Yercaud, the quaint little hill station located near the city of Salem in the Southern State of Tamilnadu is an ideal weekend Getaway for people residing in Bangalore. It is located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats and is located at an altitude of 4970 ft above sea level. Located at around 220 Kms from Bangalore, it takes around 4 to 4.5 hours to drive down.

The last time we visited Yercaud was in the year 2009, one of my first road trips from Bangalore. Those were the good old days when I used to push my faithful Maruti 800 through roads which tested its limits. To give credit to that wonderful machine, it never let me down.  Fast-forward to the year 2018, things have changed considerably – I am no longer the single bachelor, the machine has grown in size to accommodate a bigger family and roads have got in much better. Something that did not change is my passion for a road trip. Still get those restless night before the road trip !!

The plan to visit Yercaud came out of the blue this time around. Bookings at the last moment meant that we could not get the hotel of our choice “GRT nature Trails”. We managed to get rooms at the Sterling resort at a good price and we were all set. The route was the very familiar Bangalore -> Krishnagiri -> Dharmapuri -> Salem -> Yercaud. I have done the Bangalore to Salem route on multiple occasions and was very much familiar with the road conditions. A quick check with the friends online confirmed that the road condition from Salem to Yercaud was also good.

Route - Bangalore to Yercaud
Route from Bangalore to Yercaud: Bangalore -> Hosur -> Krishnagiri -> Dharmapuri -> Salem -> Yercaud

 

The Drive:

Considering that we were 2 families travelling with 2 kiddos, planning had to be perfect. The plan was to start the drive at around 7 AM to beat the city traffic and reach Yercaud by around 12 noon, just in time for the check-in. The check-in / check-out policy of the hotels in Yercaud are 12:00 noon and 10:00 AM respectively. There were some last minute hiccups (well it always happens when you are travelling with Kiddos) and we managed to rev up only by around 7:45 AM. That meant that we had to handle the morning city traffic. We took the NICE road to reach Electronic city exit, where there was a huge traffic jam. This has become a regular occurrence, considering that most of the office goers take NICE road to reach campuses at Electronic city.

We made good time after crossing electronic city. There was not much traffic as we were travelling on a weekday (Thursday). We reached Hosur at around  9 AM and reached our favorite breakfast destination – A2B near Shoolagiri at around 9:30 AM.

Photo 1
Adayar Ananda Bhavan (A2B) near Shoolagiri. This is usually very crowded, but considering that we were on an off season (mid week) drive, it was relatively empty.

 

Photo 2
The adjoining Bharat Petroleum gas station – comes in handy if you need to tank up.

 

Photo 3
Few years back this restaurant used to be on the 4-lane highway. But with the launch of the 6 lane highway, we need to take a de-tour to reach A2B. Footfalls have definitely reduced as a result of this.

 

You can check the following posts of mine for more details on the road condition from Bangalore to Krishnagiri. I will refrain from posting the same photos of road conditions from Bangalore to Salem as the road conditions have not changed much from my previous posts 🙂

Drive from Bangalore to Mahabalipuram

Drive from Bangalore to Kovalam

Drive from Bangalore to Kodaikanal

 

After a 45 minutes break we continued our drive towards Salem. The roads are in good condition, but with the number of vehicles increasing by the day, I do feel a need to convert these 4 lane highways to 6 lanes. At around noon we were crossing Salem city.

Google co-ordinate to take a left turn from NH (11.6758314 , 78.1280889)

 

Route 1
At the 1st junction after crossing Radisson hotel (on the left), take a left turn and continue following the road to Yercaud

 

There is some flyover construction work that is currently underway on this road and hence we had to encounter some traffic jam. Considering that we were crossing the city at an odd hour, the traffic was relatively less on the road. Continue on the Sarada college road for few kilometers before taking a left turn on the Yercaud main road.

Google co-ordinates to take a left turn (11.675598, 78.159849)

Route 2

You need to continue driving for around an hour and negotiate 20 hairpin bends before reaching the city of Yercaud. The ghat section drive is not as strenuous as the famous 36 hairpin drive to Ooty via Masinagudi. But the roads are quiet narrow and one needs to be cautious while negotiating the ghat section. Captured few snaps during the ghat drive which can help articulate my point

Photo 4
The well laid ghat section. Even though the roads are narrow, the road conditions are excellent.

 

Photo 5
On the drive towards Yercaud. Weather was just perfect. A sunny day with clear blue skies. There was loads of greenery all around.

 

Photo 7
The woods just got thicker and thicker. Driving through this canopy with your car roof open was heavenly.

 

Photo 8
Another shot that explains my point. An empty well laid road through the mountains is simply amazing !!!

 

Photo 9
Another shot of the drive through the ghat section.

 

Photo 10
The hair pin bends that you need to negotiate. This is number 17 of the 20 🙂

 

Photo 6
Another hairpin bend !! They are way more gentle on the machine as compared to the Ooty hairpin bends

 

 

After a leisurely drive for around an hour through the winding roads, we were at Yercaud at around 1:30 PM. Being a working day and an off season, the entire city looked so quiet and devoid of tourists. We managed to reach our resort (Sterling resort) and check-in to our rooms by 2:00 PM, just in time for a relaxed drink and lunch.

 

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