Top 9 Places to Visit in Yelagiri
Yelagiri is a small hill station in North Tamil Nadu. It takes 4 hours of drive time from Chennai or 3 hours of drive time from Bengaluru to get there. It is a perfect weekend getaway for the residents of Chennai and Bengaluru.
At an altitude of over 1100 meters, Yelagiri is less chill but stays pleasant throughout the year. It can get a little hot during summer months from March to May. Yelagiri is best visited during the off-season period, from June to February. The weather in Yelagiri motivates one to explore the outdoors and stay active.
9 Gorgeous Places to Visit in Yelagiri
- Punganoor lake
- Nature Park
- Nature walk
- Jalagamparai waterfalls
- Fundera Park
- Thrill Valley
- Swamimalai Hills Trek
- Velavan Temple &
- Panchayat Fruits Garden
Continue scrolling for more information about each of these places.
1. Punganoor Lake
It is a small artificial lake in the middle of the town with the picturesque hills serving as a backdrop. There is a boathouse offering row boats of various sizes. One can have a lovely view of the surrounding hills from the lake.
A park next to the lake offers rides such as Merry-Go-Round and Giant Wheel. The road leading to the lake is full of vendors selling fruits such as star fruit, lichi, jack fruit, Indian Blackberry (Naga Pazham in Tamil) and Mangosteen (Mangustan in Tamil). Relishing on these local delicacies should be part of one's plans.
2. Nature Park
Nature park spans over 10 acres on the main road opposite to the lake. Nature Park should not be confused with the small park attached to the lake. This is an expansive garden worth spending two hours. The full tour of the garden may take an hour by walk but one can hang around for long.
Musical fountain show is conducted in the evening time during weekends. One needs luck with the show that as it gets cancelled during rains. Flash showers arrive with brief notice at Yelagiri.
3. Nature Walk
There is a road tucked deep inside Yelagiri connecting Hotel Kumararaja Palace to Mangalam village through the telephone exchange tower. This stretch is devoid of any buildings after crossing the telephone exchange. We can walk on this road with just the greenery and chirping birds for company.
Other than the occasional school vans and bikes, this place is deserted but safe enough for small groups to venture. One needs to park the vehicle near the telephone exchange tower near Hotel Kumararaja Palace and walk from there.
4. Jalagamparai Waterfalls
Attaru is a seasonal river in Yelagiri hills that feeds the Jalagamparai Waterfalls. The waterfall should be visited from October to January soon after the rainy season. One can trek from Yelagiri hills to reach the waterfall. The trek takes 3 to 4 hours, and many finds this to be a rewarding experience.
The easier route to reach the waterfall is by road. We took our car during the only time we visited the falls. Many say trekking is what makes this place special. I have added this trek to my bucket list.
5. Fundera Park
The major attraction inside the Fundera Park is the aviary where we can get closer to the birds such as large parrots, sparrows and love birds. We get to feed birds from our palms. The birds receive the right care from the team managing the aviary.
There is a petting zone where one gets to feed rabbits, goats, and guinea pigs. In addition, the park has a 7D theater stimulating the experience of a roller coaster ride. Other attractions inside the park include the fish spa, the pony ride, and the Bamboo Cafe. The park offers spectacular views of the nearby hills.
6. Thrill Valley
This is a new attraction in Yelagiri town for kids. Many activities such as Human Slingshot, Dune Buggy, Water Zorbing, Kids Zipline, Vortex Tunnel, Dino Bridge, Bungee Trampoline, wall climbing, Wild Twister Bridge and Zurfing are on offer.
7. Swamimalai Hills Trek
If you plan to undertake the Swamimalai Hills trek, a 15 minute drive takes you to the Mangalam village. One needs to park the car in the open space near the Amman temple in Mangalam village. Friendly villagers would help you with directions in case you don't know where to begin. It takes two hours to reach the top of Swamimalai hills, the summit of this trek.
One can trek for a shorter distance and return based on their comfort. We usually trek for one hour and then return before reaching the summit. It is a mild trek with stone stairs and mud path suitable for anyone who enjoys taking a walk.
8. Velavan Temple
This is the temple right at the start of the road leading to Landmark Hotel. A stairway of steps lead us to the temple. This temple is at an elevated level compared to its surroundings and offers mesmerizing views of the surrounding hills. This temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga, who has many abodes atop hills.
9. Panchayat Fruits Garden
This is a small nondescript farm managed by local authorities on the road from lake towards Mangalam village. One can take the help of locals to locate the place.
The gardeners maintaining the place speaks only Tamil. It will be better to have one person in the group who knows Tamil. We can pick up fresh fruits and tree saplings from this place. Guava and jack fruit trees are the main attractions in this garden.
Travel, Stay, and Food
How to Get There?
One can take a train to Jolarpet from Chennai or Bengaluru. From Jolarpet, one can take a bus or taxi to reach Yelagiri. Chennai and Bengaluru residents can reach Yelagiri by car.
Stay and Food
The stay options worth considering are Hotel Kumararaja Palace with its majestic facade, Sterling resorts with its contemporary look and the Landmark hotel with its expansive space. Though a close call between the three, Landmark hotel wins my vote because of its restaurant. For non-vegetarian food, one can try a restaurant by name Hotel Nigress that serves North Indian and South Indian dishes.