Situated in the heart of Vellore city is one of the most invincible forts in Tamil Nadu, the Vellore Fort. The fort was built by the rulers of erstwhile Vijayanagara Empire and was at once the seat of the Aravidu Dynasty of the Empire.
The fort is best known for its military architecture, grand ramparts and it’s deep and wide moat. The fort is spread over an area of 133 acres and is surrounded by a moat that was once home to about 10,000 crocodiles.
The fort is now maintained by the Archaeological Department of India (ASI) and is opened up to tourists.
Interesting Facts about the Vellore Fort
- During the British Empire, Tipu Sultan and his family as well as the last Lord of Sri Lanka, Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, were kept as captives inside the fortress. The tombs of Padshah Begum (Tipu Sultan’s wife), Tipu’s sons, Bakshi Begum (wife of Tipu’s son Hyder Ali) and of Sri Vikrama Rajasinha can be found inside the fort.
- The fort was constructed out of granite brought in from the nearby districts of Arcot and Chittoor.
- The fortress being ruled under dynasties of varying religions and faith, depicts a blend of all cultures. It houses the Jalakandeswarar Temple, the St. John’s Church and a Muslim Mosque.
- Vellore Fort has stood the testimony of time with its ownership being passed at different points of time, shown as below:
- Vijayanagar Empire – built around the middle of 16th century, ruled until mid 17th century
- Bijapur Sultans – ruled the kingdom between 1656-1678
- Marathas – ruled the kingdom between 1678-1707
- Mughals – ruled the kingdom between 1707-1760 before it went into British hands
- The fort also houses the Government Museum depicting historical monuments of erstwhile composite North Arcot District (present Vellore and Tiruvannamalai) and displaying objects that covers various subjects.
- The Vellore Christian Hospital along with many other important public offices is located inside the premises of the fort.
How to reach Vellore Fort
Vellore Fort is located at a distance of 138 kilometres from Chennai. Katpadi Junction in Vellore (around 7.5 kilometres north of the fort) is the nearest railway station. Vellore is well connected by road and rail with all the major cities in South India. The nearest international airport is at Chennai, 128 kilometres east of Vellore.