Jewel of the South
|State||: Tamil Nadu|
|Type of Tourism||: Hill Station|
|Area||: 383 sq Km|
|Population||: 36,863 (As per Indian census- 2001)|
|Altitude||: : 4,970 ft (1,515 meters)|
|Telephone Code||: India (04281), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 636601|
|Best Tourist Season||: September to November and February to June|
|Clothing recommended||: Warm Clothes and Raincoats|
|Languages spoken||: Tamil, English, Hindi|
|Food Specialties||: South Indian Food, Egg Bonda, Mirchi Bhaji (Fried Green Chilies)|
|What to buy||: Coffee, Spices, perfumes, Natural Oils, incense sticks, Skin Care Products, Plants, Jack Fruits, Oranges, Mangos.|
|Local transportation||:Auto Rickshaws, Cabs|
Yercaud, a sumptuous and beauteous hill station placed amid the ostentatious Shevaroys Hills of the Eastern Ghats is an extremely amicable and pacifistic destination of Tamil Nadu. The word ‘Yercaud’ has a Tamil origin which means ‘beautiful forest’ or ‘lake forest’. Yercaud, endowed with the profound natural elegance is rightly recognized as the ‘Jewel of the South’. Perched at the altitude of 4970 ft, this renowned hill station is also esteemed as ‘Poor Man’s Ooty’.
Servaroyan temple, situated at the altitude of 5326 feet is the highest point of Yercaud region. The Shevaroys range gets its name from the auspicious Servaroyan temple of Yercaud. Ascending the Shevaroys Hills at Salem and then cruising through the fabulous coffee estates, aromatic spices plantations and exotic orange groves for some 30 km via a spectacular rambling road will lead you to the Arcadia on this planet: Yercaud.
As a kid you must have wished to pay a visit to a fairy land where you can touch a cloud. Yercaud will make all those fancies come true. Be it 3 in the morning or 2 in the afternoon, you will constantly experience clouds passing by you. If you open your window early in the morning, it will be foggy everywhere and you will feel that the clouds are peeping into your room. The vista from the plateau near Servaroyan Temple is so bewitching that you witness clouds passing below you.
If you want to describe Yercaud at its best, you can actually use the phrase ‘being in cloud nine’ in its literal sense. Sipping Yercaud coffee while enjoying the pleasant breeze sitting on the edge of Yercaud Lake truly supplants a divine experience.
History Of Yercaud
Remnants and vestiges of the stone man found near the ancient Servaroyan temple serve as the testimony of human existence. The history of inhabitation at Yercaud leads us back to the stone ages. However, we don’t have any authentic records supporting those judgments. So the pre – historic Yercaud remains unraveled.
Based on the available credible athenaeums, verdicts are made that the first human inhabitation at Yercaud had arrived from Kanchi or Kanchipuram. The Tamil fugitives escaped from the prisons of the Telugu Kings found refuge in the hills of Eastern Ghats and settled there. This place later developed as Yercaud.
Quite recently in 19th century, in the year 1840, the first European Settlement was established at Yercaud. Two years later in 1842, the potential of this hill top was spotted by Sir Thomas Muroe, the then Governor of Madras. Nevertheless, the credit of the development of Yercaud thoroughly goes to David CockBurn, the then collector of Salem district.
David CockBurn, befittingly reckoned as the ‘Father of Yercaud’ introduced the cultivation of coffee, apple and pear at this place. Tea plantation was pioneered by Dr.Wallich and cinnamon, by Mr. Richardson. Subsequently schools and churches were established at Yercaud by Christian Missionaries. Yercaud was raised to the status of full fledged Taluk place of Salem district from October 15th, 1997.