MONSOON GETAWAY
PROVOKE Lifestyle|June 2020
AS THE MONSOON SLOWLY MAKES ITS WAY ACROSS TAMIL NADU, THE BEST PLACE TO RUN AWAY TO WOULD BE YERCAUD, AS SHOMA ABHYANKAR DISCOVERS… THE TRIP WITH ALL THE NECESSARY COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS IN PLACE, OBVIOUSLY!
SHOMA ABHYANKAR

The torrent that accosted us at the last leg of a narrow mountainous road, made me wonder if we would ever reach the cozy little resort, tucked away in the hills, a little farther away from town. By the time we pulled in the driveway of the resort cottage, it was already evening. With no electric supply, our weekend began in a rather romantic set-up with rain sliding down the huge glass facade of a candle-lit tiny cottage. I was at Yercaud, a teeny-tiny hill station hidden in the folds of Servarayan hills or Shevaroy hills, as the British called them; a part of the Eastern Ghats in Tamil Nadu.

And what lay hidden by the barrage of rain previous evening, the rising early morning sun flaunted unabashedly. The skies opened up to reveal verdant hills rising up in sequent rows spread well up to the horizon. While the small cave temple of Servarayan that sits at the highest altitude in Yercaud presented an unhindered panoramic view of hills that wore a blue sheen.

Blessed with abundant greenery, a large lake and pleasant weather, Yercaud, the British summer retreat hill town, sits at a height of 4970feet above sea level surrounded by shola forests and mountainous vistas. Originally called ‘Erikadu’ for ‘Eri’ or lake and ‘Kadu’ or forest in Tamil, it was rechristened Yercaud when British discovered it as an escape from the oppressive heat and humidity of Madras in the 1820s.

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