The city of Vellore, situated 145 km from Chennai, is a very calm and subtle place. Vellore is located on the banks of River Palar and is considered a historical city. The name Vellore which means city of spears itself suggests that this city was a battle field and has witnessed many wars. This also means that Vellore has seen many rulers come and go. You will see the evidence in many structures and ruins that are constructed in different styles, although Dravidian civilization is the most prominent of all. Vellore is slowly and gradually picking up paces in its expansion as more and more commercial hubs are coming up. You will get the best infrastructure and accommodation that are there in Tamil Nadu most of which are pure value for money. Apart from the famous Vellore Fort which was considered to be the strongest fortress during the Carnatic War, the city is famous for the CMC Hospital that attracts patients and researchers from all over the world. It is one of the best in India without a doubt and the number of people coming to the hospital is so large that it makes this calm city seem quite lively.
Attractions - Shadows of Glorious Past
Places to Visit in Vellore may be few and far, but whatever this city has to offer to its tourist, has very unique and spectacular appearance which is sure to enthrall one and all. Vellore might not be as naturally gifted as its other counterparts, but man of the bygone era himself has raised wonders that can match any natural splendor. The main attractions of the city are the Vellore Fort, Jalakanteshwara Temple and the Government Museum.
Vellore Fort, built by the Nayakar chieftains of the Vijayanagar Empire is completely built of granite blocks. It was built in the 16th century and frequently exchanged hands between various strong empires. But still it holds an aura about its personality that is inferior to none. The fort is now promoted by the state government as a historical tourist destination. This is the main attraction of the Vellore city and sees the maximum number of foot falls to any attraction in the city.
It was witnessed the massacre of European soldier during the mutiny of 1806. Vellore district lies between 12° 15’ to 13° 15’ North latitudes and 78° 20’ to 79° 50’ East longitudes in Tamilnadu State. The geographical area of this district is 6077 sq. k.m. The total population as per 1991 Census is 30,26,432.
Vellore is the Head-Quarters of Vellore District is well connected by Rail and bus routes to major towns of the neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.
The history of the District assumes a great significance and relevance, as we unfold the glorious past. The Monuments found in the district give a vivid picture of the town through the ages. In the 18th Century Vellore District was the scene of some of the decisive battles fought in Ambur 1749 A.D., Arcot 1751 A.D. and Vandavasi 1768 A.D. as a result of the long – drawn struggle between the English and the French for Supremacy.
One of the monuments of Vellore is the Fort. A very close examination of the stone inscriptions suggests that the Fort in all probability might have been built during the rule of Chinna Bommi Nayak (1526 to 1595 A.D.).
The Fort is one of the most perfect speciments of Military architecture in South India. The Jalakandeswarar Temple inside the Fort is a very fine example of Vijayanagar architecture.
The Kalyanamantap on the left of the Vellore Travel Guideentrance, with intricate carvings and delicacy of execution bears testimony to the engineering marvel and advanced state of sculpture of the times.
Another landmark that has put Vellore on the Centre stage of Medical world is the Christian Medical College & Hospital.The outstanding performance of this district in contributing to the Military service is commendable, as more and more men have enlisted themselves to the Military service, to serve the nationa indomitable spirit and courage.
The clock tower in the long bazaar, Vellore was built in 1928 A.D.. A stone inscription in the building reads "VELLORE – FROM THIS VILLAGE 277 MEN WENT TO THE GREAT WAR 1914-18, OF THEM 14 GAVE UP THEIR LIVES" . This is a recorded testimony to the Vellore and Military prowess of men of this area.
Jalakanteshwara Temple was built in the year 1550 A.D. The temple is a small architectural wonder of Vijayanagar. The temple is within the fort complex and the walls of the temple are full of carvings of Nandi and small gopuras. You will find amazing work in the corridors as well. The temple was considered a masterpiece at the time of its construction and now it has become a marvel on this land of Vellore.
Muthu Mandapam is also called the 'Pearl Palace'. This is a memorial, which is built around the tombstone of the last Kandy Tamil ruler, Vikramraja Singh. It is situated just steps away from Vellore town towards north and is built on the bed of River Palar. The memorial is on a major alteration plan and is said that it will be added with a Children park, an aquarium and a lot more.
The Government Museum is situated besides the main bus stand in Lakshmanaswamy Town Hall. The museum is under the watch of Department of Museums. This might be the most unusual museum that you will ever see. It has in its collection, artifacts from many fields like anthropology, art, archeology, pre-history, botany, geology. Except for government holidays, the museum is open on all days from 9a.m to 12 noon and from 2 p.m. to 5p.m.
There are not many hotels or lodges in the city but few that are there, are clean and cheap. They are not luxury hotels but they cater to all basic needs of tourists. The hotels you can look upon for a pleasant stay are Hotel Prince Manor and Hotel River View.
Banglore in the state of Karnataka is the nearest airport around 103 km away. Flights from all over the country come to Banglore everyday.
Katpadi station is the nearest station. Although it is not a very important station but most of the train passing through here, have a 2-minute halt.
It takes around 2.5 hrs from Chennai and around 3.5 hrs from Banglore to reach here. There are regular transport buses that come here from Chennai and Banglore apart from other main cities of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Buses are the main mode of transport. You will also find taxis and auto rickshaws in good number.
More great attractions can be found in the Explore Wildlife in India page.