Yercaud – Hogenakkal
Yercaud is located on the Shevaroy hills of the Eastern Ghats. Yercaud abounds in extraordinary scenic beauty and a salubrious climate. As you drive across the hills, you come across the coffee plantations and orange groves, which make the environment more fragrant.
If you want to spend your vacations in a peaceful and serene environment, away from the bustling crowds of much popular hill stations, then Yercaud is surely the place for you.
It is interesting to note that Yercaud got its name from the Yeri and Kaadu (Tamil words) meaning lake and forest respectively. Like many other hill stations in India, the British discovered Yercaud in the early 19th century. The British officers also introduced the coffee plantations here in Yercaud.
Hogenakkal is one of the wonderful waterfalls in Tamil Nadu. It is located at a distance of 114-km from Salem and 133-km from Bangalore. It is a part of the river Cauvery and is about 250 metres above sea level. The main attraction of the falls is its vertical drop from a height of 20 metres with a thundering sound. Surrounded by mountains, Hogenakkal offers a quite holiday in comfort.
Since the waters of the Cauvery flow through a forest of herbs on their journey to Hogenakkal, bathing in these falls is considered to be good for health. The magnificent rugged mountain scenery around the falls can be better enjoyed by long walks and treks. And, as an added bonus, one can visit the giant terra-cotta village guardians, the Aiyanars, on the way to Hogenakkal.
Tourist Attractions in Yercaud:
The Yercaud Lake, a picturesque pool surrounded by gardens and trees, is one of the main attractions of Yercaud. You can enjoy boating at the Yercaud Lake. If you like to paddle the boat yourself then the paddling boats are a good option otherwise you also have the option of the boatman rowing it for you as you relax in the calm waters of the Lake.
Lady’s seat is name given to a cluster of rocks on the south west side of Yercaud. There is a steep drop of about 200 feet below from this point. One gets a panoramic view of distant Salem and the winding road up.
The Killiyur waterfall is located at a distance of about 3 km from the Yercaud Lake. The ideal time to visit the waterfall is immediately after the monsoons. You can see the surplus water from the Yercaud Lake and other points of the Shevaroy Hills fall deep into the Killiyur Valley below, making a 300 feet waterfall.
The Grange is one of the oldest buildings in Yercaud, built in 1820’s by the then District Collector of Salem, M D Cockburn.
The Bear’s cave is situated near the Norton Bungalow on the way to Servarayan temple. It is an important tourist spot as it is considered one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya.
The Servarayan Temple:
The Servarayan temple is situated atop the Servarayan hill. The temple is a narrow and dark cave having the God Servarayan and the Goddess Kaveri inside, which the Shevaroy Hills and the Cauvery River. The local tribes celebrate their annual festival in the Servarayan temple during the month of May.
Climate of Yercaud:
Yercaud has a moderate climate. Winters in Yercaud are fairly mild, which start in the month of September and ends in December. During winter, the nearby hills are covered by mist and look so beautiful. At Yercaud, the coffee bushes blossom in April and present a spectacular view to the visitors.
Tourist Attractions in Hogenakkal:
The Smoking Rock:
The broad stream of the River Cauvery gets forked at this point; forming an island from where one stream continues on while it plunges into a deep chasm to create one of the loveliest waterfalls, gives these rocks the name Hogenakkal which means “Smoking Rock” in Kannada.
The roaring waters of the river Cauvery plunge down from the plateau edge (250m) to the plains. Flowing through a wooded valley, splitting and merging and splitting again these impressive waterfalls are popular amongst travelers finding a respite after temple hopping through Tamil Nadu.
A Ride In The Coracles At Hogenakkal:
Often referred to as basket-boats, the circular vessels called Coracles have bamboo frames covered in either black plastic or buffalo hide. They wait like black mushrooms, propped against trees or upturned on the banks of the river.
When the river is in spate, all the dark rocks are submerged, but if one goes there in February, which is among the most favored months to visit this riverine spa, there should not be any problem. Coracles are among the most successful and oldest types of watercraft in the world – a reassuring thought when one is floating in these saucer-like devices.
An oil massage is another of Hogenakkal’s treats. The Malishkarans, or the masseurs, are professionals armed with oils; powder and the right knowledge of the 14 massage points in the human body. You will feel rejuvenated after a thorough massage sitting on slabs of rocks followed by a bath under cascades of flowing Cauvery water.