Tourism in Vellore

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Historic Vellore Fort, Government Museum, Science Park, Vainu Bappu Observatory, Amirthi Zoological Park, Religious Places like Jalakandeswarar Temple, Srilakshmi Golden Temple, Big Mosque & St.Johns church and Yelagiri Hill station are the among top tourist attractions in and around Vellore. [1]

Attractions[edit]

Vellore Fort[edit]

Main article: Vellore Fort

Vellore Fort is a large 16th-century fort situated in heart of the Vellore city, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India built by Vijayanagara Kings. The Fort was at one point of time the headquarters of the Aravidu Dynasty of Vijayanagara Empire. The fort is known for its grand ramparts, wide moat and robust masonry.

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. The Indian government maintains the Fort with the Archaeological Department. 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.[2]

Gallery[edit]

Vellore Fort in 1913 
Vellore Fort Moat 
View of moat at Vellore Fort 
Vellore Fort 

Government Museum[edit]

Government museum is located inside the Vellore fort in lakshmanswami town hall. It is a multipurpose museum having a great collection of different types of artifacts like archeology, history, geology and botany also. The museum is open all days except government holidays.[3] Museum has 2896 exhibits, both displayed and reserved. Museum has 8 galleries which are District Gallery, Stone sculpture Gallery, Pre-History-Philately Gallery, Paintings Gallery, Zoology Gallery, Bronze Gallery, Coins Gallery and Anthropology Gallery.[4]

Science Park[edit]

Vellore Science Park (also known as Vellore District Science Centre) located in sathuvachari east part of the Vellore City.This science centre is among the four centres in Tamil Nadu developed by Tamil Nadu Science and Technology centre.[5] It has number of galleries including on environment; leather and physical science. Objective of the science park is to enable children learn science through play method.

Science Park here had made it possible for the students and general public to view comet ISON with its telescopic facility on 28 November 2013.[6] Science Park also conducts summer camps for students teaching them on physics, chemistry, maths, biology, environmental sciences, yoga, psychology and also practical experiments.[7]

Proposal of 3D theatre at Vellore Science Park has been initiated on March,2013. If plans go expected, Vellore will be the only city other than Chennai in Tamil Nadu to have this facility. It would be an added attraction for students which would make watching various scientific phenomena come alive, almost real and the movies will be sourced from National Museum of Natural History, USA, would deal with concepts of cloning, life cycles, dinosaur, exploration of life, space mission, astronomy, solar system, mystic animals, and the lives of scientists.[8]

Vainu Bappu Observatory[edit]

Vainu Bappu Telescope of 2.3m diameter, the largest in Asia

The Vainu Bappu Observatory, or VBO for short, is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by Indian Institute of Astrophysics. It is located in the Javadi Hills Kavalur, near Vaniyambadi & Yelagiri and its around 70 km from Vellore City.

Vainu Bappu Observatory (also known as Kavalur Astronomical observatory) is home to the Vainu Bappu Telescope, the largest telescope in Asia.[9] It has a diameter of 2.3 meters and was first used in 1986.[10] Along with the Vainu Bappu telescope, the observatory has two other telescopes.

Amirthi Zoological Park[edit]

Amirthi Forest and Zoological Park

Amirthi Forest & Zoological Park is situated under the javadu hills of tellai across amirthi river which is 25 km from Vellore.The area of the park is 25 hectares and one can find beautiful water falls.Half of this jungle is cleared to serve as a tourist spot while the other half is developed as a wildlfie sanctuary.Animals at the park include spotted deer, mongoose, hedgehog, foxes, reason monkeys, red headed parrots, love birds, tortoices, peacock,m crocodiles, wiild cats, eagles, ducks, pigeons, wild parrots, rabbits, and pythons. [11] [12]

Religious Places[edit]

Srilakshmi Golden Temple[edit]

The golden temple of Sripuram (Tamil: ஸ்ரீபுரம்) 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.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.[13]

Sripuram design represents a star-shaped path(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 has messages laid out along the path to the temple from Sri Sakthi Amma, Gita, Bible and Quran. When one enters the Sripuram, their focus is just on the magnificent temple. But when they leave, they cannot do so without taking some messages and gaining some wisdom.[14]

Jalakandeswarar Temple[edit]

The Jalagandeeswarar Temple, dedicated to Jalagandeeswar, 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. The temple was long used as an arsenal, and remained without a deity, although several years ago it was sanctified with an idol of Lord Shiva.[15]

Mosques & Churches[edit]

Assumption Cathedral and the 150-year-old St. John's Church inside the fort are among the churches in Vellore. The Big Mosque, in the heart of the city, houses the largest Arabic college in India.

Gallery[edit]

The Golden temple of Mahalakshmi 
Assumption Cathedral 
Temple inside Vellore Fort 
Sri Jalagandeeswarar Temple 

Yelagiri Hills[edit]

Main article: Yelagiri

Yelagiri is a hill station in Vellore, India, situated off the Vaniyambadi-Tirupattur road.[16] Located at an altitude of 1,410.6 metres above Mean Sea Level and spread across 30 km2, the Yelagiri village (also spelled Elagiri at times) is surrounded by orchards, rose-gardens, and green valleys.[17][18]

The Yelagiri hill station is not as developed as other hill stations in Tamil Nadu. However, the district administration has now taken up the task of developing Yelagiri Hills into a tourist destination by promoting adventure sports such as paragliding and rock climbing.[19] Places of attraction in yelagiri are artificial lake,Jalagamparai Waterfalls,YMCA Camp centre and YASA (Yelagiri Adventure Sports Association) which runs paragliding and other adventure sports.

Gallery[edit]

View of Vaniyambadi town from Yelagiri Hill station 
Yelagiri Lake 
Yelagiri Lake View 

Parks[edit]

Several parks are there in the city such as Fort Park & Periyar park. Periyar Park has one km long walking path,roller-skating ring,battery-operated mini motorcycles and birds such as ducks, parrots, love birds, ostrich and guinea fowls are being grown in the park.[20]

Shopping[edit]

Major shopping regions in the city are Anna Salai, Main Bazaar, Long Bazaar, Filter Bed Road,Ida Scudder Road, Katpadi Road and Gandhi road.[21] Several large textiles showroom such as Chennai Silks, Pachaiyappas Silks & Planet Fashion and also several branded showrooms such as Blackberrys, Puma, UCB, Adidas, Levis, Derby, Peter England, Raymonds, Fabindia, Johnplayers, Crocodile and many others available along the Anna Salai.

Several Branded jewellery showrooms such as TataGold Plus,[22] Joyalukkas, Kalyan Jewellers,Khazana[23] Nathella,[24] Jewel one, Khazana, Champalal and many others are available along Anna Salai.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tourist Places in Vellore". Vellore District Administration. 
  2. ^ "When the Vellore sepoys rebelled". The Hindu. 6 August 2006. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  3. ^ "Vellore tourism". IndianTravellers. Retrieved 2 Feb 2014. 
  4. ^ "Government Museum Vellore". Vellore District Administration. 
  5. ^ "Science Parks in TN". The Hindu. 8 Feb 2012. 
  6. ^ "Students to view ISON from science centre". Indian Express. 27 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "Summer camp in Vellore Science Park". The hindu. 8 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "3d theatre proposed in Vellore Science Park". Indian Express. 8 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Asia's Biggest Telescope". The Hindu. 3 Dec 2009. 
  10. ^ "2.3m Asia's biggest Telescope". The Hindu. 17 March 2009. 
  11. ^ "Amirthy Zoological Park". thechennai.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2 Feb 2014. 
  12. ^ "Amirthy Zoological Park". vellore.tn.nic.in. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "Golden Temple at Vellore". The Hindu. August 2007. 
  14. ^ "In Vellore, a Golden Temple". Indian Express. August 22, 2007. 
  15. ^ "Historic monuments in Vellore district". Vellore District Administration. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  16. ^ "Miles to go for Yelagiri Hills as a tourist spot". The Hindu. May 25, 2008. Retrieved 07-04-2009. 
  17. ^ "Pastoral charm". Deccan Herald. March 29, 2009. Retrieved 07-04-2009.  [dead link]
  18. ^ T. Pullaiah, Rao Muralidhara, D. Muralidhara Rao, K. Sri Ramamurthy (2002). Flora of Eastern Ghats: Hill Ranges of South East India. Daya Books. ISBN 9788187498490. 
  19. ^ "Yelagiri hills, for paragliding". The Hindu. August 20, 2008. Retrieved 07-04-2009. 
  20. ^ "Periyar Park inaugrated". The Hindu. October 28, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Gandhi Road, Vellore". Indian Express. Jan 19, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Tata Gold Plus Opens in Vellore". The Hindu. March 20, 2007. 
  23. ^ "Kalyan Jewellers opening". The Hindu. October 10, 2009. 
  24. ^ "Nathella Jewellers opening". The Hindu. April 22, 2011.