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10 Beautiful Places to Visit in Vellore

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I am a marketing professional holding a postgraduate degree in management. I live in Chennai and have traveled extensively in Tamil Nadu.

Vellore is the district headquarters in North Tamil Nadu. It is on the Chennai - Bengaluru highway. It is an important trading center for the neighboring villages. Vellore is one of the preferred destinations for medical and management education in India. Christian Medical College (CMC) and Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) are the two famous institutes in the city.

The Top Places to Visit in Vellore

1. Golden Temple, Sripuram

2. Vellore Fort

3. St. John's Church

4. Jalakandeswarar Temple

5. Periyar Park

6. Amirthi Zoological Park

7. Javadi Hills

8. Vainu Bappu Observatory, Kavalur

9. Arcot Fort

10. Assumption Cathedral

1. Golden Temple, Sripuram

Golden Temple at Vellore should not be mistaken with the famous Golden Temple at Amritsar in the state of Punjab. The Golden Temple at Sripuram is an impressive and majestic temple thronged by thousands of pilgrims every day from all over India. The consecration of this temple was done only in 2007.

This temple is dedicated to Sri Lakshmi Narayani, the Goddess of wealth. The Vimanam and Ardha Mandapam in the temple are covered with pure gold, attracting pilgrims in large numbers.

2. Vellore Fort

This is the most famous and iconic landmark in Vellore. It was built by the Vijayanagara kings in the 16th century. The fort changed hands several times before India attained independence in 1947. Bijapur sultan, Marathas, Mughals and Britishers were some other rulers.

The fort has an impressive façade with grand ramparts and a wide moat that once housed crocodiles to scare the invaders. Vellore Fort witnessed the first sepoy mutiny in India in 1807 when the soldiers of Indian origin revolted against the British. Vellore Fort was a prison by Britishers to keep prisoners of war. The graves of Vijayanagara kings and Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, the last Sri Lankan monarch can be seen inside the fort premises.

3. St. John's Church

This church was built by Britishers in 1846 inside the fort premises. It is an important colonial era building in Vellore. The Church was never consecrated in the British period because of some reason. However, this church is a very influential body in the independent India and is closely associated with the Christian Medical College (CMC).

There is a mosque inside the fort, constructed by an Arcot Nawab ruler. The mosque is not open for worship. Vellore fort has the unique distinction of housing a temple, church and a mosque within its premises.


4. Jalakandeswarar Temple

This is the oldest place of worship within the Vellore fort. Jalakandeswarar Temple was constructed in the 16th century during the Vijayanagara period. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a fine example of Vijayanagara architecture.

People believe that a giant ant-hill was there at this place. The Vijayanagara rulers built the temple after removing this giant ant-hill. This temple has stood the test of time hostility over the centuries.

5. Periyar Park

Periyar Park is a recent addition to the city's attraction. Its lush green cover serves as the lung space for this town. It also has a section for birds where one can see ostrich, duck, white pigeon, swan and others. It has many attractions for children, including the battery operated bike rides and a separate path for roller skating.

6. Amirthi Zoological Park

It is a zoo near Vellore city at a distance of 25 km. The zoological park is right next to a wildlife sanctuary. A seasonal waterfall greets the visitors inside the park. We have a range of animals at the park including spotted deer, mongoose, tortoises, peacock, crocodiles, and pythons.

For anyone looking for a genuine connection with the nature, this is the place.

7. Javadi Hills

Javadi hills, also known as Jawadhu hills, are the rain bearing mountains for the North Tamil Nadu region. It is a pristine mountain range not exploited by tourism industry yet. There are no hotels or resorts available, and so we can do a short picnic only.

The main attraction is the Beemanmadavu waterfalls in the hills. Tourists can bathe in the waterfalls or the pool beneath it. There are also streams on the way dotted with greenery and blessed with clean air. It is a favorite destination for trekking enthusiasts. It is advisable to visit as large groups for safety reasons.

8. Vainu Bappu Observatory

A Britisher, William Petrie, set up a private observatory in his Chennai home in 1786. This was known as Madras Observatory, but this had to be moved to Kodaikanal in 1899 in search of darker skies. By 1960, even Kodaikanal was facing light pollution issues, being a hill station. So the observatory had to be shifted to Kavalur, where the first observations were made in 1968.

The Kavalur Observatory is named after Vainu Bappu, who as director of Kodaikanal Observatory moved it to the present location. They have a 1-meter telescope for advanced scientific observations, and a 25-cm telescope can be used by the public on designated times. As of now, they have suspended the visitor program. Hope it gets resumed once the pandemic subsides.

9. Arcot Fort

Arcot Fort was built in the 17th century and was at the center of many battles involving Marathas, Moghuls, French and British forces. It was Robert Clive who was involved in the famous battle of Arcot defeating the French forces. This marked the beginning of British rule in India.

A gate was constructed by Britishers in 1751 to mark their victory in the battle of Arcot. This came to be known as Delhi Gate, since the Britishers subsequently conquered the whole of India. Arcot was their gateway to the Indian empire.

10. Assumption Cathedral

The Assumption Church was first built in 1854, and it was part of Diocese of Vellore. Assumption Cathedral, as it looks today, was consecrated in 2002 in place of the earlier cathedral. It is refreshingly different from any of the colonial era churches seen elsewhere in India.

Katpadi Junction connects Vellore by rail

Katpadi Junction connects Vellore by rail

Travel and Stay

Vellore is well connected by air, rail and bus routes from other parts of the country. It is within 3 hours of drive-time from Chennai. There are many good hotels in Vellore. Fortune Park, Regency Sameera Vellore by GRT Hotels and Poppys Anukala Residency are stay options worth considering.

Comments

Mohan Babu (author) from Chennai, India on February 20, 2021:

Thank you, Devika. I wish and hope you could travel sooner.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 20, 2021:

Babu Mohan this is interesting and informative about a different place. Another place to explore and I enjoy travleing, but not at the moment.

Mohan Babu (author) from Chennai, India on February 14, 2021:

Thank you, Peggy. Who knows what life has in store for us? You may get the opportunity to visit India after the pandemic ends.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 14, 2021:

You have given us a variety of beautiful and interesting places to visit in your article. I may never get there in person, so thank you for assembling this article with the photos and descriptions.

Mohan Babu (author) from Chennai, India on February 14, 2021:

Thank you, Umesh. I am glad you liked it.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 14, 2021:

Nice article. Well presented.

Mohan Babu (author) from Chennai, India on February 14, 2021:

Thank you, Liz. The Assumption Cathedral is very modern and does not bear any resemblance to the earlier structure from an architectural perspective.

Liz Westwood from UK on February 14, 2021:

This is a well-structured, interesting and well-illustrated article. I was particularly struck by the design of the Assumption Cathedral. Was the original building completely replaced?