16 July 2013

Weekend trip from bangalore to Yercaud

I am back to blogging and writing report trip after quite sometime.
We made a quick and no preparation trip to Yercaud, from Bangalore.

  1. Direction: From  bangalore, the directions are very straightforward. I took the Elevated highway Electronic city-> hosur-> krishnaGiri->Salem. Once you enter salem, the directions are quite clearly marked, and its approx 25-30 kms from salem City. The busy city and passing through that, definitely slows you doing.
  2. Road Conditions: NH7 is one the nicest roads and you are blessed to be driving on this throughout upto salem. though some road widening is going on between bangalore to krishnagiri stretch  with bangalore to hosur a little patchy, than what i have seen before, but still with due diligence, you can cruise through this quickly. At certain points, the roads are so beautiful and scenic, and you have view of 4-5 kms in front of you.
  3. Avg speeds: Most of the times, enroute salem, we were doing 110-120. Maximum i reached was 145 and some of the stretches you have to slow down.
  4. Driving time: We started from home at 2 pm and reached Yercaud, shevroys at 7. We stopped for lunch at Kamat for 45 mins-1 hour.
  5. Driving caution:
  • Watch out for slow moving trucks especially in hosur and krishnagiri. 
  • Very curvy roads in between.
  • Lot of people drive on the wrong side, near villages. be very careful about those.
  • While ascending from salem to yercaud, give way and be careful about blind turns and oncoming bikers.
  1. Paying Tolls:- if i count right, there are 5 tolls from bangalore to yercaud. For car, this is what we payed, one way:
  • Electronic city:-40
  • Bidadi:- 25
  • Hosur:- 55
  • Krishnagiri:- 79
  • Near salem:-63
Stay: Our plan suddenly happened on saturday afternoon, so there was no time to make bookings. I was contemplating a trip to Yercaud, and was eying GRT for bookings since it has a beautiful property. But this sudden plan and only an overnight stay made me not consider it, since the expensive price tag does not justify an overnight stay only. Another option in my mind was 'Shevroys'.
Visiting and checking out hotels: I went to shevroys and checked out the property. they have a nice property, but not well maintained, as i have seen at lot of other places(read orange country-coorg, taj-yelagiri, etc). they have a huge property and plenty of variety and numerous rooms. only 'Rose' and 'dahlia' rooms were available. we checked and found 'rose' to be suiting our needs. I checked their villas too, but they weren't in good shape, so rejected those. I told the receptionist that we will let them know.  We then drove to 'Grand Palace hotel & spa'. the property location is nicer, and the outside aura is superb, but the room was a disappointment. The person on the reception tried to give some discounts and offers, but the room wasn't really something which impressed me. we left, and checked into Shevroys.
For attractions, you can refer to tripadvisor site or the blog in my acknowledgements below.
We didnt do everything there. We only went to select few places, and frankly i wasn't overly impressed. The places were of average quality. the view points were nice, but that is about it for me.
we only saw Pagoda point, Raja Rajeswari Temple, Grange resort's ATV rides, Lady's seat. The Temple was a major dissappointment for me, since we drove for so long to reach there, but on the hill top it was not something which impressed. except us, there was none visiting it. the view around was beautiful and made for some relaxation.
The ATV rides was a nice experience and refreshing.
Pagoda point, again, a vantage point which offers great view, but nothing more to see there. 

I was surely still interested to go for atleast couple more spots, but then we planned for returning back. moreover, the spots didnt encourage too much which could unfold, hence we took the approach of heading for good lunch and back to bangalore. 
Travel back: We started from Yercaud at 3:30 and with a fuel stop at salem, lunch at(45 mins), and a small stop near hosur(10 mins), we were home at 8:30.
Somewhere near krishnagiri

Getting closer to Salem

Plantation walk at shevroys

view from pagoda point

temple at pagoda point

A small temple on the route to the temple

Ana malar temple on the hill top

valley and clouds around

Overall Experience and my recommendation rating: 
I would give yercaud 3/5 stars.
I would give shevroys 3.5/5 after looking at grand palace and competition, although what all these hotels offer is not value for money.
Positives: Serene place. Book a nice cottage and have no agenda here, and you would will be very happy. the climate was nice, and there is lesser traffic making it a good break destination.
Negatives: Generally the spots for views aren't the most clean ones. Not too much to do and lacks good places to dine. the ones which are good, are very expensive.

One of the blog, which i found very useful in finding some details is this. great read.

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