This post is about a trip to Vellore in Tamil Nadu. On a Saturday last year, a good friend of ours called and asked if we could go to Vellore and visit the Golden temple the next day. As we were free and had heard about this temple we decided to go :)
Given my usual habit of finding out beforehand about any place to which I plan to go, I browsed about Vellore and found that there is a beautiful fort which one should not miss when there. Saw some lovely photographs of the fort on flickr taken by a localite. Given the fact that we had planned to start from Bangalore (JP Nagar to be exact) at around 10 in the morning we felt that we might end up going only to the temple.
The drive was pretty peaceful and scenic. We reached Hosur quite soon. After Krishnagiri, we took the left turn towards Vellore. Managed to reach Vellore around 1 PM on time for lunch :)
Now we faced a queer problem at hand. We were not sure where to eat. Unfortunately I hadn’t read about the eating options in Vellore…We did enter a restaurant on the Vellore bypass road before entering the town. But our friends were not convinced of the place. So we were back in the car immediately :)
We decided to enter the town and figure out by asking people there. To our luck we saw a Sardarji on the road and asked him if he knows a good place to eat. He directed us to Hotel Darling Residency! The name of the place made us feel skeptical :) Anyway we did not have any options and decided to try the place. It is very close to the Officer’s Line which is one of the important areas in Vellore. To our surprise the place was bustling with activity and lot of people! Lot of foreign tourists were also staying there. The restaurant turned out to be pretty good. Without wasting anymore time we ordered meals and were served a full fledged South Indian meal on banana leaves :)
By the time we finished lunch it was 2.30 PM. We headed out towards the Golden temple. On the way we saw the CMC college for which Vellore is famous. On reaching the temple complex, we learnt to our dismay that it would take at least 2 hours to enter the temple as there was a long queue :( We decided to call it quits as it would delay us quite a bit and we had to start from there before 5 PM so that we could reach Bangalore at a reasonable time.
As we had some time left, we headed to the fort. The fort is quite large and in good condition. Tipu Sultan is supposed to have taken refuge here along-with his family during his war with the British. The moat around the fort adds to its beauty.
The fort houses an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva called Jalakanteshwar Temple. This has been built in Vijayanagara style. We spent some time within the temple.
Had good coffee at one of the shops housed inside the fort. There is police training camp also within the fort. Took a short walk near the walls of the fort and left as it was getting late.
Would have loved to have walked around the entire area within the fort. Alas the trip came to an end. Might head back in future with more time at leisure and see the Golden temple too! Another place nearby on my to-do list is the Yelagiri hills. A visit to both Vellore and Yelagiri could be done in a short trip of 2-3 days.
On our way back we were lucky to view a fabulous sunset!