The Hill Station Next door

This little break to Yelagiri had multiple reasons. One, a short rejuvenation stint was required for my daughter, who had just finished her 12th exams, before getting stuck into preparation classes for her competitive exams, Two, it had been ages since we visited our property, which we invested a few years ago, and Three – the summer heat was bearing down on Chennai. It was time to head for the hills.

The drive from Chennai was a smooth one, and being a weekday, the early morning traffic was hardly anything to comprehend with. The 17odd Kms of Ghat sections were so empty that Renault had chosen this time and day to test ride their new SUV’s (which were hooded, to keep prying eyes away), which they plan to launch shortly. The roads are nice and the 14 hairpin bends are innovatively named after the legendary philanthropic icons of Tamil Literature.
Yelagiri, the lesser known and shortest hill station to Chennai, is a small little town, comprising of a clutch of villages in Athanavur, Nilavur etc. A dozen resorts serve visitors, who are mainly from Bangalore and Chennai (due to its proximity) and today boasts of a Rock Garden, A musical fountain, Basic boating facilities and of late, some spectacular paragliding options during the season.
The lake is a basic water body, surrounded by a neatly paved walkway around it. An early morning stroll around it is a refreshing exercise. There are a couple of joggers or walkers at the most during that time, while the birds and water snakes abound around this area.

Other activities like trekking, nature walk etc can be options for the outdoor kind, while the few lakes, offer boating options.
We had opted for Peter’s park for our stay this time (we normally try to stay at different places every time) and we did have a decent experience at this place. An innovative gated community; this is a quite resort, tucked away from the main touristy area, enroute to Nilavur on the Yelagiri hills. It is a set of 15 odd independent cottages within a large compound, served by a common kitchen and recreation area. Each cottage has a small private lawn with provisions for bonfires. The bedrooms and bathrooms are clean and well maintained, though a bit small (even in the Royal suite version) in size.

The food is very homely and the service is excellent to say the least. The management and staff are extremely courteous and accommodating. There are bicycles you can rent out for a drive or just take a walk by the little rivulet which is in front of the resort. Indoor games like TT, Carrom, Chess etc are other pass times apart from a nature walk which you can opt for. If there is something which could have been better, it is possibly the spacing between the cottages. A little more space would ensure a lot more privacy.
Overall - Great service and excellent value for money.

In summary, this is a nice little hill station, within a few hours’ drive from Chennai, ideal for a weekend getaway, to rewind and experience the wonderful outdoors and pristine nature.

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