Location: Vellore District, Tamil Nadu
Lies Along: Palar River
Renowned For: Christian Medical College And Hospital, Vellore Fort
Was The Seat Of: Pallava, Chola, Rashtrakutas, Vijayanagar Rulers, and Muslim Rulers Of Deccan, Sultans Of Bijapur And Golconda, French, Mughals And The British
Vellore district is bounded on the north by the Chittoor district (Andhra Pradesh) and a portion of Tiruvallur district and on the south by the Tiruvannamalai district. On the west are the districts of Dharmapuri and Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh) while Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur and Tiruvannamalai districts are in its eastern boundary. Vellore district is in the inland region and is of irregular shape. Headquarters of this district is Vellore.
The City Of Vellore: Vellore city lies along the Palar River, southwest of Chennai. Vellore is now pursuing with activity as a commercial, administrative and medical center. Vellore is renowned for a Christian Medical College and Hospital, which attracts patients and research scholars from all corners. The people who come here from all over India for medical care gives this humble town a cosmopolitan feels. For tourists, it is noteworthy only for the Vijayanagar fort and its temple, which are in an excellent state of preservation and worth visiting.
The History Of Vellore: The area constituting the present Vellore district is said to have formed part of the 'Tondai-mandalam region', known in early South Indian history. The region has witnessed many thrilling fights for supremacy between the local chieftains and rulers on one hand and the French and English invaders on the other.
From the earliest times for which evidence is available the district formed part of the Pallava kingdom during the close of the 9th century AD. Kanchipuram in Chengalpattu district was then the capital of the Pallavas. In the succeeding periods, the district came under the rule of Cholas, the Rashtrakutas, the Thanjavur ruler, Rajaraja and the Hindu rulers of Vijayanagar. The Muslim rulers of Deccan overthrew the last ruling kings of the Vijayanagar dynasty. The decisive battle of Talikotta in 1565 brought the region under the sway of the Sultans of Bijapur and Golconda.
During the 18th century, several battles have taken place between the English, the French and Mughals in the district. In 1781, the Nawab had assigned the revenues of the Carnatic to the East India Company and North Arcot then came under their management. It was then ruled by the British, which lasted for nearly 150 years and ended in 1947 when India attained Independence.
Vellore Fort: The Vellore Fort is perhaps the most beautiful specimen of military architecture in South India and it is still in a good state of preservation. Sinna Bomma Reddi a vessel chieftain under the Vijayanagar king, Sada Sriranga Maharaja, built this historical fort in the 16th century. It was the scene of many historic sieges and battles.
To the right of the fort, there are 3 churches, cemetery of dead British Soldiers in Sepoy Mutiny and a museum containing sculptures and hero stones dating back to the Pallava and Chola times.
Jalakanteshwara Temple: Jalakanteshwara temple is situated within the Vellore fort. It has some beautiful sculptures on the ceiling and some richly, carved pillars and monoliths. The carving of roofs and pillars are wonderful examples of Vijayanagar type of sculptural architecture. The Gopuram of the temple, which is 30 m high and seven storied is superb.
Government Museum: Situated adjacent to the main bus stand in the Lakshmanaswamy Town hall, the Government Museum is a multi purpose museum maintained by the Department of Museums of Tamil Nadu Government. It treasures ancient and present day articles relating to Anthropology, Art and Archaeology, Botany, Geology, Numismatics, Pre-history, Zoology, etc.
Muthu Mandapam (Pearl Palace): Muthu Mandapam is a memorial built around the tombstone of Vikramraja Singh, the last candy Tamil ruler. Situated on the bed of Palar River, it is just one km north of Vellore town at a walking distance.
C.M.C. Hospital: If Vellore attracts a floating population of 5000 every day, it is because of the world famous Christian Missionary Medical College and Hospital founded in the early part of the century by a dedicated American Medical Missionary, Dr. Ida Scudder. The one room clinic founded in 1890 has grown in size and stature treating thousands of both inpatients and out patients in all branches of medicine and surgery. Besides a world famous Cancer ward and Neurological ward, it has a Mental Hospital and a College of Nursing.
Thiruvannamalai: The temple town of Thiruvannamalai, 85-km south of Vellore, is an important Shaivite town. Though Hindus seek god in the form idol, it is also their strong belief that god is also in the form of Light or Flame. These symbolic ideals are represented in Thiruvannamalai. The sculptures in the pillars and the idol lingam are very huge and enticing that they make one wonder at the artistic spirit of those artisans. The Deepam Festival in the month of Karthigai (November) is very popular and it attracts devotees in large numbers.
Amirthi Forest: 24-km south of Vellore is the panoramic Amirithi forest rich in its variety of flora and fauna. A half of this jungle is cleared to serve as a tourist spot while the other half is developed as a wildlife sanctuary.
Javadu Hills: Jamanamarathur, 40-km from Polur, is the main village in Javadu hills, which is famous for its sandalwood and fruit bearing trees. Its altitude varies from 300 to 1,000m.
Jalagampaari Falls: Jalagampaari waterfalls situated 17-km from Tirupattur in Vellore district is a fine picnic spot. There is a Murugan temple beside the waterfalls, where the deity is in the form of VEL (a kind of spear). The Murugan temple attracts tourists throughout the year.
Elagiri Hills: An isolated, attractive picnic spot in the Eastern Ghats is the Elagiri Hills, at an elevation of about 1000 meters. A salubrious climate; scenic surroundings and a quaint Murugan temple are some of the attractions of this place. These hills are an ideal location for a weekend where one could organize one day or two days' trekking.
Virinjipuram: This magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is famous for its devotees who throng here with ardent belief that a dream on the last Sunday of Karthigai month will reveal of their fortune of being blessed with an offspring. The Lion-faced Simmakulam tank is considered to be very sacred.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: The nearest airport is at Chennai, 122-km away.
Rail: Vellore's main railway station is five km north at Katpadi. This is the junction of the broad-gauge line from Bangalore to Chennai, and meter gauge line from Tirupati to Madurai (which runs via Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram, Chidambaram, Thanjavur and Tiruchapalli). The smaller cantonment station is for meter gauge and is in the south of the town (2-km).
Road: Vellore is well connected by road with Chennai, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai Tiruvannamalai, Madurai, Bangalore, Tirupati, Thanjavur, Ooty, Kanchipuram and other important towns. Taxis and auto rickshaws are available for local transportation.
||17,5,061 (1991 Census)
||04 above sea level
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||Tamil, Telugu and English.
Chennai - 122-km
Dharampuri - 137-km
Kanchipuram - 61-km
Tiruttani - 31-km