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Sunday, April 09, 2006

yelagiri the exotic hill station





When we decided Yelagiri as our Christmas holiday ( 2005 ) we had to explain to many where that was ,making us a trifle apprehensive of its suitability as a hill station ,but all our doubts vanished as we quickly climbed up the fourteen hairpin bends from dusty jolarpettai which had to its fame the famous railway junction and nothing more .
The short uphill journey was smooth and exhilarating with the heat of the plains metamorphosing into the cool of the hills .
In no time we were in the top and the small town was unlike kodai or Ooty though titled the poor mans Ooty ,it had some shops ,a lot of trees and plain roads ,soon we reached the Sterling resorts and to creature comforts .
The small town had surprisingly great eating choice and is a treat for gastronomics ,food was hot ,spicy and yummy ,with great globs of cool ice creams for the finale s.
Nothing much to see but curl up with a good novel in a hammock and drift away to a half eyed nap ,evenings spent in the camp fire with anthaksharis ,housies and tummy builders for company .the lake an artifical one was surprisingly neat with pedal boats for the asking as the crowd was practically not there .
Morning saw us starting on a trek from Mangalam village three kilometers away, up Swamimalai led by an aging local, it was a good tonic for our lazy muscles as we crossed fields full of ragi ,mustard ,corns and reached the foothill with stone steps .The climb slowly turned tougher but we persisted with well deserved rests at perky stones .the view was fabulous ,birds twittering gave us encouragement and the cool breeze invigorated us .we could see the telephone pole way up which was our destination and it required some rigorous climb through bushes and steep rocks .finally we did reach up in one piece to get into the cave temple ,our guide morphed into the priest lighting lamps and prodding us to drop huge offerings for the lord ,we disappointed him by doing nothing of the kind .
After some time in the top savouring the view and far away Jolarpeta and its toy houses we climbed down with trepidation as we knew it would be a difficult task not to topple down the steep stretches .Reaching down in one piece we brought a smile into our guide by tipping him well for a beautiful day spent in nature .The walk had made us ravenous and we devoured Hotel Hills offerings to our aching stomachs .A good nights sleep and we were speeding down and back home .
Poor mens holidays seems to be better than the real ones indeed .

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