One of South India’s oldest towns, Vellore, on the banks of the river Palar, remained a place of strategic importance for ages. A seat of power for rulers and dynasties as varied as the Bijapur Sultans, the Arcot Nawabs, the Marathas, the Nayaks, the Rashtrakutaas, the Cholas, the Pallavas, and the British — Vellore’s many striking monuments are a reminder of how the city prospered under many regimes and swayed time and again with decisive battles
Popular for jackfruit and a special kind of pure mountain honey called Malai Thein, this dusty city of ancient temples seems increasingly cosmopolitan today as it promotes medical tourism with a number of premier medical institutes. Vellore provides convenient access to Chennai, Bangalore, Thiruvannamalai, and Tirupati. October to March is the best time to visit Vellore.Historically, Vellore led the freedom struggle against the British Raj. The seeds of India’s first war of independence in 1857 were sown inside the Vellore fort when a sepoy mutiny began against the British rulers in 1806. The clock tower in Vellore Bazaar also declares how 277 men from this town took part in the First World War.Visit Vellore Bazaar and Main Bazaar to shop for traditional handicraft items such as mats, pots, and silk. Sample ‘Malai Thein’, a unique kind of pure mountain honey, from nearby Y. M. C. A. Try the special weekly market, Sandhai, which is held in Athanavoor area on each Friday. Sandhai market is popular for agricultural products and plastic wares.There are numerous temples in the district renowned for not just being ancient sites of worship but also for their unique South Indian architecture and customs. Some of the prominent temples worth visiting are Sri Selva Vinayagar, Vallimalai Subramanyar, Sri Lakshmi Narsimha Swamy, and the majestic golden temple of Sripuram.But a Vellore journey remains incomplete without visiting the iconic and massive Vellore Fort. While its exact construction date remains unknown, it is believed that this great fort was constructed in the 16th century AD under the Aravindu dynasty. During the British Raj, the last king of Sri Lanka and Tipu Sultan’s family members were among prisoners here. Its imposing moats and ramparts have made this fort among the best examples of military architecture in South India. It also houses a mosque, a temple, and a church, testimony to the tolerant atmosphere of the region. The Jalakandeswarar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, renowned for its Dravidian architecture, is also present inside this fort.You can easily cover most local sites in Vellore using taxis, auto rickshaws, and private and state-run government buses. To travel in comfort and at your own pace you could also opt to hire a car and driver from the many rentals and individual operators in Vellore.South Indian temples are known for observing strict rules and customs. Make sure you understand and obey them before entering any holy site.Language can be a barrier in Tamil Nadu for domestic and foreign visitors alike though almost everyone here can communicate in pidgin English
Vellore is not well connected to other major cities of the country via regular flights. The nearest airport is in Tirupati at a distance of 92kms.
Airports: Tirupati Airport
You can easily get regular trains to Vellore from other major cities of the country..
Railway Station(s): Vellore Cant