Apr 10, 2011

Hill Station Near Chennai - Yelagiri

Punganoor Lake Yelagiri

Yelagiri Hills, also known as Elegiri Hills, is a 3 to 4 hour trip from Chennai just over 200 km away, a hill station far quieter than more crowded and popular ones, maybe because it's a bit remote and at an altitude of 3500 feet.  If you want to escape the heat of a Chennai summer, this can be a very restful spot, although everything you buy here, including your hotel room, must be paid in cash.  There are no ATMs.  Mobile phones won't work there and there is no alcohol served, so if you want to have some, bring it with you.

It's really what you want for a true getaway, undisturbed by the outside world.  Most people who come here take a trip to Punganoor Lake for a boat ride next to a children's play park.  It's easier to reach Yelagiri Hills and its central town of Athanur by car or train (Jolarpet) than it is by bus. From Chennai, it would take all day to reach your destination. 

If you wish to drive from Chennai, Yelagiri Hills is accessible by State Highway 113 and SH 57 to National Highway 46 and then SH 122.  The last part of the journey will be along a winding, twisting road with lots of opportunities to see monkeys, although it's highly recommended not to get too close.  Scenery is the main attraction and the cooler temperatures, especially during the "winter" months.  Bring a jacket, especially for nighttime.

There are several hotels including a small Taj resort and the popular Hotel Hills and the Hotel Yelagiri, about 30 places in all where you can stay, but some have far superior accommodations than others.