Staying in Bangalore, Karnataka has many advantages.. one being, access to interesting destinations across south India.
When the corporate world starts to get on your nerves, we bangaloreans take our vehicles and head out either to a hill station in the neighbouring Tamil Nadu or towards the popular jungle camps and resorts around Bandipur and Nagarhole.
This time it was Yercaud, a cute little hill station about 35 kms away from Salem, Tamil Nadu. Salem is 200 Kms from Bangalore and has well paved double road all through with a few toll booth enroute. Bikes however have free passage which actually worked in our favor since we decided to bike it to Yercaud this time (this time being our 4th trip).
Typically for a biking tour, we start around 6.30am from a prominent location on the outskirts of the city and stop for breakfast after about an hour’s riding. During this trip, we stopped at Adiyar Anand Bhavan on Hosur – Salem highway (about 65kms from Bangalore) for a quick snack and continued to ride non stop till we hit Salem. After a round of tender coconuts, we began our hill climb which was the most exciting part of this ride.
Soon, you begin to feel the weather change and also get to catch a glimpse of the world below you. In less than an hour, you are on top of the hill covered by tall age old trees and a huge lake in the centre of town. A few hotels and resorts dot the landscape around the lake but the first to stand out is Sky Rocca, built on the edge of the last hair pin bend. Another popular property is Hotel Shevaroys which is one of the oldest in Yercaud and has cottages spread out amidst lush greenery.
Frankly, there isn’t much to do in Yercaud and is more of a location to relax and calm your nerves. However, an Indian tourist does demand his fair share of site seeing for whom there is boating at the lake, visit to the view point (Pagoda Point), Killiyur Falls and best of them all Shevaroyan Temple. This temple is situated about 7kms from town center and is at the highest point in Yercaud. An ideal location to view the entire mountain range and soak in the fresh air.
Yercaud is one of the least expensive hill stations and accommodation is available from as low as Rs 800 for a double room (in a hotel) which goes up to Rs 8,000 for a luxury cottage. Travelers also have the option of renting out an old furnished cottage with a cook cum caretaker for a fair sum.
If you are the sorts to end the day on high spirits, do note that Tamil Nadu has restriction on sale of liquor and is sold only across Tasmac outlets. However, premium hotels and resorts have license to sell liquor within their premises but may not stock exotic brands.
Greatescapes score for hill stations: 8/10