Tourism

tourism

TOURISM IN VELLORE

1.    Vellore Fort:

Distance - 10 km from Vellore Katpadi Railway Station

Vellore Fort is located in the heart of Vellore City. It is also one of the main tourism places in Vellore. Initially constructed by Bommi Reddy and Thimma Reddy during the mid of 16th century. And it was later captured by various rulers. Finally, British took control of the fort in 1768 until independence. Now it is being preserved by the Archaeology Department of India.

The fort has an excellent architecture constructed with granites and rock spread over 133 acres. The fort is surrounded by a big moat which is the widest and deepest in India whose circumference is 8000 feet. Also there is a secret tunnel connecting Vellore Fort with Virinjipuram temple which was used by the kings to escape during war.

2.    Jalakandeeshwarar Temple:

Distance - 10 km from Vellore Katpadi Railway Station

Jalakandeswarar Temple also known as Fort Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is located inside the Vellore Fort. Yet another main tourism spot in Vellore. Inside the temple, main deity Jalakandeswarar is seen in the form of Shivalingam. Goddess Sri Akilandeswari Amman is seen in separate sanctum in the temple. There is also a Nandi statue in front, facing Sri Jalakandeswarar sanctum.

The Jalakandeswarar Temple is also a fine example of Vijayanagar architecture. The entrance of Jalakandeswarar is built with a long tower having large wooden gates and is sculptured with iron like lotus flowers. The kalyana mandapam located on the western side of the temple reflects the glorious Vijayanagara temple architecture. Also there are highly sculptured and adorned pillars at the main entrance.

Timings: 6.30 AM – 1 PM and 5 PM – 8.30 PM

3.    Sripuram Golden Temple:

Distance - 20 km from Vellore Katpadi Railway Station

Sripuram Golden Temple is dedicated to Goddess Mahalakshmi, built using 1.5 tonnes of gold. Yet another most welcoming tourism spot of Vellore in recent times.

Sripuram Golden Temple is constructed in the year 2007. Also it is the only Hindu temple in India which is made of gold. The Vimana and Ardha Mandapa have been coated with gold both in the interior and exterior. The temple is built in an area of 100 acres and constructed by Vellore Sri Narayani Peedam, headed by Sri Sakthi Amma. The estimated cost of the gold used for construction is close to 600 crores.

The temple is built in Dravidian style with wonderful artisitc work. Sripuram design represents a star-shaped path (Sri chakra) running a length of over 1.8 km. The temple is positioned in the middle of wonderfully maintained lush green landscape. So one has to walk along the star path to reach the temple in the middle.

The temple is open from 7 AM to 9 PM.

4.    Amirthi Zoo:

Distance - 37 km from Vellore Katpadi Railway Station

Amirthi Zoological Park is situated under Javadu hill across Amirthi River. Amirthi Zoo was established in 1967 and the zoo occupies an area of 25 hectares. It is named after the Amirthi River which flows next to the park and yet another major tourism spot.

This park is popular for its waterfalls, swing and animal habitats. Half of this jungle is cleared to serve as a tourist spot while the other half is developed as a wildlife sanctuary. One km trek in the park leads to a full view of Amirthi falls, a small cascading seasonal falls.

Animals in the park include spotted deer, mongoose, foxes, monkeys, red headed parrots, love birds, tortoises, peacock, crocodiles, wild cats, eagles, ducks, pigeons, wild parrots, rabbits and pythons. Also many herbal and medicinal plants can be seen growing in the park.

The best time to visit the park is from October to March.

Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM

5.    Kavalur Observatory:

Distance - 77 km from Vellore and 54 km from Yelagiri

The Vainu Bappu Observatory is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by Indian Institute of Astrophysics. It is located at Kavalur in the Javadu hills near Vaniyambadi in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. Also it is regarded as the scientific tourism spot of Vellore.

The Kavalur Observatory is located in a 100 acre forest land. The observatory houses a number of optical telescopes. This includes India’s largest optical telescope the 2.3m Vainu Bappu telescope, 1.3 meter J.C Bhattacharya telescope, 1m Carl Zeiss Telescope and many other smaller ones. Furthermore, there is also a Fabry-Perot Interferometer used to study airglow emissions from Earth’s thermosphere.

Vainu Bappu Observatory is open to public on Saturdays between 3 PM to 9 PM. The operation of Vainu Bappu Telescope will be shown. If clear, night sky will also be shown through the 15 cm visitor telescope.

6.    Assumption Church/ Cathedral:

Distance - 10 km from Vellore Katpadi Railway Station

The Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese, also known as Assumption Church is situated next to the Bishop’s House in Vellore. The major attraction tourism spot of this Church is a bell tower, which is the highest bell tower in India.

Blessed Sacrament chapel, prayer meeting hall, Glass paintings of 18 important events of salvation history and 15 mysteries of Rosary, and 165 feet height Belfry are special features of the new cathedral. The present cathedral has capacity for 3000 people.

7.    Margabandeeswarar Temple – Virinjipuram

Distance - 1 km from Virinjipuram Bus Stop and 21 km from Vellore Katpadi Railway Station

Sri Margabandeswarar Temple is a 13th century temple situated on Chennai – Bangalore National Highway. The temple has rich sculptures and artistic pillars. The temple was built by Cholas Kings in 13th Century.

The main deity of this temple is Suyambu Lingam known as Margabandeeswarar. The Goddess of the temple is Maragadambal. Also in this temple Lord Brahma is worshiped as Virinjan. He worshipped Lord Shiva at this place and therefore it got the name Virinjipuram.

The rays of sun fall on the deity during the Panguni month (March/April). The roof above the temple is decorated with Rudraksha. The temple is also a very good example of Dravidian temple architecture. This is also the birth place of renowned Vedic scholar and Shiva devotee Sri Appaya Dikshithar.

The Simha kulam, the tank with the lion faced sculpture located inside the temple complex is a nicely built.  The temple is filled with beautifully carved pillars and sculptures. Also one can find various forms of Shiva, Vishnu and other Gods wonderfully engraved on pillars of the temple.

8.    Singiri Kovil

Distance- 35 km from Vellore Katpadi Railway Station.

Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple also known as Singiri Koil is a Hindu shrine. It is dedicated to Lord Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is located on Vellore – Polur road.

This temple is situated on a small hillock which is 80 feet high and can be reached by 100 steps. As per the sayings, this is an 8th century temple built by the local chieftain, Rajavarman. It is built for Lord Narasimha who appeared in his dream.

The main idol in the temple is seen in a sitting posture with four hands. Also the image of the Lord is nearly six feet in height with Goddess Lakshmi is seated on the lap of the Lord.

Also there is a separate shrine for Lord Anjaneya, who is known here as Sri Bala Anjaneya. The idol is one feet high. The temple also has a separate shrine for Sri Garuda. A small stream flowing in front of the temple and pilgrims have to cross the stream by foot.

Timings: 9 AM to 12 PM and 5 PM to 6:30 PM 

9.    Vellore Fort mosque

Distance - 10 km from Vellore Katpadi Railway Station.

Vellore Fort Mosque is situated inside the Vellore Fort. This mosque is also known as Nawab Chanda Sahib Mosque.

This Mosque was built in 1750 by Nawab Chanda Sahib. It is one of the important attractions in Vellore Fort. The entrance of the Masjid is on the northern side of the Vellore Fort. This mosque has been constructed using Brick and lime and still stands in good shape.  At the centre of the mosque there is a big dome with minars on the sides. The mosque is decorated with floral designs.

Currently prayers are not conducted inside the mosque.

10. St. John’s Church – Vellore Fort 

Distance - 10 km from Vellore Katpadi Railway Station.

St John’s Church, an ancient church located inside Vellore Fort. This church is one of the oldest churches in Vellore.

St. Johns Church is a part of the Churches of South India. Also it is one of the biggest in South India. The church was started in 1846 by the Reform Church of America (RCA). The church was shifted from the Filterbed Road to its present location in the fort.