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Lightening-Fast 10th July 2010 13:13

Weekend Getaway: Yes, its Yercaud!!
3 Attachment(s)
It had been quite sometime since i had visited a hill station. And it had been quite sometime that i had been reading about NH-7 and travelogues around it. So this set the tone for our weekend getaway driving on NH7 for the first time. And yes, Yercaud it was!!
So i had exactly a weeks time to put everything in place. As usual, team-BHP to the rescue. Within no time, i was through with all the route details, eatouts and refuelling options along the way. And unlike other occassions, i had no helping hand from my wife this time as it was a surprise for her. She just knew that we were driving down to someplace for the weekend!!
Members: Wife and myself
Companion along the way: Chevy Spark PS with 8K Kms experience!!
We started on July3 from Vidyaranyapura, Bangalore at exactly 6.15AM. Had made sure everything was in place including the stay in Yercaud the previous evening. Since i stay in North Bangalore, it took us slightly above an hour to reach Hosur. Thanks to the elevated expressway, it does save a lot of time. Somehow, felt that it is a little cramped for an expressway, but still i guess most people easily do a 100+ on the expressway. I could touch a top speed of 120KMPH and in no time we passed Attibele and reached Hosur. There was a slight delay in Hosur on the way to Krishnagiri with trucks occupying most of the roads. Got past that and it was time for breakfast. I had been to Kamath restaurants many times as i keep doing Mysore very frequently. Since A2B, seems to be a huge choice among my fellow team-BHPians, i thougth i would give it a try. So we stopped at A2B and got through our breakfast in 45 mins time. The food was good, however the place itself was very crowded. But i guess, that would be the case with most of the better hotels on the highways. Tanked up at the bunk at A2B and from hereon it was straight to Yercaud.
Wife was still trying to guess where we were headed. One thing she knew for sure is that it was somewhere in TamilNadu and i was not letting anything out. It was difficult to keep a straight face everytime she kept guessing Yercaud!! Once she knew it was not chennai, after we continued on NH7 towards Salem, her guess was turning into a confirmation for Yercaud.
A2B at Krishnagiri
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Road Condition: NH7 is truely great to drive. Apart from the 8 speed breakers after Dharmapuri, i guess it was a breeze. I could maintain 100+ for most part of the journey. Top speed attained in the entire journey was 140KMPH. It is easy to get carried away on NH7, but i am always cautious at junctions and while overtaking. But yes, i had a certain image of driving on NH7 and it certainly lived upto it.
Yercaud Lake
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Valley View
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After we reached Salem, we branched out of NH7 to reach 5 road junction. Here you will see a signboard that tells you to take a left to reach Yercaud. This is Sharada College road and after you pass the college on your left, you will come across a 4 road junction. This is where you would need to take a left for the road leading to Yercaud Ghats. But at the 4 road junction, there are no signboards in English. I knew this was the one as i had my route sorted out with Google maps, but when in doubt, its better to ask.Now it was clear that we were headed to Yercaud, so the only surprise left was where are we going to stay. There are 20 hairpin curves to reach yercaud and i had booked a room in GRT Nature trails which is located exactly on the 20th hairpin curve. Drive was good through the ghats with temperature gradually going down with altitude. And after exactly 4.55 mins from when we started, we had reached our destination.
More Pics,stay and activity details to follow..........

ampere 10th July 2010 14:10

GRT location is amazing. Overlooks on to the hills which show the hairpin bends.

Lightening-Fast 10th July 2010 14:21

Totally agree with you ampere. GRT location is great and the valley view it offers is lovely. Will cover more details on the othe side of the travelogue

arindamray 10th July 2010 15:04

Nice start. Liked the lake photo.

Lightening-Fast 10th July 2010 15:08

Thanks ArindamRay. Just about completing the other half of the travelogue

Lightening-Fast 10th July 2010 15:45

6 Attachment(s)
Once in Yercaud, it was time to explore it and the intention was, at the sametime, not to strain ourselves too much. So we checked in at GRT Nature Trails at 11.15AM
Stay: GRT Nature Trails is a luxury hotel in Yercaud. The only other one that is more expensive than this is Mahindra Stay. But yes, this would work out for my budget!! It was a hassle free booking. I booked a night stay from their website. This way, the stay was prepaid and i did not even have to call them or follow up with them. Including the tax, It costed me Rs.3375 with complimentary breakfast for a couple. Location is just too good and on the edge of the valley. Room had a private balcony and that gave a beautiful valley view and in the night, a panaromic view of the lit up Salem city.
And sooner than expected, Wife's verdict was out. It was a good surprise. She loved the stay and view from the balcony. We headed to the Buffet lunch and surprisingly there was no one there at 1.00PM. Not sure if it was the price, but the food was very good. Mix of both south as well as north indian food, we liked the food. Buffet lunch was priced at Rs.350 and thats without tax. After lunch, we headed towards Lady's seat, Children's seat and Gentelmen's seat. All these three provide a good view of the valley and the sorrounding mountains. There are all within walking distance of one another. There was not much crowd and the weather was quite cold as well. I dont think Yercaud itself is a tourist destination for the number of places it has to offer. I guess its a good place where people can do things at their own place and relax complimented by good weather. On our way back, we paid visit to Ayurvedic shops and purchased few items. My colleague had specifically requested for these, i found them quite good too, so bought a few for myself too. You can find face gels, joint ache oils and even those that make your teeth shine bright!!!
We returned to hotel, rested for a while and after the evening Tea/Snacks, headed towards to the Yercaud Lake. Room service was good and fast. We paid Rs.70 for boating in the lake for 30 mins. Its a pleasant lake, something similar to Pookod lake in Wayanad. But this one was less crowded and with the sun going down and a pleasant breeze, boating was fun. Just opposite to the lake, there are 'Bhajji' stalls and going by what i had read about these from team-BHP, decided to give it a try. Yes, there are nice and on a rainy evening, thats the 'right junk' you should be eating!!! After scrolling around the lake for a while and few snap sessions, we decided to head to Pagoda Point. This one provided a good view and is a 20 min drive from the lake. Places in Yercaud are not far. They all lie in the radius of 10kms. But the roads are narrow and you just have to watch out for bigger vehicles in the opposite direction. Like other places, even Pagoda Point was not all that crowded. We stayed there for about 10 mins and decided to head back to hotel and relax. When came back, it was already dark and the view from the balcony of the Salem town was spectacular. You dont even have mobile signal there. So its total isolation and total peace with oneself!!
View of Salem city from hotel balcony
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Skywalk bridge with valley beneath your feet
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GRT Nature Trails as seen from Gentlemen's seat
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Ghats leading to Yercaud as seen from Gentlemen's seat
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View from Pagoda Point
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Yercaud Lake
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Next morning, i woke up early to see if i can catch some clouds just outside my room. But to our disappointment, there was no mist and clouds were teasing us from a distance. After our complimentary breakfast, we packed our bags and checked out of the hotel at 11.00AM. The last destination on the list was Shevarayan temple. You need to take a left after the circle, once you pass the lake, and from thereon keep on the same road. Good view again and there is even some amusement rides for the kids. Spent about 30 mins and then at 1.00 we started our journey back to Bangalore. Since this was the first time, i was travelling in this stretch, i knew there was A2B near Dharmapuri but had not spotted that one on my onward journey with due to respect to NH7 speeds!! We stopped at A2B in the nick of time, refuelled again here, petrol is slightly cheaper here and so its always good to tank up outside bangalore. This time the break was for about an hour considering the rush at A2B. From there on it was a fast drive all the way till Silk board. Finally fighting through weekend evening Bangalore traffic, made it home by 6.30.
Stats: Top Speed: 140-KMPH, Mileage: 15KMPL, Total distance travelled: 500Kms over weekend, No of Toll: 5 each side, Happy individuals : 2!!
Overall Verdict: Visit Yercaud for a relaxed laid back weekend, dont expect too many places to visit, great drive all the way, choose a nice place to stay and soak in as much as the place to offer you.

StarVegabond 10th July 2010 20:32

Hi Good snaps there, I am yet to visit Yercaud, there has been couple of travelogues before as well from Laluks, etc. i think i should plan a visit soon.

thanks for sharing the details.

sree70 10th July 2010 20:59

Hi, Lightening-fast
Freind i was in GRT Nature Trails Yercuad on July 1st. I also enjoyed the stay over there.
If you have completed ur Travelouge & loading photos, can i post few photos taken by me in yercuad in this thread.

Lightening-Fast 10th July 2010 21:12

@StarVegabod: Thanks for the comments. Hope this travelogue comes in handy when you plan your trip. Wishing you good times ahead!!

@sree70: Yes, i have concluded my travelogue and pics as well. Please feel free to use this thread for adding any further information or pics. Cheers!!

Lightening-Fast 10th July 2010 21:16

@StarVegabond: Thanks for the comments. I hope my travelogue comes in handy when you plan your trip to Yercaud. Wishing you good times ahead.

@sree70: Yes, i have completed my travelogue and loading pics. Please feel free to use this thread to add any further information or pics. Cheers!!

ampere 10th July 2010 21:38

@Star, thats a surprise! You yet to visit Yercaud? Take out the city and dash it on.
My 2009 started at Yercaud.

nandans2005 10th July 2010 21:44

i have been to yercaud couple of time by force(2nd time). Its a kind of ok place. Nothing much to do though.i had stayed in Grand Palace up the hill.

Frankly, i may sound rude, but truthfully & Personally for me, i found visiting, staying at this place is utter waste of time, money and energy.

i would prefer Ooty for a short getaway though, since the weather is also nothing great to talk about compared to ooty.

Lightening-Fast 10th July 2010 21:52

Hey Nandan, many people who have visited both Yercaud and Ooty seem to echo your sentiments. For me personally, this was first of the 4 hills stations in TN that i want to drive to. I may agree with you too once i visit Ooty and thats not far away!!

On a personal note,this travelogue of mine has seen me graduate from a 'Newbie' to a 'BHPian'. Way too glad considering the graduation took less than a month!! This post of mine would appear faster than my previous one as it is under approval!!

raghu230506 10th July 2010 22:19

yeh LH,

Yercaud is a nice place for a weekend visit, I was in Yercaud too (2nd till 4th July).

Nice writeup and snaps. Keep rolling.


Lightening-Fast 10th July 2010 23:57

Hey thanks Raghu for the comment. Really appreciate it.

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