Vellore is located on the banks of Palar River, in the north-eastern part of Tamilnadu, in close vicinity to the Metro city of Chennai. Vellore has an engaging history and culture owing to the rule of Cholas, Pallavas,and then the medieval Cholan dynasty & Vijayanagar Empire. Flanked by Chennai, about 150 km far, Vellore boasts of two premier Institutions of India – Christian Medical College which also serves to make Vellore a medical tourism spot, and Vellore Institute of Technology.
The city is a manufacturing hub of leather & leather related products. Tanneries supply about 37% of the domestic supply and also engage in a healthy chunk of exports. Vellore also is a developed auto-ancillary manufacturing hub.
Vellore has an abundance to tell, through its’ places of interests. Each part gives a glimpse into the history and traditional grandeur. Chola inscriptions from the 19th century ANNAMALAIYAR temple in Tiruvannamalai is where one can find origins of the recorded history of Vellore.
Check out what Vellore has to offer to its’ ever growing count of visitors and tourists from India and abroad:-
The fort forms the heart of the city. Like any other fort city, the development of Vellore is diametrical to the Fort, which forms the core. This served as headquarters of the Vijayanagar Empire. The fortification even impressed the British, who later acquired this structure. The masonry and the architecture indicate the might of the stronghold of the Vijayanagar Empire.
As with many other forts, a tunnel with escape outlet opening at Virinjipuram- some 12 Kms from the fort was found. The Christian hospital also finds home in the fort complex.
During the British rule, the fort was home to high profile political prisoners- including Tipu Sultan of Mysore and the last king of Sri Lanka- Vikrama Rajasinha.
The fort has a deep moat or a ditch bordering the walls which contained crocodiles to attack intruders and eat them away. Arcot quarries & mines from Chittoor supplied granite for the construction.
The complex houses Jalakandeshwarar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a legend that Chinna Bommi nayaka, had a dream to build a Shiva temple around a shivalinga placed in the fort premises. The temple has intricate Dravidian sculpture. The 100 feet tall Gopuram or the tower showcases carvings that tell the way the Vijayanagar kings used to patronize sculptors and architects. The work on the stone pillar amazes the visitors. An old well called Ganga Gouri Thertram is the source of water for bathing the deity.
The complex also houses St. John’s Church, built around 1846 and a mosque.
- Major Battles: Battle of Thoppur(1620s), Carnatic Wars.
- Has witnessed what is known in history as Vellore Mutiny(1806).
- P&T department released a stamp commemorating the Fort in 1981.
In 2006, a stamp marking 200th anniversary of the Vellore Mutiny was released.
The fort is preserved and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. It is open for visitors. A museum displaying ancient armour, weapons, antique items, coins, herbs and other equipment is also a MUST visit. The museum is open on all days except public holidays.
Fee: Rs. 5/- per visitor.
Timings: 09:00 hours to 12:30 hours, 14:00 hours- 17:00 hours
Golden Temple, Sripuram
The temple complex is located at foothills of Thirumalaikodi, towards the southern end of the Vellore city. The temple was inaugurated on August 15, 2007. The temple was constructed by Vellore based Sri Narayani Peetham, headed by spiritual leader Sri Sakthi Amma.
The temple is dedicated to Sri Lakshmi & Sri Narayan. The entire structure of the temple is coated with gold. About 1500 Kilograms of gold worth over INR 300 Crore was used in the decorative process. Designing and craft work is indeed appreciable and draws inspiration from the Vedic messages. The temple premises are a Sri Chakram. The pathway to the temple corridor is depicted with life changing messages from Sri Sakthi Amma. The trust also runs a charitable hospital. The Golden Temple is drawing millions of visitors every year.
Located inside the city, the mosque is a learning centre for Arabic. The mosque serves to cater the spiritual needs of the Islam community and is a cultural landmark located in the heart of Vellore.
Yelagiri is a hill station located in outskirts of Vellore. It is located off Vaniyambadi-Thirupattur road. The major attraction is Jalagamparai waterfalls. However, the falls are seasonal and best enjoyed during the monsoon (Oct-January). The place is an ideal locale for re-creation and a shift from the hustle bustle of a noisy city.
Amirthi Zoological Park
Housed in about 25 acres, the zoo is actually a mini sanctuary, a tourist & picnic spot, with waterfalls & scenic beauty.
One can find spotted deer, parakeets, reptiles, monkeys, wild cats, crocodiles, mongoose, hedgehog and much more.
Vainu Bappu Observatory
The observatory is located at Kavalur, near Vaniyambadi and is managed by Indian Institute of Astrophysics.
It is located at a height of about 700 meters and has an array of telescopes including a 93 Inch telescope, presumed to be the largest in Asia for astronomical observations. Mr. M.K. Vainu Bappu, after whom this laboratory is named, was director of the Kodaikanal observatory, who shifted the observatory to the current location.
The observatory is open to public during occurrences of astronomical events like meteor falls or eclipses or general movements of stars and planets.
Delhi Gate served as a gateway to the 18th century fort, built by Daulat Khan, a Mughal governor. The site has been witness to the seizure of Arcot by Robert Clive. The locale provides a feel of ethnic Vellore culture and legacy.
The Muthu Mandapam (Pearl Palace) is a memorial built around the tombstone of the last Tamil king of Sri Lanka Sri Vikrama Rajasinha. The tomb was built in the year 1832. The memorial constructed by the Tamilnadu government in 1983 is located on the banks of Palar River. The arch of the structure is decorative. Children’s amusement activities, gardens and other amenities make it an ideal place for evening outings.
The clock tower erected in memory of George V was re-dedicated to 22 soldiers who fought World War I. 14 of them died. The tower manages to find a place in snapshots taken by the visitors to the fortified city.
Where to Shop?
Annapoorna complex offers street shopping experience with handicrafts items, fashion, Leather Bags, purse, leather items, and much more.
Accommodation in Vellore:
Vellore is well connected to the state capital Chennai via buses, trains and local transport. It is about 210 Km far from Karnataka state capital Bengaluru, another metropolitan city.