YERCAUD -- Ooty of the Poor...!!

Hello friends,

   This page is not about the Geographical and other details about Yercaud, this is about our trip to this lovely hill station of Tamil Nadu.
FYI: While planning for the tour, I found the wiki-tarvel page and the official web-page of Yercaud pretty handy to decide about the routes and  other details.

   So, now lets begin our journey. On a Wednesday (3rd Aug, 2011), five friends (including me), pissed off with their suffocating load of their PG course at IITM, decided to visit a hill-station during the coming weekend...!! The first thought that came to our mind was Ooty and Kodaikanal. But after goin thru their respective web pages, we concluded that it would be a pretty long and expensive trip. And, time is a luxury that we cant afford..! Hence, one of us, Tej, came up with Yercaud. :-)
   After goin thru the above mentioned web-pages, we found out that dis place is not very far (from Chennai) and thus we can actually try something that all of us wanted to do from a long time -- hiring a car without a driver and driving on our own...!!! :-)
   The next two days were spent making the necessary arrangements, including hiring an Indica V2 from Smile Cars. At this time, I would like to introduce all of us -- Tej (our expert driver), TinTin (our navigator wid a new Nokia C7), Sachin (most enthusiastic abt any tour, but slept the entire journey), Gunju (our reserve navigator, coz we were sure dat our primary navigator wud fail ;-)) and me (reserve driver and main photographer).
   We started our journey on 6th Aug at 4am! Yes, at 4am!! Its was going to be a perfect road-trip as none of us had any idea abt the road and the highways, and hence we were completely relying on GPS.
The journey started beautifully wid TinTin's GPS navigating our way. But suddenly, near a place called Chengalpettu, the NokiaC7 started betraying us...where-ever we headed, the voice from the GPS (a lady wid a sexy voice) said "turn left in 300m" or "follow the course of the road!!" Dis is wen our reserve navigator came of use and after that its was Google-Maps all the way! 

Lost...!! {somewhere near Chengalpettu @ 4:45am!!}

During the course of our journey, we stopped a couple of times, once for capturing the break of dawn and the next time for peth-pooja. When we had completed nearly three quarters of our journey, Tej decided to take some rest and I took over on the driver's seat; only till we reached the foot-hills, after which Tej again took over.

Good Morning!

DayBerak @ NH-45

NH-45 !!
the view was 1000 times more spectacular at nite...

Snacking Time

Hair-Pin bend

does dis one need any caption??  ;-)

   Although I haven't been to either Ooty or Kodaikanal but, from what I have heard, this place is of no less in beauty and was then that I realized why its called Ooty of the poor..!
Its a very small hill station but has a plethora of Resorts, Hotels and Lodges, which hints to the fact that tourism of this small hill station is not small anymore! The Yercaud Lake has acted as a center to this growing tourism, helping the township to thrive and prosper.
   We had earlier thought of putting up at the TN Government Resort, but upon reaching there we found it was already full. Thanks to the overwhelming number of Hotels, we found a neat and clean place which offered us a four-bed room + an additional cot at Rs.2300 per day. We found it pretty reasonable, and thus threw ourselves on the bed..!! [FYI -- Don't get upset if you too face the same problem, just 5mins from the TN Government Resort there is a cluster of hotels and resorts of a varying tariff range. :-)]

The Hotel where we had put up
   We finished our lunch and took rest for a couple of hours. Our plan was to visit Sri Raja Rajeswari Temple and Servarayan temple that evening itself. We didn't put many places on our itinenary for that evening because the Servarayan temple is the highest point of Yercaud and the roads joining the city and the temple didnt have street lights. So we had to come back early. While driving up from the Raja Rajeswari Temple to the Servarayan temple, we found that we were being enveloped by a thick cover of cloud. The air was getting colder and we could feel the chill in our nostrils. Although it was not a very good sign coz it would be very difficult to come down the hills on a wet road, all five of us were enjoying the gift that nature bestowed upon us. Scenically, it was picturesque!

The fog was slowly hugging the road. {View from the Raja Rajeswari Temple}

Completely Enveloped
   We faced a shower of rain once we reached the topmost point. The timely rain made it even more enchanting. Trust me, the view, the chill, the weather and everything around was mesmerizing!!! Since it was inexplicable, I thought of capturing as much as i can through my lenses. :-)

Fresh droplets on the windscreen

The fog drifting away after the shower a trance...

the view point @ Servarayan temple

Alone but strong!

Good Evening...

After coming down, we roamed the city for some time, trying to get a flavor of the culture. Although the weather in the city was not as cool, but we cud still feel the chill in the air. Garma-garam chilli pakoda and tea was all that we needed and a small road-side dhaba is a best place fot it..!! We enjoyed every bit of it, which was evident from the fact that we ordered 2-3 cups of tea each and 7-8 plates of pakoda in total...! ;-)
   That night we had a simple dinner and returned to our hotel for  a game of 29 (a cards game). Tej slept off early as he was pretty tired after all that driving and moreover we had plans of catching the sun-rise the next morning. Its quite obvious that we would miss the sun-rise as the game of 29 continued late, hence when we woke up it was already 8am! After a quick round of tea and some snacks, we left for the Killiyur Falls.

this clearly explains why we missed the sun-rise!!
   None of us had any clue what nature had in store for us. The path to the main portion of the Falls had concrete or metal stairs, but, for about 20meters or so, it was a muddy path. Roots of thick-trunk trees served as holding-rails. Although it was a bit risky and hence most families stopped at that point, but what's adventure without risk..!! :-)

Rockkingly Adventurous!

The Kiliyur Falls

howz that...??

   We then came back to our hotel, packed our luggage and checked-out from the hotel. The Yercaud Lake (aka Emerald Lake), Anna Park, Lady's Seat, Gent's Seat and Pagoda Point were next in our list. Dont get curious by those last three names, the Lady's Seat, Gent's Seat and Pagoda Point are the View-Points of this hill station. You will find a Telescope mounted at the Lady's seat for a panoramic view of the plains below.

Yercaud Lake

Love Birds @ Anna Park

Striking colors

View from the Pagoda Point

Lovely blue skyline from the Lady's seat
   In all, it was an amazing tour not only because of the place and its natural beauty, but mainly due to the Company!!

Dedicated to:
Tejaswi Abburi (Tej) for his ultimate driving skills,
Maharshi Maitra (TinTin) for timely jokes to maintain the livelihood (and his C7),
Gunjan Kapadia (Gunju) for guiding us correctly to the place,
Sachin Karmakar for sleeping most of the time and saving us from us Pathetically poor jokes!

with love, Pappa!


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