Vellore Fort ( Jala Durg):Vellore is the Head Quarter of North Arcot. The historical Vellore Fort or Jala Durg is situated on the bank of the Palar river220 km above the sea level. The green granite stone built fort has witnessed many ups and downs in its long journey of time. King Chinna Bomraa Reddy of Vijayanagar founded the fort in the 16th century. The control of the fort was in the hands of the Arcot Nawab, the Adil Sahis of Bijapur and the Marathas (1676) in course of time. Though Bijapur rulers recaptured it
Dayud Khan of Delhi took over the fort in 1760. It came under the British control after the defeat of Tipu Sultan in 1799, inside which Tipu's sons and daughters were kept as prisoners.
The fort, well-protected and is encircled by thick (double) wails along the line of a deep ditch. Its name was associated with the first independence struggle of 1857. On the north wall there is a gorgeous Kalyan Mandap on a dias for marriage ceremonies. The architecture of Jalakantheswar Shiva is unique. The carvings of roofs and pillars are wonderful samples of Vijayanagar sculptural style. Its 30 meter high 7-storeyed Gopuram is simply superb. God of the temple was shifted inside the fort after the invasion by Adil Sahi and the temple complex was turned into an army garrison. In the absence of God in the temple, its doors are opened to the tourists. On the right of the fort there are three churches, a cemetery of British soldiers, killed during the Sepoy Mutiny. Presently, government offices, shops and establishments and even residential buildings have come up at Mahal, i.e, the fort. Except second Saturday, the museum of the fort can be visited.
C M C Hospital - Vellore:
Vellore is now famous for its C M C Hospital. Dr Ida Schudder, an American missionary, founded the Christian Medical College Hospital in 1900. Its high standard of modern medical treatment attracts patients with critical diseases from all over the country. Originally started as an one-room dispensary, the hospital today has sprawled over many buildings, having more than 300 physicians and surgeons, over 1000 medical students and thousands of beds. Everyday 2000 patients are attended at the outdoors of the hospital.
Other important places to see in Vellore:
One should visit the British cemetery at Vellore. There is a Church. Also, there is a memorial structure of Tipu's second son who was associated with the mutiny at Vellore while remained confined in the fort (1806). The memorial called Muthu Mandapam (Pearl Palace) is 1 km off the town. In the opposite side of the town adjacent to main Bus Stand stands the Government Museum (9-00 am to 5-00 pm). One can purchase collections of glittering pottery articles.
This article is originally published in Travel India and India Study Channel