Yercaud is a small hill station nestled in the Eastern Ghats in Tamil Nadu. It is just about 230 km from Bangalore and ideal for a weekend trip. Known as Poorman's Ooty , this is certainly a good place to drive to during a lazy weekend. We were lucky Yercaud was almost devoid of tourists last weekend.


Friday Evening :- Bangalore to Salem ( Overnight stay in Hotel)
Saturday  :- Salem to Yercaud ( Sightseeing and Overnight stay in Resort)
Sunday    :- Sightseeing in Yercaud and return to Bangalore

Hotel in Salem - Hotel Laila Palace ( Note: Somehow tripadvisor has the name Leela Palace) (Rating 3/5)
Resort in Yercaud - Raintree Resort on Manjakuttai Road (Rating 4/5)

DAY 1 >>
We started off from Bangalore around 5 PM and with a couple of breaks on the highway before and after Krishnagiri we reached Salem around 11 PM. There are a couple of decent places to take some rest on this road. 
-  Hotel Dabba
-  Mc Donalds

We were not aware of McDonalds and hence we stopped at the Dhabba Place which turned out to be an empty place and they just managed to provide some basic snacks only. Not even proper tea/coffee. The good thing is that its located just beside an Indian Oil petrol Pump and one can refuel ,check tyre pressure etc.

Reaching Salem after 11 PM we were a bit worried whether we would get any dinner at all anywhere. Salem is a small steel town and most places seem to shut down early. Then we noticed Hotel Park Plaza ,just on the highway and it was open. Although they had only Pizzas and Sandwiches and Burgers, but it was pretty good. 

We did not book any hotel and it was late. We had a few hotel names in our 'Location Services' on Google. We thought we'll try out 'Leela Palace'.


The narrow lane leading to the hotel gave us an idea not to expect anything great. The road was totally dug up. 
Anyways , after some maneuvering we managed to reach the hotel and get some decent accommodation at a decent rate. 

DAY 2>>
Day 2 started off pretty well with a hearty breakfast at a nearby restaurant. There was some time spent in Salem where my friend had to get his car tires changed.
Then we drove off towards Yercaud. The journey from Salem to Yercaud  is about 30 kilometers only , but there are 20 hairpin bends. I was driving for the first time on such mountains and was a bit tense inititally. However the roads were beautifully banked and at each bend the road widened considerably to make things easy.
I was driving slow and maybe a bit too slow , a few vehicles overtook me. But then all of them came to a single file behind a huge bus that was driving at the slowest speed possible. Well, I just eased between second and third gears to climb to Yercaud.

We had booked the SDK Resort by phone and somehow on reaching the spot we realised that the hotel was not very nice for families. So we went out searching and found a new resort called 'Raintree Resort' just on the main road. 

The resort had wonderful beds and baths, however it was not fully functional. The TV did not work, neither did they have a place to eat. No suitable extra beds. However after a decent bargain, we found the place was fine for us. 
We had a sumptuous lunch at Hotel Shevaroys , that is just walking distance from the Yercaud Lake. 

Yercaud Lake
After lunch we just lazed around the Lake a bit. Some of us did some boating. Lake entry fees and boating charges were very reasonable. 

There was also a Deer Park, not sure why it was called a park. A single or maybe two deer were in a enclosed area beside the lake grazing happily. 

DAY 3>>
Two of us woke up early and we walked into an empty coffee estate beside the resort. That was probably the best part of the trip. A wonderful morning chill and the morning sun and a walk inside the estate with not a single soul in sight. 
We walked inside and saw a small rivulet and orange trees and lemon trees and jackfruit trees. Soon we were so lost inside the coffee estate that we were out of this world for some time. Then we jumped, scared and frightful. There was a growl, a deep growl coming from somewhere inside the estate. We could not figure out if it was a dog or some other beast. After the heart skipped a few beats the growl stopped suddenly. We noticed a local woman probably going to her workplace early morning and she didn't pay any attention to the growls. So we relaxed and ventured further. 
Soon the estate opened up to some cottages, unmanned and then to deeper areas of the coffee jungle.
We took a few snaps and then decided its best to return without getting lost.

We returned and then got ready for more sightseeing. 
Kiliyur Waterfalls - This place is just about 4 kilometers from Yercaud Lake. The road is narrow and hence its best to go in the morning hours when traffic is less. Upon reaching the parking spot of the Falls, there is 1 kilometer of walk downhill to reach the waterfalls. 
Nice steps are done and staircases are built at several places. I was surprised that there was no entry fees. Was extremely happy about that. 
The Waterfalls is a big one coming down in steps and the morning sun is just behind the falls making it a nice place to take some photos or even a bath.
Walking back from the falls is a bit tiring and a short hike uphill.

Pagoda Point - This is again 4 kilometers from Yercaud Lake, a narrow lane that passes just beside Hotel Lake Forest. Some hand made directions are provided to reach this view point. Its a pretty decent place if its not too crowded. One can observe the ranges of Eastern Ghats . There is also a small temple inside the complex. Again , no entry fees , good thing.
We skipped the other sightseeing places viz
Botanical Garden, Lady's Seat and Shevaroy's temple

We decided to head back home. The travel downhill  was pretty fast. My friend's driving is a much better than mine. 
We stopped for lunch at Park Plaza in Salem again ,late in the afternoon. Then we drove back straight to Bangalore, with a few tea stops. 
It was a pretty decent weekend trip. 

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