Yercaud is a hill station in Salem District, in Tamil Nadu, India. It is located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats; the Yercaud hill area is called the Shevaroy Hills. It is situated at an altitude of 1515 metres (4970 ft) above sea level, and the highest point in Yercaud is the Servarayan temple, at 5,326 feet (1,623 m). It is so named owing to the abundance of trees categorised as a forest near the lake, the name signifying Lake Forest. As a popular tourist destination, Yercaud is also called as Jewel of the South. Yercaud is connected to the city of Salem, Tamil Nadu through a Highway of 28 km. The temperature never rises above 29 °C (84 °F) or goes below 13 °C (55 °F). Coffee and citrus fruits, most notably oranges, are grown in abundance, as well as bananas, pears and jackfruit. Scenically, Yercaud is as enchanting and picturesque as the hill stations on the eastern ghats and trekking here can be one of the most pleasurable experiences.
The total extent of Yercaud Taluk is 382.67 km2, including Reserve Forest. The entire County is administered as a Township. Yercaud also has a Village council.
The name of the town is derived from the Yercaud Lake located at its centre. In Tamil, Yeri means lake and Kaadu means forest. The entire county is administered as a township and has a village council.
The destination exhibits artefacts from the Stone Age that were found in the ancient shrine located near Pagoda Point. This point is around 5 km from the Yercaud Lake. The ancient history of the town is relatively unknown and has never been explored. However, the first human settlement in Yercaud is believed to have come from Kanchipuram. The settlement existed during the Telugu Kings, who captured the Tamil Thondai country.
Yercaud was discovered in the 19th century by the British and attracted many Christian missionaries. The city was discovered by the governor of the Madras Presidency, Sir Thomas Muroe in 1842 and David Cockburn, the Scottish collector of Salem District. Salem District was purchased by Mr. G.F. Fisher, the only European Zamindar, in 1836.
This city is popular for oranges and coffee plantations. Coffee was first cultivated on the Grange Estate in 1820, which was initially brought from Africa to Yercaud by Mr. M.D. Cockburn. Many other fruits and spices were cultivated on the coffee estate in Yercaud such as jackfruit, oranges and guava and black pepper and cardamom. Tourists can opt for popular Yercaud packages to explore the destination better.
Yercaud is not a shopaholic’s stop, but it has a few good products for the tourists. Some of the popular products include skin care products, natural oils, perfumes and coffee powder. Otherwise, Salem which is on the way to Yercaud has textiles and quite a good collection of bright handloom fabrics. Packets of freshly packed pepper and cloves from these stores are a popular produce of this hill town.
Teak, sandalwood and silver oaks are present in abundance in the forest areas of Yercaud. Besides, the place is also popular for its wildlife which comprises animals like bison, deer, fox, snakes and birds like bulbuls, kites and sparrows.
The temperature of Yercaud ranges from 15o Celsius to 30o Celsius throughout the year. Though it is a year round destination, the ideal time to visit Yercaud is from October to June.
Yercaud by air can be accessed through Trichy International Airport which is 163 km and the nearest airport. The other major airports nearby Yercaud are Coimbatore and Bangalore. These airports are well connected with the major cities of India. Taxis are also available and can cost around Rs. 3000 from Trichy railway station to Yercaud.
The nearest rail head to Yercaud is Salem Junction, which is 35 km away from Yercaud. All south bound trains that pass through Salem stop at Salem station. The railway station is well connected to Trivandrum, Cochin, Erode and Mangalore. Taxis are also available from Salem railway station to Yercaud
By road, Yercaud is connected to connect Yercaud with other major cities in the state through Tamil Nadu Road Transport Corporation buses. There are regular bus services that ply from Salem and reach Yercaud.