Yercaud got its name from the Tamil words, yeri and kaadu, meaning lake and forest respectively. The British discovered it in the early 19th century. There are accounts of coffee plantations being introduced by a British officer in the area in the second decade of the 19th century. Though first house was built in 1840, the first metalled roads were laid only in the early 20th century. The cool climate attracted Christian missionaries and they established the Sacred Heart Convent for girls and Montfort School for boys. Schools like the Holy Cross Novitiate House, started by the Brothers of Don Bosco, followed these.
Yercaud was a Sun Taluk upto 14.10.1997. It became a full fledged Taluk with effect from 15.10.1997. There are 67 Revenue villages which have been grouped into 9
Tariffs for the sake of administration and each
Tariffs has one Village Administrative officer. Yercaud Taluk is divided into 3 Firkas viz., Yercaud, Vellakkadai and Puthur.
Yercaud Town is situated above 4800' from mean sea level. The highest point in Yercaud Taluk is Shevaroy Temple which is situated at a height of 5326'. Hence, Yercaud hill area is called "Shevaroyan Hills". It is also called "Ooty of the Poor". The Summer Festival is being celebrated in the second week of May of every year.The climate of Yercaud is a moderate one. The maximum temperature is 167.6°F and minimum is 66°F. In the year 1988,the average maximum temperature was 27°C and minimum is 15°C. Winter season starts in the month of September and ends in December. During Winter, the hills are covered by mist and looks beautiful. There is a long road going around the middle part of the Taluk connecting Nagalur, Semmanatham, Cauvery Peak, Vellakkadai, Manjakuttai villages and it is 35 kms in length.There is also a bus route from Salem to Yercaud via Ayothiyapattanam, Kuppanur and Kottachedu. State Transport Corporation, Salem and two private operations serve the traveling public. There are many villages connected by bus in Yercaud Taluk.
There are no wet lands in Yercaud Taluk. The main crop of this Taluk is Coffee. At first, Coffee was cultivated in "Grange Estate" in the year 1820. Coffee plant was brought from Africa to Yercaud by the then collector Thiru. Cock burn in the year 1820. Jack Fruit, Berry, Orange, Guava and spices like Pepper and Cardamom are the other crops raised in Coffee Estate. Sandalwood, Teak and Silver Oak are abundant.