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Yercaud is a hill station in Salem District, in Tamil Nadu, India. It located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats; the Yercaud hill area is called the Shevaroy Hills. It is situated at an altitude of 1515 metres (4970 ft) above sea level, and the highest point in Yercaud is the Servarayan temple, at . It is so named owing to the abundance of trees categorised as a forest near the lake, the name signifying Lake Forest.[1] As a popular tourist destination, Yercaud is also called as Jewel of the South.[2] Yarcaud is connected to city of Salem, Tamil Nadu through Highway of 8 km. The temperature never rises above or goes below . Coffee and citrus fruits, most notably oranges, are grown in abundance apart from bananas, pears and jackfruit. Scenically, Yercaud is as enchanting and picturesque as the hill stations on the Western ghats and trekking here can be one of the most pleasurable ways to pass time.

The total extent of Yercaud Taluk is 382.67 km2, including Reserve Forest. The entire County is administered as a Township. Yercaud also has a Village council.



The town's name is derived from the lake located at its center in Tamil Yeri means lake and Kaadu means forest. It is also explained as Seven Forest.


Stone-age implements have been found from the ancient shrine located near Shevaroy Hills ( also known as Shevarayan Hills ), which is about 5 km from the Yercaud lake.[3] Ancient History is relatively unknown and never explored. The first human settlement in the hills came from Kanchipuram, during the Telugu Kings capture the Tamil Thondai country. Tamil refugees from the plains migrated to hills and settled here.[4]

Sir Thomas Muroe, erstwhile governor of Madras Presidency in 1842 found this place. David CockBurn, the Scottish collector of Salem district, between 1820 & 1829, was called the 'Father of Yercaud' because he helped in the development of the resources of the Shevaroy and for introducing the cultivation of coffee, pears and apple. The first survey of the Shevaroy hills was undertaken in 1827. Though the first European house was built in 1840. The attention of planters on the Shevaroys has been confined solely to coffee plantations. Tea plantaion has been introduced in 1840s by Dr.Wallich on the property of G.F.Fischer. Trees of cinnamon has been introduced in Yercaud by Mr.Richardson during the same period.[5] The cool climate attracted Christian missionaries, who established the Sacred Heart Convent for girls, the Nazareth Girls' Hr. Sec. School for Girls, and the Montfort School for boys. Schools such as the Holy Cross Novitiate House, started by the Brothers of Don Bosco, followed these.

Mr. G.F. Fisher a European of German origin purchased the Salem Zamindar in 1836. He was the first and only European Zamindar in the Presidency. The area of his zamin was .


The range Yercaud situated is Archaeon plutonic rocks of charnokite series, and the these have weathered into the rugged masses of hills. There are three routes up to the hills, the Shevaroys range is covered with green grasses, and has not any considerable growth of forests. Bamboos are grown up to an altitude of , and on the higher levels some teak, blackwood and sandalwood are seen. There are about planted with coffee in the hills.There is a huge planted population of Silver Oak {Grevillea robusta}trees that are part of the coffee cultivation estates..


The climate of Yercaud is moderate. Winters are fairly mild, starting in September and ending in December. During winter, the hills are covered in mist. Winters range from 12  C to 25  C, and Summers from 16  C to 30  C. Rainfall is 1500 2000 mm. The coffee bushes blossom in April and offer a spectacular view. The climate is also particularly pleasant.

Flora and fauna

The National Orchidarium and Botanical garden is situated in Yercaud, it is maintained by southern circle of Botanical Survey of India. The National Orchidarium established in the year 1963. The total area of orchidarium is 18.4 hectares. There are 3000 tress and 1800 shrubs grown in Orchidarium. Some of the original forests still exist in the Yercaud hills and contain several endemic species of plants and fauna. The Yercaud hills have many faunal and floral similarities to the Western Ghats. Coffee and citrus fruits, most notably oranges, are grown in abundance, as well as bananas, pears and jackfruit.

The local wildlife includes bison, deer, ant-eater, rabbits, hares, foxes, mongoose, squirrels, partridges, snakes, bulbuls, kites, sparrows, swallows and paradise flycatchers.



Yercaud Lake Panorama

The major industry is tourism, eco tourism with resorts amid high trees and green coffee

  • Yercaud Lake: a pool surrounded by gardens and well-wooded trees.
  • Lady's Seat: Tourists can have a panoramic view of the plains below through the telescope mounted at the Lady's seat.
  • Killiyur Falls: a -high waterfall.
  • The Servaroyan Temple: Situated atop Servaroyan hill, the annual festival of Lord Servaroyan is celebrated in May every year. The temple is a narrow and dark cave having the God Servarayan and the Goddess Kaveri inside, which are believed as the deities of the Shevaroy Hills and Cauvery River.
  • Bear s Cave: Situated near the Norton s Bungalow, Bear s Cave is considered as one of the abodes of Lord Murugan.
  • Green House: The greenhouse cultivates many varieties of flowers and spices.
  • The Grange: The Grange is one of the oldest buildings in Yercaud, built in 1820's by the then District Collector of Salem, M.D. Cockburn who first introduced coffee from Arabia and apples and other fruits from South Africa between 1820 and 1829. It is believed to have been the summer resort of Robert Clive, general of the East India Company in the late 19th century.
  • Pagoda Point: Another vantage view point; once adorned with stone built pagodas, it is now home to a large temple.
  • Silk Farm and Rose Garden: Situated very close to Lady's Seat, Silkworms are reared here. Located 2 km from Yercaud town, tourists can see the cultivation of mulberries, growing of silk worms, and methods of silk-spinning. The rose garden has a collection of varieties of roses. There is a nursery in this garden which sells plants.
  • Trekking in Yercaud: Yercaud has developed into a major trekking destination in the region. Many treks are organized here. Chennai Trekking Club organizes treks in Yercaud.
  • Fairholme Bungalow: Fairholme Bungalow is one of the old heritage colonial bungalows on Tipperary road. A Miss Pope sold it to the present owners, who converted it into a heritage hotel. It is furnished with antique furniture and fireplaces.
  • Heaven's Ledge: A Scenic west-facing cliff situated in Gowri Estate in Yercaud.It has been converted into a campsite to encourage sustainable tourism. It is 15 km away from the main town area.


The other major source of income is agriculture, with coffee as the major crop. Coffee was first cultivated on the "Grange Estate" in 1820, when coffee plants were brought from Africa to Yercaud by Mr. M.D. Cockburn. Jackfruit, oranges, guava and spices such as black pepper and cardamom are other crops raised on the coffee estate. Sandalwood, teak and silver oak are abundant as well.


Yercaud has population app. 40,000 people during the 2001 census period. Scheduled Tribal population of Yercaud is 24,449 people.[6] The majority of the population is Tribal people in Yercadu. The indigenous inhabitants of Yercaud is known as Malayalis (Hill men) or Vellalas. They are not aboriginal tribes, but migrated from Kanchipuram 500 years ago during the Muslim Dominations over Arcot region.[7]

The language spoken in Yercaud is Tamil and English.

The total density of the population is 102 people per km2. The increase of population at the rate of 20 % and Yercaud being a Rural township it lacks any urban population. The literacy rate in Yercaud is 62 % out of the total population.[6]


Season Months
Peak Season March June
Low Season Feb March; July September
Second Season October February

Summer Festival is held during the middle of May, when the annual festival of Lord Servarayan, presiding deity of the Shevaroy Hills, takes place. There is a 7-day exhibition of flower shows, dog shows, boating races and a village fair.


Yercaud is situated in Salem district, Tamil Nadu. The nearest city or town is Salem, 36 km away. It is 355 km from Chennai, and 195 km from Coimbatore. The nearest airports are Salem Airport, at 38 km, in Trichirapalli, at 165 km and in Coimbatore, at 195 km. The nearest railway station is Salem 38 km Yercaud Express from Chennai.

Administration and Politics

The Shevaroys as per the local inhabitants consisted of Selanadu (Area south and east of the Shevaroyan Temple) Muttanadu (Land in and around the shevaroyan Temple) and Moganadu (area North of the Temple). In 1842, after the death of the Pattakarar (Tribal Chief) of the Shevaroys there was trouble between the various Malaiyalis. This struggle for succession finally resulted in the British bringing this area under their rule in 1842. The Grange Yercaud was built in the 1820s by M.D. Cockburn & after the Indian Mutiny in 1857, fearing trouble, The Grange, Yercaud was fortified & ramparts built to accommodate gun placements & canons were installed. An underground cellar to store food for over 6 months in the event of a siege was also built & stocked. All Europeans in the area were to assemble at the Grange in the event of an uprising.

Yercaud was a Sub-Taluk up to 14 October 1997. It became a Taluk on 15 October 1997. There are 67 Revenue villages which have been grouped into nine Tariffs for the sake of administration, and each Tariff has one village administrative officer. Yercaud Taluk is divided into three Firkas viz., Yercaud, Vellakkadai and Puthur.

Now, Yercaud has an assembly constituency (Scheduled Tribal Area) is part of Salem (Lok Sabha constituency).[9]



Image:Kiliyur waterfalls near Yercaud.jpg|Kiliyur waterfall near Yercaud Image:Yercaud rainbow.jpg|Rainbow near Pagoda point Image:Salem from Yercaud.jpg|View of Salem city at night Image:Road Yercaud.jpg|A quiet road in Yercaud Image:Yercaud - Blue Sky.jpg| Yercaud Nature Blue Sky,Yercaud Image:Yercaud Town.jpg| Yercaud Town view,Yercaud Image:Yercaud scenery.jpg|Yercaud scenery Image:Yercaud Nature - 0.jpg|Yercaud Nature,Yercaud Image:Botanical Gardens,Yercaud.JPG|Botanical Gardens, Yercaud Image:Yer-sunsetl11.jpg|Sunset in, Yercaud Image:Yercaud view from ladys seat.JPG|Yercaud View from Lady's Seat Image:Yercaud - Cloudy .jpg|Cloudy Yercaud, Yercaud


External links

See also

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