“Travelling – it leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller”.
What better way to translate the emotions of a wandering soul who keeps going back to Nature and return with life changing experiences to share!
William Wordsworth, the famous English poet, once said: “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her”. As expressed correctly, the love for Nature never disappoints you. This is a love that unfolds in multiple dimensions and never fails to surprise you in the most unusual ways.
I am here to share one such amazing experience at one of the most under-rated travel destinations, named Yercaud (Tamil Nadu)
If you thought a vacation to a hill station is always synonymous with snow-capped peaks, widespread valleys, and pricey locations, then you are mistaken. There are many places where you can get a glimpse of the hidden gems that mother Nature has to offer – places which are not too far and not too expensive and yet provides an experience to carry in your heart for years to come. This is an ode to one such destination.
The plan was made, the energy was high, and we were looking forward to spend our extended weekend trip exploring Yercaud. The pictures in Google were quite inviting and prepared us for a peaceful getaway. Exactly what we wanted amidst our busy and monotonous routine!
Located at a distance of three and a half hours’ drive from Bangalore, the first look of this quaint little hill station unfolded slowly as we started climbing the serpentine roads of the narrow mountain sides. It was a cloudy day and as we got higher, the view got blurry. The misty mountains were wrapped in a sheet of thick white fog, eventually transforming into small water droplets on the dashboard of our car. The high trees and the dense vegetation redefined the shades of green we have ever experienced. The morning smelled of wild flora and soft earth drenched in misty water droplets.
As we gathered altitude, the view started changing and we were amidst the heart of Nature – ‘far from the maddening crowd’. The sounds of vehicles honking were replaced by the chirping of birds, murmuring of tree leaves, and whispering of the morning breeze. We changed the song in our music player and put it in a low volume. We felt the silence of the place and tried to consume it. We have started loving the place already!
As we reached our destination (the resort we booked for our stay), we were taken in by the beauty of the view of the Shevaroys. The blue mountain ranges, the picturesque valley overlooking the city of Salem, and the untouched Nature started disconnecting us from the deadlines of project deliverables. We felt free and full! Free of man-made boundaries and full of pure happiness and joy!
The best part about this place is that there is nothing extravagant about it. It’s small, simple, and full of Nature. With only a handful of spots to explore, Yercaud allows you to take it slow and relax. It is home to a beautiful lake (you can do boating as well!), a deer park (there are pigeons, peacocks, and guinea pigs too! It felt sad to see them in cages though), some scenic view points (Pagoda Point, Ladies Seat, Gents Seat, etc.) to enjoy the panoramic vista of the mountain valleys, a rose garden, and a couple of other spots.
The crowd is a mix of the local people and some off-beat tourists who chose to give this lesser known destination a chance to impress.
As the sky cleared up, the vividness of the colors started showing up. The azure sky, the soft white clouds, the spotless green, and the multi-colored flowers bathed and basked in the glory of the warm sunlight. The cool breeze filled you up with happiness, peace, and fresh oxygen!
The day passed on and the evening sun painted the canvas of the sky with a riot of colors. As the sun glided down the horizon, it left behind a purple sky looking like a sheet of velvet. The silhouette of flocks of birds, flying back to their nests, made it look like a page from the artist’s collections. Gradually, the purple turned to dark purple and then transformed to a black sky, only to be dotted with a thousand twinkling stars.
If you thought that was it, hold on! There were two skies in front of us. One, that we see every day, and the other, just below us! Yes, it seemed that a part of the sky has fallen down. The view of the Salem city at night mesmerized us from the heights. The orange yellow lights in the backdrop of black shimmered through the night making us wonder of the beauties created by even the most commonplace things in our daily life. The man-made constellation of electric lights below appeared to be a reflection of the divine star-lit night sky above!
Two days passed by in a blur. As we started our descent back towards Salem, each hair pin bend took us further from this short-lived dreamy getaway and left us longing for more. Finally, when we touched the plains after passing through 21 hair pin bends, and got back to the highway, we felt a strange pain inside that detached us from the hustle and bustle around. The familiar city life did not appear to be familiar any more. It was as though we have landed on an alien planet from somewhere surreal. However, as they say “Every end is a new beginning”, we carry the fond memories of this beautiful experience in our hearts and wait for the beauty of a new destination to unfold and mark the beginning of yet another soulful sojourn.