Thursday, June 01, 2006

Walajah - Arcot - Vellore Trip

People: Mega & Arivoli
Places: Walajah, Arcot and Vellore
Date: 27,28 May 2006

With the weekend approaching and When I was more afraid of the thought that I have to spend my time in home,the thought of seeing Vellore came to me. Though Vellore is so near to Chennai it is largely unexplored. So I packed my bags and started off with my longtime friend and college roommate Arivoli to Vellore. We stayed at Walajah, his native place.

I have known Vellore as the most hottest city in TN and also as the city which contains the jail from which LTTE successfully escaped by contructing a Tunnel in a very filmi way.And also as the city which contains one of the best surviving fort in TN. But apart from these the City of Vellore is also known as "the place which has Theivam illadha kovil, Raja illadha Kottai, Maram illadha Malaigal"

The places we covered are

1. Vannivedu Temple
2. Delhi Gate
3. Raja Rani Kottai
4. Badaam Pahad
5. Vilapakkam Caves
6. Pancha Pandavar Malai
7. Padavedu Amman temple
8. Senbaga Thoppu,
9. Amirthi Forest
10. Vellore Fort
11. Jalagandeeshwarar Temple
12. Vellore Govt Museum
13. Thiruvalam Temple
14. Vallimalai Murugan Temple
15. Thirupugazh Ashramam, Valli Malai

1. Vannivedu Temple

This is a small desolate but recently renovated temple in Walajah.A nice place to enjoy solitude.

2. Delhi Gate:

This building is a fortifaction gate or watch tower sort of building built on the banks of the Palar river which divides Walajah and Arcot. This tower had been occasionally used also as a jail.

Surangam :

My friend who also pitched in as the Guide says that there is a Tunnel from here which goes all the way to Delhi. Though I am a believer of all these tunnel stuff but the distance mentioned here seemed unbelievable even to me.

This was the entrance of the surangam and my friend played a flashback of his childhood days when he had played inside these tunnels .

It seems even Rober Clive had been here .

After coming here only I realised that the Muslim population here is relatively more like what I had seen in Hyderabad and Arivoli gave the explanation that Arcot was the seat of Nawabs for many centuries. A Mosque amidst the fields.

3. Raja Rani Kottai

Though it is locally called as Raja Rani Kottai, there is no Kottai(Palace) here. This is a pair of two swimming pools. One for the Raja, one for the Rani. There must have been a palace nearby but I think it must have got destroyed.

It is widely believed here that the Muslim rulers did have a *Very Nice* time inside these swimming pools.

4. Badaam Pahad

Vellore is a place known for its hills and this is the first one that we climbed. Known as Badaam Pahad , we saw 2 Samadhis and a building on top of this. Nothing else. There is no information on who are the people buried here.

From the top of this hills we were able to capture a good view of the surrounding places and we saw the Rock cut caves in the nearby hill.s

The small gaps you see at the bottom left corner of the above photo are caves probably by Budhhists or Jains.

5. Vilapaakam Caves:

A Sign Board on the Road notified of this monument.

There was nothing worthwhile inside these cave like structures except a carving of Buddha/Jain on top of the caves.

6. Pancha Pandavar Malai :

The Name reasons of this hill seems to be that the Pandavas stayed here for some time during their exile. I am not sure of this story's worthiness. There are no signs of it. What is there at the top is a Samadhi of a Muslim Saint.

Steps leading to the temple on top

There was a single scultpure which looked to be a scene from Ramayanam. If you are able to guess the scene , you are good in Hindu Mythology :-)

7. Padavedu Amman temple:

This is a very famous temple which comes in Thiruvannamalai district. It was a long travel from Arcot to this place but the way was a very good scenic one. One of the rare places where Norther TN looks very fertile and greenish. The temple itself was located amidst hills surrounding it and hence making a fantastic place. There are many Hill temples near this one but since we were very exhausted after climbing 2 so called mini hills we did not risk the other hill temples here.

The residing deity of this temple, Renukambal Amman is supposed to be very powerful one.

8. Senbaga Thoppu

This is a dam constructed inside a forest in the nearby hills. Nothing much to see here.

9. Amirthi Forest:

This is a govt promoted forest area comprising a Nature reserve and a zoo.
The timing of my trip was not proper since there was no water in the falls inside this forest.

The nearby zoo had many animals and here is one of them.

10. Vellore Fort :

The Vellore fort is one of the most important places to be seen in this area and is worth the time spent here. There is everything that a fort must contain here. And also this was the location of the Vellore Mutiny , the First War of Indian Independence that happened in 1806.

This fort houses a Church, Mosque and Temple and many building that are now used as public Offices.

11. Jalagandeeshwarar Temple

This is a Hindu temple inside the fort and is dedicated to the deity Jalagandeeswar. The temple is noted for its sculptures.

The temple had good sculptured pillars.

The below sculpture is a 2 in one. There are two animals entwined with a common single head here.If you hide the body of one of the animals the other will be prominent.Try it.

12. Govt Museum

This is a multi purpose museum maintained by the Department of Museum Government of Tamil Nadu. It treasures ancient and present day curios relating to Anthropology, Botany, Geology, Numismatics, Pre-history, Zoology, etc. Historical monuments of the erstwhile composite North Arcot district are gracefully depicted in the gallery. This museum is kept open on all days between 9.00 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. and 2.00 p.m and 5.00 p.m. except on holidays.

Apart from other things these 2 things were intersting to me.

The growth of Uyir Ezhuthukkal in Tamil.

The growth of Mei Ezhuthukkal in Tamil.

13. Thiruvalam Temple

Thiruvalam is a small village with a old temple. The important fact that can be seen in this temple is that the Nandi here does not the face the God as is normal and is facing east.

A strange sculpture of a deer with two heads.

14. Vallimalai Murugan Temple

This was one place which I really wished to see. This place is touted to be the birth place of Valli, Lord Murugan's consort and also this was the place where the marriage happened.

The temple is situated in the top of a small hill that can be ascended by a flight of 300 steps. The deity worshipped here is Lord Subramanyan.It seems the temple had been built about 1500 years ago.

The temple tank at the bottom of the hills. There was lots of water in it and it looked inviting.

Taking rest on the way

The Mandapam in the hill

The main temple

15. Thirupugazh Ashramam

This is a nice trek from the temple. At the top of the Vallimalai hill this place is a nice place to enjoy the view downhill.

Thirupugazh Swamigal Samadhi

Sooriyan Kaana Sunai

A nice View of the plateau from Vallimalai.

Since the trek upto Vallimalai proved very exhausting for us we decided to end our sightseeing for the day and return home asap. The return to chennai proved another pain as the Monday was a Muhurtha Naal.



Manikam said...

Man your awesome!
The tamil alphabets on each century, all
carvings, photos are great. The peacock is shot from a really good angle.

Subbaraman said...

Beautiful Mega..Its nice to see the evolution of tamil alphabets..
BTW, I've heard that mostly Jain saints will be living in hot (and mountainous esp. rocky) places like this.


Megarajan said...

Thanks Manikam, Your encouraging words keep me going !!!

Subbu, Actually it is the opposite.
The outside of the caves will be hot. But inside these caves it will be very cool. As a person who has directly felt the coolness inside these caves you can believe my words. It is *VERY COOL* inside these structures.

Senthil Babu said...

vellorela kuda ivlo places irukunnu theriyama pochu...
and regarding evolution of tamil alphabets, its ok on the shapes how it is evolved... but i dont agree on the years... I believe, our tamil alphabets would have got a shape what we use now even in

Raghuraman said...

Nice pictures, good write up...keep it up machi...I wonder in which Font Tirukural was written on... ;-)

Arul Kumar Chellappan said...

Mega... kalakala irruku.. it gives us a feeling of a virtual trip...

Keep Going !

~ அருள் குமார் செல்லப்பன்

SLN said...

Hello Megarajan

It is nice reading your excellent report and photos. It is good to see your interest in travelling to off-beat places. I even had a post about this, but didnt know about these places myself. I wish I could explore all these places now. When I come to Chennai, you sure are a person I should contact to get details of these places.

BTW, I have added you in my blogroll (as Chennai Traveller)

SLN (of XLNT Travels blog)

Nep said...

Cool one (though u went out for a hotplace like vellore :))

Actually I never know there are so many places in vellore to visit, next time I will try to make it there.

Keep the blog like this coming!

Actually I couldn't see the pics towards the end of the blog, can u check it?

Dharma said...

Hey Mega,

That is a really good documentation of Vellore. Haven't read the text much. The pics are awesome.

Keep Travelling.


Swapna said...

Good one!

I wish I could travel like that in India.. :)

Swapna said...

Good one!

I wish I could travel like that in India.. :)

Saravanan said...

Beautiful collections

Baskaran Ramaswamy said...

Really a very good trip.........

Anonymous said...

Hai Mega..

By your photos and explanation..after a long time, I went virtually to those places..

Being a native of vellore ( now residing in sriperumbudhur ), i have not seen the places like pandavar malai, delhi gate, senbaga thoappu..

It was a nice work..

Keep going


anjy said...


I loved your post. but could you please give me details as to how to get there? any accomodation nearby? is it safe to travel alone? how many days needed to see these places?

hoping to hear from you

Megarajan said...


I loved your post.


but could you please give me details as to how to get there?

There are hourly buses from Chennai,Koyambedu Bus Stand to Wallajah, Arcot and Vellore.

any accomodation nearby?

you will get lodges in all the places.

is it safe to travel alone?

Sorry I am not able to guess from your name whether you are a male or a female. Since you have asked this question , I would have to say its safe to go with a companion anywhere.

how many days needed to see these places?

These three places would take you 3 days if you go by your own vehicle.

joseph said...

nice it gives me a feeling as i am traveling this places.

naveen said...

Hi Megarajan,

Yeah,You done a great job man.
Actually i born and brought up in the same
Arcot. But i'm not much aware of these info.
U made me to know these.
Thanks alot mega.

R.Naveen kumar,Arcot.


Dear Mega,

I happened to go thro your travelogues. Each one is commendable and informative. Very nice collection. Useful tips to locate, approach the place. Keep it up.


Megarajan said...

Hi Joseph, naveen and Pasupathi,

thanks for the good words.

vinesh said...

Your blog is very nice... i like your blog ....
Madurai Hotels, Pollachi Hotels

Arivoli said...

Hi Mega,

Very Nice Photos, Anai kattu vittu toomae nu feelinga irruku. 2006 la angalaam poi suthina maathiri appo da sutha poorom.


Megarajan said...


Dont worry. Find some place. we will go.

Steffi said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.
Lodges in Koyambedu

Info man said...

Good blog but are u sure the info you have posted about the delhigate and underground subway

snigdha G said...
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Hai Baji said...
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Hai Baji said...
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