Known as the “Jewel of the South”, Yercaud is a picturesque hill station located in Salem district of Tamil Nadu, nestled in the Shervaroyan Hills of Eastern Ghats. The name Yercaud, in Tamil, translates to ‘Lake forest’, which signifies the famous Yercaud Lake in the heart of the town and the lush green forests all around the hill station. Unlike the other Tamil Nadu hill stations, like Ooty and Kodaikanal, Yercaud is less explored; but, it is extremely beautiful. Situated at an altitude of over 5000 feet above sea level, this serene hill town is blessed with a vast expanse of coffee, spice and orange plantations, thick forests, rolling hills, and misty valleys. There are a number of scenic places to visit in Yercaud, including lakes, waterfalls, viewpoints, trekking trails, temples, parks, and gardens that make it a mesmerizing holiday destination for nature lovers.
Listed below are 7 must-visit Yercaud Tourist Places one should not miss during a short trip to this hill station.
1. Yercaud Lake
Also known as Emerald Lake, this naturally formed lake located in the heart of the town is one of the incredible places to visit in Yercaud. The lovely green waters, the beautiful garden adorned along its banks, and the picturesque hills enclosing it from all sides present a charming ambiance to the lake. Here, the travelers can enjoy a lot of activities, including an exciting boating experience in a pedal boat or a rowboat. The beautiful park located adjacent to the lake is an ideal picnic spot for kids and families. The place is famous for a number of shops and restaurants where the travelers can enjoy the real taste of Tamil Nadu cuisine.
2. Kiliyur Falls
Kiliyur Falls is located 3 kilometers from Yercaud Lake, which is formed fundamentally due to the overflowing waters of the Lake. This spectacular waterfall, falling from a height of 300 feet, makes its way into the Kiliyur Valley. Monsoon season is the ideal time to watch the enchanting sight of huge water flow and feel the freshness and chillness of the environment. From the nearest road point, one has to trek around 1 km to reach the base of the waterfall and another 200 plus steep steps to the waterfall. It will be a challenging journey if you are traveling with kids and older people. Do not forget to carry sufficient drinking water and food.
3. Loop Road
Enjoy a long joy ride along the 32-km Loop Road, which is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Yercaud. This picturesque route having 20 hairpin bends begins from Yercaud Lake and after taking you through coffee plantations, hill slopes, lush green forests, quiet villages, and wildlife areas, return back to the Yercaud Lake. It covers the villages of Mailapattai, Manjakottai, Cauvery Peak Road, Semmanatham, and Nagalur. The famous Karadiyur Viewpoint and the Mahameru Temple are on this path. During this exciting journey, you can enjoy the mesmerizing views of nature and watch the way of living and culture of the local people in different villages.
4. Shervaroyan Temple
Shervaroyan temple is a historical cave temple located atop Shervaroyan hills, at the highest point of this hill station (5326 feet). The temple is dedicated to Lord Shervaroyan and Goddess Kaveri. The temple has a history that dates back to 2000 years. The local people believe that the cave and River Cauvery are linked at some point. Journey to the temple is adventurous and enthralling, and the view from the top is really breathtaking. An annual festival is celebrated here in the month of May with the participation of all hill tribes in the area.
5. Lady’s Seat
Lady’s Seat located in the South West of Shervaroyan Hills, about 2 km from Yercaud town is a famous viewpoint of Yercaud, which has a group of naturally formed rocks in the form of comfortable seats. This viewpoint offers incredible views of the surroundings including the Ghat roads through which you have reached Yercaud and the lush green forests all around. A mounted telescope offers closer views of Salem town, Mettur Dam, and Cauvery River. The picturesque greenery, moving clouds, mists and the live moods and expressions of nature will mesmerize every human mind. It is said that in the yesteryears, it was the favorite spot of relaxation of an English Lady and hence got the name Lady’s Seat. It is one of the best Yercaud places to visit for enjoying a striking sunset view. Be careful of monkeys, particularly when you are eating food. Other places like Gent’s Seat, Children’s Seat, Rose Garden and Deer Park can also be visited during this trip.
6. Pagoda Point
Pagoda Point located at about 4 km from the Yercaud town is a perfect Viewpoint blessed with panoramic views of the hill station and Salem town. It is also known as Pyramid Point due to the pyramid shape formed by four piles of stones. The scenic beauty, cool breeze, misty valleys and mystic atmosphere will rejuvenate your body and mind. It is one of the best places to visit in Yercaud and also a perfect location to watch the stunning views of sunrise and sunset.
7. Botanical Garden & Orchidarium
Botanical Garden is one of the top Yercaud tourist places, which is located at about 3 km from Yercaud Lake. The garden has a wide range of rare plants and flowers, including a large number of endangered species that are well preserved. The main attraction of the garden is the National Orchidarium run by the Botanical Survey of India, which is regarded as the third largest Orchidarium in India. It has a large collection of native orchids as well as endangered species of orchids. Neelakurinji plant that blossoms once in twelve years and the ‘Insect Eating Pitcher’ plants are some of the notable collections of the Orchidarium. Green House is a wonderfully maintained greenery cultivating area, which is one of the beautiful places to visit in Yercaud. The Botanic Garden is divided into different sectors such as bonsai garden, foliage garden, herbal garden, topiary garden, butterfly garden, water garden, rock garden and sensory garden, and each section is an envious choice of nature lovers.
Other Yercaud Tourist places of Interest
In addition to the above, there are many other Yercaud places to see that can be visited depending on one’s interest and the availability of time. Anna Park, The Grange, Bear’s Cave, Raja Rajeshwari Temple, Silk Farm, Montfort School, Kottachedu Teak Forest, etc., are some of the popular places among them.
How to Reach Yercaud?
Coimbatore International Airport (185 km) and Tiruchirapalli International Airport (172 km) are the nearest airports from Yercaud. Salem Junction railway station is the nearest railhead at a distance of 30 km from Yercaud, which is well connected by all major cities of the country. Regular buses ply between Salem and Yercaud. One can travel from the nearby major cities like Coimbatore (185 km) and Bangalore (230 km) using personal vehicle or cab, or travel up to Salem by train and then hire a cab to Yercaud. The journey from Salem to Yercaud is very exciting, which has 20 hairpin bends with thick green forests on either side and one can enjoy the breathtaking views all along the way.
Where to Stay?
A large number of hotels and resorts are available in Yercaud, which provide accommodation at different price range suitable for every type of traveler. GRT Nature Trails, Grand Palace Hotel, Sterling Yercaud, etc., are some of the best luxury hotels. Several budget hotels and low tariff hotels are available in Yercaud, which provide best stay experience without sacrificing the quality of rooms. Another option is to put up at Salem and visit Yercaud tourist places daily either in own vehicle or by hiring a cab. A number of places to visit in Salem can also be covered in this combined trip.
When to Visit?
Yercaud has a pleasant and welcoming climate, attracting tourists throughout the year. However, the winter season starting from October to February is the best time when the temperature is in a tolerable range of 15 to 25 Degrees and it is easy to move to different places freely. Monsoon season between July to September has its own thrill and risk and the trip can be planned depending on personal preferences. Carry warm clothes while visiting there in winter because the nights will be too chilling due to its great height. Some of the other South Indian hill stations can also be included in the tour itinerary, depending on the availability of time.
Yercaud India, with its stunning sights and enchanting heights, is a perfect getaway for nature lovers who seek a refuge and retreat from the hectic pace of city life. Come, and explore the hidden gem of Eastern Ghats!
A Personal Note :
During my recent visit to Yercaud, I stayed at a resort called Chill Breeze Resort, which was a very comfortable one. They provided us a cottage with 3-bedrooms as I was with a group of 7 people. The Cottage was spacious, clean and well ventilated. The Staff was courteous and there is a restaurant attached which serves good food. The location is good and the view from the resort is awesome.