Southern retreat


If you are looking for a holiday in the hills that is not very far from Bangalore and offers a getaway from urban life, head to Yelagiri. Located about 3,500 feet above sea level, Yelagiri Hills is one of the lesser-known hill stations of Tamil Nadu.

Quiet holiday: Boating at Punganoor Lake. photo by author

Situated amidst four mountains, Yelagiri is well known for its wholesome climate. A majority of tribals reside here.

The 14 hairpin bends offer panoramic and breath taking views of the hills and their surroundings.

The seventh bend has a great view of the slopes of the mountain and the green forests that carpet the hill. Yelagiri comprises 14 small villages.

The biggest attraction is the Punganoor Lake. It is an artificial lake situated in the centre of the place. The Yelagiri Hills Development and Tourism Promotion Society maintains the park and the boating facility in this lake. A children’s play area is part of the lush green surroundings. Near this lake, there is a herbal farm maintained by the forest department.

Another attraction is the Velavan Temple, dedicated to Lord Murugan. Atop one of the highest peaks of the Yelagiri Hills, one can have a panoramic view of the entire hill area. Kadothkajan, who can be seen standing in front of this temple, is a popular tourist attraction.

The Jalagamparai Waterfalls is a result of the River Attaru in the Yelagiri Hills, as it flows down at Jadayanur from a height of 30 m. A temple in the shape of a shivalinga, with the deity of Lord Muruga, is situated near the waterfalls. This place is famous for trekking.

On the way to the waterfalls, one can see a couple of small shacks processing sugarcane. This is a must-stop in order to see the fantastic process of how sugarcane is made into jaggery. This is especially true for city-breds, who rarely get to see something like this.

You can request for some fresh sugarcane juice and also buy fresh jaggery from this place. Being a quiet place, there is little to see here, and the hill station is still non-commercialised. There are several hotels on the hills, so much so that one can only see hotels all over.

In terms of wanting to take something back, there is nothing much except for some local honey and fruit like jackfruits and bananas. You can also visit any of the nurseries there and bring a plant back home.

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