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A Trip to the Hills of Yelagiri

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Yelagiri is a small hill station in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu with a history dating back to colonial times. It was the private property of the zamindars but in the 1950s the government of India brought Yelagiri under its jurisdiction.

Yelagiri is a haven for backpackers and picnikers. Known for its wonderful climate, Yelagiri is a place to visit throughout the year. You should book in advance as it is not easy to get rooms here at short notice during the weekends. Here are a few places to visit in Yelagiri.

Swami Malai

Swami Malai

One of the places to visit in Yelagiri is Swami Malai which is the highest peak in the Mangalam range and has a hamlet at its base. The climb to its top is easy . You can also climb the smaller peaks nearby.

Photo Courtesy: Ashwin Kumar

Jalagamparai Waterfalls

Jalagamparai Waterfalls

Another place to see in Yelagiri is the Jalagaparai Waterfalls. You will have to trek your way to here. Although the trek is tough, the view you get from the side of the mountain makes up for it.

Photo Courtesy: cprogrammer

Punganur Lake

Punganur Lake

One of the most popular attractions in Yelagiri, the Punganur Lake is an artificially excavated lake here. You can either take a pedal boat or a rowing boat to go boating in the waters. It is also a good place for bird watching.

Photo Courtesy: Sayowais

Observatory

Observatory

The Vainu Bappu Solar Observatory is located on the 12th bend and is one of the largest observatory. You needs prior permission in order to visit the Observatory. It gives a beautiful view of the region from here.

Photo Courtesy: Ashwin Kumar

Hair Pin Bends

Hair Pin Bends

The road to Yelagiri is famous for its 14 hair pin bends which are named after Tamil poets. On the 12th bend you can see an observatory. You will come across wild monkeys, ox and goats on the way. Do not try feeding them. Do remember to carry your binoculars so that you may enjoy the view.

Photo Courtesy: Team958

Things to remember

Things to remember

Keep an eye on your petrol tank as there are very few gas stations on the way with the last one being in the plains. Carry a spare tyre and also keep a tool kit handy as repair shops too are also few. Have a first-aid kit with you along with any regular medicines. Yelagiri has a government health care centre and a private clinic.

Photo Courtesy: Rob Deutscher

Shopping and Eating

Shopping and Eating

There is not much you can shop here but Yelagiri is famous for its home made honey and Jackfruit. Do try out the local cuisines that are offered here as well.

Photo Courtesy: McKay Savage

How to reach

How to reach

By Air: Bangalore Airport (195 km) and Chennai Airport (217 km) are close to Yelagiri. Both these airports handle domestic and international flights.

By Train: The closest rail head to Yelagiri is Jolarpettai Junction. It is about 23 km away from Yelagiri. Trains coming from Chennai, Bangalore and Coimbatore stop here.

By Road: You can either take a bus or drive down to Yelagiri. It is well connected by Road from Ponneri. Regular bus services are available from cities like Tiruoathur, Bangalore, Chennai, Krishnagiri and Vanayambadi. You can also drive down from Bangalore, Chennai and Coimbatore. From Bangalore, you have to take the NH 7 towards Krishnagiri, from Chennai you will have to take the NH 4 and head towards Vellore and from Coimbatore you can take the NH 47 to Salem and then arrive at Krishnagiri.

Photo Courtesy: Ashwin Kumar

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