Yelagiri Hills…!!!

Date : 25 Nov, 2017

Total Expenses : Rs. 6000 = Rs. 4000 Kumarraja Palace Resort Stay + Rs. 600 Fuel + Dinner And Other Expenses

Hotel/Resort : Kumarraja Palace Resort

Introduction : 

Yelagiri is one of the popular Hill Station situated at an altitude of 1410 meters in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. It is situated at a distance of 178 Km from Bangalore, 230 Kms from Chennai and 84 Kms from Vellore. It is located among four mountains and it is famously known for its pleasant climate which prevails all around the year. The best season to visit Yelagiri is from November to February. The ghat road to Yelagiri Hilltop has 14 hairpin bends. The hairpin bends have breathtaking views of the mountain. The highest point in Yelagiri is the Swamimalai Hill, standing at 4,338 ft. One of the attractions at Yelagiri was Paragliding but is no longer incorporated now. This place is an ideal place for weekend getaway. Even though there aren’t much of popular places to visit, there are still a few places that can engage yourself in this place.

Let me share my experience of Bike Ride to Yelagiri with My Wife.

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                                                          Route To Yelagiri From Bangalore ( 180 Kms )

Route : 

We started our trip to Yelagiri from Bangalore ( Babusapalya ) which is at a distance of 180 Kms at 7 AM and reached Silk Board at 8 AM. From SIlk Board we took the Hosur road towards Krishnagiri which is a 84 Km stretch with 3 lane road on one side. We took the Electronic City Flyover to skip the traffic. It has a toll of 30 Rs for a two-wheeler. The road to Krishnagiri is less tiresome as the highway is good with less traffic and can be covered in a single stop. After Hosur, at Shoolgiri, there is a Food Point which has got CCD’s, Mc Donald’s and other Restaurants for refreshment. We skipped it and few Kms later stopped at Sri Krishna Bhavan for refreshment at 10:30 AM.

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                                                          Refreshment Halts Before Krishnagiri

We left Sri Krishna Bhavan at 11:15 AM. At Krishnagiri, we took a left towards Chennai Highway and about 45 Kms took a right at Kethandapatti Road. After traveling for few Kms in Kethandapatti Road, on the right side you will find couple of  roads under the Railway Bridge which will take you to Yelagiri Road. Sometimes, underneath the Railway bridge you may see waterlogging. However, it can be crossed on the bike and we did the same. If you still want to avoid this, continue on the Kethandapatti road for another few Km and take a left towards Salem-Tirupattur-Vaniyambadi Road and then right towards Yelagiri road.

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                                                        Alternate Route Towards Yelagiri Road

The Yelagiri Road is yet another good road, with scenic beauty. It’s a 16 Km stretch with scenic beauty on both the sides of the road and has got 14 Hairpin bends. There are multiple spots in between the hairpin bends where we click some pics. It’s very peaceful and we hang around there for some time. Later we left and reached Hotel Kumarraja Palace at 1:30 PM.

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View From Hair Pin Bend

Kumararraja Palace is one of the Best hotels in Yelagiri. It has got a beautiful pool, garden areas, indoor activities and cool places to click photos. I booked it from Yatra for one night after comparing most of the hotel. The receptionist guy was a decent, courteous guy and he enlightened us on all the amenities of the hotel and also on the places to visit in Yelagiri like Swamimalai trek, Punganur Lake, Nature’s park, etc. He also made us aware of the tour packages to Swamimalai hill’s which was Ok to have. We skipped the package as we decided to explore the town on our own.

Places Visited : Swamimalai Trek, Yelagiri Lake, Nature’s Park, Light And Sound Show At Nature’s Park

Day 1 : Swamimalai Trek, Yelagiri Lake, Nature’s Park, Light And Sound Show At Nature’s Park

After check-in, we got a bit fresh and decided to explore the town right away. It was already 2 PM and going to Nature’s park and Punganur lake in the afternoon would have been a waste. We decided to Skip Velvan temple as Swamimalai trek was on the list and it would have taken time to cover both Swamimalai and Velvan temple. From the hotel, we left for Swamimali Hills which was at 4 Kms from our hotel.

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                                                            Parking At Mariammam Temple

Swamimalai trek starts from the Mariamman Temple to Swamimalai Temple which is a 4 km route covering farmlands, Stone Staircase, etc. It is situated in Mangalam village. The best time to start the Trek is early morning before sunrise. Since we started the trek at 2 PM there was hardly anyone we could see and the Sun was already blowing heat upon us. From Mariamman temple, there is a small cut road which leads to the farmlands and then to the stone staircase from where the actual trek starts. You can find several localities near the Mariammam temple who can guide you to the route to the stone staircase.

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                                                                 Swamimalai Trek Route

We parked our bike at Mariamman temple, took the cut road, covered the farmlands and reached the Stone staircase. The stone stair case lasts for 1 km and its comfortable till then. we didn’t noticed other trekkers along with us. When we completed the stone staircase, going further appeared scary as we were all alone. The mud road was narrow from there and covered by dense bushes from both the sides. I would suggest having this Trek in group. We got a bit scared and dediced to abort and come down all the way down . We were back to the starting point of Stone staircase and noticed two couples coming along for the trek. We were in a big dilemma whether to continue up again or not as we had already climded 2 km before. Eventually we decided to continue as we didn;t want to miss this and was not sure of the future trip here. We finished the stone staircase again and walked through the mud roads. The trek seemed a bit simpler now with others around. The mud roads were straight for 500 metres and from there it will turn exhaustive as it will start getting hilly. We stop by every 10 mins to catch our breath. On the way now, we could see several trekkers coming down which motivated us to move further. After trekking for another 1.5 km we reached the top most point, Swamimalai Temple where our trek ended.

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                                                              View From Swamimalai Top

Since we weren’t a much of a trekky, we didn’t have proper trekking shoes which made our trek difficult. Proper trekking shoes are recommended because of the stone staircase. Also, carry a water bottle as at places the trek becomes exhaustive. Although, you will find local ladies selling fruits, buttermilk, etc at every 500-1000 metres. You will not find any other food stalls, etc on the way and evn on the top of the hill.The view from top of the hill was magnificent. It was worth a Trek. The Shiva Temple was open that day and we took the blessings. The temple is built inside a rock. Nearby the temple, there is a huge rock which has got a staircase to climb, From top of the rock, the view was even more amazing. The wind was chilly even at 3 PM and we rested for a while there. It was very peaceful and we took some pictures. Other then the Rock view point and the Temple, we didn’t notice any other attraction and started to descend the hill after 30 mins. It took 30 mins to reach the starting point with one halt and left for our Hotel.

Note :
1) Carry a water bottle and a good trekking shoes. On the way you will find only localites selling buttermilk and fruits. No other stalls are available.
2) Start early morning before sunrise for even better experience. After 12 PM, you may find very less trekkers and it may appear scary. Travel in gruops. The localities are very helpful and you may even find local guides.

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                                                                  Kumarraja Palace Resort

We reached Kumararraja Palace hotel at 4:30 PM and got fresh and left for Punganur/Yelagiri lake by 5 PM. From the hotel it is only 2 Km and we reached there in 10 mins. There are multiple  entrances to the Lake. One if from the Yelagiri Lake Entrance  at Yelagiri Road, where there is proper parking space with Parking tickets and another from the back side  i.e dead end of Murugan Temple Road. We parked our bike at dead end of Murugan Road nearby the Lake Entrace. The parking there was at Owner’s risk.

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                                                                       Yelagiri Lake Entrance

Yealgiri Lake is an artificial Lake with walking path  alongside the lake.  Boating facilities are available here. Near the Boat House, there are children park and some shops. Kids can have a good time there. We took a short walk alongside the lake viewing the serenity. We skipped the boat ride as we had many in the past. The boat cost was around Rs. 50 for pedal boats. There were row boats available as well. After reaching the boat house, we saw a children park there with some shops where we had tea. We didn;t spend much time there and left for Nature’s Park at 5:30 PM.

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                                                                  Yelagiri lake To Nature’s Park

Nature’s park is at a distance of 1 KM from the Lake. So we decided to take our bike with us. Nature’s Park is on the Yelagiri Road, exactly opposite to Yelagiri lake entrance. We drove back and reached the Park in a couple of mins and parked the bike. parking tickets are available.

Nature’s park is spread over a huge area, however, from the inside, it appeared to be small. Some of the attractions were entrance garden fountain, a separate musical fountain, aquarian, etc. Musical Fountain shows are there every day starting from 7 PM.

We sat around for some time at the lawn near the garden fountain. It was very peaceful and took some pictures.  Later we strolled around for some time, watched the aquarium. Aquarium was good overall. It was 6:30 PM already. We had purchased the ticket for Musical Fountain which was supposed to start at 7 PM. Musical FOuntain show was rs 25 per person. We waited for it and finally, the musical fountain started. The seats were all full. It was a basic fountain and was an average show. The show lasts for 1 hour 7 PM-8PM but we left after 30 mins and reached the hotel by 8 PM.

By 8 PM, most of the shops were closed already and there are no good restaurents here. So we decided to have dinner from Hotel itself. This hotel provides only Buffet during dinner time and the food was extremely nice. Veg buffet was for Rs. 350 and Non – Veg for Rs. 400. There were varieties of dishes and I enjoyed my Non-Veg meal. After dineer, Hotel had arranged a bone-fire. We spend some time there and went to  sleep.

Day 2 : Back Home

Next day morning, we had a complimentary breakfast. it was good. Later, we clicked some pics within the Hotel premises as it has nice artefacts. Around 9:30 AM, we left for Bangalore. We took the same route as earlier. We reached home by 3 PM with 2 breaks and Lunch. We had lunch again at Srikrishna Bhavan near Krishnagiri.

Overall it was a satisfactory weekend getaway. I would suggest visiting Yelagiri one’s at least for Swamimalai Trek. We missed to see Velvan Tempe the next morning as we wanted to reach home early. It can definitely be included n your attraction to cover it the next morning.

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