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Old 2nd October 2009, 12:53   #1
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Post Trip to Poor mans ooty - Yercaud

A long holiday week was ahead of us and we were pondering over which place to visit, since being in software industry doesn’t give you many long holidays. I was split between madikeri and yercuad since both were on my mind for quite some time. The fact that it is very close to Bangalore and good roads of tamilnadu tilted my mind towards yercuad and Yercuad it was. I gathered few important information’s like route queries, information regarding stay etc from Googling and of course Team-Bhp.So we decided to hit the road on Tuesday early morning. Plan was to reach yercuad before 11: 00 PM as I hate driving under the full influence of sun. So as planned we left singasandra, Bangalore at 5:00 AM.

About the place --> Yercuad is situated at 1400 above MSL in Salem District. The weather is supposed to be pleasant throughout the year which I suppose is typical for any hill station. Although not as famous as munnar or ooty, this sleepy, low population town has its own charm. Contradictory to what the internet and various blogs say , I found out that there are only 4 or 5 places which are really worth seeing here as opposed to 8 0r 9. The details about the places which I visited are given below. Yercuad is supposed to be known as “Poor man’s Ooty” , but I hardly found anything which is suitable for a poor man !. I mean the Accommodation rates were the same as in munnar or ooty as per my experience and the Restaurant were in fact I would say more costly which is elaborated below. As a whole the city offers 4 good view points, Few temples, A beautiful and Picturestique waterfalls and lot of coffee estate and Few Orange Groves. You can easily make this trip as your weekend trip as you would be finished touring this town in 1.5 days.

Road Info and conditions --> There are 2 ways to reach Yercaud. One is back gate as I called it after my trip and the other is the well known front gate.
1) Bangalore – Hosur – Karimangalam – Krishangiri – Karimangalam – Morappur – Harur – Yercaud ( 203 Kms )
This Route is a mix of NH7 and SH18 . Although nothing needs to be said about N7 conditions of Tamilnadu , SH18 was also equally good till Harur.Only advantage of taking this route is avoiding of toll at Dharmapuri and Salem that comes to around 90 Rs. There are many junction en route and you can clarify with locals by mentioning Harur village direction as it seems this is pretty well known. Also this road finally leads to Salem. You need to take a Right Turn when you are exactly 18 Kms before Salem. Be carefull since there is no signboard and you might miss this turn to yearcaud.The Ghat section begins from here and the roads are not so good and are surprsisingly very narrow !!. Nevertheless it is fun to drive in this ghat section since most of the people take the Route # 2 mentioned below. So you can expect very little or no traffic at all.
2) Bangalore – Hosur – Krishnagiri – Dharamapuri – Salem – Yercaud ( 220 Kms )
There are no words to describe this route!! It is NH7 all the way till Salem and it rocks. I have great admiration for Tamilnadu and Kerala Highways. The Total Toll of 110 Rs was totally worth the thrill you get driving in this road. I Took this route while coming back since I wanted to test the speed limit of my maruti 800. Although you might get frustrated occasionally with the truckers occupying the right lanes for overtaking but this route will save you around 1 hour compare to Route # 1. Yercaud is 30 Km from the base i.e. Salem and this Ghat section is too in excellent condition. Its 2 lane and below pictures will indicate you what I am talking about. You can easily cover this 30 Km in 45 minutes as I did while coming down.

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Around Yercaud --> We reached yercaud at around 10 AM. The city itself is very small and there is only one main road which passes through the bus stop hence I don’t think there will be problems regarding the directions for hotels or the locations. I had already enquired about 2 hotels, MM holiday Inn and Hotel Shevaroy and opted for latter after checking out both hotels. Detailed feedback is given below about the hotels and food. We kept our bags in the room and went to visit the spots. From Hotel Shevaroy there are 5 roads which take you to all the tourist spots. All roads have direction boards and no need of asking the local except maybe for Ladies and Gents Seat spots.
Road 1 --> Ladies Seat, Gents Seat, Rose Garden
Road 2 --> Pagoda Point
Road 3 --> Shevaroy Temple, RajaRajeshwari Temple , Botanical Garden
Road 4 --> Killiyur Falls
Road 5 --> Manjakottai View point
Junction --> Big Lake, Anna Park
Although if you search in the internet it will give you few other tourist spots mainly Bears Cave , Ornamental garden , Grange etc which I found were nothing but just places which are overhyped and not worth visiting. I did not cover these spots as from the descriptions I too found them to be boring.

Day 1 --> Pagoda Point, Killyur Falls , Ladies Seat , Gents Seat
We decided to hit the falls first since I had read good stuff about this place , how we have to trek our way to the bottom , How beautiful the drop is etc.You need to park your car at the top and trek to the bottom. Even though you may find the climb down easy , the climb up is very strenuous and strongly a no-no for aged people and people with Low or High BP. However once you reach the bottom , you will forget all your tiredness , for the falls is that beautifull.You can directly stand underneath to take a shower, but the water was extremely cold !!.I could stand only for a short time and couldn’t take the cold. One more word of caution is the place is very isolated with absolutely no help around.Later I learnt from the hotel reception that it is strongly advised not to go to the falls alone or as a couple without a guide , since there have been many cases of theft and other things. I did find this true as the gang of guys present there was very bad , constantly staring at us and I have to admit , my wife was pretty scared. Luckily a family too was present there and we came up as soon as we were done.

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Next we went to Pagoda point. This is a View point. It has got name Pagoda because of three stone pagodas setup in the form of triangle. Nothing much to say here, enjoy the photos.

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After lunch in hotel Shevaroy , we went to ladies seat around 4:00 PM.You get a beautiful view of salem from here and I must say the wind force was too much here and at Gents seat. There is also a Doordarshan Relay point at this place which I think might be the highest point. We couldn’t see the sunset as it was cloudy but nevertheless we did get some good pictures.

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Day 2 --> sunrise at Pagoda point, Anna Park , Big Lake , RajaRajeshwari and Shevaroy temple
I was able to pour some cold water and wake up my wife at 6:00 AM. We thought of watching sunrise at pagoda point and started the car. However the sun was already up by the time we reached there. Took some pictures and decided to leave. Since there was nobody else at that time and we wanted a picture with both of us, I kept my camera on top of the car and put it in timer mode. To my bad luck , the strong winds knocked down the camera. I must thank my good fortunes since the camera landed on the edge and not face up or face down !!

Alter we went to Anna park which surprisingly opens at 8:30 AM !!. We were disappointed with the park and even with the lake.Lalbagh is 10 times better than this!!. Anyways we just roamed around , did not go for boating in the lake as I thought it was not worth and returned to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast we checked out of the hotel and went to the RajaRajeshwari temple .The pujari was from Mangalore and he was happy to see someone from coastal side. We chatted in Tulu for a while and bought some homemade pickles and eucalyptus oil from the store setup in the premise. We continued to Shevaroy temple. This temple is pretty famous with the idol situated inside a small cave at the top of the hill. The view from up here was excellent. It was very cold and we decided to head back to Bangalore at around 1:00 PM.We had lunch at Salem and continued on NH7, reached home at around 6:00 PM.Overall this was a trip worth taking .Even though there are not many places to see, you will enjoy the pleasant weather and is a must see for those from Bangalore owing to its proximity.

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I wonder how plants are produced !! -->

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Insectivorous plant at botanical garden -->

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Accident on the way -->

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Feedback on yercaud hotels --> If you are going on a weekday, I strongly suggest against booking the hotel rooms. They try to sell you the deluxe room first even though standard rooms are available. This happened to me with Hotel Shevaroy. When I had called him up , he said there were no Standard room available and only deluxe rose suite was available. I did not book the room over the phone. When I went to the hotel directly, not even a single standard room was occupied!! I checked out all the rooms including the orchid suite etc and thought it was not worth spending 4000 bucks for such a room. There are several budget hotels like Holiday Inn, Hotel Tamilnadu all starting from Rs 500 per night to 5000 Rs per night. There are 2 or 3 good resorts, Sterling resort, Grange Resort etc.
I was very much disappointed with the food pricing of hotel Shevaroy. I t was as if, “eat if you want or go and hunt for good hotel yourself “kind of pricing. To give you an idea, check out the below bread omlette photo. This is supposed to be 50 Rs breakfast!!.Even our cat eats more that. Anyways the room was decent enough and the surrounding of the hotel was good with ducks and Turkey running around whole day. Kids will have lot of fun here.

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Old 2nd October 2009, 13:08   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @400Kph;1511425
[B
About the place -->[/b] Yercuad is supposed to be known as “Poor man’s Ooty” , but I hardly found anything which is suitable for a poor man !. I mean the Accommodation rates were the same as in munnar or ooty as per my experience and the Restaurant were in fact I would say more costly which is elaborated below.
Excellent travelogue. So, its no longer poor mans Ooty.

Whats a plant production center?
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Old 2nd October 2009, 19:20   #3
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by @400Kph View Post
To give you an idea, check out the below bread omlette photo. This is supposed to be 50 Rs breakfast!!.
Could not see that!
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Old 2nd October 2009, 19:21   #4
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Nice pics. Yelagiri is called as the "Poor man's ooty". Now, I wonder which one is the original "Poor man's ooty"?

Last edited by aah78 : 3rd October 2009 at 00:08. Reason: Text format tags removed.
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Old 2nd October 2009, 21:27   #5
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Very nice detailed travelogue there. Nice pictures too. I never knew there was such a beautiful waterfall at Yercaud. I have heard the view of Salem City from Yercaud at night looks beautiful..
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Old 2nd October 2009, 21:36   #6
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Nice travelogue and pics.

I visited Yercaud twice in my M-800. Stayed at Sterlings the first time and at Grange resort the second time. Food was good in both these places.
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Old 2nd October 2009, 21:49   #7
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@ Trrk
Oops !! forgot to attach the picture.Here it is

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Old 2nd October 2009, 23:23   #8
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There are much nicer hotels than Shevroys and some of them are not that expensive also. I did my schooling in Yercaud. Love the place so much that I have bought some land there.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 13:16   #9
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by @400Kph View Post
@ Trrk
Oops !! forgot to attach the picture.Here it is
I just reminded you as I like seeing the images of food items!

You would need several of those to complete a breakfast. Cost of food at hotels is usually difficult to justify by the quantity or number!

The only time I have satyed in Yercaud was in Shevaroy's when I was a school kid and that is a real long time ago. Then there were hardly any other hotels to stay.
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Old 5th October 2009, 09:21   #10
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very nice write up
and Yercaud is indeed a relatively unspoilt place as compared with Ooty.
According to me it is certainly not deserving of the name "poor man's Ooty"!

good pictures as well - I especially like the one of the Rhesus Monkeys sitting there looking sorry for themselves!
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Old 5th October 2009, 11:13   #11
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Yercadu is a nice place for a w/e getaway, but I feel the hotels and resorts there try to rob people during the occasional rush time by exorbitant room and food rates. This may be because they get very less business during normal days. During rush days like long w/e tourists don’t have much of a choice unlike hill stations like Ooty and will be at the mercy of few available places and they take maximum advantage of this.
I had stayed in place called Hotel Grand Palace which is supposed to be a 3 star place and they make you pay through the nose. We had issues from check-in at front desk, to rooms, service, cleanliness, food, unable to sleep due to sound from construction activities etc etc and our vacation was ruined because of this place. We came back with a promise of this our last trip to Yercaud (anyone doubting my words about Grand Palace can check reviews on Trip advisor from other people)
I feel this attitude will impact the flow of tourists to this beautiful place in the long run
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Old 5th October 2009, 12:26   #12
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Yercadu is a good weekend getaway.We stayed in sterling and it is one of their best property compared to other hillstation sterlings.I felt it is better than the Sterling we stayed at Darjeeling.The roads excellent from Hosur to Salem. Have the passion to drive try this highway.I still remember Hosur to Salem used to take 4.30hours about 2yrs back when I drove last time and travelling through Thoppur Ghat used to take one hour.Last week I could do this highway in 2.30 hours
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Old 5th October 2009, 17:32   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajadonga View Post
The roads excellent from Hosur to Salem. Have the passion to drive try this highway.I still remember Hosur to Salem used to take 4.30hours about 2yrs back when I drove last time and travelling through Thoppur Ghat used to take one hour.Last week I could do this highway in 2.30 hours
+1 to that.The highways are excellent.Wish they built highways like this everywhere in karnataka.
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Old 6th October 2009, 01:32   #14
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Nice pictures. I had been there for the new year eve. I stayed at the Grand Palace, which I got to know from this forum only.

Stay was decent and pricing was high. Over all, not bad. I never used the backend road, as you mention ! It was always Salem !
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Old 6th October 2009, 09:44   #15
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Nice pictures, brings me nostalgic memories. Sure Anna park cannot be compared to Lalbagh which is a botanical garden unlike Anna, but during my visit i had seen far more flowers and plants than what is available today!
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