A popular trekking destination, the hill station of Yelagiri is also known as the Poor Man’s Ooty. At 4626 ft, the hill station located in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu is surrounded by green valleys, orchards and rose gardens.
Yelagiri, also known as ‘Elagiri’, is spread across 30 sq km. It comprises of 14 hamlets situated amidst four hills. Known for its salubrious climate, the approach road to Yelagiri is another highlight.
The road has 14 hairpin bends which tests your driving skills. The hairpin bends offer panoramic, breath taking views of the hills and its surroundings. The seventh bend is significant, since it offers the view of the slopes of the mountain and the green forests that carpet the hill.
Yelagiri is not as developed as other popular hill stations in Tamil Nadu like Ooty or Kodaikanal. The state government has stepped up efforts and is promoting adventure activities and sports like trekking, rock climbing and paragliding to attract tourists.
The hill station was once the property of the Yelagiri zamindars which was taken over by the government in the 1950s. The residence of the Yelagiri zamindars is located at Reddiyur. Yelagiri was first inhabited about 400 years ago. It is believed soldiers from Tipu Sultan’s army settled in the region and became cultivators.
The Swami Malai Hill is a popular attraction with tourists especially for the amazing views it offers. There are many trekking trails that lead to the top of the Swami Malai Hill through dense forests. Most treks start from Mangalam village located at the base of the hill. The hills of Javadi and Palamathi also provide many options for trekking.
The climatic conditions of Yelagiri remain moderate throughout the year. Best time to visit Yelagiri is from November to February.
Where to stay
There is a YMCA camp near the hill station that offers basic accommodation and also offers dormitories for tourists. There are a few resorts and hotels within a two km radius of the Yelagiri Lake. The resorts have a lot of facilities like indoor games, swimming pool, gardens and make for a very pleasant experience.
Where to eat
Yelagiri has only small eateries and restaurants. Most of them are located near Yelagiri Lake.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Yelagiri is between the months of November and February.