Updated: Aug 1, 2020
The thing about solo travel is, you can never feel 100% ready. There will always be a tiny voice at the back of your head asking, “Are you crazy?” – SHIVYA NATH
So finally I ticked off A Solo Trip from my Bucket List. And its true you learn a lot as you know everything has its first time.
There are places I want to go, people to see, experiences to have, and food to try and only so much time to accomplish it all. So I refuse to wait for the right time to chase my dreams. It can be scary traveling alone, especially when you’ve ever done it before. Solo travel gives you ultimate freedom- there is none to hold you back from doing things or to judge you. In that freedom and infinite space, you meet yourself.
So this was a sudden and short trip but a well-planned one to Yelagiri hills- Located near Krishnagiri town on the Bangalore-Chennai highway, Yelagiri is a beautiful hill station and actually a group of small villages, away from the hustle-bustle of Vellore district, in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. the Yelagiri village is surrounded by orchards, rose-gardens, and green valleys.
The distance to Yelagiri from Bangalore is about 160km. And being a hill station there is no direct route to Yelagiri apart from road transports. I planned to board the Express train from Yashwantpur Junction in Bangalore to Jolarpattai ( located around 21km away from Yelagiri which is the main railway junction.) at 8:30 am and reached Jolarpettai by 11:00 am. Then I took an auto from Jolarpettai station till Yelagiri as its o the hills and the roads have many hairpin bends, by 11:45 am I reached my resort in Hills.
Although it is less touristy when compared to other places in Tamil Nadu, it is an ideal getaway for those who want to break the monotony of the cities to relax for a couple of days. There are many parks, lakes, hills and temples to see but unfortunately, due to off-season I could see only a few and I have collated a list of places worth visiting in Yelagiri.
PUNGANOOR LAKE and VELAVAN TEMPLE (3rd JULY 2019)
Punganoor Lake-cum-Park is among the famous places to visit in Yelagiri which is visited by tourists throughout the year. It is an artificial lake 25 feet deep with an adjoining park. There is a beautiful floriculture garden in the vicinity of the lake where people can relax and enjoy the beauty of the lake on the other side. The place is a favourite among visitors for its serene atmosphere in addition to the park which is bathed in lush greenery. The chief attraction in this place is boating.
Built-in the memory of Lord Murugan, on the periphery of the mountains of Yelagiri, Velavan Temple is one of the most religious destinations in Yelagiri. The architectural beauty of this temple is remarkable and the peaceful surrounding of the temple offers great peace of mind. All the festivals celebrated in Tamil Nadu are celebrated here with great pomp and luxury in Velavan Temple. The best time to visit this temple is between July and August when festivals are frequently celebrated one after the other.
NILAVOOR LAKE and NACHI AMMA TEMPLE (3rd JULY)
Nilavoor Lake is an artificial lake located in Nilavoor village. It is a small lake more like a pond, with a garden on its banks. The lake is indeed a tranquil and peaceful place to relax in the deep serenity away from the hassles of a busy life. This lake has an astounding sight during dawn and dusk.
The Kadavu Nachi Amma temple- its a Devi temple situated on the banks of Nilavoor lake. It has two huge human-shaped statues in the front of the temple and a very well maintained garden. The backdrop of the mountains makes this place scenic.
NATURE PARK and PERUMAL TEMPLE (3rd JULY)
The Nature Park is one of the most peaceful and tranquil places to visit. It is situated right in the lap of nature, offering some of the most stunning views. It is spread across an area of over 12 sprawling acres and is home to various plant species that specifically thrive in the rocky terrain of this particular region. One of the most beautiful features of the park is the artificial cascade of the resident waterfall and a musical fountain.
The Perumal temple is a treasure tucked away in a corner of Yelagiri overlooking the hills. One needs to climb down a steep slope along a path paved with beautiful rangoli. The temple itself is beautiful and the reigning deity of Lord Perumal fills one with reverence and peace. There are smaller temples with beautiful sculptures one storey up. The visitors are treated with Prasadam of Lord Perumal. It was worth a visit.
JALAGAMPARAI WATERFALLS and JALAGANDEESWARAR TEMPLE
This waterfall can be found at a short distance away from the main Yelagiri area and is located on the other side of the main hill station area. The falls are located just 14 km away from Tirupati. The famous Attaru River meanders through the mighty Yelagiri Hills and cascades down from a considerable height to form a beautiful and captivating waterfall which is a popular tourist attraction. The waterfall has a Shiva temple shaped in Shivlinga near it.
Jalagandeeswarar Temple which is situated right at the heart of the Vellore Fort (this is visited and loved by tourists from India and abroad). Each sculpture that is found in the temple can be termed as a visual masterpiece.
SWAMI MALAI HILLS and TELESCOPE OBSERVATORY
Swami Malai hills are the hills in the shape of the cake with a strong base at the bottom and a high peak. Trekking is an attraction at Swami Malai hills. One of the most famous treks that tourists undertake in this area leads to a rather small peak which then provides a beautiful view of the entire valley below.
The Telescope Observatory offers tourists a beautiful insight into the movement of our solar system’s celestial bodies. It is situated in Kavala, which is very near to Yelagiri. Managed and maintained by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, it is also home to Asia’s largest telescope.
FUNDERA BIRD PARK
After a long trail of disappointments, as it was off-season I visited Fundera Park-a a place where a complete family can enjoy a holiday with a new experience. It has more than 300 exotic non-Indian birds and none of them is caged and one can enter into their aviary. Also, they have a petting farm, where people can have hands-on experience. This is more like a farm environment. Domestic animals like rabbits, horses, cow, guinea pigs, different breeds of Hens and cocks, colored chicks, goat, sheep, and Ostrich are let open in their own areas. All the animals, birds are being taken care of well. The best part is a variety of parrots. You can feed them and take photographs on your own. The bamboo cafe offers beverages and some snacks. They have a fish spa too. They have the first 7D Cinema in Yelagiri.
I really had a great time there and I kept the next day for relaxing and enjoying just scenic views from hotel to feel the calmness of nature. And by 12 noon I left Yelagiri. The train was at 1:05 pm from Jolarpettai which dropped me to Bangalore at 3:30 pm.
Traveling is not just rejuvenating or a vacation. It is actually backpacking, it is more of interacting with new people and cultures. When people travel, comfort has the least priority in their minds. it is basically challenging oneself to push your limits.
If you have to wait for someone to travel with you, you may end up waiting a lifetime. Traveling alone can be the scariest, most liberating, life-changing experience of your life. Try it at least once!”
Travel, Meet, and Connect. Get Set GO !! ❤