Velavan Temple is located at one of the tallest peaks of the Yelagiri hills. It is a temple constructed in the name of Lord Murugan. The temple location offers an idyllic view of the whole of the hill area. It also offers the best view of the plains lying beneath the mountains.
The major festivals of Tamil Nadu are observed with much pomp and glory in the Velavan temple. The best time to come to this temple is during the months of July and August, when a great number of festivals are being celebrated.
Every year during these months, locals and devotees gather in this temple. The ringing of the temple bell helps maintain the cultural essence of the place. The idol of Kadothkajan standing outside the Velavan temple is an added attraction for the tourists.
The Nature Park is adjacent to the Punganoor Lake and spread over an area of 12 acres of land. Several species of plants suited to the rocky terrain of the region have been planted in the park. The park also has an artificial waterfall. There is bathing facility available in this cascade.
The Nature Park contains a children’s park, a musical fountain, an aquarium, a seasonal garden, a bamboo house, a poly house to name a few attractions. The musical fountain has the water dancing to popular songs.
The fish aquarium has a large variety of fish and tortoises. The park is a good place to laze in and enjoy the beauty of the Punganoor Lake. You have to pay a fee of Rs.15/- for adults and Rs.5/- for children to enter and Rs 25 to view the musical fountains. The park remains open from 8 am to 8 pm.
The Puganoor Lake is an artificial lake which was constructed to enhance the beauty of the place and attract tourists. Puganoor Lake is the biggest tourist attraction in Yelagiri. Having an area of 56.70 sq m, the lake is situated in the centre of Yelagiri hills.
The lake and the boating facility are maintained by the Yelagiri Hill development and Tourism Promotion Society. The lake has boating and rowing facility which gives tourists the pleasure to enjoy the scenic beauty of hills at a leisurely place.
There is a beautiful garden close by where people can sit and enjoy the beauty of the lake. There is a fountain and a children’s park installed in the garden. There is also an open space where different species of birds that come for their feed can be found. Thus, the place is truly for the nature lover.
Nilavoor Lake is another tourist attraction in Yelagiri, frequented by boating enthusiasts. It is located in Nilavoor village. It’s a small lake more like a pond, with a garden on its banks. There is also a Devi Temple belonging to Kadavu Nachiya close to the region around the lake.
Devotees throng to the temple on Fridays between 11 am and 12 pm to perform puja, and they believe that the Devi is Omnipotent. Recently, the Thambiran Lotus Pond has been constructed at the Nilavoor Lake.
Moksha Vimochana Temple is also located near this lake. The locals believe that praying in this temple can help one get rid of one's sins. The surrounding around Nilavoor Lake is calm and serene. Nilavoor Lake is a must visit if you are seeking peace of mind and want to escape the hassles of everyday life for some time.
A Telescope House has been installed near Yelagiri Hills to attract visitors. It is maintained by the Forest Department. The telescope House is at the entrance of the Ghat Road from Ponneri on the way to Yelagiri Hills. It is located just before the thirteenth bend, at a height of 1002 m.
The telescope provides a panoramic view of the plains below. It enables the tourists to have a view of the valley, the steep slope, the Jolarpet plains and the Vaniyambadi. The telescope house is supposed to be open on the weekends but more often than not one can find a Padlock.
Vainu Bappu Solar Observatory, one of the largest solar observatories is located in Javadi Hills, Kavalur near Yelagiri. Prior permission is required to visit this observatory. The observatory houses the Vainu Bappu Telescope which is the largest in Asia. The observatory is owned and operated by Indian Institute of Astrophysics. For those who are fans of science and technology and scientific discoveries, this place is a must visit.
Swamimalai Hills is shaped in the form of a cake. The hills with the high peaks appear to have a strong base at the bottom. The highest peak of these hills is about 4338 metres from ground level. The Swamimalai Hills are a much-desired route for trekkers. The Swamimalai trek route is around 6 km, to and fro. This trek leads to a peak from where the entire hill station is visible.
Other peaks like the Javadi Hills and Palamathi Hills, which are close to the Swamimalai Hills, are also famous trek routes. These hills are easier to climb and give the traveller the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty from a distance. However, be ready to invest one day for this trip. It would be a day well spent.
Trekking Uphill can be one of the best experiences Yelagiri Hills can offer you. There are around seven trek routes that run through reserved forests leading to beautiful spots such as waterfalls, peak points and valley view points.
The longest trek route is the one from Punganoor Lake to Nilavur Jalagamparai, which is 14 km. Punganoor Lake to Swamimalai Hills is another beautiful trek route which is about 6 km. It is one of the most desired trek routes. The trek leads to a peak from where the entire hills are visible.
Other smaller routes are from Mangalam to Swamimalai which is around 2 km, the route from Information Centre to Koosi Kuttai is about 1.5 km, from Puthur to Perumadu Waterfalls, which is around 3 km, from Boat House to Pulicha Kuttai about 3 km and from Nilavur to Kardimunai about 1.5 km. It is advisable to reserve one day for the entire trekking experience.
The Government Herbal Farm is located near the Puganoor Lake. It is maintained by the Forest Department and houses many rare herbs and plants used in Sidda and Ayurvedic medicines. Owing to their medicinal properties, these plants have been cultivated for medicinal use for commercial purposes.
The Government Fruit Farms are located at Athanavur and Nilavur. These are, in fact, botanical gardens, which have a large variety of trees and plants that bear fruits and flowers. A walk among these botanical gardens will soothe your senses with their beauty, aroma and luscious fruits.
Kodai Vizah, the Summer Festival is celebrated every year during the months of May and June. It is a three-day festival organised to showcase the culture, customs and traditions of the tribal population residing in the Yelagiri Hills. It has become a major tourist attraction in the past few years.
Locals, people from neighbouring villages and tourists throng the place during this time of the year. Ministers, government officials and local administrators such as Panchayat unions and local headmen are invited to this festival. The otherwise quiet place suddenly bursts with activity and noise on these days.
A lot of cultural programmes are organised in this festival. Amidst all the gaiety, many welfare measures are also announced for the benefit of the tribes during this time. If you are a fan of tribal cultures and want to experience more than peace and serenity in Yelagiri, this festival is just the right time to be there.