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Things To Do In Yercaud
Yercaud is all about misty hill peaks, valleys, scented gardens and plantations. Manmade sightseeing places are few and far between and when you have visited them all, throw yourself into the simple charms of nature that are so distinctive of hill stations. Visit the coffee plantations, shop for souvenirs and spices and relish the local cuisine of Yercaud. Here’s a list of things you can do in the serene hill station before driving down into the hectic city life.
Go for a drive
Just go on a relaxed drive along the hill. It’s breezy, no matter what the season is and luxuriantly green on either side. All roads you take might lead to a sightseeing spot, be it a temple, a coffee estate or a viewpoint overlooking the rolling hills. Yercaud is a small place and you could easily get around to all the places you had wanted to see, just on a drive.
There are several suitably placed locales that open up vistas of nature right in front of your eyes. Once the mist has lifted and the skies clear up, the viewpoints reveal the emerald green draped hill ranges all around, with clumps of little houses in the plains that are bound to bring out the best of the photographer in you. There is the Ladies’ Seat, Gents’ Seat and the Children’s Seat viewpoints that are about 5 km from the township.
Travel a little further and you get to more places like the Tipperary viewpoint that is the southernmost tip of Yercaud and offers a great view of Salem far down below.
Walk down the Rose Garden
A stroll in the Rose Garden, which is quite close to the Children’s Seat viewpoint, is sure tempting when it is a warm summer evening. There are pathways along the rose beds, coupled with a well manicured garden and tall trees. It makes a good refreshing walk in the midst of nature. Usually a quiet place, the Rose Garden revs up into a flurry of activity with the Annual Flower Show in May.
Boating on the Emerald Lake
Yercaud Lake aka Emerald Lake is one of the most spectacular scenic spots of Yercaud. No trip to Yercaud seems complete without a sail across the waters on a boat. The stillness of the crystal clear waters set out gracefully from the greenery and the busy township provides the backdrop to the Lake. You can sail on the Lake for a fee and have the options of a motor boat, pedal or row boat to pick from.
There are several trekking routes in Yercaud and it is lovely walking through the quiet lonely paths fringed by a multitude of plant life. Some of the best trekking routes are the Kiliyur Falls Trek and the Karadiyur viewpoint Trek. The place had once probably abounded with Karadi (bears) and though you don’t find any bears here anymore, the name’s stuck. Keep your binoculars and camera handy, for the Karadiyur viewpoint is one of Yercaud’s nature trails at its best!
Enjoy the Local Cuisine
There is the traditional South Indian Saapadu or thali meals with sambar, rasam (lentil soup), curry (vegetables) and curd and of course crispy dosas, idlis and medhu vada for breakfast. On the non veggie side, try spicy hot kola urundai with rice or parotta. You could also get to eat North Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisine. If you are travelling to Yercaud in summer, check out the pots of kambankoozh at the street side stalls in Salem. This is a thick millet porridge that helps to beat the heat of summer!
Get to the Main Bazaar for all local produce and for cutlery, grocery and painting and art work. You could get spices in the Main Bazaar as well as in the small outlets by the wayside that gets the produce directly from the plantations. You can spot shops selling perfumes and essential oils as you drive towards Pagoda Point or near the Rajarajeshwari Temple. Enroute to Lady’s Seat there are shops that sell coffee powder, homemade chocolates and more spices. Take back memories of Yercaud with potted plants from the Horticultural Society.
Eat at Restaurants
As you drive up the hill to Yercaud, you might spot a few restaurants at the curves, like the Great Trails Yercaud near the 20th hairpin bend. There are more restaurants as you drive uphill and the majority of them are near the Yercaud Lake, and you can get to eat vegetarian and non vegetarian Asian, Indian and Continental cuisine. Places like the Cake Central serve pizzas and cakes as well. You would find more restaurants on the Salem-Yercaud Main Road, on the way to Kiliyur Falls or the Pagoda Point where you have restaurants like Brook’s Bistro serving the tribal delicacies of Yercaud.