Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yelagiri - Places of Interest

Places of Interest

Punganoor Lake and Boating & Park:

An artificial Lake situated in the center of the Yelagiri Hills having 56.70 areas is called Punganoor Lake. The Yelagiri Hill development and Tourism Promotion Society maintains the Park and Boating facility in the lake. Fountain in the center of the lake is an added attraction. Inside the Garden Children Play materials are installed to recreate the kids.

The Elagiri Hills Development and Tourism Promotion Society runs the Boat Club, with pedaling and rowing boats. There is a newly laid flori cultural garden with a pathway along the bund with a panoramic view of the lake on one side and the garden on the other. A connecting bridge leads the pathway around the lake. The pathway around the lake is particularly good for birding. There is also a small watch tower constructed next to a tree which can be climbed.

Herbal Farm:

Near the Punganoor Lake, a herbal farm, is maintained by the forest Department With rare herbals used in the Sidda and Ayurvedic medical treatments.
Rose farms provide an interesting detour

Park near the Kodai Vizha Thidal:

A Good Park is being formed at Kodai Vizha Thidal to enterain Tourists.

A well laid out park on a 6 acre land adjacent to the lake, is established with varieties of children's play areas installed within the park. There is also a small zoo. But no animals could be seen there in January 2006.

There is a "KODAI VIZHA ground" which is a lovely ground with beautiful paths for walking. This is now be updated [May 08] to the Nature park. A lovely 10 acre campus with an artificial fall, an aquarium, musical fountain in the evenings and amazing landscaping. This is a must see for all!

This is now complete and has 2 shows in musical fountain 7PM and 8PM. Very nice with gallery like setup and playing some 4 songs each in Hindi & Tamil.

Paran, Telescope:

At the entrance of the Ghats Road a telescope has been installed to enable the tourists to view the deep slope, green valley and Jolarpet plains.

You come across this when you're driving up the Hills. It's supposed to be open on weekends, but one has always seen a huge padlock at all times. They say there's a telescope housed inside and from where one can get a good view of places in the distance. But from the naked-eye one can easily get a view of Thirupathur Town or Jolarpet down below; no need for telescopes, really. Besides, it's a waste of time and petrol to drive 2 kilometers to find a padlock at the gates.

Vainu Bappu Solar Observatory (Elagiri):

One of the largest solar observatories, it is situated in Kavalur, located 35 km from Thiruppathur, near Yelagiri. Prior permission is required to visit this observatory

Velavan Temple:

Lord Murugan Temple, situated is one of the highest peaks of the Yelagiri Hills offers panoramic view of the entire hill area. Kadothkajan is standing posture in front of this temple is a note attraction for the tourists. Velavan temple festival during the month of July is being celebrated in a grand manner every year. Local People and devotees gather here in god so.

If perchance the need arises to seek divine intervention drop by at the Murugan temple to offer prayers and invoke blessings from the deity. For whatever its worth, a trip or even a trek to the holy spot is bound to invigorate energy, health and peace of mind.

Jalagamparai Water Falls :

The River Attaaru, runs through the valleys of Yelagiri Hills, and at the village of Jadaiyanoor, flows over to form the waterfall. It's perhaps the only distant spot from the main town (over 30 kilometres) and fairly frequented by visitors to the Hills. Larger groups picnic out here, but because of its isolation don't expect too many facilities. Jalagamparai Waterfalls is also an ideal place to go on a day long trek and if you do decide to go there, just make sure you're well-stocked with water and food.

The river 'Attaru' in the Yelagiri hill flows down at Jadayanur after height of 30 mts. Bathing in this Waterfalls cure many diseases because it passes through various herbal plants in the hills. One can reach this waterfall by a trek route Km. from Nilavur in the hills.

A word of caution: the waterfalls are dependent on the river being full and the river is dependent on substantial rainfall. Yelagiri Hills hasn't any monsoon season of its own; rainfall here is mainly a 'spill-over' of rainfall in nearby Bangalore or Chennai regions. Unless there is rain here, Yelagiri Hills can largely be dry

A temple in the shape of Shivalinga with the deity of Lord Muruga is situated near the waterfalls. From this falls one can reach Tirupathur by Bus.


Swami Malai, (not to be confused with the town of Swamimalai, near Kumbakonam) the highest peak, soaring to 4,338 ft from Mangalam, a hamlet at its base, takes the cake. Its an easy climb of about an hour with infrequent breaks (about a 1000 foot climb). Smaller peaks like Javadi Hills, Palamathi Hills and others are an easier climb. Start early though and be back before 9AM, for once the sun climbs up it can get rather uncomfortable.

Possibly the highest peak around and the best place to go on a lovely trek is Swamimalai. It's an easy trek along a muddy path starting from the eastern side of the lake, which is about 3 kilometres long and pretty scenic too. Most visitors to Yelagiri Hills, who have trekking in mind, often climb up Swamimalai.

Make sure you have enough water and light snacks before you set-off up the hillock.

Summer Festival

May and June each year is the time for a Summer festival at Yelagiri Hills. Main attendees are local village folk and like-minded people from nearby areas of Vellore District. The government-sponsored event aims to showcase the customs, culture and traditions of the tribal belonging to the areas that fall under Yelagiri Hills. Invitees include state ministers, government officials, members of various panchayat unions and local headmen.

What actually happens is that there are a lot of cultural programmes, music blaring out of loud speakers all across town and a general destruction of peace and quiet. Many welfare measures are announced amidst all the merry-making, but like its everywhere else, nothings ever achieved.

Hairpin Bends:

If you travel the winding Ghat road that has 14 hairpin bends you can reach the Yelagiri hilltop.  The hairpin bends offer panoramic, breath taking views of the hills and its surroundings.

The seventh bend is significant, since it offer the view of the slopes of the mountain and the green forests that carpet the hill.

There are 14 hair pin bends named with Tamil Poets(Pari Valivu, Ori Valivu, Kamban Valivu etc...) those leads to Yellagiri Hills. There is a sort of an observatory, after 12th bend with a telescope pointing towards the plains. It is difficult to park a car here owing to the narrow roads. Bikes should be fine.
On the way to the hills, you can see lots of small animals like monkeys, ox, goats, etc. Do not feed these animals as they can be dangerous. Don't forget to carry binoculars with you.

Latest Additions:

The latest addition is the Nilavoor Lake - more of a pond, with a few boats. Don’t miss the ancient hero stones featured in the ancient temple - each of an archer pointing towards the 4 directions.

More to come - A botanical garden over 10 acres in Pallakaniyur 0 about 4 km from the bus stand. Also , a 50 acre golf course is on the cards , waiting to know when this will see the light of day.

And the latest of additions. PARAGLIDING! Visit the Yelagiri tourist information centre on Tandem Flughts - also visit the YASA yelagiri adventure sports association website for more info :