Surrounded by green valleys, rose gardens and orchards in the Vellore District of Tamil Nadu, is the Yelagiri Hill Station, standing 1,410.6 metres above the sea level, and covers about 30 square km of the Yelagiri village.
This small hill station is located between two towns; namely Vaniyambadi and Jolarpettai. This place had been famous since the British colonial days. In past the whole Yelagiri used to be the private property of Yelagiri Zamindar Family, but later in the 1950s the government of India took over the place. The house of Yelagiri Zamindar can be still seen in Reddivur.
Now Yelagiri hill station has become one of the prominent tourist spots in Tamil Nadu, and is a famous hub for adventure sports lovers for sports like paragliding and rock climbing. Yelagiri is also a well-known place among the trekkers in India. The whole area of the hill station includes 14 hamlets and also several number of temples with high historic value. The hill station is also home to many varieties of snakes.
Yelagiri is completed with 14 small villages. The human settlement in Yelgiri started about 400 years ago. The natives of Yelagiri are mainly ‘Vellala caunter’ and ‘Irular’. The Vellala caunter is also known as Malayali, meaning people who live in mountains and ‘Karalar’ denoting people who rule the clouds. According to the Malayali people, they came from the plains. The Vellala caunter are believed to be a group of retired soldiers from Tipu Sultan’s army who conquered the plateau of Yelagiri, and made it their home. The main occupation of the villagers here is forestry agriculture and horticulture. The villages in the hill station is built in unique and traditional way, which shows of the culture and history of the place.
The highest point of the Yelagiri hill station is at 4,338 ft, and is known as Swamimalai Hill. Swamimalai hills is a favourite spot for the trekkers, and also provides sufficient number of trekking trails through th reserved forest region. The hill provides a spectacular view from the top, and at the base of the hill there is a small village, ‘Mangalam’.
One of the most attractive places in Yelagiri hill station is the Punganoor Artificial Lake cum Park. Punganoor Lake is a man-made lake and is 25 meters deep. The lake provides boating facilities for tourists, and is also a popular picnic sot among the tourists. Adjacent to the lake is the Nature Park, which is spread about 12 acres. The natural park, serves as home to different kind of plant species, which adapt to the rock terrine of the hill station. The park also comprises an artificial water cascade, which also provides bathing facility for tourists. The site also contains a children’s park and musical fountain. The park also has an aquarium, which exhibits various number of fishes and also tortoise.
The hill station of Yelagiri, comprises of many numbers of temples, and one of them is the Velavan Temple, and is situated on the top of a hillock. This temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan. At the entrance of the temple, you will be greeted by the sight of a huge Gadothgajan statue. Annual festivals in th temple is conducted during the months of July and August. Other than being a beautiful temple, the Velavan temple also acts as a good view point.
Jalagamparai Falls, is another one of the all favorite tourist spot in Yelagiri. The waterfalls is surrounded with green forest, and provides a beautiful view to the visitors. The waterfalls is located near to the Yelagiri hill station. The waterfall flows continuously throughout the month of November to February, but usually remains dry through the summer. Near to the waterfalls there is a temple dedicated Lord Murugan, which is beautifully sculptured in the shape of a Shiva Lingam.
Nilavoor Lake is one of the most visited tourist spots in Yelagiri, which comprises of a small lake and a garden in its bank. The lake provides boating services for the visitors. Recently a Thampiran lotus pond has been constructed near to the site, increasing the attention of tourists. Near to the lake there is a Devi temple dedicated to Kadavu Nachiyar, which is opened to both tourists and devotees only on Fridays.
The nearest airports to Yelagiri are Bangalore (193 km), Chennai (290 km). Taxis and buses are available from all the important cities near to Yelagiri. If you are coming via train, hail at Jolarpet Junction, and you can either hire a taxi or catch a bus to Yelagiri. If you are traveling via road, then from Bangalore city, move through the Hosur Road, then to National-highway, and then towards Krishnagiri. From krishnagiri, take the second service road to the left, which leads to Chennai. Then take a left and drive so until you reach the Vanni Matriculation Higher Secondary School. Up from there you will see a board indicating Elagiri (36 km); with a ‘U’ turn. Take the ‘U’ turn and go on towards the road to Thirupathur. Drive about 7 km from there, you will reach your destination Yelagiri.