Yercaud – TGI Star Holiday Resort

This was our first holiday of 2019 and a much-needed break from the hectic city life. Yercaud is a small hill station situated in the state of Tamil Nadu.

We came to know about this place while searching online for a place not that far from Bangalore. Yercaud is around 225 Km from Bangalore. The roads are quite good throughout the journey.

NH 44

Rout we took was via Hosur – Krishnagri – Selum. We started at around 6.20 AM on Saturday. After reaching the silk board junction we came to know that it is very late if one must go on this rout on a weekend.

Highway towards Selum

There are tolls on this rout and total toll we paid was around Rs 600 in total i.e. for return journey. Plus Rs 90 on NICE Road, Bangalore from Electronic City to Clover Leaf.

Beautiful way after Selum

There was traffic on silk board & a long queue on the toll plaza just after the Electronic city flyover. It took us around 10 min to clear the toll. Then after the toll there was traffic on the highway as it was kind of long weekend, Monday leave gives 4 days as Tuesday was holiday on the occasion of Sankranti.

For b/f we stopped at Hotel Shri Krishna Inn, Shoolagiri. Food here is nice and priced reasonably. This was very crowded and that day and there was a waiting as well. There are 2 sitting option – inside and outside.

There’s a HP petrol pump, Mc Donald’s and Cafe Coffee day all located in the same complex.

After Selum the ghat section starts, Yercaud is around 30 Km from Selum. There are 20 Hairpin bends on this rout and the amazing thing is the roads are very well maintained and are quite broad.

This is how it looks

There are mirrors installed but only few are in working condition, rest are either damaged or stolen.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Entering the resort

This time we wanted to stay in a place where we can spend some quality & screen free time with family. So after googling for some time we came across TGI Star Holiday resort located just 1 Km before the main town or Yercaud.

Resort & list of what all things are there to do

Main reason for going with this property is its family friendliness. This is a 3-star property with some amazing features. There are 2 categories of rooms i.e. Deluxe/Superior cottage and Suit Cottage.

The main difference in both the rooms is space, in Suit there is a living room with a sofa and one sofa cum bed plus the bedroom is also quite specious. Other one is normal size room. Both the categories have a private sitting space/balcony outside the room.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Entrance to our cottage

We stayed in Suit cottage as we need some space for our daughter to run around when we relax in the room 😊. Other amenities include a welcome drink at reception, some snacks in the room, good quality toiletries in the bathroom.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Cottages one on ground floor one on first

In suit it was a king size bed and it was quite comfortable. Lenin and towels are also of good quality and soft to touch. This place is located on a hill slope so first to reach you must get down from the main road and after you enter you must climb up & both the time it’s a steep slope.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
US time

There is ample of parking, you can either park at the front of the resort or inside at the end. There are small gardens with different varieties of flowers/plats in front of each cottage, which makes the stay more pleasing.

If we talk about the facilities of the resort, then there are a lot of things one can do with family. There is a spa, a restaurant which serves good and tasty food. An indoor games room with games like carrom, chess & Table tennis. A badminton court, swings for adults and kids, separate play area for kids and swimming pool.

If you are a dare devil and like adventure sports, then there is facility for that too. Adventure activities are conducted inside the resort and the instructor is very good.

Adventure activities..it was really fun

Activities have different difficulty levels and finally there is a zip line. So, if you are planning to visit this place and want to do this then do carry sports shoes.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Inner Peace….

We took the spa after we were done with our first dose of adventure activities. Me and my husband both took the spa and we really felt good after it. All refreshed and recharged. The massage therapist for male and female are very good, and both were experienced.

TGI Star Holiday resort, yercaud
Morning view from our balcony

Price wise it’s very reasonable starting from Rs 1500 for Kerala massage to Rs 2500 for their signature package. They do have facial and other stuff also.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Movie screening in Open Air Theatre

One of the most interesting and unique thing that I like about this place is there open-air theatre. Yes, you read it correct, they show a movie once it is dark in the garden space b/w the games room and badminton court. That too with a Bonfire 😊

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Main road inside the resort

First day it was an English movie and second day it was Tamil movie with English sub 😊. There is light in the badminton court, so you can play even at night just make sure you don’t make too much of noise as there are rooms just adjacent to the court.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Swings for kids and adults and kids play area behind it

Food here was good, they have buffet for all 3 meals or if you want something else then you can order from the small AA-la-carte menu.

In buffet there are 3 veg dishes and 2 non veg dishes with 2 rice preparation and rasam. Chapatis are pre cooked and kept in hot case.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Evening chai with bhajjis

One more thing that I really like is in the evening/night time their housekeeping guys come to every room to refill the snacks, tea coffee and ask if you need any other thing. They also ask you to provide feedback about the room cleaning and their service which was something new to us.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Family time in the garden area outside the cottage

There is free Wi-Fi, but the speed is not good, there is no issue with mobile signals at least with Airtel.

Morning sun from the balcony

Whole staff of the resort is so courteous and friendly, we really like their hospitality.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Morning sun, something different

We really like the time we have spent in this resort.

Small tour of the beautiful Property of TGI Hotels

There are quite a few things to see in Yercaud. Some of them are –

  1. Kiliyur falls
  2. Yercaud lake
  3. Ladies seat
  4. Gents seat
  5. Rose garden
  6. Few temples

We checked about the falls and came to know that there is no water in the falls so it’s not worth visiting it. Also, there are steep steps to reach to the falls, around 250 to 300. Going down is easy but climbing up is a tedious task. So if you are visiting in rains then only plan else you might regret.

Yercaud lake
Let me go @Yercaud Lake

Out of these we saw only few like rose garden, lake, ladies’ seat and while coming back from ladies’ seat I noticed a small aquarium just beside the lake.

Yercaud Lake
Beautiful Lake

Yercaud is a small town and the resort is located just 1 km from the lake. There is no proper or designated parking space at the lake, you have to park on the road side. Beware if you go on Sunday morning then there is a flea market on both the side of the road.

Yercaud Lake
Mommy & Baby in full swag

There is boating facility at the lake and one can choose from paddle boat, boat with oars or a motor boat. There are few good points to click pic with lake as background. Rose garden is 1.5 km around from lake.

The road is not in good shape and just before the main entry of the garden it is a single lane. So, if some vehicle is coming from other direction then one must go reverse. One can park vehicle inside the gate of rose garden or on the road side, parking is free.

Rose Garden, Yercaud
Inside Rose garden

Ticket to enter garden is of Rs 30 and for us it was not worth as there were only few plants were, we could see some roses. The garden was maintained well. From rose garden you can either walk to ladies’ seat it’s just 100 mtr. Or you take your car and park it there.

Beautiful valley view from Ladies Seat

Ladies seat is just a valley view point and nothing else. There is small shed from where you can see beautiful valley below. But what we feel is it will be worthier to visit in/after rains as the view will be clearer. This time it was all foggy/cloudy. But still it was beautiful.

A very important message

Gents seat is located again some 100 mtr from ladies’ seat and it’s a valley view point. So, we skipped it. While coming back from ladies’ seat google maps leads us to a road which was closed at the point where is meets the main road. So, we have to take a U turn.

On the same road there is a small aquarium which has 17 varieties of fishes including ‘Piranha’. The entry ticket to this place is only Rs 10 pp but parking outside is Rs 30. It’s a good experience for kids.

Over all we really enjoyed our 2 days of stay @TGI Star Holiday Resort and in Yercaud.

Note -
All the pictures are from our trip taken by us.

Gandikota and Belum Caves

Gandikota is a hidden gem, also known as Grand Canyon of India. Gandikota is a small village on the banks of river Pennar in Andhra Pradesh.

Planned 1N/2D road trip from Bangalore to Gandikota and Belum caves. Gandikota is around 292 Km and it’s NH 44 i.e. highway to Hyderabad.

The roads are awesome, it’s a 4-lane highway and state highway after Kodur with quite less traffic.

NH 44
Somewhere on National Highway

Route took

Outer ring road from home till Hebbal Junction and merged into NH 44.

Bangalore – Kodur – Muddalakuntapalli – Sunnampalle – Mukkandlavarikothapalle – Kadiri – Kutagulla – Kanampalli – Venkatpuram – Rachumarripalle – Muddanur – Ananthagiri - Gandikota

Bangalore to Gandikota
Bangalore to Gandikota

There are toll on this road. The state highway is also in good condition with occasional bad patches.

Bangalore to Gandikota
Some ware on State Highway

If you love to drive fast, then you will fall in love with this highway (please don’t drive fast you will save few minutes but will be risking your and others life’s).

Bangalore to Belum
Beautiful view on NH 44

We started around 6.00 AM from our place, it took 1 hour to cross the airport toll from out place. There are good options for B/F few kilometers after the toll. We stopped at Indian Paratha Company.

Indian Paratha Company
Indian Paratha Company

Heard a lot about Indian Paratha Company from friends and were thinking to visit this place from long. Finally, we got a chance and made our first stop here.

Indian Paratha Company
Outside sitting @ Indian Paratha Company

It’s quite good option to have heavy B/F with large glass of tea. They have 2 sitting options few tables inside and then outside. It’s quite nice to sit outside in the morning as there is less traffic, less noise and pollution.

Indian Paratha Company
Yummy parathas @ Indian Paratha Company

Taste was good, they serve parathas with achar, curd & chutney. As it was early morning time, we had ginger tea which they served in a big glass. Tea was priced heavily around Rs 60, but taste was good. Toilets are not that clean and small toilets.

After having heavy B/F we stopped one more time as washroom break then directly to the hotel in Gandikota. We reached around 1 PM and after checking in directly came for lunch.

Bangalore to Gandikota
Beautiful way to Gandikota

There is only one place to stay in Gandikota and that is Haritha Hotel which is run by APTDC i.e. Andhra Pradesh Tourism. There are limited rooms available here and can only be booked through APTDC website.

Do carry print out of booking confirmation.

Haritha Hotel Gandikota
View of rooms @ Haritha Gandikota

Rooms are air conditioned and cost very nominal i.e. Rs 1500/night on weekdays and Rs 2000/night on weekend. Nothing is included in the price but the food here is quite cheap.

Haritha Hotel Gandikota
Mommy baby posing on stairs to terrace

There is no other restaurant near by as this is located right next to Gandikota Fort, which is far from nearby towns.

One of the speciality of this hotel is you can drive your car right up to your room and park it there itself.

Volkswagen Polo
German beauty soaked in over night rain

Nearest towns are namely Tadipatri, Gooty and Guntakal. The road after the highway to the hotel is single lane road but in good shape. You might be able to see Tatireddy Narasimha Reddy Dam at a distance and Pennar river on the right.

Tatireddy Narasimha Reddy Dam
View of Pennar river

It’s a decent property with big room and small washroom. Room was nice decently cleaned and doesn’t smell foul. They do have TV and set top box. There is option to stay in tents, as this is a government property, they have lots of open space.

For full review of this property please check my TripAdvisor.

Food was OK here, mostly they have limited options. Taste was OK, and price was low we paid around Rs 770 for 4 meals and evening snack for 2 persons.

Bangalore Gandikota
Somewhere on the way to Gandikota

Best thing about this hotel is the view and is located right next to fort. They do have some outdoor activities at additional cost like kayaking which is organized by some other organization. For it you have to track down to Penna river which takes around 40 min.

Haritha Hotel Gandikota
Road to Haritha & Gandikota Fort

After lunch, went to relax for some time. After freshen up head out to visit the main attraction – Grand Canyon of India. It is called Grand Canyon because a spectacular gorge formed by river Pennar which goes through the Erramala hills.

Grand canyon Gandikota
Mesmerising view of gorge

You can take you car inside the fort and park it near the Mosque. From there walk/climb/jump/balance to reach the point where you will be mesmerized by the beauty of the gorge and river Pennar.

Gandikota Fort
Way to the gorge inside Gandikota fort

As it’s full of rocks so please do wear comfortable shoes and relaxed bottom wear.

Gandikota Fort
Mosque inside fort, this is the place where we park the cars/2 wheeler

Gandikota Fort
Erramala hill and Pennar river

Sunrise/Sunset view must be amazing here. We couldn’t witness the sunset as it was all cloudy that evening and we had rains in the night.

Gandikota Fort
Granary behind the Mosque

After enjoying the evening at the gorge came back had some snacks with a cup of tea and then went to room to relax.

Gandikota Fort
Beautiful landscape view from the top of temple wall

There is one positive point about this place is there is no or very limited cellular n/w, so you can totally enjoy the time with friends and family.

Gandikota Fort
Relaxing and enjoying the view

But has one drawback Google map won’t work so download the map of this region in advance.

Gandikota Fort
Mommy and baby soaking the natural beauty

After dinner we slept early, had a good night sleep and then woke up early. Went to the terrace of our room (one unique thing about this place is each room has its own terrace). The morning view was simply amazing. Click some pics and then went down to get ready to leave.

Haritha Hotel Gandikota
Morning view from room terrace

After B/F we checked out and head to Belum caves, it’s around 61 KM 1.30-hour drive. It’s a state highway and nice road with traffic as you have to cross towns.

Gandikota to Belum Caves
Gandikota to Belum

There is ample parking space and the entry ticket costs Rs 50 -60 for Adult and Rs 30 for child.

Belum Caves
Belum Caves Entrance

The caves are largest caves in India. We visited after the rainy season and major part of the caves was closed as it was filled with water and mud.

Belum Caves
Area to descend to main cave

There are lights and large fans installed to keep pumping fresh air so that one won’t feel suffocated. If full cave is operational then it is advisable to take a guide.

Belum Caves
Inside Belum Caves

Belum caves are natural caves formed by underground water. The entrance looks like we are going in a pit and only after entering that pit you will be amazed to see the hug and amazing caves.

Belum Caves
Marks left by water

Belum Caves
View of one of the pits from the inside

It will be humid and hot inside the caves; cloth selection should be accordingly. Walking path inside the cave is nicely laid so you can take stroller, but it will be bumpy. Our daughter was small, so we carried her in her carrier.

Belum Caves
Mommy busy exploring the cave while baby is relaxing in her carrier

We spent around 1 hour in the caves and came back, if it was fully open then one can spend around 2-3 hours exploring the caves.

Coming back to Bangalore from Belum it was different route

Belum – Bugga – Tadipatri – Anantapur – Rapthdu – Kodur – Bangalore

Belum caves to Bangalore
Belum to Bangalore

From Rapthdu you will merge on NH 44 till Bangalore. Kilometer wise it is few KM more around 10-15 KM. One can plan a trip the other way as well i.e.

Bangalore – Belum – Gandikota – Bangalore

On our way back, we took lunch at NH 7 Refuel which will come after Indian Paratha Company. You must take ‘U’ turn which is little ahead but not too far.

NH 7 Refuel
NH 7 Refuel

Food was Ok here it was based on Punjabi theme so major food item was non-veg and we are pure veg. so after digging in the menu we finally settled for Makki ki roti sarso ka sag and chole bhature.

NH 7 Refuel
Makki roti sarso ka saag

Makki ki roti and sag was good but they didn’t serve any gud (jaggery). Chole bhature taste wise were nice but bhatura was too oily. Service was kind of slow and less staff.

It is a huge place with 2 sitting option out of which one is inside in the main hall and other is upstairs in open with a view of highway and landscape.

Nh 7 Refuel
Sitting space

Over all it was amazing experience exploring the huge natural caves for the first time and the view of Gandikota and Panna river.

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Note - All the pictures are from our trip taken by us.