Friday, July 22, 2016

Yercaud

Yercaud, known as the poor man’s Ooty is situated around 230 kms from Bangalore. It is a very small town on the Eastern Ghats and there is a little of everything. So I would recommend this place as a weekend getaway to take a break to relax. Before I go into the list of places I would like to point out that you can either cover all places in a one day trip or stay a night and relax over 2 days.

To give a context about my above statement, one my friends with whom I plan my road trips was getting married and we had to plan a last bachelor trip (not Hangover style but more of ZNMD style). The problem was that none of us could plan paid time off from our jobs for an epic trip together and we needed a location for a long drive where we could stay a night and catch up over the shit each one of us are going through. When I told the requirement to my brother who is more frequent than me when it comes to road trip, advised on Yercaud. And at the same time I came across this blog from Chaitra on twitter.

We decided to head out by 7am on Saturday morning and return by 6pm on Sunday evening. This time we took Zoom Car since my friends car was in garage for repairs. We picked up the car from Kengeri and reached Hosur road through NICE road. For breakfast stop by Sarvana Bhavan in Krishnagiri.. There are quite a few of them with the same name. We stopped by the first one we got on the way. The pongal and vada was amazing followed by Dosai and Idli.



Google maps is quite accurate so you can just follow the route on the maps. You enter the Salem city and head over to the Yercaud road. The roads are good throughout the stretch. 

The final 30kms is ghat section with 20 hairpin curves. Though the roads are amazing, watch out for triple riding localites who stop randomly to click pics. Also at few places the roads are narrow and buses coming from the other side will be tricky to handle (I don’t know to drive so I was seat warming in the back)
 

To our bad luck there was some political rally in Yercaud and the entry to the city was blocked. We were asked to take a diversion and the maps went offline for some reason. Now when you are in Tamil Nadu and your map stops working you are in kind off a fix. 1) Most of the signboards are only in Tamil 2) Locals mainly speak only Tamil. We somehow managed to find our way to the first location of our trip - The Pagoda point which is a view point. It started drizzling and the breeze was just amazing. The view amongst all this was just mesmerizing. (Was running out of words to use so found some fancy ones)

Here you get the boiled peanut masala and raw mangoes to eat
 

We decided to find a room and asked a few home stays and guest houses but all were priced at 3-5k and we were looking for a budget accommodation. My brother had told that near the bus stop there is an auto stand and if we ask around we will find rooms there. So we parked near a play area just near the road to Kiliyur falls and started walking around. There is a government hotel and cottage (Hotel Tamil Nadu) which was full due to the political rally. Here they have an unlimited buffet lunch (Tamil style veg) for Rs 130. From this place we saw a bunch of hotels on the other side of the road. Below pic shows where the hotels are located.

We walked into Hotel Dayana Residency where the cost of a double bed room was INR 900 and since we were 3 people, with extra bed they charged us INR 1250 for a night. It was drizzling and as per hotel guys the Kiliyur falls was 4kms from the hotel. So we changed into our shorts, wore our jackets, parked the car at the hotel and walked. It was truly a walk to remember.

You will have to climb down around 150 steps to reach the falls. Climbing down is a piece of cake, baking a cake could be easier than climbing back up (bad analogy).

Due to the rain the falls had good amount of water. There is no place to actually swim and the rocks were slippery. But there are good places to click pics.
We walked back and it was still bright so we decided to walk around the lake. The lake is smaller than Sankey Tank in Bangalore. There is boating available here if you are interested. There is also a deer park near the lake but we skipped both. It was still drizzling so we bought a Kulfi :P

We went back to our hotel and ordered dinner through room service. Got good amount of time to catch up while dinner arrived. Now for the sake of others who would like to spend the night with a glass of drink, there is only state run liquor shops with local brands here. So in case you do want something nice to drink then get it from Bangalore before you enter the TN border.

So we woke up around 9am the next morning and ordered breakfast at the hotel. Their restaurant was on the roof and it was just amazing. It was cool due to the rain the previous night and also cloudy with a fair amount of breeze. We took our time in ordering and eating :)

We had no plas for the second day. As per the places to visit in Yercaud there were some temples and there was the Ladies and Gents seat. As per other blogs, you can see the curvy roads from the Gents seat. It was almost noon so we decided to skip these places too (yeah, we skipped almost everything that this little hill station had to offer). We walked around the town and ate jackfruits, chikoo and fig. Figs and green apples are cheap here if you can negotiate.


We left Yercaud around 12:30pm and after having lunch at Krishnagiri we reached Kengeri by 530pm. It was a different trip from our other road trips. We spent more time relaxing then actually visiting place which was really nice and I think that is how a weekend getaway is supposed to be :)

The one English map I found
You might also be interested to read: Preparation for Leh, Manali, Shettihalli Church,

The mandatory selfie :)
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