A stunning and serene hill station of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Yelagiri lies at an altitude of 3,460 feet above the sea level. Located just off the Vaniyambadi-Tirupattur road, this place boasts of housing rose gardens, lush valleys and orchards.
Yelagiri is basically a group of 14 villages, which covers an area of 29 square kilometers. The road journey is memorable and exciting as it includes driving on 14 hairpin bends that lead you to a beautiful mountainous landscape. It is an ideal retreat to enjoy a memorable vacation, away from the chaotic life of cities.
Yelagiri is not only for family vacations, honeymooning couples, nature lovers and peace-seekers but also perfect for adventure enthusiasts. It is also quite popular for offering the best honey in Tamil Nadu. While you take a walk, the pure aroma of mangoes and jackfruits fills your nostrils.
Yelagiri, also spelled as Elagiri is tiny, peaceful hill station, which is sandwiched between the towns of Jolarpettai and Vaniyambadi. This place dates back to the days of British rule. It is said that whole of Yelagiri was privately owned by the Zamindar family of Yelagiri. In the starting of the 1950’s, it was taken over by the government. The residence of the family can still be seen in Reddiyur.
Attractions in Yelagiri
Spread in a huge of 12 acres, Punganorr Lake is an artificial lake that is placed in the middle of the hill town. Visitors can enjoy pedal boat riding and manned-rowed boat riding. The lake is surrounded by a children’s park and a well-maintained lush garden. Enjoy a picnic with your loved ones and treat your eyes to the memorable views.
At an altitude of 4338 feet above the sea level, Swamimalai hill is the highest point here and is also the most popular trekking trail in Yelagiri. Offering nice views, on the top of the hill is Swamimalai temple dedicated. The shape of the hill is cake-like, with a strong bottom and a high peak. The trek up and down in total is around 6 km.
Trek up to the small peak to adore views of the area in and around Yelagiri. If you wish to go on a trek to the Swamimalai hill, reach Mangalam, a small village. There is a small temple, close to the water tank where you can park your vehicle. Start walking through the local houses going up to the starting point of trekking.
Velavan (Murugan) Temple
Placed on a hilltop, Velavan temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan. The temple is also known as Murugan temple and offers superb views of the surrounding landscape. The temple location is also a view point from where the visitors can relish views of the lush wooded of the hills of Yelagiri.
The temple is in the shape of a Lingam. In the front of the temple, there is a huge sculpture of a mythical character, Gadothgajan, in a standing position. The temple, every year, becomes the venue of its annual festival in the Tamil month of ADI (July - August).
Spread in a well-maintained lush land of 10 acres, Nature Park in Yelagiri comprises of an artificial waterfall, an aquarium, wonderful landscaping and an aquarium.
A herbal farm has recently been developed adjacent to the Lake Punganoor that has a variety of rare herbs, which are used in Ayurvedic and Siddha medicines. The forest department takes care of this farm where shrubs and herbs are grown so that good-quality ingrideints are used in the manufacturing of medicines.
Jalagamparai waterfalls are formed are Attaaru river cascades through the valleys of Yelagiri and flows downwards as a fall at Jadaiyanoor village. The waterfall gushes down from a height of 30 m. The place is a popular as a day-long picnic spot with loved ones and also enjoy some treks.
A 5 km descending trek from Yelagiri takes you to the waterfall. The time taken is around an hour as the direct route is often closed and one has to the take the other slightly longer route. Murugan temple is adjacent to the waterfalls. It is best visited between the months of November and February.
Children’s Park and Boating
Stretched in a well-laid out area of 6 acres, right beside the lake, Children’s park is quite entertainment hub for children visitors at Yelagiri. Right in the middle of the lake is an artificial fountain. The park has a number of playing equipment and rides.
Boating is another popular activity here, which is managed by the Yelagiri Hills Development and Tourism Promotion Society at the boat house. For a duration of half an hour, you need to shell out INR 75 for four people to ride a paddle boat.
Government Fruit Farm
At the Government botanical fruit farm at Athanavur and Nilavur, visitors can see a wide varieties of fruit bearing trees as well as floral plants in different colors, aromas and shapes.
If you wish to savor amazing views of the landscape and the slopes of the hills, a telescopes has been mounted on the Ghat road for tourists. Close to this site, are a few temples dedicated to Tamil Annai, and Hanuman
Vainu Poppu Solar Observatory
Founded in the 1970s, Vainu Poppu Solar Oberservatory is at Kavalur in Javvadu hills. Prior permission is required to visit the observatory, which is open on Saturdays, between 04:00 PM to 06:00 PM. Enjoy the clear night sky views through a 15 cm long telescope, from 07:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
Adventure activities in Yelagiri
Trekking is one of the most popular things to do in Yelagiri. The hills here are known for offering memorable trekking experiences, from easy to medium-difficulty levels. You can either opt for an uphill trek to Swamimalai hill or a downhill trek to Jalagampari falls.
If you are searching for a difficult trek then start for Polur through Javvadi hills or other routes. Take note that if you embark on any trek in Yelagiri, you need to carry water, food and necessary things as nothing is available on the way, and probably not even at the destination.
Yelagiri is being develop as a world-class paragliding site by the Yelagiri Paragliding Club. Presently, 3 take-off and landing pointe with heights of 450, 560 and 600 n above the sea level have been established. Instructors and professional equipment are also available. An international festival is organized by the club around the month of September.
If you not really an adventurous person and are looking for a relaxed vacation, you can enjoy boating at the hill town’s popular lakes.
The Yelagiri Summer Festival
The popular Yelagiri Summer festival every year is celebrated in the end of the month of May by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Board. This festival includes different cultural events, Dog show, flower show and so on. Participants come here from all around the state and even from the country. This event goes on for 3 days.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Yelagiri is between the months June and February is the most pleasant time to be in Yelagiri. The 3-day Summer Festival in Mayand and an international paragliding festival around September are two important events in Yelagiri.
How to reach
Bangalore International Airport is the nearest airport to Yelagiri, which is located at a distance of around 145 km. The other one is Chennai Airport, around 260 km away. The airport has a good connectivity with all the important destinations of India as well as the world. From the airport, you can rent a taxi.
Jolarpettai railway station is the nearest railway station to Yelagiri. It is 21 km away from here. This railway station is well-connected to the important cities of India including Coimbatore, Chennai and Bangalore. From the station, rent an auto or a taxi to go to your destination.
A good network of road connect Yelagiri to Bangalore, Chennai and other neighboring destinations.