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ENVIRONMENT OF YERCAUD
Yercaud is a beautiful hill station, situated in the southern part of the Shevaroy ranges in the Eastern Ghats. It is a serene place with a pleasant, healthy and cool climate. Normally the temperature does not rise above 33 degrees centigrade or fall below 8 degrees centigrade. It is about 383 sq.kilometres in area and rises to an altitude of 1515 metres (5000 feet above sea level) amidst picturesque scenery. These factors make Yercaud an ideal location for a class boarding school. It is an hour’s drive from Salem, the Head Quarters of the District and is the least expensive hill station in South India.
The early history of Yercaud is very interesting. Long before 1819 when the Nilgris were first known, the Shevaroys were visited by British Government officials and about the year 1825, Mr. Cockburn M.C.S Collector of the Salem District, commenced his excellent and useful work on the plateau. To him the hills owe much; he planted trees from various countries, coffee, apples, pears, loquats and other fruits from the Cape and other places. The first hut on the hills was also built by Mr. Cockburn on the site of the present Grange Estate.
As for scenery, few spots can surpass Yercaud in its extensive panorama, with their grand mountain views. One of the most lovely scenes certainly in the Shevaroys is from the top of ‘Bears Hill’. The view from ‘Pagoda Point’ is breath taking indeed and this spot is frequently chosen for picnics and film shootings. The ‘Lady’s Seat’, is a cluster of rocks and a beautiful viewpoint. It houses a telescope for viewing and has a good steel railing to bar any misfortune at the viewpoint. The view from Lady’s Seat is magnificent extensively showing the 20 odd ‘hair pin bends’ of the ‘Main Ghat Road’ to Yercaud and Salem. It is a glorious sight at night to see Salem twinkling with terrestrial lights from these ‘viewpoints’.
Montfort Higher Secondary School situated near the Ornamental Lake of Yercaud is a world class boarding school for boys and girls. A three minutes walk from the Bus stand will take you to the school. The famous Lady’s Seat and Gent’s Seat are only three furlongs from the edge of the school compound. The Sacred Heart Girls’ Convent School is only a stone’s throw from its back gate. The school compound is encircled by motorable roads and sandwiched between the Bear’s Hill and the little Ornamental Lake at its entrance. The tourist attraction centre ‘Pagoda Point’ is seven minutes drive from the school
Spread over a vast area of nearly 40 acres of land, the school has a fine block of buildings that attract and hold the vision by their convincing splendour and solidity of construction. It has spacious classrooms, study halls, dining halls, dormitories, science and computer laboratories, library, auditorium and a well equipped infirmary. It has several playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, 2 swimming pools and a modern gymnasium.
The sprawling school compound abounds in numerous landmarks, lawns and panoramic gardens. At the entrance of this famous centre of learning is a theme based memorial dedicated to the ‘Architect of Montfort’, Rev. Bro. Eleazar named ‘titch square’. Walking ahead is a beautiful lawn adorning the statue of St.Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, the patron Saint of the institution and the Founder of Brothers of St.Gabriel.
The present Brothers’ Quarters and the parlour, another campus landmark, is the oldest building in the compound. Way back in 1916 it was known as the Belle-Vue hotel, one of the four bungalows that constituted the Belle-Vue Estate that was purchased by the Brothers, when Montfort school was founded in 1917. It housed the first Chapel, a classroom, refectory, dormitory and the Principal’s room.
‘Les Charmettes’ acquired in 1919 was the house for the younger students till 1983
The School Chapel, a splendid structure built exquisitely in stone, stands tall as a proud possession of our past heritage. This power house of God’s blessings is a masterpiece of Franco-Indian architecture. Its fine structure coupled with its excellent acoustic qualities make it an architectural marvel.
The Millennium Commemorative near the school office represents Montfort of Yesterday, Today and the New Millennium. It is a visual representation of all our dreams for a new world order around the millennium hero JESUS CHRIST.
Montfort School, Yercaud being the second institution to have been founded in India by the Brothers of St.Gabriel, we had the privilege of celebrating the centenary of Monfortian presence in India on a grand scale. The Centenary Memorial, christened ‘Pioneers’ Avenue’ is an impressive structure dedicated to the pioneers—Bro.Jean Baptist de la Salle, Bro. Denis and Bro. Martin de Vertou. May the beacon of light brought to the shores of India by our pioneers ever shine with greater intensity in the years to come.
Montfort is environment friendly. Steps have been taken to see that all the kitchen, bathing, washing and toilet waste water is reused after treating it through a ‘Recycling Plant’ and the same is used for gardening purpose. Other suitable wastes are utilized to be converted into bio-gas for cooking. Montfort also is a role model in ‘Rain Water Harvesting’. All the rain water that drains down is collected into a man-made lake surrounded by an attractive and serene garden. This lake can be experimented to learn boat rowing. Montfort hence remains ‘GREEN MONTFORT’ …