Warning: This trip is recommended for all those who are tight on budget but in need of a mini vacation.
How to reach from Bangalore? We took a bus from Madiwala, Bangalore to Salem which is 30 km off Yercaud. It hardly took 4 hours to reach Salem(around 260 km). From New Bus Stand, Salem, you can take a bus to Yercaud which is in every 30 minutes. Go till the end of the bus stand to find the bus. You can also opt for a fast track taxi or Ola Cabs (yes, yes we are from the land of cabs, Bangalore). We took a cab at Rs 400. 20 hair-pin-curves, you can see the corresponding boards as the pins begin.
In half an hour, we were at our resort, The Lake Forest Resort.
Nishchal’s reaction, “Where are we, in a forest? small hut kind of cottages?”. There was a similar question in my mind too. Just before I forget, Singla thanks a lot for this amazing resort.
The resort is an ecotourism certified INDECO place. They had a coffee plantation of their own. So many antiques were there in the resort.
Here is a door to window description of our room. Door, a wooden one, with old kind of lock(the big heavy one). The bed was the one similar to a Queen bed, it was almost 3 feet above the ground, which has stairs to reach up the comfy area. Damn comfortable and I bet it will make you lazy during the trip. Instead of a closet, they have a small shed, which has a rod to hang the clothes, quite unique! Since we already have queen stuff in our room, there was a Mirror with well-designed borders, I am glad, Mom was not there with me. Glass windows looks amazing during fog and best to gaze the surrounding forest. The Room also had a dining table, TV and a mini fridge. One could easily stay in the room whole day and enjoy the view of the forest.
There were many activities inside the resort. They had a recreation room where they had a table for air hockey, carrom board and chess. They also provide you with badminton and TT racket. There was a stone table for TT in the resort.
They sell Yercaud’s very own Arabica coffee and also sell tea/coffee made in Coorg along with some international brands. Spices and chocolates are also available. Do buy a souvenir.
There was a coffee shop inside the resort named as Beans-n-Brews. This store offers you the wide range of coffee varieties, from latte to french-style coffee. This place was our evening relaxing adda. We tried Latte, Mocha, french, Vietnam, Mocha Fudge Frappuccino and Oreo Mocha Frappuccino. You can sit, enjoy a sip of coffee and think of the future( family & kid audience making crazy noises, huh).
Breakfast in the resort was good. They offered fruits, bread, butter, jam, Plain Dosa, Sambhar, idli, Vada and Upma. We asked one of the waiter to get cheese omelette, that was one of the best omelette I have had in my life.
The rest of the food was also quite tasty, Mousaka and garlic cheese toast, yummiest of all. I guess every cheese item, I had here, made me astonish.
We enjoyed the party music, that was going in the resort. Full of family audience. Watched Lage Raho too that night. Resort offered buffet, gala and bonfire for the new year eve.
All the people shouted the countdown of the new year. It was fun. Happy New Year everyone.
Next morning, I looked out the window, it was raining on the first day of the year. Around 10, there was fog all around. We all rushed outside our room and went to the lake and garden area to enjoy the fog. Try to wake up early when you’re on a tour, it helps to see the nature at its best. Anna Park, which was more of a nursery cum exhibition of plants.
A flower decorated bull and elephant were the main attractions. You will see some herbal, extinct type of plants in here too.
Hanging flower basket concept was good in the exhibition.
We had Mirchi Wada and Gobhi Manchurian near the lake. That wada is a must eat in Yercaud.
Then as we entered the resort, we saw a projector, wondering what is going on. As I looked the screen at first, I screamed, Its ZNMD guys. We would not have asked for anything better. Roundtable, chill night, open area and hot food made the day memorable.
It was 1 am in the night and Singla was hungry. We called the reception, they only offered tea and coffee. But what about food? I asked for biscuit, chips and other options. He finally agreed to give bread, butter and jam at midnight. And that is how Singla’s dream of midnight snacks came true.
Being in our luxurious hotel, we decided to explore a bit of Yercaud. We had breakfast at eggetarian, located near Yercaud Lake. It offers various type of snacks such as omelette, sandwich, burger, noodles, coffee, etc. Veg cheeseburger is a must try. Khat patt food point for us throughout the journey.
If you want to see the real face of the city, go to its market. On our way to the market we saw the famous Montfort School which was established in 1917. We roamed around the market. There was some graffiti on the wall, spiral stairs in one of the shops, tin shed covered shops, handwritten shop boards and many things that you will find interesting.
While exploring, we reached a restaurant called as ‘Sweet Rascals’. As you are about to enter in the restaurant, your eyes will be gazed upon one-liner boards that are visible from the main road. It is an open-air restaurant. The owner himself takes order from you, there’s no specific menu. You just tell him what you want to eat veg, chicken or fish, he will come up with something to impress you. He made red sauce indo- italian pasta for us.
All the posters in the restaurant really created the mood. Nice idea, Mr Vishu, the owner. Hahaha, there was a line saying The dogs are okay, beware of the owner!
We also had cotton candy milkshake, quite thick and different. They offered some 26 varieties of shake. Vishu got the shake himself, such a nice gesture. There was a big poster out there which showed how coffee plantation is done, starting from plucking coffee beans till the coffee beans are ready to sell.
Boating time, it costs Rs 120 for 4 seater paddle boat. You have to wear live jacket and time limit is 30 minutes. They also have motor and row boat. Go here during early morning, when there is fog. You also have to pay the entry ticket for the garden of Yercaud lake separately.
We went to explore orange restaurant which is one of the highest rated restaurants in Yercaud. But Nishchal’s iOS fancy maps, took us somewhere where there were just endless roads. I guess map was searching for an orange tree(since Yercaud is famous for citrus fruits). We purchased coffee which was planted and manufactured here, ‘Arabica’. In our resort, the price was 200 for 250 grams while, in an outside shop, it was 340 for 1 kilogram. Do buy this filter coffee lovers.
This relaxing trip ends the next morning. Auto wala charged us Rs 600, that was too much. For the first time I was in auto in a hill journey. We all went crazy clicking pictures.
We reached Salem in 45 minutes. The bus was from Saravana Bhawan, which is in the main city. Rawa Masala Dosa and Dahi wada were delicious, filled with ghee. They gave three chutneys too. Do try out their bakery. This is one of the few bakeries which offers so many type of pastries, cakes and puff. They had their own chain of ice-cream and pizza. This is a kind of an ideal trip for best friends. This place is enough for a tour of day or two on pretty cool budget. It has few places to travel and the appropriate weather and peace, to keep yourself calm.