Vellore

Vellore is now pulsating with activities as a commercial, administrative, educational and medical centre. It had the privilege of being the seat of the Pallava, Chola, Nayak, Maratha, Arcot Nawab and Bijapur Sultan kingdoms. Vellore grew into a bustling town gradually since the 6th century changing the rulers and growing in importance. Vellore has the renowned Christian Medical College and Hospital where patients from all corners of the world get advanced medical treatment.

Vellore General information

  • Area -11.65 sq kms.
  • Population – 1, 77,413 (2001 Census)
  • Altitude –Sea level above MSL 204
  • Climate – Summer 39.0ºC to 29.5ºC winter 27.3ºC to 17.0ºC
  • Rainfall -1053 mm (average)
  • Clothing –Tropical
  • Language spoken –Tamil, English and Telugu
  • Season- Throughout the year
  • STD Code -0416

How to Get There

By Air

Nearest Airport at Chennai (140 Kms)

By Rail

Katpadi Railway Junction (5Kms)

By Road

Buses are available from Chennai, Bangalore

Places of Interest

Vellore Fort Dating back to the 13th century this ancient fort is the main attraction for tourists. This historically famous fort retains the past glory with its ramparts, basements, turrets, posts, and gates with its perennial water supply. Double walls fortify it and the main walls are made of massive granite blocks as the strongest fortress during the Carnatic War in 17th century and witnessed the revolt of Indian Soldiers during the mutiny of 1857.The fort houses of Church, Mosque Temple and many building that are now used as public Offices.

Muthu Mandapam This is a memorial built around the tombstone of Vikramraja Singh, the last Tamil ruler of Kandy. Situated on the bank Palar River, it is just one km north of Vellore town.

Jalagandeeswarar Temple The temple stands inside the fort and is dedicated to Jalagandeeswar. The temple is noted for its sculptures, and speaks volumes of the exquisite craftsmanship of the highly skilled artisans of that period. The sculpture in the porch on the left of the entrance is a masterpiece appreciated by the connoisseurs of art and architecture. It has a big wedding hall adorned with elegant reliefs and monolithic sculptures. This temple was used for long as an arsenal and remained without deity. A few years back it has been sanctified with an idol of Lord Shiva.

Government Museum This is a multi purpose museum maintained by the Department of Museum Government of Tamil Nadu. It treasures ancient and present day curios relating to Anthropology, Botany, Geology, Numismatics, Pre-history, Zoology, etc. Historical monuments of the erstwhile composite North Arcot district are gracefully depicted in the gallery. This museum is kept open on all days between 9.00 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. and 2.00 p.m and 5.00 p.m. except on holidays.

C.M.C. Hospital Vellore attracts a floating population of 5000 every day, it is because of the world famous Christian Medical College or CMC as it more familiarly known was founded in the early part of the last century by a dedicated American medical Missionary Dr. Idda Scudder. Besides having the world famous Cancer and Neurological Wards, it also has a Mental Health Hospital and a College of Nursing.

Excursion from Vellore

Virinjipuram (19 kms) this magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located on the southern bank of the River Palar. Around the basements and the pillars of the temple are a number of well-executed figures that can be seen singly and in lively groups in dramatic settings representing scenes in the social life of the people. There are several inscriptions here both in Grantham and in Tamil. The lion faced Simmakulam tank is considered to be very sacred.

Padavedu (35 kms) this is now a desolate village with two important ancient temples, both of which are interesting places of pilgrimage. One is dedicated to Sri Ramachandraswamy and the other to Goddess Renukambal Amman. The temple of Sri Renukambal Amman is situated in an area of 6.29 acres. There are beautiful carvings depicting the invitation of Parasurama by Sri Renukadevi.

Amirthi Forest (24 kms) South of Vellore is the panoramic Amirthi forest, which is rich in its variety of flora and fauna. Half of this jungle is cleared to serve as a tourist spot while the other half is developed as a wildlife sanctuary. A trek for a km leads one to a full view of seasonal waterfall.

Thiruvallam (22 kms) Located on the western bank of the Nuga river, a tributary of Palar river, it is famous for the ancient Shiva temple dedicated to Sri Vallanadeheeswarar. A note worthy feature of this shrine is that the Nandhi is not facing the Lord, but sits facing east.

Vallimalai The temple is situated in the top of a small hill that can be ascended by a flight of 300 steps. The principlE deity is Lord Subramanya. The temple was built about 1500 years ago. It is said that this is the place where Valli was born and married the Murugan. Most part of the temple looks like a cave on the hill.

Javadu Hills Jamnamaruthur 40 kms from Polur is the main village in Javadu hills it is famous for its sandalwood and fruit bearing trees. It is at an altitude that ranges from 300 to 1000 metres. The Beemanmadavu waterfalls in the thick reserve forest, 12 kms from here with is good for trekking. The night stay here is a new experience due to the solitude of these hills.

Mordhana Dam It is a picnic spot where the dam is constructed between two hills which are dotted with bowers and greenery.