Yercaud, located on the Shevaroy Hills of Tamil Nadu is a hill station in the Eastern Ghats. Located at the height of 1515 meters, its striking scenic beauty and pleasant weather brings in many tourists. Although Yercaud is sometimes referred to as the ‘Poor man’s Ootacamund’, for things here are more affordable as compared to the other famous hill stations like Ooty.
Yercaud is fastly gaining popularity among the locals and foreign tourists. The name Yercaud is derived from two Tamil words – ‘Yeri’ (lake) and ‘Kadu’ (forest). Yercaud is known for its plantations majorly of coffee, orange, jackfruit, guava, cardamom and black pepper. Coffee is the main produce and was brought to Yercaud by the Scottish Collector Mr. M. D. Cockburn in 1820 from Africa. There is also a reserve forest, which has the woods and wildlife in the original unexploited state.
The forests of Yercaud have an abundance of sandalwood, teak and silver oaks. From wild animals like bison, deer, foxes, mongooses, snakes, squirrels to birds like bulbuls, kites, sparrows and swallows can be found in these forests. Even though Yercaud is a hill station it never gets extreme temperatures, making it easier to pack clothes for the tourists and avoid those heavy winter wear which is difficult to carry.
Apart from sightseeing tourists can opt for trekking around Yercaud, and if visiting during the month of May, the Summer Festival is a must see which is a spectacle consisting of fairs, boat races, flower and dog shows. Yercaud also has a few historical sites for those who find history fascinating. Although the ancient history of Yercaud is vastly unknown, it is believed that during the reign of the Telugu kings Yercaud had its first settlement. During the British rule, Yercaud was discovered in 1842 by Sir Thomas Muroe, who was then the Governor of the Madras Presidency.
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Although Yercaud is not an exceptional shopping destination, it does have a few things to offer to the tourists. Some of the favorites are natural oils, perfumes, skincare products, fresh packs of locally produces pepper, cardamom and coffee. Finding accommodation in Yercaud is a cake walk. With plenty of hotel options, one can choose anything from budget hotels, luxurious resorts and even home stays.
With vast serene valleys and picturesque landscape, Yercaud has many attractions in store for the tourists. From temples to caves to water falls to exquisite view of the valley from the hill top, there is something about Yercaud that puts a smile on people’s faces.
The Yercaud town located about 4700 ft above the sea level is a popular attraction. Home too many seminaries and convents; Yercaud town is nice for an evening stroll. Two of the most famous attractions in the Yercaud town are the beautifully built and maintained Sacred Heart Convent and Montfort School. Another popular attraction is the Lady’s seat, Gent's Seat and Children's Seat, which are basically a group of natural rocks on top of the Yercaud Hills.
They look like seats and overlook the Ghat road, Mettur Dam and Salem. According to the stories, an English lady would often bask in the setting sun while appreciating the beautiful view that can be seen from this spot. This is how this place got its name. There is viewing tower complete with a telescope which is open for visits during the day.
Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Yercaud are Big Lake, Bear's Cave, Lady's Seat, Gent's Seat and Children's Seat, Arthur's Seat, Anna Park, Botanical Garden, Montfort School, Servarayan Temple, Sri Raja Rajeswari Temple and Tipperary View Point.
The best time to visit Yercaud is October to June, avoiding the monsoon.
Travellers planning a trip to Yercaud can reach the destination via air, rail and road.