Yercaud is a hill station 32km from Salem, Tamil Nadu, and India in the Servarayan range of hills (anglicized as Shevaroys) in the Eastern Ghats. This charming hill station is about 8 km from salem at an altitude of 5000 ft. The highest point in Yercaud is the Servarayan temple. Hence the Yercaud hill area is called Shevaroy Hills. The total extent of Yercaud Taluk is 382.67 sq.km including Reserve Forest. The entire Taluk is a Township. Yercaud has also a Panchayat Union with its Head Quarters at Yercaud. There is neither a biting winter nor a scorching summer.
Yercaud Tour Information
An ideal place to visit throughout the year. A fine motor able ghat road with several hair-pin bends links the top after a 23 km ride through coffee plantations. Fruit plantations like apple, cherry, orange also abound. ‘Yer’ means beauty in Tamil, ‘Kadu’ means forest. Hence, Yercaud in Tamil means ‘beautiful forest’. Some say that the word was a corruption for Erikadu which means forest full of lakes and true to its there are a number of lakes big and small and waterfalls on this hill. A beautiful lake with boating facilities adorns the centre.
The stone-age implements were found from the ancient shrine located near the Pagoda Point, which is about 5 km from the Yercaud lake. The British discovered it in the early 19th century. There are accounts of coffee plantations being introduced by a British officer in the area in the second decade of the 19th century. Though the first house was built in 1840, the first metalled roads were laid only in the early 20th century.
Yercaud owes its origin as a hill station to Scottish planter M.D. Cockburn, the District Collector of Salem who introduced coffee here in 1820. It was at the Grange Estate that the first Arabic coffee plantations and fruit orchards took root. Cockburn built a small bungalow called The Grange and undertook the first survey of the Shevaroy Hills in 1827. By 1836, a German planter, G.F. Fisher, purchased the Salem Zamindari to become the first and only European Zamindar in the Presidency. The British took complete control of the Shevaroy Hills in 1842 and a year later Cockburn planted the first coffee estate in the Nilgiris at Kotagiri. During the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny, The Grange was fortified and ramparts built for cannons and an underground cellar was added to store food to last a 6-month siege. The castle-like structure is now part of the private property of Grange Resorts. In 1866 David Arbuthnot, Collector of Salem, granted land for coffee cultivation to English planters. One of the first to settle here was Ms. Henrietta Charlotte Rosario, who invested a fortune from her coffee nurseries in Brazil.
Yercaud General Information
The cool climate attracted Christian missionaries and they established the Sacred Heart Convent for girls, Nazareth Girls' Hr. Sec. School for Girls and Montfort School for boys. Schools like the Holy Cross Novitiate House, started by the Brothers of Don Bosco, followed these. Yercaud was a Sun Taluk up to 14 October 1997. It became a fully fledged Taluk with effect from 15 October 1997. There are 67 Revenue villages which have been grouped into nine Tariffs for the sake of administration and each Tariffs has one Village Administrative officer. Yercaud Taluk is divided into three Firkas viz., Yercaud, Vellakkadai and Puthur.
The Yercaud climate is a moderate one. The winter’s seasons are fairly mild, its starts in the month of September to December. During these months the hills are covered with mist. In winter is 25°C to 12°C. In summer 30° C to 16°C. Minimum rainfall is 1500 mm and maximum 2000 mm.
Yercaud Tourism Information
Yercayd is ironic, as the first plantations were introduced here in the 1820s, before they spread to the Nilgiris in 1843. Its invigorating climate a welcome break from the hot plains of Salem, soon attracted missionaries and educationists as it developed into a European sanatorium where Afghan princes and weary British troops revived their spirits and French missions and Danish chapels co-existed alongside German run estates. Boating, countryside hikes, a clutch of viewpoints and an unhurried peace not seen in most hill stations makes Yercaud a charming gateway.
Exploring the Area perched at 1,372m/4500ft in the Shevaroy Hill range of the Eastern Ghats, Yercaud is named after the yeri(lake) amidst a kaad (forest) that lies in the heart of town. About 32km north of Salem, the nearest town, the hill retreat is reachable by 20 winding hairpin bends. Once the ascent is complete, visitors can lose themselves in the swathes of coffee, pepper and orange plantations.
Most sights are scattered around the lake -Pagoda Point is to the east and Lady's Seat to the south, and Killiyur waterfalls, Botanical Garden and Shevaroyan temple to the north. Public transport is limited, so it is best to drive or hire a car to explore the sights.
Anna Park is a beautiful, well laid-out garden near the lake and a dream land of fragrance and color with buzzing bees busily seeking honey in the followers. It is typical park used to host the “Flower Show” in the month of May. The “Japanese Park” inside Anna Park is a must see. Children can play around and elders can take rest. The entrance ticket will be Rs. 2/- for adult and Rs. 10/- for Camera.
Botanical Survey of India Yercaud
Well maintained Botanical Garden by the BSI contains a rich collection of plants. It is a treat for “Botany” Students. A “Bell Rock” in the BSI Campus makes bell sound when you hit with stone. You have to climb to reach the rock. The entrance ticket will be Rs. 3/- for adult and Rs. 10/- for Camera. It remain closed on Sunday and National Holidays.
Horticulture Farm Yercaud
It has “Rose Garden” and “Children Seat”. The Rose Garden is filled with various varieties of Roses from Button Rose to Very Big Rose. A “Green Rose” plant is grown along with beautiful rose plants. Saplings of various plants are available at reasonable price.
The Kulliar Falls Yercaud
This 300 ft high waterfall among sylvan surroundings is a beautiful sight for spending hours together without boredom. This delightfully breathtaking waterfall is 3 km from the Yercaud Lake and should be visited after the South West or North East Monsoon. The views from the bottom and top of the falls are breathtaking. The view from the top of the falls into the Valley is heart stopping. The trek to the bottom of the falls is only for hardcore trekkers as it takes about one hour from the lake to reach the bottom of the falls which is heavily wooded, but a good 2 ½ hours to gets ones breathe and trek back again.
Montfort School Yercaud
It is a famous public school and the Sacred Heart Convent is another school imparting education to boys and girls respectively. Monfort School was established in 1917 in Yercaud by the untiring effort of Bro.Denis. The school was named after the founder of the Order of St.Gabriel. St. Louis Marie Grignoin de Monfort. Its vast campus with attractive buildings, spacious plays grounds, well planned and beautiful gardens, and a swimming pool which is the envy of all the schools in the South.
Yercaud Trip Information
The Pagoda Point Yercaud
Prospect Point and Arthur’s Seat are the other vantage us viewpoints to look and enjoy the magnificent thrilling sights. This lies on the Eastern side of the Yercaud hills and is also known as Pyramid Point. The name comes from the hill tribes having made four piles of random stones in a Pagoda or Pyramid formation reportedly to mark some event. Today there is a Rama Temple which lies between these Pagodas. One can get a grand view of Attur and Ayothiapattinam from this picnic spot. 5km from town.
Tipperary View point Yercaud
One can reach this southern most view point of Yercaud by taking the Tipperary Road. From there one can see the Elephant Tooth Rocks. Which are reportedly said to be the remanents of a meteorite which fell to earth. It is pure white rock compared to the Black Granite available on these hills. The Estate adjoining knows as Tipperary Estate was once a posh hotel catering to the elite of British India from 1930 to 1940. The night view from this spot-with the lights of Salem in the distance is mesmerizing. 2 km from town.
This castle like bungalow was built by M.D. Cockburn, the farmer British Collector of Salem. He also credited with introducing coffee to the region from Arabia and apples, pears and loquat from South Africa between 1820 and 1829. The building was also used as a summer retreat by Robert Clive, the commander of British armed forces in India.