Thursday, May 28, 2009

Destination Yercaud ~Poor Man's Ooty Part I

View from Pagoda Point

1st May,2009

The summer was becoming unbearable. Still a month for the rains to pour, if at all monsoon arrives as expected. Its time for a much needed break from the routine. This time, wanted to go somewhere just to unwind. Was not very keen on sightseeing. Yercaud suited us. we had an idea of a family get together and asked my both Brothers-in-law to join with their families. But finally that did not materialize. Only we both could make it. As I have mentioned earlier, we are early risers and can get up as early as 3 AM. On Friday left home at 4:30 to catch the West Coast Express towards Chennai. Train came at 5:10 AM. Becoz of the recent train hijack at Vyasaradi, some trains were running late. As a result, our train also reached late by 45 minutes at Salem. Took an auto the main bus stand which must be around 5 kms away from the station. As we entered, a bus to Yercaud left. We must be around 20 people waiting for the Yercaud bus. After 10 minutes, another bus came fully packed. The smarties have got into the bus en route to the Salem bustand. Our attempt to get into another two buses did not yield a seat. Finally, decided to take a taxi, who charge 650/-. The uphill drive with 20 hair pin bends in a stretch of 30 Kms takes an hour.

The cab driver dropped us at Hotel Shevaroy's. We had booked the Dhalia suite for two days. Checked in. Its one of the oldest hotels of Yercaud. Very serene environment. It looks like the hotel had a recent renovation done. The rooms smelled of fresh paint and bathroom accessories were spanky new.
On the way to the room inside the hotel
Our room
After refreshing ourselves, we headed to the restaurant. Ordered South Indian Thali meals. Food was good.

South Indian Thali meals

They served Thali meals with soup,roti,dal, rice,sambhar,vethakuzhambu, rasam,2 poriyals, onekootu, payasam, vadai, applam, curd chilli , pickle and curd. The best part I liked is they keep two bowls of paruppu podi and ghee. That was awesome. The second day also we went for thali meals. Due to the heavy rush there, the waiter forgot to give us the podi. But we were in no mood to miss the podi treat. Asked for it and he obliged immediately. Post lunch we hit the bed and had a sound sleep for 2 hours. Its long time since I slept so long in the afternoon.

Took a stroll down the road to the lake. Its just 5 minutes walk from the hotel. Took tickets and went inside the garden around the lake. The first thing you notice is the amount of garbage littered around, inspite of being cleaned every day after it closes for the visitors. And I doubt if there was a dustbin anywhere. I could not spot one.

We took an auto to Pagoda point which is around 5 kms from the lake. There is no other sight seeing spot on the way. There is a water fall but did not go there since its all dried up . You get a view of the valley from there. You can see the houses down.

Not much of a scenic view. You will not need more than 15 minutes to spend there. Had some roasted corn.

Returned to the boat house on the other side of the lake garden. Spent some time in the small garden there and walked back to the hotel. Had a shower and headed to the Malar Veg restaurant inside the hotel complex. This is the only veg restaurant in that area . There is a supermarket and bakery below the hotel. The hotel has accessibility from inside the hotel complex and from the road outside too.