If you are planning a long-drive over the weekend to escape the scorching sun, you should spare a thought for Yelagiri, located in the Vellore district. The hill station, at a height of about 1,000 meters above sea level, enjoys a pleasant climate through the year. As a result, it is an ideal place to get some relief from the incessant heat.

You can travel by the winding Ghat road that has 14 hairpin bends, you can reach the Yelagiri hilltop. The ride offers panoramic breath taking views of the hills and its surroundings. The seventh bend is significant, since it offers the view of the slopes of the mountain and the green forests. The highest point in Yelgiri is the Swamimalai Hill, standing tall at 4,338 ft and a popular destination for trekkers.

The first thing that hits you on arrival in Yelagiri is the lack of noise. The beautiful rustic surroundings are extraordinarily quiet and when someone rings a temple bell somewhere on the hill, you can hear it as clearly as if you were right there. The smell of mango and jackfruit plantations are diluted by the subtle fragrances of fresh foliage. It’s a great place to calm your mind and stay in the lap of nature.

The most popular landmark of Yelagiri is the centrally-located Lake Punganoor. Pedal and manned rowing boats offer a chance to watch the beauty of the surrounding hills. Another popular place to visit in Yelagiri is the beautiful MuruganTemple (Velavan Temple) in Yelagiri, dedicated to Lord Murugan (Kartikeya in the north) that exhibits a statue of Ghatotkacha (the son of Bhima and giantess Hidimbi in the Mahabharata) towards the entrance. This temple is nestled on a small hillock and attracts many local pilgrims from nearby areas. Do try and visit the Jalagamparai waterfalls. The Attaru river flows through the Yelagiri Hills to form this stunning waterfall. Adventure lovers can opt for a 5-km long trek here to enjoy the beauty of this area in its purest form.

Apart from these you can go for morning walks on the numerous trails, take an evening stroll around the resort or hotel you are staying at or go for guided jungle sojourns.