees and coffee plantation. The main lobby and the dining area is dotted with antiques dating back 50-100 years. There is a bicycle ( iron wheel, one small and one big, wooden seat), an old tiffin carrier( with a coal stove beneath it), antique irons( for ironing clothes), Modern Theatres old movie camera, a fan which used to run on kerosene, many old wall clocks, an antique lock. The collection is amazing. The bungalows are designed in an old fashion. In fact, our two rooms were in the same bungalow and a stump of a tree protrudes on either side of the common wall.


Antique movie camera

Enough of the resort description. One has to make the customary visit to the lake. The lake is clean enough with a garden besides it. We did not go for any boating ( have done a lot of it).


Yercaud Lake

We visited the botanical garden which is in a run down state and not maintained at all. The other tourist attractions are the Pagoda point from which you get a beautiful view and the Lady’s seat from which you can view the uphill road and bauxite mining activity through a telescope. One can also visit the Shevaroy temple. Though the façade is like any other temple, but once inside you realize that you are actually in a cave. This temple has been cut in a rock and you have to bend yourself and cannot stand up straight. The view of the valley from the temple is also worth mentioning.


The valley

We were looking for something different and here, Prince( Mahindra rep) came to our help. He is a local and knows of spots which the tourists are not aware of. Now, there are beautiful drives in and around Yercaud through deep forests and that is where Prince sent us. The first was to another temple about 10 kms away. Excellent drive on narrow roads through coffee plantations and forests. This temple is on top of a hill and the view was very good.

The Temple

There was just one more family ( from the same resort) and absolutely no crowds. Near the temple is a well and we freaked out on drawing water from the well using the pulley rope and a bucket. This was my first time with this contraption whose invention probably dates back ages and ages.


Back to basics


Rocking on alone

On another day, Prince sent us on a 15 kms drive, again through dense forests to spot where there was a small stream. Infact, we had a to walk down from the road to reach the stream. We had some fun there splashing around.


Frolicking in the stream

This area is full of teak and the area is known as Allampatha. First time we had seen a teak forest.


In the teak forest

Our evenings were spent just relaxing and playing some games organized by the staff. Other times, we just sat on the portico, listening to sounds of insects getting ready for the night.


Pottery at the resort

Well, such bliss cannot go on and on. The fourth day we started back and going downhill on those hair pin bends was equally good. Reached Bangalore in the afternoon and beat the evening rush hour.

7 Comments

  • Ram Dhall says:

    Thanks for taking us to the exciting journey of Yercaud. Driving through the coffee plantations and forests must be a big fun.

    The two pics – The Valley and Yercaud Lake are simply superb.

  • Karthik says:

    Yercaud is a small place, yet there a lot of things that are unknown!! Good that some of the things are uncovered here. Thanks for that.

    next time you visit , do visit Montford school.

  • MKB says:

    Hey Sudhir!! Yercaud is a fundu place, whoever wants to have a good relaxing time in the calm place, this is the one. Good that you explored some more options.

    Keep up the good work man ;)

  • priya says:

    its a horrible place….no character…non sense!!!

  • nandanjha says:

    If not for you and Ghumakkar, I would probably have never known about these places in South India.

    Great description and fluidity. I like your picture :)

  • Patrick Jones says:

    Interesting post.

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    Sudhir,

    Thanks for this beautiful article. Yercaud will always remain very close to my heart. After all how one can forget the first destination of his honeymoon trip! I still remember, a very helpful gentleman sitting with my wife was so surprised that we have travelled from North and choosen Yercaud as our first destination.

    We stayed TTDC guest house nexy to the lake and I still remember that how the lake was all ours when we were boating in it – Not a single soul around.

    Reading your post and that of Karthik’s I think there is still so much to explore. I like the picture of the temple that looks so small but very attractive.

    Priya, not every person has similar likings. I guess what you have written might be true for many too. You need different eyes to appreciate Yercaud. Its not a usual tourist destination.

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