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Enchanting Yercaud

Enchanting Yercaud
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Yercaud, a small hill station in Tamil Nadu can still be considered largely un-spoiled, unlike most of the other hill stations of India. Its Silver...

Yercaud, a small hill station in Tamil Nadu can still be considered largely un-spoiled, unlike most of the other hill stations of India. Its Silver Birch, Sandalwood trees and numerous coffee plantations and orange orchards have not yet been ruthlessly cut down to make way for houses and hotels. Beyniaz Edulji yeraFor a relaxing holiday, there is nothing to beat Yercaud, the tiniest hill station that I have visited. The pleasant drive from Bangaluru to Yercaud took us 3 hours via Hosur, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and the city of Salem. After Salem, 20 hairpin bends with spectacular views kept us engrossed until we reached the quaint hill station of Yercaud. I was happy to note that concrete pots were kept at regular intervals right through the hairpin bends for birds and animals (mostly monkeys) to drink from. As we reached Yercaud, the aroma of hot chilli bhajjis made from giant green chillies hung enticingly from hand carts and steaming masala tea, wafted through the cool air. The Yercaud Lake is the centre of this town. This natural lake is also called Emerald Lake due to its distinct greenish hue. There are always a lot of boats filled with tourists on the cool waters of the lake. Anna Park near the lake is a great place for children to run about and play. Apart from the rich native flora, there is an exquisite Japanese garden inside the park. One of the memorable experiences of Yercaud is the drive on the 32 kilometer Loop Road. Beginning and ending at the lake, the road goes through thick forests and coffee plantations across the villages of Nagalur, Semmanatham, Kaveri Peak and Majakuttai. Driving through this tree-fringed road is one of the most enjoyable experiences of Yercaud. There are many beautiful viewpoints like Gent's seat, Pagoda Point and Arthur's Seat but the one we loved best was called Lady's Seat. It overlooks the winding ghat road and provides a breathtaking view. This view is spectacular at night with the twinkling lights of Salem town stretched out below. Kiliyur Waterfall is supposed to be a wondrous sight during the monsoons but we found barely a trickle of water running through it as we were visiting in peak summer. Six kilometres from Yercaud town, Servarayan is the highest point in Yercaud. The Servarayan temple itself is a narrow, dark cave, with the idols of Lord Servarayan and Goddess Kaveri inside. The two deities are believed to represent the Servarayan Hills and the Cauvery river respectively. We had to really bend to enter this tiny but beautiful temple in a cave. People come here in large numbers in May to celebrate the annual festival. The view of the countryside from Servarayan is spectacular. There are many Perfumeries that sell all kinds of oils, shampoos, aleovera gels, spices and even spices. The hotels in Yercaud suit every budget. Nature Trails, Grand Palace Hotel and Spa and Shevaroy Hotels being the most famous. We stayed at the Heritage Lake Forest Hotel in the middle of a coffee and pepper plantation. Care had been taken to cut very few trees and we had a huge jackfruit tree growing out of the roof and a coffee shrub growing from the floor of our varanda. Needless to say, there were birds and fire-flies in hundreds to enchant us. Bird watching, trekking and dirt bike riding are some of the activities people come to Yercaud for.
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