In search of weekend getaway? - A certain getaway...
Recently I visited Yercaud. It's a hill station approx 30 kms up-hill from Salem city (known for its steel), in Tamil Nadu, India, in the Servarayan range (anglicized as Shevaroys) of hills in the Eastern Ghats. It is at an altitude of 1,500 metres (4,920 feet) MSL. The town gets its name from the lake located at its center - in Tamil "Yeri" means "lake" and "Kaadu" means "forest". Just a 5 hour (220km) drive from busy Bangalore, Yercaud is a definitive Relaxing retreat!. If you are looking for holidays away from Bangalore, resorts outside Bangalore or resorts away from Bangalore, your next weekend getaway from Bangalore, places to visit near Bangalore, places to visit near Chennai, resorts near Chennai etc, this is a must visit place or the right tourist destination near to Bangalore and Chennai.
It's a perfect tourist destination, just 200 km near Bangalore, for people (like me) who are looking for a calm and relaxing holiday or even if someone is looking for some adventure like trekking (in a forest), rock climbing (near kiliyur falls) etc.
How to reach yercaud from Bangalore?
The journey or route to yercaud is something like this…I left Bangalore at 7.30 Am driving towards Hosur road and reached Yercaud around 1 PM. From Bangalore you take the Hosur road, drive on to Hosur (approx 38 kms). The next destination, Krishnagiri Bypass is approx 86 kms from Bangalore. The highway to Krishnagiri is perfect and you can safely speed up to 120-140 kmph. From Krishnagiri you head straight to Dharmapuri (135 Kms) and then to Omalur (186 kms). At the 4 Lane point you have to take the extreme left and you should reach Salem city. You have to take the extreme left again at the 5 lane junction and that road reaches another circle (on right hand side is a petrol pump) from where you again have to take the left turn. You would then be heading towards the ghat section (hilly area of almost 30 kms). You won’t feel alone with groups of monkeys greeting you on your way. A cautious uphill drive will take you 25-40 mins to reach Yercaud.
The interesting Hair Pin Bends, all 20 of them will check your driving skills and keep you busy going uphill. The villagers are helpful, they will guide you in case you feel lost. The town closes at 6 PM. There is not much activity after 7 PM and it gets dark by then too. So you better plan on reaching before 6 PM and try to check into your hotel.
Where to stay?
Where to stay?
Hotel Grand Palace (Orange Resort) in Yercaud is the best hill-top resort in Yercaud. I stayed there for 2 nights and also visited 3 other major resorts in Yercaud to check if the hype surrounding them was justified. Sterling Resort, the most hyped, definitely didnot live upto expectation. It serves the standard south-Indian meal fare for lunch and has far too many stairs to be suitable for anyone not in the best of physical shape. Garange Resort was pretty, close to nature, and relaxing but the food was the same as Sterling., Shevroy's resort had good facilities but was a little commercialized. On comparision Grand Palace hotel/resort was the best.
Grand Palace gave me almost everything I needed. Very well situated on the top of a hill, over looking the city, this place is a scenic grandeur. It hosts a nice restaurant, Yercaud's best Pub (Cloud 9), nice comfortable rooms, party hall and above all a superb location with a view of the valley on one side and the lake and city on the other. A very prompt staff always ready to help and give the best service to the guests, this place offers a variety of good food. A large, sumptuous breakfast in bed is something which will drive you to revisit and enjoy your stay.
Well, WHY would you want to go to a hill station? Prime reason is to get away from the city's busy life...some peaceful place where you can relax, be close to nature and enjoy your time. (at least mine was this)
A short video of the entrance...
Being relatively new, it has a plush, modern feel about it. Overall you will enjoy its eye-soothing beauty, evening bonfire, comfortable rooms and prompt service, apt location (near lake and falls), good food, exciting pub (Cloud 9), plush lawns, grand front entry, relaxing seats at the back peeping into valley, large windows peeping over the lake and city,and much more. I emphasized so much on the hotel because there is not much else to do in Yercaud, than enjoying your stay at the hotel and visiting the few sight seeing spots around town.
Places to go around:
This small town with a population of less than 5000 people (approx) is like a tourist haven. Some places to visit in Yercaud are The Yercaud Lake, Lady's Seat, Gent's Seat, Children's Seat (scenic view points), A rose and horticulture garden, Pagoda Point, perfume factory, Kiliyur Falls, Rajarajeshwari temple, and of course the general beauty of the place is unmistakable. You can visit some of the other resorts and enjoy the soothing massages or a sauna bath they have to offer.
The approach to Kiliyur falls is a little mystery. You have a clear view of the waterfall from the top. However, when you start trekking and go down the steep and rocky path, you will have to do some rock climbing to actually get near to the falls. A little unsafe if you are not a regular trekker. But its as close to nature as your trip to Yercaud can get.
Lucky Husbands and unmarried Men would want to Visit this place.
It’s a husband’s paradise as there are no shopping avenues available. However women always beat men when it comes to shopping, and the lucky ones will not miss the Shevaroy's Supermarket taking care of all your needs.. Shevaroy's also has a children's game parlor which though a little old now, will keep your children occupied and ensure they have an enjoyable time.
Even women too...
Well, women can look forward to staying in bed and getting served breakast, and the soiled plates getting done automatically. You must visit the quaint little shop in Grange resorts with its host of interesting knick-knacks and the few outlets selling perfumes & oils & spices. And your husband would be too busy sleeping, so you can enjoy time-off without him asking to do anything for him.
During my visit I noticed the life of people there was very relaxed, they were happy and healthy. Also the stark absence of traffic and absence of rush, to get to places, to get things done unlike Bangalore or any other large city, left me wondering why are we running so much and for what?