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Old 8th April 2008, 13:16   #1
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Default Reclaiming Yercaud

Had planned my trip to yercaud 2-3 weeks back and made the booking through TravelGuru but with the Hoggenakal issue hotting up, was in a dilemma.

None-the-less as the news of everything calming down started coming was much relieved and decided to Go for it.Started on 5th April at around 8:30 AM and the day started with a bang with my vehicle facing the protestors head-on, the first flyover before Krishnagiri. They were holding small stones and angrily told me to go back.

Since I was the first one to stop along with one more Indigo, I turned back and went to a small crossing before it with a traffic policeman manning it.The policeman called his bosses using his mobile and asked us to wait there.

In the meantime the Indigo guy came to know of a route from within the town adn asked me if I wanted to follow, so I did, it was narrow lanes but without much traffic and we could bypass them only to reach another junction with another set of protestors but peaceful and blocking only oncoming traffic towards bangalore and police all arund them.

So we went and I kept following the Indigo, was surprise dto se that Indigo could also reach speeds upto 120km/hr. Thanked the guy at Bharat Ghar outlet and moved on, he was travelling to chennai. paid the Rs25 toll and confirmed if there was problem ahead, to which they replied in negative, but still was cautious. Only to hit another set of ladies peaceful protestors at Dharmapuri city who were forming a human chain on the side of the road.

The Route

The route taken from Bangalore was Hosur - Krishnagiri - Dharmapuri - Salem - Yercaud and back, total running came to about 538Kms and apprx 5 hrs with breaks.

There is construction going on on four-laning and lots of diversions and single lane roads so you have to wait for your turn to overtak, although I would say that the roads were decent enough.

Had a nice breakfast at Hotel Adhiyaman Palace which comes to your left once you cross the junction towards Hoggenakal.

After reaching Salem take a left from the NH-7 (AVR circle) you'll see the direction board marked Yercaud in the roundabout, to reach 5-roads junction. Take the 2nd left road at that crossing and proceed. The first left also comes-in from the NH-7 and you would have seen the directions board on the NH7 itself earlier to the circle.

When you reach the next major junction, Hasthampatty 4 roads, take the first left again towards Central jail and go straight, that leads to the ghat roads to Yercaud.

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View from the Ghat Road

The Salem to Yercaud main ghat stretch is around 26 kms and it is a narrow winding ghat with 20 hairpin bends.

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The Hotel

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View from the Hotel

Had booked at Hotel Grand Palace which is very near to the lake and checked in but was surprised to find that the booking payment had not reached them and the 2-day package I booked was not available. More on it later.

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View of Yercaud City from Hotel

Now for the sightseeing.

Day 1 - Lake and Boat House

Freshened up and after some rest and refreshments went to the lake for the boating since we had a kid took the row boat which costs around Rs70 for a trip around the lake.

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The Lake

Came back ordered some dinner and went off to bed early.

Day 2 - Lady's seat/ Gents Seat/ Children Seat/ Shevarayan Temple/ Pagoda Point / Loop road
Shevarayan Temple (7 km's)
Take the straight road as you entered yercaud with the lake on your right till you reach the Circle and then take the left, its a straight road and then the direction boards are present.
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The Road to the Temple
The Shevarayan Perumal Temple is perched high up near the summit of the highest peak of the Shevaroys at 1,624 metres (5,410 feet). The view from outside the Temple is panoramic and all four sides of the Shevaroys Range are clearly visible
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The Dense Forest
The temple is located inside a natural stone cave. The presiding deity of the temple is Ramar (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) with his consort Cauvery Amman.
A Temple Festival is held in May every year. It is a very colourful event with the “Malayalis” from all the 67 villages of Shevaroys attending it.
Lady’s Seat/ Gent';s Seat and Children's Seat (1.5 km)
Take the right from when you entered after Hotel Tamil Nadu(on the right) and then the lake will be on your left. At the next first intersection, take the right and then its a straight road till dead end.
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A Chameleon on the lady's Seat
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Monkey's also seated here
There's nothing much to say about these seats as their name says it all, they are the peak point and offer excellent view of the valley below.
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Mist Catching up
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Way to Lady's seat
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The famous Bhajji
The points overlooks the winding Ghat road and provides a breathtaking view of the plains and the town of Salem. The view is spectacular at night with the twinking lights of Salem. You can have a panoramic view of the plains below through the telescope mounted at the Lady’s seat.
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The Children's Seat
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View from Children's Seat
All three are within walking distance of each other.
The horticulture university and Bhavani Singh's perfume factory are also enroute, but we didn't visit them.

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Old 8th April 2008, 13:41   #2
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Nice pics and travelogue man. Did you speak to Travelguru by any chance asking why they have not arranged the bookings? I hope you have blasted those guys. Regarding the protests, it will continue till a govt is elected in Karnataka. After that, then God knows...
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Old 8th April 2008, 13:43   #3
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Pagoda Point (5 km)
Reach the circle and then take the right and then a left onto a straight road. The direction is marked after the circle.
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View from the Point
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Tree of Life at the top
Pagoda Point is another view point of the city below.
The Loop Road (32 Kms)
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The way to loop road
The route is a bit unknown even with the taxi drivers from outside and we had to ask a local guy for it. Take the same road as you did for Shevarayan temple but once you reach the Y- intersection, take the left, the right going to Shevarayan temple.
Now this is one single road well tarred till you reach a T-point junction with one road going straight and one to the right and small shops around, take the right and then again its a single road to follow till you are back at the Circle.
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Waiting to Conquer the loop
The 32 kms long Loop Road was traced by an Englishman in 1824. It starts and ends at the Lake, covering several tribal villages including Yercaud, Nagalur, Semmanatham, Vellakadi, and Manjakuttai.
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A big bamboo Tree
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Found a lake on the loop
The loop road goes around the hills through rich coffee plantations and some naturally wooded areas and I was surprised to find some palatial bungalows with french architecture inbetween.
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The loop road
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Found a Temple on the way
A drive on the Loop Road is most enjoyable but you feel lost sometimes and scared as it goes on and on with noone to be seen on the road.
Kiliyur Falls (7 km)
This 1,000 metre (3,000 feet) high water fall is situated amidst picturesque surroundings, but you have to walk a few kilometres to reach it and we didn't go upto the Kiliyur falls because of the kid.
The route is well marked and starts from the lake road.
The Rose Garden and park are also Overlooking the Yercaud lake.

Day 3 - Booking Problems and Travel back.

Travelguru & The Grand palace hotel

The hotel has a nice view and two set of rooms one's facing the lake from the top and others facing the valley behind with a small garden for bonfire and children to play. I was lucky enough to reside in both types for a day each due to the goof-up by travelGuru. The service was prompt and the food was nice, I believe the service has improved now, after I read through some of the earlier reviews posted here.

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The Sunset from the Room

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Almost Set

TravelGuru goofed up on my booking in terms of the payment and package and did not inform me, although I called them up on saturday and they reverted with a confirmation that the payment problem has been resolved but faced the same issue in checkout and after waiting for almost 2 hrs for travelguru and hotel to resolve their problems, paid to the hotel and now have to recover from one of them as again travelguru caled informing that they have paid and the hotel has confirmed to credit it back to my Card.

The return journey got delayed and was able to start by around 10 AM, there was hardly any traffic on the way back so came back comfortably, had lunch at Bharat Ghar outlet and reached home by around 3:00 PM
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Old 8th April 2008, 13:55   #4
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Great travelogue Dadu.

Photos are smashing. Seems like there were a lot of wonderful outing done by our T-BHP'ians during the long weekend.

Good to know that the protestors were only on the borders and not on any of the spots you had visited.

How is the weather over there? Cool or cold?

EDIT: And how did your 'below average' / 'unrealiable' (pun intended) vehicle hold up on the hair pin bends & slopes?

Last edited by HappyWheels : 8th April 2008 at 13:57.
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Old 8th April 2008, 15:39   #5
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Good mix up of pictures.Neat write up and nice that you have included the right points.
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Old 8th April 2008, 15:57   #6
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Yes, have been busy reading them and now this reply.

Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post
Great travelogue Dadu.

Photos are smashing. Seems like there were a lot of wonderful outing done by our T-BHP'ians during the long weekend.
The weather IMO can be termed as cool, no rains, bright sun.

Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post
Good to know that the protestors were only on the borders and not on any of the spots you had visited.

How is the weather over there? Cool or cold?

Nothing to worry about, you only have to be careful while overtaking/ others overtaking as the safari is wide and the roads are narrow, better to give way if you dont want to squeeze through.

Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post
EDIT: And how did your 'below average' / 'unrealiable' (pun intended) vehicle hold up on the hair pin bends & slopes?
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Old 8th April 2008, 16:33   #7
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Great pictures and well worded travelogue. Brings back the memories of the two years I spent at Yercaud. I have walked to all the places, including the complete loop road, to the base of the Kiliyur falls, from 4-Roads junction to Yercaud along the main road and through a short cut (3-4 times). We had also cleaned up the Big Lake of Water hyacinths that were actually choking it.
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Old 8th April 2008, 16:43   #8
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Nice pics dadu, reminded me of my Yercaud trip in 2006. We trekked to Hotel Grand palace and had a nice valley view inside.
It is better you call Grand palace and book rather than through travelguru.

I was not aware of the loop road. I would surely try it out in my next trip to yercaud. Would have been a nice experience.

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Old 9th April 2008, 01:31   #9
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Oops.. you seem to have been stuck in Hosur the day when there was much trouble. Anyways, thankfully you got past all the trouble. Fotos are nice. Have to visit Yercaud soon...
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Old 9th April 2008, 02:43   #10
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Nice write up & good pics,dadu.
Just realized that its been over 14 years since I visited Yercaud.
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Old 9th April 2008, 11:11   #11
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Yes, but since I was amongst the first to be stopped, turned back and took a detour from within the town, perhaps lost 15-20 min only

Originally Posted by csentil View Post
Oops.. you seem to have been stuck in Hosur the day when there was much trouble. Anyways, thankfully you got past all the trouble. Fotos are nice. Have to visit Yercaud soon...
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Old 9th April 2008, 16:12   #12
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Thanks for a detailed write-up.
Plan to visit Yercaud sometime this year, and this would prove quite handy.
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Old 18th April 2008, 11:13   #13
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Nice detailed write up... Will use this one when i go next time to Yercaud.
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Old 18th April 2008, 15:14   #14
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very well described.......
Yercaud in a nice place to relax and nice pictures too
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Old 19th August 2008, 00:41   #15
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First, thanks to Dadu and AKRoy for their vivid posts - I took their help extensively to plan our trip to Yercaud from Bangalore between August 13th and August 15th.

I will just post the key things below.

Day 1 (Aug 13, Bangalore - Krishnagiri NH7 - Dharmapuri NH7 - Salem NH7 - Yercaud via Ghat Road). My wife, son and I started on our Fiat Adventure at Bangalore 1530Hrs and reached Yercaud at 2030Hrs. Rested at Dharmapuri for 30 minutes. Dharmapuri - Salem section is treacherous due to the ever ongoing 4-laning work. Nightfall arrived roughly near the beginning of NH7 ghat section between Dharmapuri and Salem. Drove by night on Yercaud Ghat Road. Visibility was ok with intermittent rain. Climbed the hill and checked-in to Hotel Grand Palace. Ordered some continental dinner. Food was good.

Day 2 (Aug 14). Local weather cloudy, mild temperatures and winds. Had good sleep and was really looking forward to a good hot breakfast, but that was a disappointment. South Indian breakfast was fresh but had the tiniest portion size for its price. Somehow I have a feeling that Yercaud hotels are not ready for their visitors except on weekends. Or else what would explain the total disinterest of the restaurant crew at the hotel on a thursday morning even though we were at the only other table occcupied other than another near a big glass facade? We tried Indian fare for lunch at the same restaurant, but again we found the food insipid and the staff low on energy. To sum it up, while at the Grand, order only continental. And they are pretty sacked up on weekdays. Like for example, they said they did not have their tandoori oven ready when we wanted some at lunch! In the evening we checked into hotel Shevaroyan because Grand ran out of rooms trying to tackle the long weekend rush. Again the dinner there was a totally sad affair. Breakfast next morning was non-descript as well. We tried a nice new place furnished by Indeco Hotels for lunch. These are the beautiful English style houses with a restaurant cum museum, and you can't miss it on your way to Pagoda Point. As you take the turn into the road towards Pagoda Point, you can see a cobbled pathway to your left. That was some reclamation from the series of disappointments we were having in terms of something I consider absolutely a most important part of my trip anywhere - FOOD. We visited nearly all the places but decided to give the deer park and the loop road a miss. All the places were for us, sans any other visitor.

Day 3 - Today we could sense the crowd building up. We had kept the Rose Garden and Mr. Singh's Perfumery for this day. And I think I was fooled by an autorickshaw guy who said he could take us to the Elephant Tooth Rock and Tipperary view point, but instead took us to a ridge behind Montfort school and the Retreat that seemed like a huge playground of another school. We began our return lap from Yercaud at 1550Hrs, descended to Salem and took an hour's break exploring the local areas. We thought Salem was a neat little city! We started for Bangalore at 2000hrs and getting on to NH7 was a breeze thanks to Dadu's directions. We kept on NH7 until just outside Dharmapuri. Again, this was driving by night negotiating extremely treacherous diversions and fleets of truckers on the NH7 ghat section. Plus we had to figure oncoming traffic by their lights if they were head on on our track or on the other side of the median (that is, if a median existed). We decided to take the Bangalore Bypass just outside Dharmapuri and got onto the Palacod - Rayakottai - Hosur sector. This was a 2-lane road on which I was able to maintain 80Kmph for better part of the cruise, mainly because of the good turf conditions and relative lack of traffic. This made up more than for the chaos prevailing on NH7 until one reached Krishnagiri. We reached Hosur at about 2300Hrs and merged onto NH7 towards Bangalore. There was only a short dirt patch just after Dharmapuri town but before Palacod which I had to be careful about.

I thought Salem was at about 300mtrs above MSL and Yercaud just above 1350mtrs from MSL, going by the readings posted in Yercaud ghat road.

Roundtrip kilometers clocked: 462. Majority of driving done on evenings/nightfall.
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