In recent years, Vellore of Tamil Nadu, India has become a prominent destination for medical students. Christian Medical College & Hospital, founded in 1900 by missionary Dr. Ida S. Scudder, is the landmark of Vellore. The hospital has developed itself and emerged as an international repute medical institution. CMCH is one of the largest hospitals in India and is the major health care provider. Due to CMCH, there is an influx of patient from different states of India and from neighboring countries also. It has become the major hub of the city.
Vellore has historical and architectural significance also. It is dominated by many dynasties and rulers like Pallava dynasty, Medieval Cholas, Later Cholas, Vijayanagar, the Rashtrakuta dynasty, the administration of the British etc.
The temple architecture of South India is world famous. Dravidian style of temple architecture is predominant in Tamil Nadu. The temples of Tamil Nadu are the main essence of the city due to their complex and splendid architecture.
As like others, we also visited Vellore on the month of March, 2019 for medical assistance and stayed there for 10days. There are myriads of Hotels available here. The local bazaar is in vicinity to CMCH. The city is very neat and clean and locals are affable.
In general CMCH, remains closed on Sunday and during our stay we got 02 Sunday. My husband and I have a lust for travelling and love to explore new places; I didn’t wasted a single Sunday. So we grab all the opportunities and utilized both the Sunday and others days also.
Google Map Location
So, on the first Sunday, we did the sightseeing of Vellore. Apart from Vellore fort, the other major tourist attractions of Vellore are temples.
On the second Sunday, we visited Yelagiri, a hill station of Tamil Nadu.By god grace; we got 03 days (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) in the week where there were no appointments of doctors in CMC. So, we fully utilized those days by travelling to Pondy.For detailed information of our Pondy trip, please visit the link.
Language Spoken Tamil is the official language. Telugu, English and Hindi are also spoken. They do understand Bengali also. Some of the inhabitants are fluent in Bengali language.
And on the last day of our trip, i.e. on Tuesday we took a risk and decided to visit Tirupati Balaji. We didn’t prior booked online our darshan time, so there was a great possibilities of not getting the tickets for darshan. But we took that risk too on the last day of our trip and by the grace of god; we got the tickets for darshan and got the opportunity to have a darshan of “Balaji”.For Yelagiri and Tirupati trip details, please do follow my upcoming blogs.
There is a big taxi stand near CMC. So, we booked our car from there on Saturday night after a good negotiation. On the next morning, Taxi dada came on time. We wake up early in the morning and got ready for Vellore sightseeing. My mother also agreed to go with us. Instead of her illnessshe showed great fortitude. We started our journey around 9 a.m. We completed our breakfast on a road side restaurant with one of the local cuisine, ‘Idli’ and ‘Bara’.After having delicious breakfast, our taxi dada first took us to our first destination i.e. Vellore fort.
The massive grandeur fort surrounded by moat is standing still on the heart of the city. Its robust structure, exquisite carvings and sculpture, intricate detail work is an example of marvelous Indian Architecture.
The fort is sprawling on area of 133 acres. And is one of the most popular tourist destinations. The fort was built in 1566 CE by Vijayanagara kings. It is the finest example of military architecture. The fort is famous for its ramparts, wide moat and robust masonry. The stone used to erected the giant structure was granite.
Once upon a time, the fort was the headquarters of the Aravidu Dynasty of the Vijayanagara Empire. After Vijayanagara kings, the ownership of the fort went to the Bijapur sultans, then to the Marathas, after then to the Carnatic Nawabs and finally to the British. And now it is maintained by the Archaeological Department of India.
On earth, Vellore fort is the first fort that was erected with a surrounding deep water ditch. And crocodiles used to swarm, waiting to grab intruder into this impregnable fort. The main motive for the construction of the moat was to protect its inhabitants from invasion. The moat provides additional safety and defense for the inhabitants . To keep the invaders away, the boundary wall of the fort were build 25’ high.
The fort has witnessed many historic rulers as prisoners. After the death of Tipu Sultan, his family was kept in the fort. The last monarch of Sri Lanka Sri Vikrama Rajasinha along with his family spent 17 years in this fort as prisoners.
The Jalagandeeswarar Temple inside the fort is dedicated to Jalagandeeswar is noted for its sculptures, and portrays the exquisite craftsmanship of the highly skilled artisans of that era.
It is a paradise for those who love history and architecture. The sculptures of the fort are incredible. The majestic architecture of the fort spell bounded me. I tried to capture the beauty of the fort through my lens.
To enjoy the utmost beauty of the fort, please visit the fort in evening as it looks stunning during sunset.
Tourist Information i) Address – Balaji Nagar, Vellore, Tamil Nadu 632004 ii) Timing – from 8am – 6pm iii) Photography – Allowed iv) Parking facilities – available
Ratnagiri Balamurugan temple
Our second destination was this temple.
This is a very ancient temple where devotees used to come to get the divine blessings of Lord Bala Muruga. It is situated on a top of a hill and constructed around 14th centuary.
The temple is filled with devotees’ every day to get the divine blessings from Lord Murugan. There is myth among local people that where there is a hill, there is Lord Muruga.
The temple is very vibrant. Almost every colour of of an artist palette has been used to ornate the temple.
The temple is ornate with exquisite colourful sculptures. To reach inside the temple, you have to climb around 100 steps. My husband and I climbed the steps to view the spectacular intricate detail of the temple and of course to get the blessings from the Lord.
As my mother and mother in law have arthritis problem, so they couldn’t climb up the steps. They decide to sit outside the temple.
The scenarios from the top of the hills are just awesome and the surrounding premise is very pleasant. The view from the top of the hill is spectacular.
The temple architecture is astonishing.This is very popular destination of Vellore. Parking facilities are available here.
The whole atmosphere is very serene, peaceful and pious. After spending peaceful 2 hours, we headed towards our next destination.
Tourist Information i) Address- Thirumanikundram, Ratnagiri Kilminnal, Tamil Nadu 632517 ii) Timing- 6am-1pm, 4pm-8pm iii) Photography – allowed iv) Website – http://ratnagiri.org/
Sai Baba Temple
The Sai Baba temple is a less crowded place as very few visitors comes here as very less people know about the existence of the temple. The temple is very beautiful and serene.
The consecration of the temple was held on June, 2012. The temple is unique in its nature and nine idols of Shirdi SAIBABA in the nine temples namely SURYA BABA, CHANDRA BABA, ANGARAHA BABA, BUDHAN BABA, GURU BABA, SUKRA BABA, SANEESHWARA BABA, RAAGHU BABA , KETHU BABA with the GURU PADHAM in the Central Dome.
The white colour of the temple will dominate all your worries and your mind will calm down slowly and gradually. The colour plays a vital role in controlling our mood.
The temple is very beautiful. The tranquil atmosphere is very enjoyable. Spending here 30 mins, we moved to our last destination i.e. Golden temple.
Tourist Information i) Address- Near Pallikonda Toll Gate, Kanzhipakkam, kandaneri, Pallikonda, Tamil Nadu 635809 ii) Timing- iii) Photography – allowed Website – http://www.navasaibabamandir.org/
SRIPURAM GOLDEN TEMPLE –
This temple tipped to be the world’s largest Golden temple. This is the most beautiful temple I have seen in entire Vellore. The shimmering temple, the unique design and its beautiful landscape is just breath taking.
It is located at Thirumalaikodi,a small village near Vellore which is surrounded by lushgreen forest, mountains and vegetation. The aerial distance of this place from the two famous pilgrimage towns, Thirupathi and Thiruvannamalai is almost equidistance. When they linked aerially, a triangle is formed.
The temple is a spiritual oasis and an architectural marvel. The landscape is completely organic with variety greenery which makes the ambience very serene. In the holy pond, “Sarvatheertham” water from all the major rivers of the country has been added to it.
It is also called Lakshmi Narayani temple and the deity worshiped here is of Sri Lakshmi Narayani. The temple is sprawling in a lush green area of 100 acre. The temple has been built at the center of the land and a star-shaped path leads the devotees to the golden temple. The temple is located at the middle of the star shaped path so that it absorbs maximum energy from the nature. The path is around 1.8km and is called “Sri Chakra”.
While walking along the path, enjoy the beautiful landscape of the temple. All along the path, messages of truth and righteousness like the purpose of birth and life etc. have been provided so that devotees can read them and realize their fundamental duties. . The star path is very wide so that all the devotees can walk smoothly. There are ample sitting arrangements throughout the path.
The consecration of the Sri Narayani temple was performed by Amma on 29th of January 2001 and it took around 04 years to complete the construction of the temple. The highly adept artisans were engaged for erecting the immensely beautiful structure.
The main attraction of the temple is the pure gold covering. Almost 1.5tonnes of gold has been used for this. The intricate and exquisite detail work and the hardship of the artesian is the result of this enchanting mammoth.
The ticket counter is located at the entrance of the temple from where devotees have to buy tickets for the darshan. There is a cloak room near the entrance where you have to deposit all of your belongings including bags, mobiles etc. You don’t have to worry about parking as there is ample parking space with minimum donation.
There are wheelchair facilities also for the people who have difficult health conditions so that everyone can get the divine blessings of Sri Sakthi Amma. To quench your thirst, adequate amount of drinking water facilities has been provided inside the temple.
Any electronic gadgets like camera, mobiles etc. are strictly prohibited inside the temple.
The temple is a beacon of hope, wisdom and spirituality. It has become a very popular destination of Vellore. The place is very serene and tranquil and is a perfect place for relaxation and mental peace. While standing in the queue to step in the star shaped path; you will be able to feel the spirituality of the temple. It is the place where your sense spirituality gets more polished and the fragrance of your life will enlighten your soul.
Tourist Information i) Address-Sri Narayani Peedam, Thirumalaikodi, Vellore, Tamil Nadu 632055 ii) Timing-8am – 8pm iii) Photography-Strictly prohibited. iv) Parking facilities –ample v) Website – https://www.sripuram.org/
South India is very famous for its temple architecture. And I am fascinated by the Indian temple architecture. The enchanting beauty of the temples and fort was transcended beyond my imagination. From the ambiance and serenity of the temple, I realized that
“To make the world a better place, we must transform ourselves and serve for the humanity.”
Can be reached:
The nearest International airport of Vellore is Chennai Airport which is approximately 135km from it.
Nearest Railway station is Katpadi Junction.
Vellore is well connected with major cities in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The National Highways passing through Vellore are NH 46 (Bangalore – Chennai road), NH 234 (Mangalore to Viluppuram) and NH 4 from Ranipet to Chennai and the Cuddalore-Chittoor.
Hotel Tariff- Almost every range of hotels is available here starting from Rs800/- per day. As for treatment purpose, many patients have to stay here for long run. So, rooms on monthly rental are also available.
Cab tariff for Vellore sightseeing – Rs2400/-
Idli, Bara, Dhosa are very famous here.
For one day sightseeing,
You can go for Vellore sightseeing or
Tirupati Balaji Darshan or
Visit Yelagiri hill station
If you have 03-04 days, you can visit
Andha Pradesh or
My travel Tips
Try the local cuisine like Dhosa, Bara, Idli.
Please taste the coffee.
There is no need to worry about prior booking of hotels. There are myriads of hotels available here.
Cabs are easily available.
Plan your trip in winter. As in winter, weather is very pleasant.
Take the risk to visit Tirupati Balaji in weekdays if prior booking is not done.
Utensils, gas are available in all the hotels. If you want, you can cook of your own.