Yelagiri Travel Guide
Yelagiri is often dubbed as the "Poor man`s Ooty" but not anymore. Yelagiri is realizing its potential and in the coming days it looks all set to emerge as the hub of adventure sports in India. A recent fillip in this direction has been the three day annual International paragliding festival.
Cocooned conveniently between Bangalore and Chennai the Yelagiri hills provide a soothing place to the tired urbanities with lush vegetation, pure air and misty clouds.
Thanks to the excellent roads the place is easily accessible thus serving as a nice weekend getaway. A perfect weekend at Yelagiri Hills is all about a little adventure and lots of leisure at 3500 feet above sea level.
If you are looking for a large number of tourist attractions then Yelagiri is certainly not for you. Yelagiri is a place full of peace and quietude. The slow pace of the Hills provides the right kind of relaxation from the rigours of urban life. You need to just relax here at this Cosy Hill station.
This Yelagiri Travel Guide aims to provide an exhaustive account of Yelagiri Hills with detailed sections on accommodation, attractions, excursions, trekking etc to make your trip worth every penny. Start exploring Yelagiri.
How to Reach Yelagiri
Yelagiri is a well connected town. It is located near to both Chennai and Bangalore. Proximity to the two state capitals, well connected roads and good transport network makes Yelagiri an ideal tourist destination. The climb to the Yellagiri Hills consists of 14 majestic hair pins bends offering some magnificent views of the surroundings. The nearest Rail station is at Jolerpaettai. For the convenience of travelers, two modes of transport is discussed here.
How to Reach Yelagiri by Road: Yelagiri is easily accessible from Chennai, Bangalore. From Chennai it is around 250 kms to Yelagiri and from Bangalore it is around 150 km.
How to Reach Yelagiri by Train: There are a good number of trains available from Bangalore, Chennai and Coimbatore. The nearest Railway station to Yelagiri is the fairly busy Jolarpet some 19 kms away. Yelagiri is about an hours drive from Jolarpet.
Yelagiri Tourist Attractions Places
|Pungannoor Lake||Nilavoor Lake||Swamimalai Hill|
|Jalagamparai||Karadi Malai||Velavan Temple|
|Moksha Vimochana Temple||Nature Park||14 Hair Pin Bends|
|Telescope Point||Silk Farm||Herbal Farm|
Yelagiri is a quaint place that can be enjoyed according to the time you want to spend out there. From picnickers in hurry to avid trekkers and the stressed out executives desperate to escape the humdrum of daily life- Yelagiri is the place to be in. However the real charm of this sleepy little Hill station (just 30 sq Km) lies in “doing nothing”. Yes it’s true. There is no fancy stores, no hordes of tourists, no touts nothing. Most of the time you will find the roads empty, (there is only one main road) except for Sundays and holidays. Summers see some crowds arriving here perhaps to beat the scorching heat of the planes. Let’s explore some of the places at Yelagiri.
Pungannoor Lake Park: Pungannoor Lake Park is the primary object of interest at Yelagiri. The lake is not very big and has a garden as well as miniature zoo as attractions. Read More
Nilavoor Lake: Nilavoor Lake is not very big and more like a pond. The lake takes its name from the village of Nilavoor. The district administration has drawn a big plan to promote the lake. Read More...
Swamimalai Hill: Swamimalai Hill is another popular sightseeing destination in Yelagiri. No matter if you are a trekker or a picnicker you will find the place just fabulous. Read More...
Jalagamparai waterfalls: This place is a must visit if you happen to be in Yealgiri after post monsoon period. To reach Jalagamparai waterfalls, it takes about an hour from the center of Yelagiri. There is also a trekking option here. Read More...
Karadi Malai Hills: This is also an ideal trekking option. It literally means “Bear Hill “in Tamil. Read More...
Velavan Temple: Lord Murugan Temple or the Velavan Temple as the locals call it is situated atop a hillock. The temple is located at one of the highest places of yelagiri offering a panoramic view of the entire hill. Read More...
Moksha Vimochana Temple: visit this temple if you want to get rid of your sins. The temple was founded by a saint. The atmosphere of the places is quite serene unlike a temple. Read More...
Nature Park: Nature Park is one of the best addresses in Yelagiri. It’s actually a theme park, set up in 12 acres area. Read More...
14 Hair pin Bends: A total of 14 pin hair pin bends fall on your way on the spiraling ghat road that leads to the top. Read More...
Telescope Point: As you make your way up the hill through the famous hair pin bends, just after the 12th hair pin bend there is the “Telescope House”. It’s a 2 km drive from the main road. The Telescope point is maintained by the Forest Department of Tamil Nadu. They charge nothing for viewing. You can get a good view of the plains below. However many a times the visitors have complained that they had seen a huge lock at the entrance and came back disappointed. You can wish you only best of luck.
Government Silk Farm: The Government silk Farm also known as the Sericulture farm is a place where you can actually see silk worms. It is located at place called Mangalam that is 5 km away.
Government Herbal Farm: The Government Herbal Farm is located adjacent to the Punganur Lake. It is maintained by local forest department. Many herbs and shrubs cultivated here forms the ingredients of Ayurveda and Siddha medicines.
Yelagiri Excursion & Getaways
After you have finished the sight seeing at Yelagiri, you can now go on to the nearby places of tourist interest. These range from temples, Dam, Solar observatories, water falls and places of historical importance. Let’s have a look.
Vellore: Vellore is a very important place in Tamil Nadu. Apart from its historicity it is also famous for its medical facilities. Read More...
Virinjipuram: Virinjipuram is located in the Katpadi Taluk of vellore district. It has a magnificent Siva temple. Read More
Ambur: Ambur is a town of historical importance that is strewn with temples dating back to the period of Krishna Deva Raya. Read More...
Vainu Bappu Observatory (VBO): It is the primary optical observatory of the acclaimed Indian Institute of Astrophysics. The location is in Kavalur village that is 29 km from Vaniyambadi. Read More...
Krishnagiri: Krishnagiri offers many interesting places for tourists. It was here that the great nationalist leader and the first and only Indian Governor General of free India Chakraborty Rajagopalachari was born. Read More...
Jamnamaruthur: Jamnamaruthur is located in the Javadu Hills of neighbouring Tiruvannamalai District. Bhiman falls and the Kollapan lakes are the famous landmarks of this place. Read More...
Hosur:Hosur is on your way back to Bangalore. It has temple that finds mention in the Puranas. Read More...
Yelagiri - Kiomoi Must Dos
Yelagiri is a place which is not perhaps a great sightseeing destination. This perhaps comes as a blessing in disguise, for it throws up a great number of other activities that can be done at Yelagiri. Here after extensive research we have tried to put forth some of the activities or inactivities that can be done at Yelagiri.
Adventure Sports: Yelagiri now figures prominently as one of the few destinations in India to offer paragliding opportunities. Infact Yelegiri Paragliding club is all set to form a paragliding training school by 2009. Apart from Para-gliding you can expect full fledged adventure tourism, rock climbing and mountain biking in the hills of Yelagiri.
Walks: Be it early morning walks or evening walks, walks are something that has the potential to make your stay at Yelagiri memorable. In the early morning as you get out of the hotel you can be greeted with some amazing sceneries. The clouds touching the lush green hills are sure to leave you asking for more. A walk in the evenings in the Yelagiri hills is sure to invigorate you. The long walks on the wandering roads makes you feel as if you are strolling in a valley. After dinner walks in the near empty roads is nothing less than an adventure. Pitch darkness greets you as you venture in roads. No ugly blaring of horns, no streetlights and no lights from houses you need to just enjoy the darkness. Do not forget to carry the torch though. Amidst silence the only sound you could hear are the croaking of frogs and the chirring of the insects.
Buy Pure Honey: Yelagiri is famous for 100 % pure Honeys in whole of Tamil Nadu. Home grown as well as natural honey is available. It is priced much lesser than the cities. With a little bargain you can easily get a 750 ml bottled honey for less than Rs 100. This is about 4 times lesser than the price at cities for the same quantity. We suggest that you take natural honey that is extracted from bee hives. These natural Honeys extracted from Bee hives on rocks or trees have a strong smell as well as a deep colour.
Biker’s Paradise: Yelagiri is truly a biker’s paradise. You can ride the bike from Chennai and Bangalore. The ride is an amazing experience. With Bikes you have the liberty to stop at any location on the way uphill to capture some great moments with camera or simply view the plains through a Binocular. Your riding skills would be tested for sure here on this route.
Watching the city at night: This is one activity that you are going to cherish for a long long time. You can drive down or simply walk to the view point that is around 3/4th of the hill and watch the city below. Words cannot describe the feeling as you see the whole city lit up just like stars. Position yourself comfortably around the railing and enjoy the vast expanse. You would sure be transported to an out of the world feeling.
Trekking: Trekking is considered one of the prime activity in this picturesque Eastern Ghat Hill station. You have the option to trek uphill or downhill. For uphill treks there is Swamimalai hills. It is the highest peak in Yelagiri. A trek downhill takes you to Jalagamparai waterfalls. If you do not mind a tough climb there is the trek to Karadimalai. For professional trekkers there is another great route. This takes you through the southern part of the Javvadi Hills to reach a place called Polur. From Polur the temple town of Thiruvannamalai is just 30 kilometers. The hotels where you put up can brief you about the various trekking options as well as provide you with the guides.
Campfires and Party games: Most of the hotels where you put in organize camp fire in chilly wintery nights. You can dance, sing, indulge in mimicry, crack jokes or just cozy up yourself and do nothing around the campfire in full blaze. Party games generally follow the bonfire nights.
Indulge in Gastronomic Adventures: Treat yourself with some great food both Vegetarian and Non-veg food is available. As your sojourn would involve a lot of physical activity there is nothing like indulging in some great eating exercise. There are a number of eateries at Yelagiri where you can find south/north Indian food at affordable rates.Jackfruit is available in plenty here and if you are in the right season you can have lots and lots of this fruit. You need to bargain with the locals for the right price though.
Bird Watching: If you are a keen Bird watcher, Yelagiri is the place for you. Without being an expert you can spot different bird species on your way to treks or leisurely walks. Baya weaver, red-vented bulbul, spotted muniya, paradise flycatcher etc can easily be spotted.
Boating: There are two lakes at Yelagiri where you can take boat rides. They are Pungannoor Lake Park and the Nilavoor Lake. Both paddle and riding boats are available.
Jungle Safaris: Hotels and resorts where you stay can arrange for you Jungle safaris in the night. As you go out in the quietude of night except for the sounds of insects and your own footsteps the feeling is something that cannot be described in words. However do not attempt this without the professional guidance as chances are there that you can loose your way in the wilderness.
Driving Directions Yelagiri
Yelagiri is an enchanting hill station where blessed with hills, water falls and rivers. Nestled in Vellore district, Tamil Nadu, South India. The main attractions of Yelagiri region which are worth visiting includes Jalagamparai Falls, Punganoor Lake and Swamimalai Hills. Bangaluru airport is the nearest airport from where most of flights operate. Bangalore is 135 Kms away from Yelagiri. Yelagiri is well linked to all the state as well as national highways of the region. The SH 60, SH 130 and NH 46 are the main road links which connects Yelagiri with the major cities of India. Jolarpettal is the nearest rail head which is just 21 Kms away from Yealagiri. Trains from Bangalore, Chennai, Goa, Mumbai and Delhi are well connected with this rail head.
Per person, Taxes extra
Limited Period offer
Per person, Taxes extra
Per person, Taxes extra
Limited Period offer
Per person, Taxes extra
Yelagiri Accommodation, Yelagiri Stay Options
Accommodation at Yelagiri is not a problem you could chose from a large number of Hotels, guest Hoses and resorts. Hotels are available in Athanavoor, Kottayur and Nilavoor villages.
YMCA also provides dormitory accommodation at reasonable prices. If you wish to soak in the local flavours of the place then a good option is the home Stays in Yelagiri.
There are approximately 20-30 places at Yelagiri Hills that offers accommodation. Not all places are good in terms of hygiene, cleanliness and food Just one bit of caution though during seasons and weekends a large number of crowds especially from Bangalore and Chennai make it to Yelagiri as a result most of the hotels remain chock a block with guests. Yelagiri is a small place with limited set of accommodation. To avoid disappointment and unnecessary harassment at the hands of touts it is better to book Hotels in Yelagiri in advance.
Yelagiri Eat n Dine Places
Where to get the right kind of food forms an important aspect of your travel itinerary. Here we have tried to cover some eating joints on the way and at Yelagiri Hills where you can have good food.
Hosur – Krishnagiri Stretch
Hotel Renaissance at Hosur: This is just after Hosur on the left hand side as you travel towards Krishnagiri on National Highway or the Bangalore road. Here you get a choice of really good Buffet Breakfast and Lunch. The options vary from south Indian, continental, Chinese, Continental etc.
Reliance A1 plaza: Reliance A1 plaza is also just after Hosur. It offers excellent facilities and the premises are clean. It’s essentially a combination of fuel station and food joint. You can have a go at Dosas, Idli at reasonable prices.
Ananda Adyar Bhawan: This food joint is around 15 kms from Reliance A1 Plaza and come on your left hand side as you proceed towards Krishnagiri on the highway. After crossing the Sulagiri Bye pass it is around 6 kms or so. Good South Indian vegetarian food is on offer and the rates are also affordable. Try their Onion Dosa and Rava Kesari.
Vaniyambadi, the Biryani Land
Vaniyambadi is a place famous for Biryanis. The aroma of this is sure to linger on for a long long time. Infact Vaniyambadi and its twin town Ambur both are famous for distinctly flavoured Biryanis. You need to try their delicious Mutton Biryani. Khaja Hotel, Islamia Hotel, Ahmediaya hotel are good places offering Biryani. For veggies there is Saravana Bhavan.
Restaurants at Yelagiri
Madhura hotel located on the main road as you reach uphill Madhura hotel located on the main road as you reach uphill serves descent vegetarian food.Zeenath Taj Garden Resort offers good non-veg fare. For good variety of Dosas you can visit joints opposite the Yelagiri Hills Country Club. Mostly all hotels or resorts have their in-house restaurants. Surprisingly in this small town you get a good fare of Tandoori, Chinese, South Indian and to finish it of some really cool ice creams.
Yelagiri Useful Facts
|Fast Facts||Travel Tips||Miscellaneous Tips|
State: Tamil Nadu
Location: Yellagiri Hills is located in north Tamil Nadu
Geography: Above Jolerpettai Station. It is the valley of Swamimalai Hills as part of the Eastern Ghats.
Nearest Railway Station: Jolarpettai( 25 Km)
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
Distance from Bangalore: 160 Km
Distance from Chennai: 230 Km
Distance from Vellore: 40 Km
Distance from Tiruvanamalai: 75 Km
Distance From Ponneri: 14 Km
Pin code: 635853
STD Code: 04179
Mobile network: BSNL and Vodafone works Best time to visit: November to February. Avoid monsoon season.
Languages spoken and understood: Tamil and English and broken Hindi
Altitude: 1410.60 m or 3500 ft above sea level Climate: Pleasant weather year round. Winters are cool
Temperatures: Summers 29° C; Winter 9° C Clothing: Light Woolens in the night.
Local Transportation: Auto rickshaws and few cabs
Please remember the following things while on a trip to Yelagiri.
Petrol: If driving on your own to Yelagiri, please make sure you have enough petrol in your car. Uphill you won’t find any. Though some shops uphill do sell loose petrol but chances are that they are spurious and priced exorbitantly high. Except for small puncture repairing shops you won’t find anything.
Driving in the hills: The road from Ponamalee to the top is not very broad but overall pretty good. Be careful of the buses or trucks coming from the opposite direction. Also, while overtaking wait for the clear signal from other vehicles. Please do not look at the plains below while you drive. If you want to do that there are a few places where you can park your car or bike. Other points include adhering to some basic rules like not following a heavy vehicle too close while driving uphill. When driving down the hill you must give way to the oncoming vehicles. This should make the drive incident free.
Driving on the Highway: As you approach cities be careful wrong side traffic you will find a lot. Drive carefully in early mornings as well as late evenings when visibility remains poor. You can expect anything from cycles, two wheelers to even tractors and Trucks. To make the matters worse they come on the inner lane. As you approach cities like Vellore/Katpadi, Ambur and Vaniyambadi you need to be very careful As you approach at the bridge stretch near Vellore, please be careful. A sudden onrush of slow moving vehicles, two wheelers can puzzle you by coming on the wrong way. Another cause of potential trouble is the cabs that you need to negotiate. They have utter disregard for lane rules and overtake other vehicles very dangerously.
Wild animals: As you approach the Yelagiri hills through the winding ghat roads you may encounter monkeys. You can slowdown to take photographs but make sure your glasses are all rolled-up. Do not kids let go close. Do not throw food items at them and never keep any food especially banana on the dashboard. Remember a monkey bite can be a nasty affair.
Movement through thick bushes: You may love adventure, but do not get overzealous. Please do not get too close to thick shrubs or bushes, the hills are home to a size able variety of snakes and some pretty poisonous.
Shopping for plants: At Yelagiri hills you can be easily tempted to buy plants from the nurseries. Please remember some of these plants may not survive in the plains. Besides you can get them at your place also.
First Aid Kit: Please travel with first aid boxes along with your regular medicines. All you get in the hills is a government primary health centre and a private clinic. Tirupattur is the nearest health center.
Credit cards: Mostly in the hills the hotels wouldn’t be ready to accept the credit cards. Carry with you sufficient cash.
Carry your own Drinks: There is no restriction to drinks here but it is difficult to get good branded drinks locally. Even hotels don`t store liquor as they aren`t licensed to do so. if you want to have beer and other drinks better to carry them with you. There is one at the junction of the main road before you drive uphill.
Beware of beehives: If you happen to pass by beehives be very careful. You will find quite a handful of them at Yelagiri. A strong perfume or disturbing their peace can prove dangerous as they can get upset and start attacking.
Getting around in the hills: If you want to get around in the hills you have to have your own arrangements. Though auto-rickshaws and taxis are there but not many of them are on the roads. So walk and explore Yelagiri.
Watch out for Petrol pilferage: As petrol is a rare commodity in the hills, if you have taken your own car and bike keep an eye for petrol pilferage.
Carrying Raincoats: If you want to go out and enjoy the rains at Yelagiri during the rainy months carrying raincoats would be a good idea.
Carrying Of foodstuff and water: As you venture outside the Yelagiri town, you will find that even small shops are scarce. It is advised to keep stocks of bottled water, snacks etc. However, in the town there is no such problem.
Yelagiri Holiday Checklist
Those Hills, Waterfalls, rivers, Parks, cuisines, Wildlife Safari, Temples send tempting vibes!!! While you have made up your mind on these holidays, set aside all your temptations and quickly take a fleeting glance at the things-you-do prior to your travel date. Here is the list.
Before leaving your house
- Empty your letter box
- Fix up security for your house or ask some one to look after
- Water your plants and ask some one to take care of it
- Ask your newspaper vendor and milkman to stop supply
- Clear out the fridge
- Switch off the electric appliances
- Empty out kitchen, waste/dust-bin and kitchen area
- Lock doors and windows
- Recharge your mobile or carry coupons
- Carry traveller’s cheque or ATM cards
- Pay all due bills
- Turn off gas/water/
- Call up the taxi driver/railway station/hotels and other important numbers to confirm and re-confirm
- Rail Tickets and travel documents should be checked twice
Packing Your Luggage
- Woollen/cotton clothing
- Extra towels
- Extra pair of socks
- Night wears
- Bath robes
- Jumper and track suits
- Battery Charger
- Mobile Charger
- Torch/Emergency Light
- Brochures or holiday book
- Sewing kit
- Important stationary(scissors, tape and glue)
- Film rolls and digital chargers
- Ear Plugs
- Address Book
- Shoulder bags/ Safety pins
- Important Telephone Addresses/Travel Consultant
- Few non perishable eatables
- Books / magazines to read
- Credit/Debit Cards
- Diving License
- Maps/ directions(when in car)
- Photocopies of documents
- Traveller’s Cheque
- Passport/Visas (For travelling abroad)
- ID Cards
- Small First Aid kit
- Sickness Pill
- Mosquito and insect repellent
- Vitamin and medications
- Pain Killers/Balm
- Personal hygiene items
- Anti-infection lotion
Yelagiri Tourist Offices
Tourist Information centre
- Govt of Tamil Nadu
- Bangalore City Railway Station
- Tel: 080-22286181
Tamil Nadu Tourist Office
- Tourism Complex,
- 2, Wallajah road Chennai-2
- Tel No.044-25368358
For Assistance and guides for trekking:
- Forest Ranger at Jolarpettai Tel: 04179-220185
- YHAI( Youth Hostel Association of India)
- Tamil Nadu State Branch
- 2 D Viswa’s Flats, Pillaiyar Koil Street Nesapakkam,
- West K K Nagar Chennai 600078
- Tel. No. 044-24890976
- YMCA, Yelagiri Hills
- Tel No. 04179-245226
Bank & ATMs at Yelagiri
There are no ATMs in Yelagiri. However you can find the nearest ATMs of State Bank of India at Thirupattur and Jolarpettai.
|SBI ATM at Tirupattur||11-4/16 Madurai Road|
|SBI ATM at Jolarpet||157/A-Vikram Lodge VaniyambadI Main Road|
Yelagiri Local Holidays
Following are the Tamil Nadu State holidays for 2009
|1/1/2009||New Year’s Day|
|14/1/2009||Tamil New Year’s Day/Pongal|
|27/3/2009||Telugu New Year’s Day|
|14/4/2009||Dr. Ambedkar birthday|
Muslim holidays can change subject to sighting of Moon. Kiomoi is not responsible for any discrepancy in the calendar.