A popular trekking destination, the hill station of Yelagiri is also known (somewhat derogatorily) as Poor Man’s Ooty. At 4,626 ft, the hill station located in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu is surrounded by green valleys, orchards and rose gardens.
Yelagiri, also known as Elagiri, is spread across 30 sq km. It comprises 14 hamlets situated amidst four hills. The approach road to Yelagiri is another highlight of a trip to this hill station. The road has 14 hairpin bends which tests your driving skills and the bends offer panoramic, breathtaking views of the hills and its surroundings.
The seventh bend is significant, since it offers stunning views of the slopes of the mountain and the green forests that carpet the hill.
Yelagiri is not as developed as other popular hill stations in Tamil Nadu like Ooty or Kodaikanal but the state government has stepped up efforts and is promoting adventure activities and sports like trekking, rock climbing and paragliding to attract tourists. The hill station was once the property of the Yelagiri zamindars which was taken over by the government in the 1950s. The residence of the Yelagiri zamindars is located at Reddiyur.
Yelagiri was first inhabited about 400 years ago. It is believed soldiers from Tipu Sultan’s army settled in the region and became cultivators. The Swami Malai Hill is a popular attraction with tourists especially for the amazing views it offers. There are many trekking trails that lead to the top of the Swami Malai Hill through dense forests. Most treks start from Mangalam village located at the base of the hill. The hills of Javadi and Palamathi also provide many options for trekking.
The weather at Yelagiri is moderate throughout the year but the best time to visit here is from November to February.
Listing image: By mckaysavage/Wikimedia commons
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN YELAGIRI
There is a YMCA camp near the hill station that offers basic accommodation and also offers dormitories for tourists. There are few resorts and hotels within a two km radius of the Yelagiri Lake. The resorts have a lot of facilities like indoor games, swimming pool, gardens and make for a very pleasant stay.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN YELAGIRI
Yelagiri has only small eateries and restaurants. Most of them are located near Yelagiri Lake.
Photograph courtesy: Ranabir dasgupta/Creative Commons
BEST TIME TO VISIT YELAGIRI
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Yelagiri is as given below. The best time to visit Yelagiri is also specified.