Yercaud is a hill station in Salem district of Tamil Nadu. It is just around 220 kms away from Bangalore, with well-paved roads, right uptil your destination, with nominal toll charges to keep up the road conditions. Thus, making it a smooth 4.5 hours journey without a stop. But, well, we make stops and like to keep it relaxed.
Our journey from bangalore started at 8.45 a.m., with a halt at around 10.30 at Murugan idly shop for breakfast, continuing further, to reach our stay in Yercaud at 2.30 p.m.
Route from Bangalore – Electronic City – Krishnagiri – Dharmapuri – Nallampalli – Salem – Yercaud
The beginning of the upward journey to the hill-station is marked by the first hairpin bend (of 20 to follow) and monkeys ( a lot of them). The roads are well-maintained and the drive is pretty relaxed.
The 20th hairpin-bend is where the Great Trails by GRT hotels is located. We stopped there for lunch and enjoyed the pleasant weather and the breathtaking views from the Skywalk, as we waited for our lunch to be prepared.
32-km loop road
The true essence of this hill-station lies in taking the 32-km loop road, commencing from the ‘Yercaud lake’. Tree shadowed roads, chirping birds, coffee plantations, tall silver oaks, sudden flowing waters, panoramic and magnificent views & misty skylines, make this the most important part of Yercaud sightseeing. This is as close to nature as you can get.
We started at around 10 a.m., after breakfast at the hotel, and made our first stop at the Cauvery peak coffee roasters.
This coffee estate, spanning across acres of land, has a small cafe, a roasting unit and a coffee tour, to spread the right knowledge. We opted to take a guided tour which cost us approximately 500 Rs. per person. The guide was fluent in Hindi, and took us around in our own car to some very unique, hidden, eye-popping and hair-raisingly spectacular spots.
The tour starts with a coffee museum, that has age old equipments, moving further to the origins and history of coffee.
We proceed further, crossing tons of coffee plants and orange trees, along with tall silver oaks, with the pepper climber intertwined around the trunk of these oaks, to see the coffee-processing unit.
On our way, we were introduced to some visual treats, where one could sit for hours at peace and feel close to nature.
Next is the roasting unit, where an elaborate knowledge of the various aromas and roasting temperatures is passed on by one of the co-founders of Cauvery peak.
And lastly, we sat at the cafe, sipping some freshly brewed coffee (pure at that), without any chicory. You can also buy some of their coffee, spices and honey , here.
Though we had a heart full of natural trails to follow at this one stop, we proceeded further, to complete our loop. You can choose to stop anywhere that deems comfortable to park a vehicle.
You can spot small cascades of water, flowing into narrow streams and making it a sight to behold.
The loop completes, as you descend to reach the lake again. You can choose to stop here and go in or like us, proceed further for some lunch.
We made our way to the Grand palace hotel, which greeted us with some eye-catching views, as we sat down for a good day’s lunch at their restaurant.
Their bar and kitchen can be a very romantic spot for evening dinners.
The Kiliyur falls are not very far from here, and you can choose to visit these, if not very tired. Though, we went back and spent the rest of the day at our hotel.
Other places to visit
- Lady’s seat
- Pagoda point
- Lake and Anna Garden
- Kiliyur falls
- Botanical garden
- Shevaroy temple
Before starting our return journey to Bangalore, we thought of visiting the Montfort school, which previously entertained visitors but it does not anymore. Nevertheless, we were there to get our pictures clicked outside their famous wall. This school was featured in the film ‘Rockford’ by Nagesh Kukunoor, who also happens to be an alumnus of this institute.
Who else studied here? Shashi Tharoor, for a very brief period!
On our way back, we had our lunch at Saisangeet. It is a shopper’s delight along with some scrumptious meal options.
Salem is famous for its steel, and it wouldn’t hurt if you decided to pick one or two small kitchen essentials or if you are a home decor junkie like I am, this is your paradise.