A Step Back In Time

Nestled in the Shevaroy Hills in Tamil Nadu, India, is a place where time seems to have stood still. The Lake Forest Hotel takes its name from the place – Yercaud, which in Tamil means ‘lake forest’. The main structure dates back to the 1800s and as you step in, you find yourself transported to a time long past. Sixty cottages are tucked away under a luxurious green canopy nearly five thousand feet above sea level and around every bend there’s a bit of history, remnants of an era long gone. Each room is done up differently, in an old world style with a few antique pieces and the rest of the furniture made to look like period pieces.

Lake Forest Hotel, Yercaud
Lake Forest Hotel, Yercaud
The Yercaud hills
The Yercaud hills

Along the slopes of the mountains, coffee grows in abundance, punctuated by silver oak trees. Temples have existed here for hundreds of years but the cool climate brought the English up here and it is said that Robert Clive came here to spend his summers. Most of India’s hills stations were developed by the British so they could escape the heat of the plains in summer and on many of them, tea, coffee and spices are grown.

The old bungalow
The old bungalow
Henrietta Charlotte Rosario
Henrietta Charlotte Rosario

The Lake Forest Hotel we went to has a story unlike the rest of this British summer resort. The estate was won in a bid by a lady of Portuguese descent – Henrietta Charlotte Rosario and the old bungalow still has the old four poster beds and furniture from the late nineteenth century. The coffee estate was named Rosar after her and the old coffee pulping and powdering machines are still around.

Coffee crushing machine
Coffee crushing machine
Coffee pulping machine
Coffee pulping machine

The reception area in this charming hotel is like a treasure trove – old clocks, an old bronze table fan and even ancient film shooting equipment. Now why on earth would there be lights, mike stands and blowers straight out of a thirties or forties film set, we wondered.

Huge black and white blow ups of photographs brought back the past and above our heads, an old fan moved gently with the breeze – the manager told us that all they did was to change the cloth when necessary.

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Old table fanAn expandable wooden baby's cribA mike standA blower used in film setsFilm lightUmbrella standOld wooden clockOld clocksAn old overhead fanMeat mincing machinesWater hand pumpRoll top bread storeOld bicycleOld black and white blow up
Old table fan
Old table fan
An expandable wooden baby's crib
An expandable wooden baby's crib
A mike stand
A mike stand
A blower used in film sets
A blower used in film sets
Film light
Film light
Umbrella stand
Umbrella stand
Old wooden clock
Old wooden clock
Old clocks
Old clocks
An old overhead fan
An old overhead fan
Meat mincing machines
Meat mincing machines
Water hand pump
Water hand pump
Roll top bread store
Roll top bread store
Old bicycle
Old bicycle
Old black and white blow up
Old black and white blow up

The great thing about this place was how well it blended in with its surroundings. The landscaping was wild and wonderful not structured and manicured. And the sign said it all. This was a place where we had to live in harmony with nature, where the old and the new existed together without any sense of discomfort, where the air was fresh and pure and green stretched out before you and above. Good friends, good food, beauty all around us – we couldn’t have asked for more. It was the perfect recipe to get us back to work refreshed.

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Comments 40 comments

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks

It looks to be a beautiful and peaceful place. Thank you for sharing this, Shalini.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

This sounds like an incredible place to visit.

What a beautiful country India is.


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

Simply amazing! Lake Forest Hotel looks historic, quaint,and simply cozy. India is so beautiful :)


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India Author

Thank you Aya, Dim and kerlynb. Urban India is so overcrowded that we treasure getaways to places like these!


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

Hope you had an idyllic time! :)


JC 5 years ago

Wow! A really beautiful place and wonderful pictures to boot. Thanks for sharing ;p


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

This place seems like a beautifully peaceful place to write...thanks for sharing Shalini.;)


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India Author

FP - we did, we did!

JC - beautiful place - you really should have come along :)

Thanks MA - you're so right - it's just the kind of place that could inspire creativity!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Shalini, reading this I realize what great relief it is to go somewhere peaceful, far far away from American angst. With all the photos and your poetic descriptors, I feel as if my blood pressure dropped and I breathed out a deep deep sigh. Thank you so much for sharing!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain

I wondered if you checked out the temples, Shalini. Do they talk of shambala or shangri la? Do they show evidence of the subterranean existance of the underground peaceful people? Thank you for a good article that came in just the right moment!


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 4 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

This was a treat my eyes! I love anything that has old world charm as it reminds me of the continuity of life somehow.

Rated up and beautiful! :)


dianacharles profile image

dianacharles 4 years ago from India

My daughter visited here...I think it was a little too quiet for her young blood, though she did say it was a very beautiful place. Sure you had a good time. I enjoyed your pics on FB too.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Hi Story - thank you! It was such a green and peaceful place.

shazwellyn - we did. Unlike most other Indian temples, there were no crowds and everything around was so peaceful The one that made a great impression on me was called Maha Meru and it was dedicated to the 'sacred feminine'. Another was at the beginning of an underground tunnel that went through the hills for hundreds of miles up to another hill resort. An old, underground river dried up? It was fun to speculate :) Strangely, there's no fresh water supply though now there is a lot of rain harvesting.

Marie - thanks. Yes, I loved being surrounded b y all those antiques :) One almost heard whispers of times past!

Diana - probably. We oldies loved it but I'm sure my daughter would much prefer the beaches of Goa :)

Thanks all for reading!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Thank you for sharing this beautiful place through words and pictures. I think if I should go there, I'd have a terrible time leaving. Up and beautiful!


quicksand profile image

quicksand 4 years ago

Hi Shal, I too like to go back in time. Those pictures are indeed great and that table fan is probably powered by paraffin. Saw one like that in a museum somewhere. Cheers!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

True Sally - five days were just not enough! Thanks for coming by!

Quicksand - I didn't think to look. Paraffin? Makes sense! There's something so solid about these old appliances and furniture!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Shalini, what a fabulous hotel and surrounding area, I loved my visit and all the photos, thank you for sharing this amazing place and voting up and beautiful.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Thank you Movie Master - yes, it was an amazing place!


Kiruba Harris 4 years ago

Thank you for that Shalini, next time in India, I shall have to visit this yester-wonderland.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Yes! Let's do a trip there together :)


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 4 years ago from London, UK

A wonderful place, well preserved, and you gave it full justice. I am so glad you wrote this hub about it and hope you will do some more.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Thank you Hello, hello - yes, it was a wonderful place!


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Good to read another of your delightful Hubs Shalini and this one is really special. One day I hope to visit India and travel to those wonderful, historical places such as The Lake Forest Hotel. Beautiful!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Hi GL - you'll love it. I do hope you can come :)


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City

I truly enjoyed this hub, beautiful images, it's short and straight to the point. Your writing style is also elegant here, I like your choice of words which gives me idea's on how to better my own hubs. Thanks for such a wonderful display overall.

Voted up, & I wish to visit such places as this, actually my spouse is from Malaysia so we will make a vacation trip soon, hopefully with the help of hub revenue someday as well. Awesome stuff!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Thank you CloudExplorer - appreciate you coming by and reading - and I do hope you make enough hub money to travel wherever you want to.


klanguedoc profile image

klanguedoc 4 years ago from Canada

There are so many beautiful places in the world, and this seems like one of them. I find that people add another dimension to places by adding their experiences or connection to a certain place that makes it all the more special.


Aceblogs profile image

Aceblogs 4 years ago from India

Wow , i never knew about it even though i am an indian. Well it seems so serene. Well written hub , infact excellent work .


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

klanguedoc - yes, so many beutiful places, so little time! Thanks for reading!

Aceblogs - thank you - yes, it is green and serene.


Highvoltagewriter profile image

Highvoltagewriter 4 years ago from Savannah GA.

Thank you for creating such a wonderful hub!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Thank you for reading, Highvoltagewriter!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Yes, it is very beautiful, attorneyblog - thanks for reading!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines

This looks so beautiful and peaceful! Your description makes me want to visit the place. I really wish I could!

Thanks for sharing this my friend!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Thanks so much for dropping by and reading, Jill! And I do wish you will be able to visit someday!


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia

I very much enjoy your writing style! Your details really bring this piece to life, and I voted it up.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Thank you habee - I'm glad you enjoyed it!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

Love the sign for insects, birds, and animals having the right of way. If we lived like that then our environment would not be so totally devastated.

I'd love to be there at this place where nature abounds. I know this is what is missing in my life. Sure we have lots of trees planted in my community - most not native but invasive - and it can in no way compensate for the thousands of cars that pass by and all the concrete. No, nothing is better than nature.

Thanks for this hub. Even though I cannot be there, just enjoying the photos gives me a much needed break - whew!

Rated up of course.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Thank you BkCreative. Where we live, the concrete invasion is fast taking place so it feels good to be able to escape to places like these!


savanahl profile image

savanahl 4 years ago

Wow, what a lovely place! I'm from Thailand and some of the pictures remind me of home. Beautiful.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Hi savanahl - thank you for coming by and reading!

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