YercaudYercaud is a hill station in Salem District, in Tamil Nadu, India. It is located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats. It is situated at an altitude of 1515 metres (4970 ft) above sea level, and the highest point in Yercaud is the Servarayan temple, at 5,326 feet (1,623 m). The hill station is named owing to the abundance of forest near the lake, the name signifying Lake Forest. As a popular tourist destination, Yercaud is also called as Jewel of the South. Yercaud is connected to the city of Salem, Tamil Nadu through a Highway of 28 km. Coffee and citrus fruits, most notably oranges, are grown in abundance, as well as bananas, pears and jackfruit. Scenically, Yercaud is as enchanting and picturesque as the hill stations on the Eastern Ghats and trekking will be an experience. The total extent of Yercaud Taluk is 382.67 km2, including reserve forest. The entire county is administered as a township. Yercaud also has a village council.
ClimateThe climate of Yercaud is moderate humid subtropical. Winters are fairly mild, starting in December and ending in February. During winter, the hills are covered in mist. Winters range from 12 ℃ to 24 ℃, and summers from 16 ℃ to 30 ℃. Rainfall is 1500 - 2000 mm. The coffee bushes blossom in April and offer a spectacular view. The climate is also particularly pleasant.
Flora and faunaThe National Orchidarium and Botanical garden is situated in Yercaud, it is maintained by southern circle of Botanical Survey of India. The National Orchidarium established in the year 1963. The total area of orchidarium is 18.4 hectares. There are 3000 trees and 1800 shrubs grown in Orchidarium. Insectivorous pitcher plant is among the interesting plants grown in the Botanical garden. Some of the original forests still exist in the Yercaud hills and contain several endemic species of plants and fauna. The Yercaud hills have many faunal and floral similarities to the Western Ghats. Coffee and citrus fruits, most notably oranges, are grown in abundance, as well as bananas, pears and jackfruit.
Yercaud is rich in endemic and charismatic species of wildlife including bison, sambar deer, spotted deer, ant-eater, jackals, hares, foxes, mongoose, civets, giant squirrels, and many reptiles including endemic ones such Hemiphyllodactylus aurantiacus, Calotes calotes, Calotes rouxii, Mabuya beddomii and shield tail snake like Uropeltis ellioti and Uropeltis shorttii (which is endemic to the hill range), the endangered Python molurus, Macropisthodon plumbicolor, Calliophis beddomei and Trimeresurus gramineus; endemic amphibians such as Hylarana, Raorchestes, Fejervarya and scores of birds like the whistling thrush, racket-tailed drongo, peacock, shama, leafbird and Indian grey hornbill.