"Vellore 145 km/90 miles from Madras is a historical town in Tamil Nadu flanked by the Palar River. It showcases the heritage and culture of the pre-historic Dravdian civilization. It was successively ruled by several dynasties like the Pallavas, Cholas, Nayaks and Marathas who all left there imprint on the city. Its Vijaynagar Fort and temple are very famous and are in an excellent state of preservation. The fort was built in the 16th century and after the death of Tippu Sultan at the Srirangapatnam the British occupied it.
The fortifications of the fort consist of a main rampart broken at intervals by round towers. The narrow wall running around the fort is reached by a flight of steps at the entrance of the fort. On the southern side is a raised bastion on which there is a flag staff. There is a broad moat surrounding the Fort. As per local legend the moat once had 10,000 crocodiles living in it. Surely this was enough to deter anyone from swimming across to storm the walls of the Fort. There is a small museum inside the Fort with sculptures from the Pallava and Chola times. The Jalakanteshwara Temple within the fort is built in the late Vijaynagar style. It is said to have been constructed in 1566. It is popular with worshippers and visitors alike. Within the temple is a famous mandapan or hall. This has many pillars and has carvings of mythical creatures and of Yali. Its sculptures are famous as they are considered masterpieces of their time. What is unique are large statues of Ganesh, the elephant headed God at the entrance and the mandapan.
The Lakshmi Narayana or Mahalakshmi golden temple near Vellore is attracting more and more devotees. It is believed that those who pray here will receive divine blessings. The temple which gets 25000 visitors a day sees crowds swell to over one lakh (a hundred thousand) on festival and holidays. Anyone who visits the area or Vellore, stops here to seek the blessings of the goddess. The central prison of Vellore is another historical landmark. It is on the tourist map as many prominent freedom fighters were incarcerated here during the British Raj and not because of any famous criminal lodged here.
The nearby Yelagiri is a cool getaway. The green hills of Yelagiri and picture postcard scenery attracts visitors all year round. It is considered the least polluted among Tamil Nadu's hill resorts and has a steady stream of visitors in the summer.
The Amrilhi Zoological park is another Vellore highlight. Spread over 25 km/15 miles it has charming waterfalls and a variety of animals and = birds.
Of course Vellore is a famous medical centre, justifiably famous for its Christian Medial College considered one of the finest hospitals in South India. It has nurtured some of the countrys best medical brains. Despite modernization, Vellore retains the character of an historic town with an old building here and a temple there. Its Fort dominates and reminds people of battles won and lost and the passing of dynasties, of great Kings who achieved heights of greatness and on departing left their imprint on the sands of time.