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Things To Do In Yelagiri
Yelagiri is a lesser known destination, but makes a great place for a weekend holiday getaway with exciting things to do. Typical of a lush touristy setting of a town on a hill, albeit a smaller one, Yelagiri has a good scope for adventure and water sports, trekking or even a tranquil walk in the parks and fruit orchards.
We will tell you of the things that you can do in Yelagiri, its festivals, the stuff you can shop for and the best cuisine of the hilly settlement.
Treks and Camps
Yelagiri has some great trekking trails and the best among them is the trek to Swamimalai (that’s different from the Swamimalai in Kumbakonam) at an altitude of 4,338 ft. The Swamimalai trek starts from the hamlet of Mangalam and is a steep 3 km climb uphill. If you do tread quietly you can hear the songbirds over the stillness of the day. You can also trek along Palamathi and Javadi Hills and to the Jalagamparai Waterfalls and some treks offer camping sites as well.
If you would like to go paragliding in Yelagiri there are ample opportunities to go sailing along with the wind over the hills. Beginners could get the guidance of the Yelagiri Adventure Sports Association and probably go in tandem with the instructors. Yelagiri is fast becoming one of the most ideal paragliding venues of India. Wedged between four mountains, Yelagiri provides a beautiful locale for some of the best adventures on air that you could have.
There are several adventure camps in Yelagiri that offer a plethora of adrenaline-pumping activities like Rock climbing, Zorbing and Zip Lining, Tree surfing, Experiential Rope Course, Human gyro, Target Shooting, archery and dirt karting rides over bumpy hill roads on ATVs. On off season days try your hand at indoor games like table tennis and caroms. There are special activities for kids, too so it’s going to be a fun filled family trip at Yelagiri.
The huge manmade Punganoor Lake, about 7 km from the heart of the town is most ideal for a boat ride. The lake is charming and is fringed by resorts and tall trees and a garden with a pathway along which you can stroll and a viewpoint from a nearby tree that gives you an aerial view of the region. There’s a 15ft high musical fountain right in the middle of the lake and row boats and pedal boats are available for a joyride across the waters.
Yelagiri has farms that showcase what goes into making Yelagiri the hill town that it is, with fruits, spices, flowers and agricultural produce from the fields. You might visit the Silk Farm and take a sericulture study tour across the mulberry plantations and learn about silkworms and cocoons and how silk is processed. The Government Silk Farm is about 3 km from Punganoor Lake.
You can buy honey at YMCA, agricultural produce at the weekly Friday shandy at Athanavoor, including some more honey, jams and spices and plastic ware. There are fruit stalls on way to Punganoor Lake where you can buy gooseberries, custard apples, star fruits and bell fruits, with plums grown fresh on the slopes.
Most of Yelagiri’s fine restaurants are located near the tourist places, so you’d have easy access to a diner after a sightseeing tour. The mainstream restaurants offer South Indian and North Indian thali meals, traditional South Indian breakfast items like idli, vada and dosa as well as Chinese and Continental cuisine. As Yelagiri is a small hill range, with a moderate crowd, you would not find grand restaurants but decent ones that could fill your tummy!
Yelagiri Summer Festival in May is a carnival that locals and tourists look forward to. The 2 day affair has cultural programmes, flower and dog shows, boat races and adventure shows that enhance tourism, as well as exhibitions and sales of products made by the local self-help groups. So you could do some more shopping during the Yelagiri Kodai Vizha (Summer Festival), too. Apart from this gala, the people of Yelagiri’s tribal hamlets celebrate temple festivals along with the regular traditional festivals of Tamil Nadu.