Upon arriving in the city of Vellore, visitors can feel history emanating from the bricks and mortars of its old buildings. It’s as if the spirits and memories of the past still linger here, walking the halls and streets to remind people of the roles that this city had played long ago.
This city of 5 million or so has not quite caught up yet with the modern world. There are no imposing skyscrapers here, only modest buildings mingling with the historical ones. And that’s a good thing… great thing, in fact. Vellore has done a wonderful job preserving its history, which it takes so much pride in. This is evident in its beautiful 16th-century fort and the intricately decorated ancient temples that are still standing here. These historic structures are what draw tourists into the city, making it huge urban tourist stop in Tamil Nadu.
Perhaps one of the best examples of such structures is the famous Fort City, around which the contemporary city is built. Built in 1566, it was passed on from one empire to another and used to hold Sri Lanka’s last king, Vikrama Rajasinha, and Tipu Sultan’s family as royal prisoners during the British occupation. It witnessed the first rebellion against the British started in 1806 and many other significant events in Vellore’s history. It houses the beautifully carved Jalagandeeswarar Temple, which sits on a moot in the water, a church, a mosque, a memorial for Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, and a government museum.
Additionally, what the city lacks in high-rises and skyscrapers, it makes up for in the number of educational institutions. Around the fort is the 10-kilometer stretch of modern Vellore and it is full of buildings and complexes catering to research, education, and training. In fact, one of the colleges in the area, the Christian Medical College, is esteemed in the country for it breakthrough in stem cell research.
A visit in the city of Vellore is not one for simply enjoying the scenery and having trivial fun. With its many historical (and spiritual) buildings and educational institutions, a visit in Vallore is instead for immersing oneself in history and knowledge.