Yercaund

Situated 1,515 metres high in the Shevaroy Hills, in the state of Tamil Nadu, the peaceful hill station of Yercaud nestles among coffee plantations and thickly forested slopes and is a good place for trekking and boating. 

Some people believe that these hills were part of the ancient megalith-builders' domain which stretched from Cornwall through Brittany and Iberia to India. Clearly visitors have been streaming into Yercaud from well before recorded history. 

Around Yercaud

Before getting into this coffee-plantation hamlet, you have to drive through the textile town of Salem. If you browse around the shops, you might pick up bright handloom fabrics at half the price you would pay elsewhere.

Just before the road begins to climb up the mountains to Yercaud, do look out for an interesting group of brightly coloured idols to the left of the road. These guardian deities, found only in Tamil Nadu, are worshipped as protectors of villages and are often known as Aiyanars. 

On the way up the winding hill road with its 20 hairpin bends, stop at a thatched wayside stall selling 'Fresh Garden Produce': packets of cloves and pepper. Then come the coffee plantations before entering cottage-dotted Yercaud.

You can amble around leisurely, or do a tandem tour of the lake in a pedal boat, or hire a taxi to 'do' the sights. 3 km away is the rocky escarpment overlooking the plains. It is known as Lady's Seat and some wag has named another viewpoint as Gent's Seat. 

Pyramid point, 3 km away, has cairns of stones and was once a Stone Age fortress shrine before the new temple was built. 7 km from the lake is the Servaroyan Temple with a modern, striped, facade leading to an old cave temple.

Once you get into this soothing, lake-centred, quiet and undisturbed green place, you don't have to do anything but unwind. 

Some of the most exhilarating Hill Resorts in India include 
Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
Manali, Himachal Pradesh 
Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh
Kulu, Himachal Pradesh
Shimla, Himachal Pradesh 
Dehradun, Uttar Pradesh
Mussourie, Uttar Pradesh 
Pithoragarh, Uttar Pradesh 
Nainital, Uttar Pradesh
Darjeeling, West Bengal
Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu 
Ootacamund, Tamil Nadu 
Coonoor, Tamil Nadu 
Yercaud, Tamil Nadu 
Lonavala & Khandala, Maharashtra 
Panchgani, Maharashtra 
Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra 
Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh 
Hill Stations of Kerala
Mount Abu, Rajasthan