Vellore Sightseeing

Leisure Places

The Amirthi Zoological Park spreading over a sprawling area of 25 hectares under the Javvadu Hills of Tellai across Amirthi River was started in October 1967 and is 25 km away from Vellore.Half of this jungle is cleared to serve as a tourist spot while the other half is developed as a wildlfie sanctuary. A trek for a km leads one to a full view of seasonal waterfall.The forest of Amirthi is deep thick.A small Zoological Park With Varied Species of animals and birds is a Amirthi. Among the animals,the roaring leopard,the trumpeting elephant,the dancing deer and the giggly monkey attract all.There is also a small park ideal for children's entertainment.

Museums & Art Galleries

This state Government Museum is inside the fort and can be found. The Government Museum is situated besides the main bus stand in Lakshmanaswamy Town Hall.This Museum was opened to the public in 1985. It consists of objects of art, archaeology, pre-history, weapons, sculptures, bronzes, wood carvings, handicrafts, numismatics, philately, botany, geology and zoology. Govt MuseumIt treasures ancient and present day curios relating to Anthropology, Art and Archaeology, Botany, Geology, Numismatics, Pre-history, Zoology, etc.

The historical monuments of the erst while composite North Arcot District are gracefully depicted in the Gallery. Special exhibits include Bronze double antenna sword from Vellore Taluk, dating back to 400 BC., Stone sculptures from Late Pallava to Vijayanagar periods, Ivory chess board and coins used by the last Kandian King of Sri Lanka, Vikrama Raja Singha.The museum is open on all days from 9 a.m to 12 noon and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Monuments

This Clock Tower was erected in memory of the coronation of King George V. The tower is also dedicated to the 22 soldiers who went to fight from this town during the 1st World War 1914-1919. Out of this 14 soldiers died in this war

Vellore Fort is a large 16th-century fort situated in heart of the Vellore city which is built by Vijayanagara Kings. The Fort was at one point of time the headquarters of the Aravidu Dynasty of Vijayanagara Empire.Vellore Fort was built by Chinna Bommi Reddy and Thimma Reddy of Vijayanagara Empire in the year of 1566 AD.The Aravidu Dynasty that held the title of Rayas in 17th century resided in this fort. This major battle took place for the claiming of the Raya title between two faction of the Raya family.

The Fort's ownership passed from Vijayanagara Kings, to the Bijapur Sultans, to Marathas, to the Carnatic Nawabs and finally to the British, who held the fort until India gained independence.During British rule, the Tipu Sultan's family and the last king of Sri Lanka, Sri Vikrama Rajasinha were held in as prisoners in the fort. The fort houses a Christian church, a Muslim mosque and a Hindu temple, the latter of which is famous for its magnificent carvings. The first rebellion against British rule erupted at this fort in 1806 and it is also a witness to the massacre of the Vijayanagara royal family of Sriranga Raya.The Rayas also had long-running battles with their longtime rivals, the Bijapur Sultans, and with the Nayaks of Madurai and the Gingee over non-remittance of annual tributes. In the 1640s, during the reign of Sriranga Raya III, the Fort was briefly captured by the Bijapur army, but was eventually recaptured with the help of the Nayaks of Tanjore.The events led to the Battle of Toppur in 1616 was one of the largest South Indian wars of the century.

It is that there is no such fort on the face of earth like the one in Vellore. It had a deep wet ditch where once 10,000 crocodiles swarmed, waiting to grab every intruder into this impregnable fort.The fort was constructed in granite from the nearby quarries in Arcot and Chittor districts. It spreads over an area of 133 acres and is located at an altitude of 720 ft within a broken mountain range. The fort is surrounded by a moat which was once used as an additional line of defence in the case of an invasion. It includes an escape tunnel leading to Virinjipuram about 12 km away which could be used by the king and other royals in the event of an attack.The fort is considered to be among the best of military architecture in Southern India and is known for its grand ramparts, wide moat and robust masonry.

French Bungalow is located at 33 km outside of Vellore city.It is currently owned by the Mysore maharajas family who occasionally visit. The bungalow is situated 7 km outside Pusimalaikuppam on Bungalow Road.The French Bungalow which was built by a minor prince of the Mysore state Srinivasa Iyer.This bungalow was constructed by him for residential purposes after he married a French woman.Presently the bungalow is mainly in ruins due to low maintenance. It has a brass frame-work and its walls are built with limestone and stone.Originally the building had a wooden roof, servant quarters with kitchens and a granary. Within the premises of the bungalow there is a large well that served as a Roman bath.

Places of Worship

The golden temple of Sripuram is a spiritual park situated at the foot of a small range of green hills in a place known as Malaikodi in the city of Vellore.The temple is at the southern end of the city of Vellore at Tirumalaikodi.This was inaugurated on August 2007.The salient feature of Sripuram is the Lakshmi Narayani temple or Mahalakshmi temple whose Vimanam and Ardha Mandapam.The temple is located on 100 acres of land and has been constructed by Vellore-based Sri Narayani Peedam headed by spiritual leader Sri Sakthi Amma also known as Narayani Amma. The temple with gold covering has intricate work done by artisans specializing in temple art using gold. Every single detail was manually created including converting the gold chunks into gold foils and then mounting the foils on copper. Gold foil from 9 layers to 0 layers has been mounted on the etched copper plates.Every single detail in the temple art has significance from the vedas.Sripuram design represents a star-shaped path like Sri chakra positioned in the middle of the lush green landscape with a length of over 1.8 km. One has to walk along the star path to reach the temple in the middle which is laid by messages from Sri Sakthi Amma and from different faiths and spiritual leaders.

The temple is in Vellore Fort which is about 35kms from Arani. The Fort is surrounded by Agazhi with water to all three sides. South side we have the main entrance.The Raja gopuram is of seven tiers and there are three prakarams.Main Deity in the temple is Siva Lingam known as Jalakandeswarar and his consort known as Akilandeswari Amman. Urchavar here in this temple is Somaskandar, Chandrashekarar.

As we enter inside through Raja Gopuram we find a Kalyana Mandapam with beautiful sculptures to the pillars.To right side we see a pushkarani and to the same side we see Golden Chariot in a closed shed.We enter through another gopuram to inner prakaram and we see a hugeValampuri Vinayakar here. As we go around the sanctum we see Selva Vinayakar, Venkatesa Perumal, Subramanyar with his consorts Valli and Devani, and Adi Sankarar, 63 Nayanmarsas as stone sculptures Saptha Kanniar and Veerabadrar.

King Bommi constructed a temple for Lord Siva as he was guided by Lord in his dream. Initially the King fixed a date for starting the construction work. He over heard the conversation between Sculpturer and his Son. He came to know from their conversation the day they have chosen to start the work was not auspicious. So he prayed Lord Siva to guide him. Lord told him to approach the same persons to suggest a remedy for this. He was asked to build temple within a Fort with Agazhi. King did as he was guided and installed Siva Lingam known as Jalakandeswarar and his consort Goddess Akilandeswari in separate sanctum. The temple flourished well up to the inavasion of Mogul period. During this period devotees out of fear shifted Siva Lingam to a nearby place Sathuvachary in Vellore town.

Ratnagiri Balamurugan temple is an ancient Murugan temple situated near Vellore is a small village called Ratnagiri on the way from Chennai to Bangalore.It was built around the 14th century.Ratnagiri is famous due to its hilltop Murugan temple.As the 14th century saint Arunagiri has sung about Ratnagiri Bala Murugan temple, this temple should be at least 600 years old. However, it was not in a good shape. A devotee visited this temple in 1968 and after looking at the bad state of the temple, he became a saint and started living in this small hill. It was due to his devoted work and sacrifice, this temple was reconstructed and standing as a great structure today. The name of the saint who sacrificed his whole life just for the upliftment of this temple is Bala Murugan Adimai.

As Ratnagiri Bala Murugan temple is located on top of a small hill, there are several steps which take you to the temple from the ground.We can see Lord Ganesha aka Karpaga Vinayak in a separate shrine. After that there is a big shrine where Lord Muruga is found along with his consorts Valli and Devasena as metal idols. Adjacent to that there is another shrine of Muruga with six heads along with Valli and Devasena. These are also metal processional idols. The rare scene is this shrine is that you can find Brahma on top of elephant in front of Muruga.The main shrine of the temple has Bala Murugan along with his consorts Valli and Devasena. The idol of the main deity Bala Murugan is very beautiful. The wall surrounding the shrine has the small idols of Ganesha, Dakshinamurthy, Murugan, Brahma, Durga, and Chandikeswarar.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Vellore is a diocese located in the city of Vellore in the Ecclesiastical province of Madras and Mylapore in India.The Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese is situated next to the Bishop's House. In 2001 when the church was rebuilt it turned into a major religious centre. The major attraction of this temple is a bell tower which is said to be the highest bell tower in India.The Society of Jesus spread Christianity in Vellore from 1604. In 1854 Vellore was made a parish. In the same year Assumption church was built. It was under the Madras Archdiocese and looked after by the Mill-Hill Fathers. In 1928, the North Arcot mission was entrusted to the care of Salesians of Don Bosco. On 13 November 1952, Catholic Diocese of Vellore was bifurcated from Arch Diocese Madras-Mylapore and Assumption church was announced as the cathedral of the new born Diocese of Vellore. In 1955, David Maria Nayagam, Bishop of Vellore Diocese, repaired the Assumption Cathedral and consecrated it. During the time of Michael Augustin, Rev. Msgr. A. Nambikairaj built the right and left wings of the cathedral.Assumption cathedral was demolished and basement for the new cathedral was blessed in 1999, 24 May. The new and one of the biggest Cathedrals in Asia was consecrated on 15 September 2002 by Simon D. Lourdusamy and opened by Bernard Prince. Blessed Sacrament chapel, prayer meeting hall, Glass paintings of 18 important events of salvific history and 15 mysteries of Rosary, and 165 feet height Belfry are special features of the new cathedral. The present cathedral has capacity for 3,000 to 5,000 people.

Singiri is a small hamlet close to Vellore city. The most famous landmark in Singiri is the Singri Temple. This temple was built in the honor of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha which is over 1300 years old and was built by the famous south Indian king and stalwart Rajavarman who was the chief at that time. The 13th generation of the Bhattar family is taking care of the temple now. The temple sits on a hillock and far away from everything as though to reflect the need for being away from the very things that tie us to this earth. The main deity is in sitting position and is imposing to look at. The sanctum sanctorum was quite big with the Lakshmi Narasimhar in sitting posture in Santha roopam with Goddess Lakshmi on His right lap. The Lord is about 6 feet high with four hands – two hands hold the conch and the chakra, third hand is on His lap and the fourth hand is around the waist of Goddess Lakshmi. The adornment for the Lord and the sanctum sanctorum were so beautiful that anybody without much devotion will easily fall in love with the deity.

Subramanyar Temple is a rock cut hill temple located at Vallimalai near Vellore.The place Valli Malai is about 11 kms distance from Katpadi and 14 kms from Thiruvalam.This is one of the temples visited by Arungirinadhar who sang Thirupugazh on Lord Murugan.There is a temple for Lord Murugan who resides here as Shanmugar in standing posture facing east with his consorts Valli and Devanai.According to legends Vallimalai is the place where Valli was born and married Muruga. Here Lord Valli is in the form of a playful maiden. There are natural springs on the hill which are associated with Valli. A flight of 300 steps lead to the temple which is placed within a cave. The shrines of Vinayakar and Kasi Viswanathar are also seen here.