(Last Updated on : 01/04/2010)
Vellore district has the blend of rich heritage and culture representing the ancient Dravidan civilization. Vellore had the privilege of being the seat of the Pallava, Chola, Nayak, Maratha, Arcot Nawabs and Bijapur Sultan Kindoms. The district of Vellore in the state of Tamil Nadu formed the best and the strongest fortress in the Carnatic War in the seventeenth century. The district also witnessed the massacre of European soldier during the mutiny of 1806. The head quarters of the district of Vellore is Vellore and it is suitably connected by bus and rail routes to major towns of the neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka. The name Vellore is derived from the Tamil words, `Vel` or Spear and `oore` or city. It thus means the `City of Spears`.
The district of Vellore lies between twelve degree and fifteen minutes to thirteen degree and fifteen minutes North latitudes and seventy eight degree and twenty minutes and seventy nine degree and fifty minutes East longitudes in the state of Tamil Nadu. The total geographical area of the Vellore district is 5920.18 square kilometers. According to the year 2001 census, the total population of the district is 3477317.
History of Vellore District
The ancient history of the `City of spears`, which the district of Vellore is also called, shows it as a battlefield where warriors used to fight. There is also a saying among the people that the district derived its name from some precious stone, which had similar sounding name. The district has a blend of rich heritage and culture representing the ancient Dravidian civilization. Before the Dravidians
, the Pallavas, Cholas, the Nayakas and Marathas were the rulers of Vellore. Vellore was once the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire
during the year 1606 to 1672. During the seventeenth century Vellore was described as the best and strongest fortress in the Carnatic War
. The Vellore Mutiny
in the year 1806 was one of the earliest upsurges against the British rule in India.
Geography of Vellore District
This district lies between twelve degree and fifteen minutes and thirteen degree and fifteen minutes in the North latitude and seventy eight degree and twenty minutes and seventy nine degree and fifty minutes to the East longitude in the Tamil Nadu state. The total area of the district of Vellore is 5920.18 square kilometers and the total population of this district is 3477317. This district is bordered by the Chittor district of Andhra Pradesh
to the north, Tiruvannamalai district to the south, Dharampur district to the west and Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram district
to the east. The Palar and Ponnar rivers are the prominent rivers flowing through this district. The climate of this district is always tropical through out the year. Annual rainfall of the district is 9222.4 mm. The maximum temperature of Vellore district is 39.5 degree centigrade and the minimum temperature is 15.6 degree centigrade. The total area under cultivation in this district is 221869 hectares.
Culture of Vellore District
The cultural impact in the society of this district is also very significant. Some of the traditional arts of the Vellore district like the Therukoothu
, an art form for folk theaters, and Kokkalikottai, a famous traditional dance are gradually vanishing. But it is also a matter of solace to note that some of the handicrafts for which the Vellore district is renowned, are still flourishing. Mats making in Walajapet, silk weaving in Arni and the traditional art of pot making in Vellore and places around it, are some of the handicrafts which are able to successfully withstand the challenges through ages. The Poomalai, scheme that has been introduced by the Government, will not only preserve the traditional handicrafts, but also promote their growth.
Education of Vellore District
This district is one of the leading districts of Tamil Nadu, where the development of the education has been good and praiseworthy. The American Arcot mission founded in the year 1853 at Vellore district has promoted the higher education by establishing The American Arcot Mission College affiliated to the University of Madras
as early as 1898. The Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur the Auxilium College, (for women) at Katpadi are other Christian institutions dedicated themselves to the cause of education. The Tamil Nadu Government with an ambitious scheme and ardent desire to promote higher education established a series of Arts Colleges throughout the state. The Muthurangam Govt. Arts College, Vellore, Thirumagal mills Govt Arts college, Gudiyatham Arigar Anna Arts college for women, Walajah were established in the rural areas for poor students. There are also various professional educational institutions in this district.
Economy of Vellore District
The economic condition of Vellore district in the earlier stages was not very sound, in the absence of the major industries. But with the sustained efforts and vigorous policies of the Government, industries like Tamil Nadu Explosives Ltd. Katpadi, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd Ranipet, etc have been established. There is also a fair amount of growth and progress of small scale industries and tanneries in this district. Thus, these industrial activities have not only generated employment opportunities, but also contributed to the overall economic growth of this district. The innovative self help groups of woman in this district are also playing a major role in shaping the rural economy and helping rural women to be self reliant.
Tourism of Vellore District
The option of tourism is very vast with a number of attractions in the district of Vellore. The magnificent Jalagamparai Waterfalls is created by the River Attaaru running through the valleys of the Yelagiri Hills, forms a suitable picnic spot as well as an ideal destination for day long trek. The Amirthi forest, which is twenty five kilometers from Vellore, is a nice picnic spot. Another attraction is the Elagiri Hills in Tirupathur taluk. It is seventy five kilometers from Vellore and is regarded as the Ooty of the district of Vellore. It stands eloquent amidst four mountains, at a height of about three thousand and five hundred feet above sea level. It is gifted with scenic beauty including lakes, lush green forest. The cool and pleasant atmosphere and convenient location makes it one of the most favourable tourist destinations in this district.
Apart from the natural beauties, this district also possesses several temples. The temples of Vellore district are adorned with the Kalayana Mandapam. It is a grand piece of stone architecture in Vellore which is regarded as the most beautiful structure of its kind in South India. One of the well-known temples in this district is the Ratnagiri temple. Some of the other attractions of this district are Palar Anaicut Dam, Tippu Mahal, Delhi Gate, Mordhana Dam, Madarasaye Mohammediya Masjid, Tippu Sultan Family Graveyard, King George V and Queen Mary Clock Tower, St.George Church, etc.
The district of Vellore is filled with a number of attractions which draw people throughout the year. This district contributes amply to the Military service of the country, as more and more men have enlisted themselves to the Military service in order to serve the nation with indomitable sprit and courage.