Yercaud is a hill station perched atop the Shevaroys Range of Hills of the Eastern Ghats in Salem District, Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated at an average altitude of 1350 to 1500 metres (4500 to 4900 feet) above mean level of the sea. The highest point in Yercaud area is the Shevorayan Temple, at 1,623 m ( 5326 feet). It was so named owing to the abundance of trees near the lake, the name signifying Lake Forest. In Tamil, Eri means Lake and Kadu means Forest. Yercaud is also called as Jewel of the South and also as the Poor Man's Ooty.
The hill station is a popular tourist destination due to the salubrious climate. The climate of Yercaud is moderate, humid subtropical.Winters are fairly mild, starting in December and ending in February. During winter, the hills are covered in mist. Winters range from 12 °C to 24 °C, and summers from 16 °C to 30 °C. Annual rainfall is 1500–2000 mm. The total extent of Yercaud Taluk is 382.67 km2, including reserve forest.
Yercaud is connected to the city of Salem, Tamil Nadu through a Highway of 28 km.
One of the main attractions for Tourists is the Emerald Lake, situated close to the main road from Salem. This was formed by the British by laying a bund across a valley and it facilitated the collection of spring water to form a lake. Since a smaller lake was made near the present Bazaar area, this lake is also known as the Big Lake. The Tamil Nadu Tourism Department manages the Boat House which is open from 8:30 A.M. till evening 5:30 P.M. Ornamental boats, self pedalling boats and ordinary boats with experienced rowers are available for hire on half hourly or hourly basis. Boating in the cool waters is a memorable experience.
This is located near this Lake. There are many species of trees and plants in this place. This garden gains more significance during the summer and very recently during the month of December, when Flower Shows are conducted here. There is a breathtaking Japanese garden inside this park. A small play area for the children is found on one side of this garden.
Situated deep in the forest area, one has to trek almost a kilometre and half down the jungle path to view the falls. It is about 3 kilometres from the Hotel. The trek to the falls is thrilling but not advisable for elderly people as the climb back is tiring.
This garden is a little more than a kilometre from the Lake circle. There are around 100 varieties of orchids of which 30 odd orchid species are exclusively found only here. Many endangered species are also preserved here. The Shevaroyan Hills is a place where the Kurunji flowers are in plenty but they bloom only once in twelve years. The garden is just a kilometre from the Hotel.
A natural cave temple of Lord Servarayan and Cauvery Amman is situated on the highest peak of the hill range. The view from the peak is breathtaking. One can see the hills far away and on clear days the Stanley Reservoir in Mettur is visible. The Yercaud town and dwellings scattered around on the hills too can be seen. Although bauxite ore was mined here till a few years ago, all mining activity has been restricted now by the authourities. Many tourists enjoy playing or just walking around the vast barren hill top. This temple is around 6 kms. from the Hotel.
Panoramic view of the Salem city and the ghat road from Salem from a cliff on the southern side of the Shevaroyan Hills. A viewing tower with a telescope to view the plains is maintained by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation. It seems that during the early British days the English Ladies used to gather here to enjoy the magnificent view from the cliff. Hence the name "Lady's Seat". During the last decade of the twentieth century, two other view-points close by were developed and named as "Gent's Seat" and "Children's Seat". This place is about 2 kms. from the Hotel.
A garden, near Lady's Seat, developed by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Department has a collection of beautiful rose and flowers. Visitors can buy ornamental plants and rose saplings here.
Situated on the eastern side of the hills, about 4 kms.from the Hotel, one can view part of Salem and a village – Kakkambadi on the hills. The tribals of the olden days have stacked piles of stone in the shape of pyramids near the edge of the cliff, called pagodas, from which the name of this view point is derived. A temple of Lord Rama is situated between the pagodas.
Situated on a hilltop about 6 kms.from the Hotel, near a village called "Thalaicholai", this temple is visited by many for the "PournamiPooja" performed in the evening of the full moon day. It is said that one can view the "KarthigaiDeepam" lit in Tiruvannamalai, from this hilltop, if the sky is clear. The view from this point is magnificent.
A temple of Goddess Lalithambiga situated near Nagalur village about 9 kms. from the Hotel.
Situated about 12 kms from the Hotel, this is a recently developed point off a village called Karadiyur. One can view the plains and on clear days even the trains passing by Danishpet can be seen and heard from here.
A local adventure games enthusiast has set rope climbs and games along with an ATV ( All Terrain Vehicle ) rides in a choice of trails. This place is about 2 kms. from the Hotel on the Pagoda Point Road and is open to tourists visiting the hills for a variety of packages depending on one's choice.
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