Vellore, a city with a rich cultural heritage is one of the most visited tourist places in Tamil Nadu. The city which has been the seat of various dynasties like the Pallavas, Cholas, Vijaynagar kings and the Carnatic Empire has many places of historical, spiritual and scenic interest to offer to the tourist. Getting Down to Basics
How to get there – Vellore is accessible by rail, road, and air and the best way to reach it from Mumbai is by air. There are several Mumbai to Chennai flights in the course of the day with differing fares offered by varied airlines. From Chennai, you can travel by bus or rail to Vellore. The road journey takes about one and half hour. Vellore is also well connected by rail to cities of Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad.
As for accommodation, you are not disappointed with there being a hotel for every kind of traveler. Hotels range from budget, standard to premium. The best time to visit the place is during the winter months beginning December up to February.
Vellore- Must Places to Visit
The Vellore Fort, Amirthi Zoology Park, Yelagiri Hills, Science Park, Srilakshmi Golden Temple, Vainnu Bappu Observatory are just a few of the ‘not to miss’ places in and around the city. Avid shoppers too have dedicated shopping areas in the city which offer a diverse collection of items. A brief on some of the tourist hotspots are enumerated below and the first in the list is the Vellore Fort.
Vellore Fort – The 16th century Vellore Fort is one of the major attractions of the town. An outstanding example of military architecture, the fort made of granite stands tall amidst a deep moat enclosing it, in the center of the city. Spanning an area of 133 acres the fort’s majestic double walls with huge bastions jutting unevenly catches the attention of every tourist. The Government Museum which has on display varied artifacts of botany, history, archaeology, and geology is housed within the fort. Boating facilities can be enjoyed in the moat.
Sripuram Temple – Sri Lakshmi Golden/Sri Puram Temple is quite close to Vellore. The complete edifice which has a gold leaf coating is a marvelous architectural wonder of modern times. Another temple of interest is the 8th century Lakshmi Narasimha Temple which lies about 21 km from Vellore.
Amirthi Zoological Park – It lies about 27 km from Vellore and can be reached by bus or cab. Spread over a 25-hectare area, the region is converted partly into a wildlife sanctuary and partly into a tourist spot. Here, you can experience the natural beauty of the lush flora, azure waterfalls, and abundant wildlife.
For those wanting to relax and unwind amidst nature’s bounty, the popular Yelagiri Hill station is the place for you. Supposed to be a backpacker’s paradise, the hill station is set at an altitude of 1110 m above sea level and is enveloped with lush tea estates and meadows adorned with colorful flowers. The presence of the shimmering Nilavoor Lake adds to the beauty of the area.
Places of interest for the kids include the Science Park situated in the southern area of the city and the Vainu Bappu Observatory which is a little away from the city about 77 km but definitely worth a visit. The Science Park has varied sections comprising physical science, environment, and leather, etc. The Observatory stands on sprawling acres of land and houses varied optical telescopes with one of them being Asia’s longest; the length of which is a commendable 93 inches.
In addition to the above, several other tourist hotspots include the Delhi Gate, Ratnagiri Temple, and the Roman Catholic Diocese.
On a Final Note
Vellore is being promoted as a tourist site by the Tamil Nadu government. And rightly so! It is definitely worth a visit.