If you need a break from deadlines and constantly ringing cell phones then a weekend getaway to Yelagiri will help you de-stress. Silence and peace are the two most important things you will find at Yelagiri. As one of the least polluted vacation destinations, Yelagiri offers breathtaking sceneries and rustic villages that still retain their original charm.
Yelagiri can be accessed from either Bangalore or Chennai. If you decide to drive to Yelagiri, then enjoy the unique hair pin bends that wind through the hills in addition to the breathtaking scenery all around.
Attractions in Yelagiri
- The Punganoor Lake is the main attraction in Yelagiri. Though it is an artificial lake, tourists can enjoy boating either in a rowboat or a pedal boat. Apart from the scenic surroundings, there is a Mughal Garden around the lake with interesting play equipment for kids too.
- The Velvan Temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan and is situated on the top of a hillock. The temple has a giant statue of Gadothgajan in the front. Local festivals are celebrated with pomp and gaiety here in the months of July and August. The entire region comes to life with a beautiful blend of colors and culture.
- Another popular sightseeing destination in Yelagiri is the Swamimalai Hill. This is a great spot for trekking and picnics and trekkers have to traverse through dense forests to arrive at the top of the hill. If traveling by road, tourists have to drive through the peaceful and serene Mangalam village that also has a lotus pond.
- Situated 5 kilometers from Yelagiri, the Jalagamparai Waterfalls is created by the Attaru River that flows through the Yelagiri Hills. The government silk farm situated here is famous for its mulberry plantations. Tourists can take a sericulture tour and they will get to see the silk farm from close quarters. There is a lot of greenery at Jalagamparai and this place also doubles up as a picnic spot.
Swamimalai is an ideal place to trek because of its height (approximately 4,338 feet). Trekkers can reach the top of the hill in about an hour with infrequent breaks. Other smaller peaks like Javadi Hills and Palamathi Hills are also open for trekking.
How to get here
Yelagiri is accessible from both Chennai as well as Bangalore. If traveling by road it takes about 4 to 5 hours to reach Yelagiri and both Bangalore and Chennai are well connected by road. If you want to take a train, then you have to reach the Jolarpet Junction and hire a cab or take a bus to Yelagiri.
Where to stay
There are many hotels and guesthouses in Yelagiri. Hotels and resorts apart, the YMCA also offers dormitory accommodation in Yelagiri. If you look around you can also find a few home stays though these are unlikely to be listed online.
What to eat
Yelagiri has a number of eateries serving south Indian as well as north Indian food at reasonable rates. Jackfruit is a popular seasonal fruit available in the summer months. In case you decide to trek, stock up on food and water as you will not find it along the way.
Yelagiri is a predominantly rural area and agriculture in the main occupation for people living here. As such, there are not many things available from a shoppers' perspective. Of course, tourists can buy the local honey and jackfruit.
Info for you
- Cell phone services are not available on the hill. That's precisely why you can have a relaxed holiday at Yelagiri. STD/Local/ISD calls can be made from land lines.
- Yelagiri does not have petrol pumps. Be sure to fill your tank before proceeding up the hill.
- There are no liquor shops here so carry your own alcohol.
- The best season to visit is from November to February.
- Keep a first-aid kit handy with all the essential medicines and remedies. There are no medical stores or doctors in Yelagiri except a government primary health centre.
- There is no public transport available here, except for a few auto-rickshaws. So, you have to arrange for your commuting if you want to get around the place.