Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's of interest

Vellore Fort:

Vellore boasts of a historical Fort that's a few hundred years old - the biggest landmark in the city, also the monument that gives Vellore the name ' Fort Town'.
The Vellore Fort is made of granite blocks and is surrounded by a moat. History says that there used to be alligators in the moat, enough to deter any unwanted intrusion attempts. There are no alligators now, but visitors can now take a boat ride around the fort for a very small fee. The Fort and the area around the it is now under the Archaeological Survey of India, and is a protected monument. Inside the fort are a few Government offices, a Police training unit, a temple, a Church, and a Mosque.
Jalakanteswara Temple:

The Jalakanteswara temple is located inside the Vellore Fort , and is an exquisite piece of Indian Art. The temple is constructed of carved stone. Interestingly enough, this was one of the seven 'Wonders' of Vellore - a temple without a God!
History has it that a temple dancer was murdered in the temple court. Since the murder desecrated the temple, the idol was removed to a temple a few kilometers away and was there for over 200 years! In recent times, though, the idol has been returned to its initial place.
Inside the temple is a well that is supposed to have a secret passage to the temple in Kancheepuram, about 75km from Vellore. Interestingly, this temple has survived times of being occupied by Muslim rulers like Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan.

St.John's Church:

Also located inside the Vellore Fort is the St.John's Church. This was built in1234 by the British Colonists who had occupied the fort. This bears stark contrast to the architecture of the temple in the fort, in the absolutely Anglican style it is built in. Though renovated, the majority of the original structure has been preserved as also the looks.
CSI Central Church: This islocated opposite the Vellore Fort. It is largest Church in Vellore. It also has a historical Cemetery where many freedom fighters were buried. Also here one will find a memorial to the soldiers who died in the Vellore mutiny of 1806.
Vellore Museum: The Vellore museum is not a very large museum, but is certainly a unique one. Run by the Government, the museum has a good collection of paintings and ancient artifacts that go back all the way to the Cholas and the Pallavas (17th Century AD).
Clock Tower: The clock tower in the Vellore Market was built in 1928 AD and bears a stone inscription that reads "Vellore - From this village 277 men went to the great war 1914-18, of them 14 gave up their lives".
Muthu Mandapam: Located near the Palar river, in a rather inconspicuous place is the Muthu Mandapam. Though built recently (1990), this is built in memory of Vikrama Raja Singhan, the last Tamil ruler of Ceylon (Sri Lanka)

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