The town's name is derived from the lake located at its center - in Tamil Yeri means lake and Kaadu means forest. It is also explained as Seven Forest.

Yercaud (Tamil: ஏற்காடு) is a hill station in Salem, Tamil Nadu district, of Tamil Nadu state in India. It located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats; the Yercaud hill area is called the Shevaroy Hills. It is situated at an altitude of 1515 metres (4970 feet) above sea level, and the highest point in Yercaud is the Servarayan temple, at 5326 feet.

It is so named owing to the abundance of trees categorised as a forest near the lake, the name signifying Lake Forest. As a popular tourist destination, Yercaud is also called as Jewel of the South. Yercaud is connected to city of Salem, Tamil Nadu through Highway of 8 km. The temperature never rises above 29 °C (84 °F) or goes below 13 °C (55 °F).

Coffee and citrus fruits, most notably oranges, are grown in abundance apart from bananas, pears and jackfruit. Scenically, Yercaud is as enchanting and picturesque as the hill stations on the Western ghats and trekking here can be one of the most pleasurable ways to pass time.

The total extent of Yercaud Taluk is 382.67 km, including Reserve Forest. The entire County is administered as a Township. Yercaud also has a Village council.