Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A 2 day trip to Yercaud!

April 8-10, 2016

Sanjeev and myself, along with our families drove to a 2 day trip to Yercaud, a Hill Station about 250 Kms from Bangalore. We took advantage of the 'Ugadi' holiday on Friday and which extended into weekend.

We had booked a homestay (Brindavan Guest House) at Yercaud, a palatial house, which housed a fully furnished, 3 bed room accommodation with all the amenities. We were hoping that apart from our 2 families there could be another family who could join us, but did not work out. However, the extra-room was made good use by the kids who had an awesome time together!

April 8, 2016, Friday - Ugadi:
We left Bangalore by 6:30 AM, had breakfast at Saravanna Bhavan at Krishnagiri by 8:30 AM, reached Salem by 11 AM via Dharmapuri. The 30 odd kilometers from Salem to Yercaud took about 45 minutes but we took some time off the road clicking photos of the beautiful view points as we climbed the hill. The ascent included 20 Hairpin bends and was a pleasurable ride. The roads from Banglaore to Yercaud was absolutely fantastic. We reached Yercaud by noon.

Our accommodation at Brindavan Guest House was just beautiful. The property was just about 1.5 Kms from the Yercaud Lake and was hidden from the crowded areas, but nestled between tall wooded trees on a hillside valley. 

We were hoping to see huge crowds in Yercaud, considering Summer Vacation, Long Weekends, but to our surprise, this sleepy city was yet to receive the crowds. For a change it was quite peaceful and not crowded at all. The cloudy weather made this town even more special.

Sanjeev had brought enough cooking items including a mini gas stove cum cylinder. Lunch was prepared in minutes and fed to the hungry souls. After a good afternoon rest, we drove to the 'Ladies Seat' - One of the view points about 5 Kms away from our stay. This place offered a great view of the valley and at the horizon was the city of Salem. We spent an hour enjoying the surroundings and left the place at dusk. 

We drove towards the Yercaud Lake and brought home some fresh farm grown veggies and other supplies for dinner. At our homestay, we got the campfire lit and kids had a great time singing and dancing to some Bollywood music. Cool fresh air, pleasant weather, no 'Mobile' Network, and a campfire! - What more can one ask for. The night was long and relaxing, something that we all wanted for a long time. Absolute bliss!

April 9, 2016, Saturday:
All of us got up early and left the house by 7 AM to another View Point close to the Shevroy Hills, which also houses a Venkateshwara Swamy Temple over the top of the hill. This hill gave us great views of the hillside and it was nice to see the clouds sweep through us! An amazing feeling.

The temple was not even open when we got there, but that gave us enough time to shoot some more pictures of Kids playing and monkeying around at this viewpoint. We visited this Cave Temple which is supposed to be a 1000 years old (as per the priest) and offered our prayers.

We returned back to our home-stay for Breakfast, freshened up and then left for visiting the Yercaud Lake for boating. The lake was quite serene and there was hardly any queue / crowd, so it was nice and easy. We took the Motorboat ride which was fun and we were done in about an hours time.

Next to the lake was the 'Poppy Hills Amusement Park', where all the kids enjoyed playing various games like Slides, Zorb ball, Bungee Jumping, varieties of Swings, and couple of other rides. Check out the photos for more details. The best was the Bungee Jump, which Pooja did and enjoyed very much. Srivali and Pooja also had great fun playing the Zorb Ball. Ruchir and Srishti had a great time playing swings, slides and other rides.

We had lunch at 'Annalakshmi' right opposite the lake and parceled some back to the little kids and their moms! A good nap followed thereafter.

After freshening up, we drove to the 'Gents Seat' that we could not cover the previous day as it was getting dark. The 'Gents Seat' is a view point, that is situated at a higher altitude, over a hillock right above the 'Ladies Seat' and exposing the other side of the same hill. The view of the setting sun was quite stunning. 

We got down the hill and revisited to the 'Ladies Seat' viewpoint, where we could watch Salem under night lights! The City Lights of Salem offered a stunning view from far above. 

The kids did some horse-riding, and man! they loved it. We returned back to our homestay and had some good dinner. After a long day, we retired to our beds early.

April 10, 2016, Sunday:
Very few times you get to enjoy a piping hot-early morning coffee at 5:30 AM amidst chirping birds, moving clouds and a slight drizzle. Sounds very filmy and dramatic, but that's exactly what Souji and I experienced. This get-away trip was meant to be this way and luckily it worked in our favour.

The kids were ready in an hour and we all left for another view point called the 'Pagoda View Point'. This was less than 5 minutes from our home stay. This view point too, like the others opened the views to a different side of the hill range. The early morning visit ensured there was enough mist everywhere which made it cool and nice.

We returned back to our homestay, had a sumptuous breakfast of Masala Dosa, Aloo-Irulli palya and Chatni, thanks to our master-chef Sanjeev! We spent the next couple of hours getting ready for our return journey and checked-out our home-stay by noon. Just before leaving Yercaud, we did a stop-over at one of the Perfume Store to do some shopping. Apparently, Yercaud has a huge number of such stores (Dr. Bhavani Singh Perfumery ...) all over Yercaud, and hence had to try this out. 

We also did a quick stop at the Nursery next to the Yercaud Lake where I purchased a couple of exotic plants. We started our descent from Yercaud by 12:30 PM and stopped at Krishnagiri for an hour for Lunch at Sarvanna Bhavan. We reached our home by 5:30 PM safe and sound, taking back some very nice memories from Yercaud.

Here are some Photos and Videos that we took during this trip.

2 day Trip to Yercaud

Our Little Champ - Ruchir turns 3!

April 3, 2016 -  Sunday:

Our little champ - Ruchir turned 3 today! He has been such a darling of a kid despite his non-stop, never ending 'naughty'-ness! 

Co-incidentally, my Father In-law turned 70 a few days back and we decided to celebrate his and Ruchir's birthday together today.

Early morning, Harish and myself drove all our families to 'Gadidam' - Sri Venkateshwara Swamy temple @ Bagepally, about 100 Kms from Bangalore. This temple has been the family temple for our In-Laws and the timing was just right to visit this temple on the occasion of the 2 birthdays!

We grouped ourselves into 2 cars, Harish's and mine. We reached Gadidam temple by 8:30 AM, took the Darshan, met the chief priest of the temple and even had the 'Prasada' at his residence. We started our return back to home by 11 AM.

Lavanya and Souji cooked a super lunch for all at home.

Post lunch, we decorated the house with loads of Balloons, one of the biggest wishes of Ruchir on his Birthday! Thanks to Harish, Sanjana and Pooja for making our home transform into a party hall!

The theme of Ruchir's Birthday was the 'Red Car' that he has been dreaming all these days. We bought him a  'Red Car' (manual / pedal) and ordered a cake for him from 'Cake-of-the-day'. The Cake had the picture of the Red Car from the Hollywood animation movie 'Cars'! Souji did a fantastic job on getting the return gifts that were also based on the same theme!

Ruchir other wish was to invite all his friends from the Apartment which we did. Souji had arranged for a catered dinner as well for all our guests.

Our special guests of honour for the evening celebrations this time was Anirudh and Abhiram.

With all his friends and relatives, Ruchir cut his 3rd Birthday cake amidst loud cheers and he thoroughly basked in the spotlight on him!. He was one happy Kid and the that was visible in his eyes!

Thanks everybody for all the wonderful wishes, gifts and blessings received in person, over WhatsApp, Facebook and all other types of communication available! Thanks everybody for making his day filled with fun and excitement! 

Here are some photos and videos taking during the day!