Definitions

Vellore

Vellore

[vuh-lawr, lohr]
Vellore, city (1991 pop. 310,776), Tamil Nadu state, SE India, on the Palar River. It is a district administrative center and an agricultural market town. In the 18th cent. Vellore was the stronghold of the Indian leaders Haidar Ali and his son Tippoo Sahib, and it was the site of a brief sepoy uprising against the British in 1806. An ancient fort, a 14th-century temple of the Hindu god Shiva, and a Christian medical college are in the city. Vellore has one of India's best hospital facilities.
Vellore (Tamil: வேலூர் pronounced Veluur), is a city and headquarters of Vellore district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The 142-year old municipality was crowned as largest Corporation (area wise) in Tamilnadu on August 2008.It is considered to be one of the oldest surviving cities in South India. The city lies on the banks of the Palar river on the site of Vellore Fort.

The city lies between Chennai and Bangalore and the Temple towns of Thiruvannamalai and Tirupati.

History

Vellore has the blend of rich heritage and culture representing the ancient Dravidian civilization. It was the seat of the Pallavas, Cholas, Nayak, Marathas, Arcot Nawabs and Bijapur Sultan Kingdoms. Vellore was once the capital city of the mighty Vijayanagar empire during 1606-1672. The fort in Vellore was described as the best and the strongest fortress in the Carnatic War in the 17th Century The monuments found in the district give a vivid picture of the evolution of the city through the ages.

In the region, for about the past 200 years, there were countless changes in the way of formation of kingdoms and their capitals. The 'North' and the 'South' regions of Arcot came into the political map in 1810 at the time of the last Mughal Emperor. Later in 1908, the two districts namely North and South Arcot came into existence. Chittoor (now in Andhra Pradesh) was the first capital of the North Arcot district. From then on, it was the principal military base of the British. In 1911, Vellore became the head quarters of North Arcot Dt. comprising Vellore and Thiruvannamalai

Etymology

The name, Vellore, is derived from the Tamil words : Vel (spear - வேல்) + uur (ஊர் - city ), means city of spears. Ancient history shows that Vellore was basically a battle field, where the warriors used to fight. Due to the geography of the place, the place was always left with the used weapons like spears all around the year. In another version, name Vellore is supposed to have been derived from some form of precious stone which had a similar sounding name. There are megalithic, proto-historical evidences in and around Vellore for such a semi-precious stone industry being prevalent in ancient times.

The name is also said to have originated from Vel (spear - வேல்) which is the main weapon of the Hindu deity Murugan or 'Velayudayaan' (one who bears the spear). The word then literally means - The place of Murugan.

Vellore Sepoy Revolt

The Vellore Revolt of 1806 was one of the earliest upsurges against the British rule in India and is widely considered as the actual "First War of Independence". Vellore District had always been on the forefront in the struggle for freedom. The Sepoy Revolt of 1806 AD that broke out inside the Vellore fort against the British authority is considered to be a prelude to the Great Revolt of 1857. This part of history is not well known to the people but adds to the rich heritage of Vellore.

Geography

Vellore is located at . It has an average elevation of .

The city is 200 metres above sea level, situated 130 km South West of Chennai and 180 km East of Bangalore. Vellore is on the plains surrounded by low, rocky hills. Temperature ranges from as low as 10°C in the winter months of December-February to even 43°C in the summer months of April-June. It is essentially a dry climate, rainy and humid only at the times of the two monsoons: June-August and October-December.

Unlike other tier-III cities of India, the area of Vellore is considerably high, though it has a population well below 9,00,000., city total area spans across 55km.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census, Vellore City had a population of 9,06,745 after elevated as a Corporation. Vellore has an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 80%, and female literacy is 68%. In Vellore, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.

The Vellore City consists of Sathuvachari, Dharapadavedu, Kazhinjur, Kangeyanallur, Gandhi Nagar, Shenbakkam, Sathuvachari, Konavattam, Allapuram, Thorapadi, Sainathapuram, Sankaranpalayam, Bagayam, Ariyur, Thirumalaikodi, Walajapet, Arcot, Ranipet, Thiruvalam, Melvisharm, and Palavansathu Kuppam. Total area spans across 55km approximately. Based on Area, Vellore is the largest Municipal corporation in Tamilnadu with 392.58 sq.km surpassing chennai with 180sq.km.

Tamil is the official language spoken here. Other languages spoken by linguistic minorities include Telugu, Urdu, Malayalam and Kannada. Most of the people in Vellore can converse in English and in Hindi.

Most of the people here follow principles of Hinduism. There is a significant amount of Muslim population in the city,particularly in Kaspa, R.N.Palayam, Saidapet, Hazarath Makkan, Bakiyath Street, Sarbanamedu, which is considerably higher than the state average. Much of the churches located in northern districts of Tamil Nadu fall under Vellore Diocese - both Catholic and CSI under the territorial jurisdiction of a bishop.

Vellore is one among the least discussed-about cities in India, in terms of Law and Order issues. Also, the city is traditionally known for its religious and linguistic harmony.

Economy

Vellore, an administrative center is predominantly a market place for its own district and neighboring districts such as Chittoor District(Andhra Pradesh) and Thiruvannamalai District.

The city, along with its nearby industrial towns; has witnessed a consistent industrial growth, followed by the implementation of South Asia's second railway track between Chennai Royapuram and Walajah. The Golden Quadrilateral road; has significantly improved the region's industrial activities.

Vellore lies between the IT majors (Chennai & Bangalore) and major pilgrim centres (Tirupathi and Thiruvannamalai). Thousands of men and women from here travel to Chennai and nearby industrial towns everyday for work.

Leather industry

Hundreds of leather and tannery industries are located around Vellore and its nearby towns such as Ranipet, Ambur and Vaniyambadi. The district is the top exporter of finished leather goods in the country. Vellore leather accounts for more than 37% of the country`s Export of Leather and Leather related products such as finished leathers, shoes, garments, gloves and so on

Chemical and other industries

Numerous chemical industries located in Ranipet-SIPCOT form a major source of income. BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd - one of the nine major Federal Government owned enterprises in the nation), EID Parry (sanataryware product manufacturing company with 38% of world's market share in the segment of bathroom accessories), Tirumalai Chemicals and Greaves are among the many international brands located here. Arakonam, a town near Vellore is the home of major companies like MRF, while TVS Lucas has its major manufacturing facilities in Sholingur (40 km from Vellore).

Asia's biggest explosives manufacturing company TEL(Tamil Nadu Explosives Limited) is located in Vellore at Katpadi.

The city is also famous for medical tourism. CMC Hospital which is located in the heart of the city is the biggest private employer in the city. It creates a large floating population, mostly from other states of India and foreign countries. Lodging, hospitality and allied businesses are among major sources of income generated in the central part of the city. With the advent of hospitals such as Apollo KH Hospitals, Melvisharam and Sri Narayani Medical Research Center, Ariyur and colleges such as CMC, VIT and other engineering and science colleges, hospitality industry is growing at a rampant pace.

The mainstay for people in the rural areas is not agriculture but industries like weaving, beedi rolling and match-stick rolling. Interestingly, Indian Army has significant number of men from Vellore district. And hence, it is one of the major source of income for the region.

Also, the city is known for its huge expatriate population scattered around the world, especially in Middle east and North America; which forms major source of wealth.

Sripuram in the southern tip of the city has interestingly cajoled up at lot of tourism interests in city and the surrounding areas.

Proposed/Future developments

Tamil Nadu Government has announced its plan to setup a leather goods SEZ on 260 acres at Ranipet and another Special Economic Zone at Katpadi.

A new IT park is proposed to be set up in Vellore by state owned ELCOT (Electronics limited corporation of Tamil Nadu) in partnership with the private sector in the coming financial year(2008-2009).

Chennai-Bangalore-Mumbai Industrial Corridor

Prime Minister. Manmohan Singh has accepted in principle the suggestion made by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to declare the stretches along the Chennai-Bangalore highway as an industrial corridor, with plans of a bullet train, a six-lane road and an extension of the metro rail from Chennai to Bangalore. It was the considered opinion of the State government that by making the Chennai-Bangalore highway an industrial corridor, the Centre could facilitate the improvement of infrastructure along the highway on a par with world standards. Besides, it would help further industrial development of Vellore, Ranipet, Hosur and Krishnagiri. .

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Thursday welcomed the proposed corridor, to be built on the lines of an industrial corridor planned between Delhi and Mumbai. Under its City Connect programme, the CII has held several discussions with senior officials of the Tamil Nadu government to develop the new corridor.

'The Chennai-Bangalore industrial corridor would go a long way in tapping the potential of the two states to attract investment and help creation of a skilled workforce,' Gopal Srinivasan, chairman of the CII's Tamil Nadu Council, said.

Retail Business

Major business districts of the city include Officer's line, Bangalore Road, Scudder Road, Arni Road and Katpadi Road. Hundreds of boarding and lodging houses are located in and around Scudder road.

Education

Vellore is considered to be one of the best destinations for world class medical and technological education in India. Vellore has a State Government University, a Private Technological University, one Government and one Private Medical School, Various other Engineering Colleges, Numerous Arts and Science Institutions and a large number of both Government and Private Schools.

Medicine

Christian Medical College and Hospital

Christian Medical College & Hospital(popularly known as CMC), the largest and one of the most prestigious hospitals in India, is located in the heart of Vellore.

It attracts a floating population of at least 5000 persons every day. The hospital was founded in the early part of the 20th century by an American medical missionary Dr. Ida S. Scudder.

The CMC Hospital has a functioning Quality Management programme and is one of the first Asian hospitals to have been ISO certified.

Country's first stem cell translational research centre, was set up in Dec 01 2005 here. Central government's biotechnology department had selected CMC for setting up the first of a series of centers in the country as it had world class clinical hematology and biochemistry departments.

Besides having the world famous Cancer and Neurological Wards, it runs

  1. Mental Health Hospital, Bagayam, Vellore - a Rehabilitation Centre for the physically disabled.
  2. The Schieffelin Leprosy Research and Training Centre (SLRTC) in Karigiri, Gudiyatham, Vellore - a world famous Leprosy Research Institute.
  3. Community Health and Department(CHAD), Bagayam, Vellore.
  4. Rural Healthcare department(RUHSA).
  5. "Nambikkai Nilayam" - a centre for handicapped children.
  6. The "New Life Centre"- a Rehabilitation Centre for people who have been treated and cured of leprosy and are non-infectious, but who have to live with the stigma of disability caused by leprosy.
  7. Virology research department.

Apart from these, there are Low-cost, but Effective Treatment Wards to treat the poorest of the poor.

The Christian Medical College, Vellore has been rated as "Best Medical College in India (Factual)" by India Today. The Perceptual rank, i.e. the perception in the minds of the people who were interviewed ranks CMC third behind AIIMS, Delhi and AFMC, Pune. In an interview with NDTV, Mr. Raj Chengappa, Managing Editor of India Today, stated that as per the data relating to excellence in education, nurture, facilities, faculty, etc., CMC ranks Number One (FACTUAL).

Other Institutions (Medicine)

1. Vellore Government Medical College, Vellore - 11
2. Sri Narayani College of Nursing, Vellore - 55
3. St. John's College of Nursing, Vellore.

Engineering

The Vellore Institute of Technology University (popularly known as VIT) is in Katpadi, Vellore. VIT has been ranked as the Best Private Engineering University in India by the India Today. VIT is also the first Indian University to be accredited by the prestigious IEE (Institution of Electrical Engineers), London. VIT University has six schools of study under its umbrella. VIT also houses the VIT Business School which is ranked among the 50 Best in India. VIT has students from all over India and over 20 countries studying in its vast and lush campus.

Thanthai Periyar Government Institute of Technology (TPGIT) is one of the 6 Government Engineering Colleges in Tamilnadu. It is located at Thorapadi, Vellore.

NTTF Nettur Technical Training Foundation - The first ISO 9001 technical education center which known internationally - located in Kangeyanallur, Katpadi. The institution offers courses in 'Design and Manufacturing of Press tools & Plastic moulds'.

Some of the other engineering colleges in Vellore include

  1. C.Abdul Hakkeem College of Engg and Tech., Melvisharam, Vellore
  2. Ranipettai Engineering College, Walajah, Vellore
  3. Ganadipathy Tulsis Jain College of Engineering, Kaniyambadi, Vellore
  4. Adhiparasakthi College of Engineering, Kalavai, Vellore
  5. Kingston College of Engineering, Katpadi, Vellore (Proposed to begin in 2008-09)

Arts and Science

Thiruvalluvar University which was formed by the bifurcation of University of Madras is at present located in Vellore Fort campus. The Foundation stone for a multi-crore University Campus was laid at Serkaadu near Katpadi in Vellore by the Honble. Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Kalaignar.Dr.M.Karunanidhi on 16th Feb 2008. Almost all of the Government run Arts and Science colleges present in Vellore District, Tiruvannamalai District, Villupuram District and Cuddalore District are affiliated to Thiruvalluvar University. The University students have taken part in various National and International events.

Arts and Science colleges in Vellore

  1. Auxilium Women's College (founded in 1954, is the first women''s College in Vellore District).
  2. DKM Women's College.
  3. Muthurangam Government Arts College.
  4. Voorhees College (Estd. 1898)- This College is the oldest in Vellore District. Famous as the Institution where, Dr.S.Radhakrishnan, Fmr President of India, studied. Recently a Commemorative Stamp in honour of the Centenary of the College was issued by the government of India.
  5. Madrasa Baqyatris Salehat, Vellore

Agricultural Research Station

The Agricultural Research Station, Virinjipuram comes under North Eastern Zone region of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the 32 Research Stations of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore which was ranked as the best Agricultural University in India during the year 1999.

This research station is located in Virinjipuram village of Katpadi Taluk of Vellore District. It is about 15 km. away from Vellore bus stand on the Chennai-Bangalore National Highway and 21 km from Katpadi railway station.

Centrally Sponsored, National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) scheme is in operation since October 1997 with the main objective of laying out trials mostly on water and soil conservation measures in 18 watersheds of Vellore and Tiruvannamalai Districts.

Schools

Vellore has many Government run, Government aided and private run schools (including Matriculation, CBSE & ICSE/ISC). Following are the few among the list of schools here.

  1. Auxilium Girls Higher Secondary School (Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus)
  2. Don Bosco Higher Secondary School (Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus)
  3. Bethel matriculation higher secondary school (Matric / Tamil nadu state board syllabus)
  4. Government Higher Secondary School, Virupatchipuram (Tamil Nadu State Board Syllabus).
  5. Government Boys Higher Secondary School, Katpadi (Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus).
  6. Government Higher Secondary School, Kaneyanallur (Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus).
  7. Government Muslim Higher Secondary School (Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus).
  8. Holy Cross Matriculation Higher Secondary School (Matric / Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus).
  9. Ida Scudder School (ICSE/ISC syllabus).
  10. K. A. K. M (Mpl)Higher Secondary School (Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus).
  11. Madras Matriculation Higher Secondary School (Matric syllabus)
  12. Ramalingam Hr. Sec. School (Tamil Nadu State Board Syllabus )
  13. Rathinagiri Bageerathan Matriculation School(Matric/Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus)
  14. N.Krishnaswamy Mudaliar Higher Secondary school (Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus)
  15. Siddhartha Senior Secondary School (Matric/Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus).
  16. Shanthinikethan Marticulation Higher Secondary School (Matric / Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus).
  17. Shiksha Kendra Residential School (Matric/Tamil Nadu Board Syllabus). web
  18. Shrishti Marticulation Higher Secondary School (Matric / Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus).
  19. Shrishti Vidyashram Senior Secondary School (CBSE syllabus).
  20. Sri Narayani Vidyalaya Higher Secondary School, Tirumalaikkodi(Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus)
  21. Sri Venkateswara Higher Secondary School (Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus).
  22. St. Mary's Higher Secondary school (Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus).
  23. Sunbeam Matriculation School (Matric / Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus). web
  24. Vani Vidhyalaya Matriculation School (Matric / Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus).
  25. Vidyalayam
  26. Voorhes Higher Secondary School (Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus).
  27. Williams Matriculation Higher Sec School (Matric / Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus).
  28. DAV BHEL Higher Secondary School (CBSE Syllabus).

Police Recruit School

The Police Recruit School is located inside the Vellore Fort. A training school to recruit constables was opened in Vellore in April 1908. It is one of the two permanent Police Recruit Schools of the present day State of Tamil Nadu (another one is in Coimbatore). Inspector General of Police in his letter (with suggestions) to the Government dated 25th August, 1897 made the Government to form a combined training school at Vellore for police inspectors and station house officers, who were to undergo six months course. In the 1909, a police museum, which was functioning in office of Inspector General of Police since 1901, was shifted to the Police Training School at Vellore. The 1973-74 Batch of directly recruited Sub-Inspectors was the last batch to undergo training at Vellore.

Warders Training Centre

There is a Warders Training Centre at Vellore which conducts 6 months training for Grade II Warders. This Institute also imparts in-service training to Grade I & II Warders. This training centre imparts training in the handling of Modern Weapons, drill and management of Prisons with emphasis on Human Rights. The in-service includes training in Karate & Ninja, Commando, Un-armed combat, Bomb disposal, PSO Temporary Warders training centre at Trichy and Coimbatore started to the train the newly recruited warders.

There is a Regional Institute of Correctional Administration at Vellore for imparting training to officers. This institute is jointly managed by four Southern States viz. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka & Kerala. The object of this institute is to have trained officers in the correctional service who can be able to rehabilitate, re-socialize and reintegrate the offenders in the community effectively.

Vellore Central Prison

Prison

The Vellore Central Prison, set up in 1830 A.D. is another historically important land mark as some eminent personalities and freedom fighters like Rajaji, C.N.Annadurai, Kamaraj, the former presidents of India V. V. Giri, R. Venkataraman and other political leaders like Vaiko, had served their prison terms here.This Prison was constructed during the year 1867. The total area of this Prison is 153 acres. The authorised accommodation is 2130. The architectural design of this Prison is radial blocks with tower. Special Prison for Women, Vellore This Prison started functioning from 15.04.1836. This is a pioneering Institution in the country started for the welfare of women. This Prison was originally named as Presidency Jail for Women Prisoners. The area occupied by this Prison is 13.62 acres. The authorised accommodation is 412. This Prison is managed by Women Officers and staff. There is a nursery and crèche available in this Prison to look after the welfare of the children accompanying the Prisoners. Largest Jail in the vellore

Convicts sentenced to imprisonment are confined in the jail from various districts of the Presidency as well as from Burma. Many prisoners sentenced to transpiration by the courts of this Presidency are retained when considered physically unfit for deportation to Andaman. The expenditure in the jail is recovered by the value of the convict labour.

The chief industry carried out in the jail is weaving. A great variety of clothes of variouspatterns as well as table clothes, gunnies, choir mats,The manufacture was first taught to the convicts by a carpet weaver of Ellore. The fabrics are excellently woven and find ready sale in England. Carpentry, shoe making,iron and brass work and tent making are also carried on and the prison is well worth a visit. By extreme hard work and good conduct, convicts may earn a remission not exceeding 1/6th of the total period of imprisonment awarded them.

Warders Training Centre

There is a Warders Training Centre at Vellore which conducts 6 months training for Grade II Warders. This Institute also imparts in-service training to Grade I & II Warders. This training centre imparts training in the handling of Modern Weapons, drill and management of Prisons with emphasis on Human Rights. The in-service includes training in Karate & Ninja, Commando, Un-armed combat, Bomb disposal, PSO Temporary Warders training centre at Trichy and Coimbatore started to the train the newly recruited warders.

There is a Regional Institute of Correctional Administration at Vellore for imparting training to officers. This institute is jointly managed by four Southern States viz. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka & Kerala. The object of this institute is to have trained officers in the correctional service who can be able to rehabilitate, re-socialize and reintegrate the offenders in the community effectively.

Tourism

Resorts

Bans The Hotel(3 Star Hotel) with Accommodation,Dining & Water Park, 35 kms from Vellore. website:www.bansc.in

Vellore Fort

A photo of Vellore Fort

The fortification consists of a main rampart broken at irregular intervals by round towers and rectangular projections. The main walls are built of massive granite stones surrounded by a broad moat fed with water by subterranean drains from the Suryagunta tank. Within the fort is the similarly aged Jalakanteswara Temple. The fort is one of the most perfect specimens of military architecture in Southern India. One of the interesting features of this fort is that there is a Hindu temple, Christian church and Muslim mosque within its ramparts. The Fort also houses the famous "Tipu Mahal", where Tipu Sultan is believed to have stayed with his family during the war with the British. The graveyards of Tipu's sons are found at Vellore. The Fort is under the control of the Archeological Survey of India. The Vellore Fort has been declared as a "Monument of National Importance". The fort has today become a must see for visitors thronging Vellore.

State Government Museum

This state Government Museum is inside the fort and can be found on map 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. It treasures ancient and present day curios relating to Anthropology, Art and Archaeology, Botany, Geology, Numismatics, Pre-history, Zoology, etc. The historical monuments of the erstwhile 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 educational activities of this Museum include Art camp for school students, Study of inscriptions and iconography for college students etc.

Kavalur Observatory

Kavalur observatory(The Vainu Bappu Observatory) is located in Kavalur in the Javadu Hills (a part of Eastern Ghats) in Alangayam, Vellore District. The observatory is at an altitude of 725 m above mean sea level (longitude 78° 49.6' E ; latitude 12° 34.6' N). Apart from being reasonably away from city lights and industrial areas, the location has been chosen in order to be closer to the earth's equator for covering both northern and southern hemispheres with equal ease. In addition, its longitudinal position is such that it is the only major astronomical facility between Australia and South Africa for observing the southern objects.The Largest Telescope in Asia with a diameter of 2.3M is located here.

Yelagiri

Yelagiri hills, is an idyllic place for a short holiday. Green hills and picture post-card scenery greets you here. It is called the princess of hill stations and is the most pristine and unpolluted among the hill stations in Tamil Nadu. Yelagiri Hills is a backward area with few glaring developments like cottages and farm houses, yet a place that has maintained its 'remote' label. Its called likely "Mini Ooty"

Amirthi Forest

Amirthi zoological park is situated under the Javvadu/Javadi Hills of Tellai across Amirthi river which is 25 km away from Vellore. This zoological park was started in October 1967. The area of the park is 25 hectares and one can find beautiful waterfalls. There are also different kinds of birds and animals. Play equipments like swings, seesaw etc., are available for children. Numerous kinds of herbal plants and trees and sandalwood trees grow here. There are 2 rest houses and five members can stay in one dormitory. There is a meditating hall where one can have full concentration and be in serenity.

The inflow of tourists is more only during the holidays. This zoological park has been recognized recently and so the state Government has taken initiative to develop this area. The entrance fees is only Rs.2/- per head, Rs.3/- for cycles, Rs.5/- for vans and Rs.2/- for motor cycles.

There is a range office at Amirthi headed by the forest ranger. There is also a hill tribe society at Nimmiyambattu near Amirthi. The main aim is to provide employment opportunities to the hill tribals in that area.

Temples

Jalakandeswarar Temple, Srilakshmi Golden Temple,Seethalakshmana Sametha Sri Kothanda Ramar Swamy Temple at Rangapuram, Thengal Ashram, Sholinghur Narasimhaswamy Temple are few of the famous temples located here. Also the district is well known for numerous Murugan temples. The City also houses famous Churches and Mosques. The Assumption Cathedral and the 150-year-old St.Johns Church inside the Fort are some of the churches located in Vellore. The Big Mosque in the heart of the city houses the largest Arabic College in India.

Jalakandeswarar Temple

Jalakandeswarar Temple - Situated inside the Vellore Fort, this temple boasts of a majestic gopuram (tower). Here Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of "Jalakandeswarar". The temple is located at sub-ground levels than the temple moat, hence the name Jalakandeswarar. The temple was in closed state for a very long period. The main Deity of the sanctum sanctorium was taken away to a distant location to save Him from being dishonoured by an appraisal. It was brought back to place in 1980 when there was a severe water scarcity. The then Collector was the key man in getting the deity back to location.

Ratnagiri Temple

Rathnagiri is a temple devoted to Lord Balamurugan located at Rathnagiri, Walaja Taluk about 10km from Vellore. Balamurugan adimaigal was the one responsible for developing this hilltop temple from the year 1968. Under his guidance a well equipped hospital and a very good school was founded. All the people belong to Kilminal also responsible for the development of this temple complex. Under the auspicious of the Balamuruganadimai an emergency medical service unit is available near to the Ratnagiri hospital on the Madras Bangalore highway. The temple is very well maintained and known for its popularity among CMC visitors and the general public of Tamil Nadu. A 4 hair-pin bend road leads to the temple. A small entry fees for vehicles is charged as the ghat road was recently laid. Another option would be to take nearly 150 odd steps to reach the temple.Nothing to see in that temple.

Sripuram

SriLakshmi Temple in Sripuram, popularly known as Golden Temple, is a newly built Spiritual Park / Temple in Thirumalaikodi, Vellore. The whole exterior of the temple is laid with gold sheets and plates. The construction of this temple is reported to have cost Rs.300 crores (Rs.3 billion). The temple is surrounded by a vast lush green landscaped area. The temple can only be accessed by going through a star shaped walkway.

Vallimalai

Its a temple dedicated to Lord Murugan, which is located on top of the hill which is a part of Eastern Ghats; and it is 30km from Vellore. The temple is known for its majestic views.

Cathedral

This is the main Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Vellore. Situated adjacent to the Bishop's House, the Church has turned into a major religious center after it was rebuilt in 2001. The bell tower of the church, said to be the Highest Bell Tower in India, is a major attraction.

Balamathi

Balamathi, a serene and small beautiful village located on top of the hills of Eastern Ghats is a 30 minute drive from Vellore. It is famous for its Balamurugan Temple which is connected to the city by a well laid road with many hair pin bends. Balamathi enjoys pleasant breeze and a substantially low temperature which makes a ideal break away from city's naturally hot weather.

Transportation

Buses

Vellore is served by city bus service, which provide connectivity within the City, suburbs and places 30km in the radius of Vellore.

The Central bus terminus was in the heart of the city, opposite to the Fort, until it was shifted to its new location near the Chelliamman Temple on the banks of the river Palar. The Old Bus Terminus near the Fort continues to function as a Nodal Center for all buses plying between the city and its suburbs. Other major City services bus terminus are located at Chittor bus stand, Bagayam and Katpadi.

1 : Katpadi to Baghayam (Via Officers Line) & reverse 2 : Katpadi to Baghayam (via Velappadi) & reerse 3 : 4 : 8 : Vellore to Oosur

Please refer the Tamilnadu government's website for route and fare details: Government Transport Website:

Auto and Taxi

Autos and Taxies charge a flat rate and do not abide by government fixed fares. Fleecing of passengers at Railway stations and Bus stands in Vellore is a common sight. But the rates are much more reasonable that there counterparts in Chennai, Coimbatore or Bangalore.

How to reach

By Air

The city does not have a functioning airport of its own, the nearest international airports are Chennai International Airport(130km), Bengaluru International Airport (200km) and the nearest domestic airport is Tirupati Airport (100km).

Vellore has an unused airstrip at Abdullapuram. Proposal to make the airport fully functional by 2009 to allow operation by 45-seater ATR aircraft has been proposed by the government. The Tamil Nadu government has recently announced that it would speed up the construction of terminal buildings and thereby make the airport fully operational by 2009.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has embarked on an "idle airports activation programme" in the Southern region that includes Vellore. The Vellore airstrip, located on 51.5-acres, was activated recently to facilitate regular flying by trainee pilots of the Madras Flying Club. The proposed Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Aeronautical science will be shifted from Sriperumpudhur to Vellore.

By Train

The main railway station for Vellore lies at the northern part of the city at Katpadi, 7km from Old Central Bus stand, 6.5km from CMC and 5km from the New Central Bus Terminus. The Railway Station is being expanded and beautified to accommodate the ever growing passenger numbers.

Two more stations Vellore Town and Vellore Cantonment are on the line connecting Katpadi Junction to Villipuram Junction. The new Vellore-Katpadi line is expected to start soon.

By road

Vellore is well connected to all major cities in Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Direct buses are available to Chennai, Bangalore, Tirupathi, Salem, Mysore, Chittoor, Kurnool, Trichy, Thiruvannamalai, Villupuram, Kanyakumari, Arani, Kanchipuram, Kalpakkam, Gudiyatham and other major towns and cities in South India.

Vellore is located on NH46, which connects Bangalore and Chennai (NH4 from Ranipet to Chennai) and on Cuddalore - Chittoor highway, thus making it a major transit point for travellers. Golden Quadrilateral (the largest express highway project in India) makes the city extremely easy to access from both Bangalore and Chennai (in an average, 2.1 hrs from Chennai and 3 hrs from Bangalore).

Distance between Vellore and other major towns and cities:

Sl no City Distance (in km)
1 Chennai 130
2 Bangalore (via Hosur) 180
3 Bangalore (via Chittor) 210
4 Coimbatore 317
5 Tuticorin 542
6 Tirupathi 100
7 Ranipet 30
8 Walajapet 32
9 Arni 36
10 Tiruvannamalai 85
11 Mysore 278
12 Salem 175
13 Krishnagiri 110
14 Hyderabad 512
15 Tirupur 280
16 Tirunelveli 586
17 Madurai 439
18 Ooty 314
19 Erode 264
20 Nellore 304
21 Mangalore 465
22 Anantapur (via Tirupati) 380
23 Trichy 308

Media and Communication

Leading Tamil, English and other regional languages newspapers are available in Vellore. English dailies such as, The Hindu, The New Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle and Deccan Herald are available in Vellore. Tamil dailies; Thinaththanthi, Dinamalar, Dinakaran, Dinamani and Maalaimalar are printed in Vellore.

Vellore falls under Tamilnadu Telecom circle.

A station of All India Radio is located in Vellore. The city has several Local TV Channels.

List of Mobile networks in Vellore (Tamil Nadu Circle)

Network Name Type
Aircel GSM
Airtel GSM
Vodafone GSM
BSNL GSM
Reliance CDMA
Tata Indicom CDMA

Entertainment

List of Cinema Halls in Vellore

The following list gives the Cinema halls in alphabetical order. There are defunct and non-operating theatres which are not included in this list.

Cinema Theatres Location Features
Adlabs Alankar Infantry Road,(Near Cantonment Railway Station), Vellore - 1 A/C, DTS, RDX
Adlabs Lakshmi Officer's Line, (Opp HDFC Bank ), Vellore - 1 70mm, A/C, Dolby Digital, RDX
Anna Kalai Arangam (State Government owned hall) Officer's Line, Vellore - 1
Apsa VIT Road, Katpadi, Vellore - 7 SDX Digital
Apsara Officer's Line, (Opp Voorhees College) Vellore - 1 A/C, Dolby Digital,RDX, Qube Digital
Balaji Chittor Road, Katpadi, Vellore - 7 Dolby Digital, Qube Digital
Blue Theatre Arni Road, Sainathapuram, Vellore - 2
Crown theatre Arcot Road, Saidapet, Vellore - 12
Jeyamurugan Arni Road, Sankaranpalayam, Vellore - 2 DTS, Qube Digital
Kural Bangalore Road, Konavattam, Vellore - 8 A/C, DTS, Qube Digital
National Talkies Katpadi road, Near Old Bye pass Road Signal, Vellore - 4
Ragavendhra Bangalore Road, Shenbakkam, Vellore - 8 A/C DTS, Qube Digital
Raja Officer's Line, Vellore - 1 DTS, Qube Digital
Silambu Bangalore Road, Konavattam, Vellore - 8 70mm, A/C, Dolby Digital, Qube Digital
Sri Murugan Sathuvachari, Vellore - 9 DTS, Digital
Srinivasa Arcot Road, Sathuvachari, Vellore - 9 DTS,Qube Digital
Thirumalai Vellore - 2 DTS, Digital
Sri Vishnu Old Palar Bridge Road, Viruthampet, Vellore - 6 A/C, Dolby Digital
Venus Post Office Street, (Opposite ICICI bank ), Vellore - 1 A/C DTS, Qube Digital
Lakshmi (Kamalam) Arcot, Vellore - 503 DTS
Sivan & Sakthi Arcot, Vellore - 503 DTS
PNR (Murali) Arcot, Vellore - 503 DTS
Rajeswari 69 C Bazaar Street, Ranipet, Vellore - 401 DTS
Shanmuga Ammoor Road, Ranipet, Vellore - 401 DTS

Politics

Vellore assembly constituency is part of Vellore (Lok Sabha constituency).

References

External links

History / Reference

See also

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