Travelogue #4 - Chennai to Yercaud

What do you usually do to beat the heat of summer? Chances are, like many others, you would head to one of the popular hill-stations nearby. For most people in Tamil Nadu, this choice inevitably narrows down to Ooty or Kodaikanal. But if you are looking for a calm and peaceful vacation over a weekend, take those two destinations off your list right away. Both of them have reached the peak of popularity and are bearing the brunt of excessive commercialism. If you are thinking what would be your next best bet, think no further. Yercaud, it is.

Yercaud has all that is there in Ooty and Kodaikanal, but in a smaller scale. At just around 1500 meters above sea level, it is not as taller and so much less cooler than the other two destinations. But, more importantly, it is also not as popular as the other two and hence is calmer, cleaner, less polluted and less congested. The terrific ghat roads with those 20 hairpin bends make sure that you cover the 35 odd km from Salem in no time. So, without waiting any further, pack your bags and head out to Yercaud for a short and refreshing break.

The entire town of Yercaud is so small that the best way to explore it is by foot. Taking prime place in the center is an artificial lake with boating facilities which is the major tourist attraction of the town. All the roads surrounding the lake are lined with shops and roadside stalls that are so typical of an hill-station. Grilled corn, homemade chocolates and an assortment of scented oils that are available in plenty provide the local flavor to the visitors that is not to be missed.

There are a couple of temples and quite a few view-points with peculiar names like Pagoda Point, Gents Seat and Ladies Seat that are worth paying a visit for the splendid views that they offer. The roads diverging from the lake will take you to one or the other spots mentioned above. Follow the sign-boards and you will not go wrong. The roads leading to and from and in and around Yercaud are comparatively narrow but are superbly surfaced, making them a driver’s delight. They can be tempting at times, so exercise caution.



* Total No of Days: 2 (28.05.2011 - 29.05.2011)
* Vehicle Make & Model: Tata Safari
* Odometer Start Reading: 146140 km
* Odometer End Reading: 146987 km
* Total Distance traveled: 847 km
* Total Quantity of Fuel filled: 83.45 l
* Average Fuel Consumption: 10.15 km/l
* Net Worth of Fuel filled: Rs 3550
* Destinations Covered: Yercaud
* Route Followed: Chennai-Villupuram-Salem-Yercaud
* Best Stretch of Road in Plains: Chennai-Villupuram
* Worst Stretch of Road in Plains: Kallakurichi-Salem
* Best Stretch of Road in Ghats: Salem-Yercaud
* Worst Stretch of Road in Ghats: None



For obvious reasons, Yercaud has started gaining popularity and in a few years down the line, would probably not remain as much beautiful or peaceful as it is right now. Enjoy the virgin beauty of this place before it goes the Ooty and Kodaikanal way. And, as in any hill-station, please do not litter and strictly avoid using plastic bags. I did and I am urging you to do the same. Happy motoring!

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