In the course of this series, you got many letters from the famed Western Ghats of India. But do you know there are some beautiful hill stations in the Eastern Ghats too? Unlike the Western Ghats, the Eastern Ghats is a discontinuous mountain range cut by the rivers Godavari, Mahanadi, Krishna, and Kaveri. I am a less-explored hill station nestled in the resplendent Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu. There some very famous tourist spots of South India around me – Pondicherry, Kodaikanal, Coonoor to name a few. But I’m mostly unknown to people outside Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Let me take you on a virtual tour of the hills.
This part of the Eastern Ghats where I am is guarded by the Shevaroy Hills. The undulating hills are covered in orange groves, coffee, fruits, and spice plantations. I get my name from the words “Yeri” which means lake and “Kaddu” which means forest. So I am literally the Lake forest. Couldn’t be more apt given that the township here is built around an opulent lake surrounded by forests. Let me make a list of the top things you can do and see when you visit me.
Boat in the Emerald Lake aka Yercaud Lake
The first thing to do here is to head straight to the Emerald lake which I derive my name from. Did you know this is the only natural lake in a South Indian hill station? You will enjoy the scenic forests around and the floating fountain in the lake when you go boating.
Thrive in the biodiversity of the Deer Park
After this enjoy some snacks at the Yercaud lake and walk towards the deer park. It is also known as the eco-tourism park for amazing biodiversity. Imagine walking in a park with deer, peafowls, and ducks taking an evening walk with you.
Walk to the Botanical Garden
Keep walking a little more and you will reach the botanical garden. This green oasis has 3000 trees and 18000 shrubs spread over the 18 hectares of land. It’s truly a delight to senses… and lungs.
Some adventure activities at Anna Park
Anna Park is another small beautiful park near the lake. Here you can enjoy quad bike riding and zip-lining.
See the mesmerizing sunset at Lady’s Seat
After enjoying your time in the lake and gardens it’s time to drive to a famous viewpoint here. It’s called the Lady’s Seat. A revered English lady used to spend the evenings watching the sunset on this rock. Thus this unassuming place got its name.
Offbeat Norton’s bungalow
This quintessential English bungalow has inspired many Bollywood scenes. The road to this bungalow is also delightful and you can stay in the homestays nearby.
See the Sunrise at Pagoda Point
Next morning you can take a walk to the Pagoda Point. It is at a distance of 4 KM from the Bus Stand. This point is away from the hustle-bustle of Yercaud’s main town. Pagoda point is also known as Pyramid point and it got its name from the for piles of four stones that have been arranged in the shape of the Pyramid.
Near Pagoda point, there is a Rama temple where the locals visit to seek blessings.
The Bear’s cave situated in a private coffee estate near the Norton Bungalow is a craft of nature. It is on the way to the Servaroyan temple.
You might not think of visiting a school on your trip somewhere, but Montfort School is special. You can get permission to enter this prestigious and historic school on the weekends. The marvelous architecture of the buildings here will leave you awestruck. There’s also a small zoo inside the campus.
This is another viewpoint from where you can get mesmerizing views of the Shevaroy hills.
Trek to the delightful Killyur Falls
Kiliyur Falls is located at a distance of 4 km from the Bus Stand. This beautiful cascade is hidden deep in the forest. So, you will need to take a slant walk of 1km through the forests before reaching a flight of steps. After walking 200 plus narrow steep stairs you will reach this beautiful place.
32-km Loop Road
The 32-km loop road has numerous hairpins along the scenic Eastern Ghats. There are barricades and mirrors on the turns to help drivers, but you need to be careful. You can also go for a hike on this road if you are indeed up to it. With coffee plantations and forests and hills on both sides, this is a mesmerizing experience.
These are just a few touristy things to do when you visit me. To really enjoy your time, you need to travel slow, stay here for at least 3-4 days, explore the coffee estates, silk farms, English cottages and interact with the locals. I can guarantee you a great time. So come here soon after the lockdown. till then, save my postcard and share it with your travel buddies.
This post is a part of the series “Postcards from India“, written for the A2Z Blogging Challenge by Blogchatter for April 2020. I am writing about offbeat destinations in India, which you can visit once the lockdown is over.