Vellore pronounced is a municipal corporation in the Vellore district of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It became a municipal corporation in August 2008. Vellore lies on the banks of the Palar River on the site of Vellore Fort. The city is located between Chennai (145 km), Bangalore (215 km) and the temple towns of Thiruvannamalai and Tirupati. Vellore has many colleges, ancient temples, a renowned hospital (the Christian Medical College & Hospital) and a well-known technical institute (the Vellore Institute of Technology). Vellore is a transit hub for travellers and tourism. The city spans approximately 10 km and is developed around the Fort, which is considered as the center of the city. The total city area is 87.915 km².
Vellore city is administrated by a mayor, a deputy mayor and a corporation commissioner. The Vellore Municipal Corporation consists of 60 wards and is divided into four zones: Katpadi, Sathuvachari, Vellore Fort and Shenbakkam. Each zones consists of 15 wards. Tamil is the official and most widely spoken language. Other languages include Telugu, Urdu, Malayalam and Kannada. Vellore has a tropical wet-and-dry climate, reaching high temperatures during summer. The city experiences wet winters and dry summers; it has an elevation of about 224 meters, with the northeast monsoon the highest contributor to rainfall. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures during summer and winter vary between 38.5°C and 18.95°C. The highest temperature ever recorded is 45°C, and the lowest is 10°C.
State Government Museum:
- During British rule the Tippu Sultan's family and the last king of Sri Lanka, Vikrama Rajasinha, were held as royal prisoners in the fort. The fort houses a church, a mosque and a Hindu temple, the latter known for its carvings. The first rebellion against British rule erupted at this fort in 1806, and it also witnessed the massacre of the Vijayanagara royal family of Emperor Sriranga Raya.
- The fortifications consist 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 pipes from the Suryagunta reservoir. Within the fort is the similarly-aged Jalakanteswara Temple. The fort is a noteworthy example of military architecture in South India. The fort is administered by the Archeological Survey of India. Vellore Fort has been declared a Monument of National Importance and is a noted tourist attraction.
The State Government Museum is inside the fort, and was opened to the public in 1985. It consists of objects of art, archaeology, prehistory, weapons, sculptures, bronzes, wood carvings, handicrafts, numismatics, philately, botany, geology and zoology. Historical monuments of the erstwhile composite North Arcot
District are contained in the gallery. Special exhibits include a bronze double sword from Vellore Taluk dating to 400 BC, stone sculptures from the late Pallava to Vijayanagar periods, ivory chess boards and coins used by the last Kandian King of Sri Lanka, Vikrama Raja Singha. Educational activities at the museum include an art camp for school students and the study of inscriptions and iconography for college students.
Kavalur Observatory (Vainu Bappu Observatory
) is located in Kavalur in the Javadu Hills (part of the Eastern Ghats) in Alangayam, Vellore district. The observatory is at an altitude of 725 m above mean sea level. Besides its distance from city lights and industrial areas, its location was chosen to be closer to the equator to cover the northern and southern hemispheres easily. Its location makes it is the only major astronomical facility between Australia
and South Africa
for observing southern objects. The largest telescope in Asia
(with a diameter of 2.3 m) is located here.
The Clock Tower is located in the heart of the city on K. V. Road (Long Bazaar). The tower was erected to commemorate the coronation of King George V. It is also dedicated to the 22 English soldiers who went to fight from this town during World
War I (1914-1918), of whom 14 died in the war. The clock-tower building is now used as the central flower market in Vellore city.
Church of South India:
The church is nearly 150 years old. The British soldiers who died during the Sepoy Mutiny are buried near the church, and the church is authorized to maintain the cemetery where they are buried by the British Government.
Sripuram Golden Temple:
Sri Lakshmi Temple, popularly known as Golden Temple, is a newly built temple ad spiritual park in Thirumalaikodi, Vellore.It is approximately 8 km from the Vellore Town Bus Terminus, near the fort. The temple is located on 100 acres, and has been constructed by Vellore-based Sri Narayani Peedam headed by Sakthi Amma. The temple has intricate carvings, hand-made by hundreds of gold artisans specializing in temple architecture. The exterior of the temple is laid with gold sheets and plates, with construction reported to have cost Rs.300 crores (US$65 million). About 1,500 kg of gold was used for the temple, the largest amount in the world. The lighting is arranged in such a way that the temple glitters even at night. It was completed on August 24, 2007. The outer pathway of the temple is star-shaped, 1.8 km in length, and its walls are inscribed with the teachings of Sakthi Amma.