Natives of Yercaud are predominantly tribal who are known by the title of Malayalis or Vellalas. The word Malayali has no connection with the people from Kerala. But actually the word Malayali here means ‘Hill Men’, the people who reside in the hills.
The family tree of these hill men extends back to the Tamil refuges of Kanchipuram who had escaped from the prisons of Telugu King and advanced to the hills of Eastern Ghats. These tribes have been occupying this region for past 500 years.
Agriculture and tourism are the two major sources of money that support the economy of the residents of Yercaud. Coffee being the chief crop, they also cultivate a large amount of spices and fruits. Diwali and Pongal are the two major festivals. Diwali is celebrated in the month of October or November and Pongal is celebrated in the month of January.
Lord Servaroyan, who is seated atop the Shevaroys Hills in the Servaroyan Temple, is the patron deity of the natives of Yercaud. The annual festival of Lord Servaroyan is the most important event here. This festival continues for 7 days and tribal people from all the corners of Eastern Ghats arrive here to participate in the celebration very enthusiastically. During these 7 days various exhibitions, boating races and shows are organized and the village fair held around the Yercaud Lake turns out to be the main attraction of this festival.