YMCA Camp Centre, Yelagiri is a unit of the YMCA Boys’ Division, Tirupattur and is an important project of the National Council of YMCAs of India, New Delhi (www.ymcaindia.org)
YMCA CAMP YELAGIRI is situated in lush green and beautiful landscape surroundings. Our centre has about 30 acres of land, suitable for learnning & conducting Camps, retreats, group activities.
The camp centre is a favoured destination amongst some of the leading NGOs, corporates and government organisations as it offers amenities that include but is not limited to accomodation in rooms , dormitory accomodation, meeting halls, catering facilities, and an indoor chapel.
The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) movement is a worldwide Christian, ecumenical, voluntary movement for both men and women with special emphasis on genuine involvement of young people, which seeks to share the Christian ideal of building a humane community of justice, peace and reconciliation of the fullness of life for all creation.
The first YMCA was started in London in 1844 and today there are more than 15,000 local associations with 45 million members in above 125 countries, making the movement the largest international ecumenical youth organization in the world. YMCA aims at the overall welfare and development of spiritual, mental and physical faculties of the people without any distinction of caste, colour, sex or race. The movement has rendered pioneering service in the spheres of Education, Sports, Relief and Rehabilitation of Refugees, Physical Education, Youth Work and Camping, Hostels, Co-operative Endeavour's and Rural Reconstruction work.
Though the concept of Camping was very much new to the Indian conditions a sincere and committed effort was made by the founder secretary of the Boys’ Division Mr. Frank C Brown to establish one at Yelagiri Hills. With the help of Mr. M. G Dharmaraj the then National General Secretary of the National Council of YMCAs of India, which was functioning from 53/1 Peters Road, YMCA Royapettah, Madras-6, a piece of land measuring about 27 acres along with a dwelling unit was bought from Mr. P. A Walker on 6th March 1963. The YMCA Camp Centre was established and during the past 50 years we have become the pioneers and leaders in the field of camping.
Yellagiri Hills stands as a unique and splendorous creation of the nature. It is situated in Vellore District of Tamilnadu State in South India. It is located about 15 km away from Vaniyambadi – Tirupattur Road via Ponneri split Road. The total area of Yellagiri Hills is about 30 sq.km. On the top of the hill, it has an evergreen forest.
The name – "Yelagiri" takes its dimension from various aspects. One account credits the name to the tribal ruler 'Yelola Singan' and another account points to the cultivation of 'Yelachi' (cardamom – a spicy seed). But, we don’t have any strong evidence for the stories going around.
The annual rainfall of this hill is about 90 cms. It is also remarkable place for environmental studies, bird watching (June to August), and living with nature and eco-friendly ambience throughout the year. The important occupation of the people of this hill is agriculture. Both men and women participate equally in their work.
During the reign of Nawabs of Arcot, Thippu Sulthan from Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh – adjacent state of Tamilnadu) attacked Nawab’s region. The common people who were affected migrated to Yellagiri Hills. Later, Thippu Sultan heard about the hills and he sent the wounded soldiers to the hills along with doctors for treatment. The pleasant weather, herbs for treatment and (cup-shaped hill) safe location are the great advantages for such selection.
Later in 1970s, the Christian missionaries came in and supported the natives in education; career etc and then the Hills came into lime-light during the dawn of 3rd millennium. Now it has been promoted as a tourism centre by the Government of Tamilnadu and developments are faster than earlier.
Geographically Yelagiri Hills is a part of the Eastern Ghats of India, situated in between the cities of Chennai and Bangalore. It is the nearest Hill Station for both the cities.
|Altitude||1410.60 metres above Mean Sea Level|
|Temperature||Summer: 30° C
Winter: 11° C
|Climate||Hot during day time but chillness assured during all nights.|
With its History of serving the society and youth in particular and Geographically with the global presence, the role of YMCA in Yelagiri Hills can never be the same. In line with the founding principles of YMCA, we offer facilities for the total development of the BODY, MIND and SOUL.
As our concept is providing camping facilities at affordable cost, we provide dormitory facilities for about 200 persons. The meetings halls and the open grounds are added attractions to the camp centre.
As the demand for family accommodation was ever increasing we constructed a Youth Hostel with 34 modern rooms in 2004.
Presently a new office cum dormitory block is constructed and is ready for occupation from March 2013.
Our camp activities include trekking, rock climbing, forest walk, mountain summit, outdoor games/ sports, camp fire etc.
Our future plans are to provide more accommodation and camping facilities at affordable cost to groups from churches, schools, colleges and families.
As we celebrated the Platinum Jubilee of the YMCA Boys’ Division Tirupattur, on the 3rd December 2012 it is time to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the YMCA Camp Centre at Yelagiri in the Year 2013 and we look forward to a promising and enterprising future.