Vellore is situated on the lower slopes of the Eastern Ghats, 140 km from Chennai (Madras) and 200 km from Bangalore. It is easily accessible by road from Chennai through the Chennai-Bangalore highway. Travel time by taxi from Chennai airport is approximately three hours. Buses ply from Chennai every ten minutes and take two and a half hours to reach Vellore, while buses from Bangalore ply every hour or so during the day and take about five hours. Vellore is well connected by rail, with trains from Chennai and Bangalore plying through the Katpadi railway junction which is the station serving Vellore. In addition, trains from Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi, pass directly through Katpadi. Convenient trains depart Chennai every morning reaching Katpadi station in approximately two hours. Train reservations should generally be made well in advance.
Taxi pick up can be arranged in advance for those requiring it. A counter at Katpadi station for reception of delegates arriving by train will be manned according to information regarding arrival of delegates. A travel desk will be available at the Symposium for the convenience of delegates wishing to make arrangements for local travel.
Vellore Fort is a large 16th century fort situated in Vellore city, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India built by Vijayanagara Kings. The Fort was at one point of time the headquarters of the Aravidu Dynasty of Vijayanagara Empire. The fort is known for its grand ramparts, wide moat and robust masonry. The Fort’s ownership passed from Vijayanagara Kings, to the Bijapur Sultans, to Marathas, to the Carnatic Nawabs and finally to the British, who held the fort until India gained independence. The Indian government maintains the Fort with the Archaeological Department. During British rule, the Tipu Sultan’s family and the last king of Sri Lanka, Sri Vikrama Rajasinha were held in as prisoners in the fort. The fort houses a Christian church, a Muslim mosque and a Hindu temple. The first rebellion against British rule erupted at this fort in 1806, and it is also a witness to the massacre of the Vijayanagara royal family of Sriranga Raya.
The Temple inside the fort, is dedicated to Lord Siva named as Jalagandeeswarar and is noted for its sculptures, which speak volumes of the exquisite craftsmanship of the highly skilled artisans of that period. The sculptures in the Porch on the left of the entrance are connoisseurs. It has a big marriage hall adorned with elegant engravings and monolithic sculptures. The Temple was used for long as an arsenal and remained without a deity. A few years back it has been sanctified with a deity of Lord Siva which is worshipped by pilgrims and tourists.
The golden temple is a spiritual park situated at the foot of a small range of green hills in a place known as “Malaikodi” in the city of Vellore in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is at the southern end of the city of Vellore, at Tirumalaikodi. This was inaugurated on August 2007.
More than 400 gold and coppersmiths from the Thirupathi Thirumala Devasthanam are said to have worked for six years to craft the Rs 600-crore gold temple located on 55,000 sq ft of land on a 100-acre salubrious stretch in Malaikodi, about 6 km from Vellore in north Tamil Nadu.
Yelagiri is a hill station in Vellore district, situated off the Vaniyambadi-Tirupattur road. Located at an altitude of 1,410 metres above Mean Sea Level and spread across 30 km, the Yelagiri village (also spelled Elagiri at times) is surrounded by orchards, rose-gardens, and green valleys and is knows for it’s pleasant Mediterranean climate.
Yelagiri is one of the famous places for trekkers in India. Yelagiri comprises 14 hamlets and a number of temples spread over several hills. The highest point in Yelgiri is the Swamimalai Hill, standing tall at 4,338 feet; Swamimalai is a popular destination for trekkers. The view from the summit is spectacular. The hill provides a good number of trekking trails through thick reserved forests. Mangalam, a small village, is at the base of this hill. There are other trekking options that include smaller peaks like Javadi Hills and Palamathi Hills.
Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, is located at the North east of the state. Apart from being a major district, this metropolis also serves as the gateway of South India.
General information about Chennai reveals that of late, the city of Chennai has developed as one of the cosmopolitan cities in India that plays an important part in the cultural, intellectual and historical growth of India.
Representing the Dravidian Civilization, the interesting city of Chennai upholds the music, drama, dance, architecture, arts and crafts and sculpture etc of India.
Ekambareswarar temple is located at the northern part of city (Shiva kanchi) of Kanchipuram. The gopuram of the temple is tallest one (59 m long) and sculpture is very finest. Main deity of the temple is Lord shiva. Shiva is worshiped as linga in this temple.
This temple is one of the PanchaBoothaSthalams which represents five elements Earth, air, water, sky and fire that’s why the Shiva linga also called as PRITHIVI linga representing Earth.
The temple was built by ParanthakaChola around 600 AD in 23 acers of land. Ekambareswarar temple is very ancient and powerful temple in India. The temple is very big one and also famous for sculpture.
Mahabalipuram (or Mamallapuram) is a very popular tourist destination in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It is situated around 40 KM from Chennai, on the East Coast Road (ECR).
You can also reach it via OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road) as well, but the ECR is preferred as it is the entertainment highway of Chennai and the road runs parallel/close to the sea. If you leave your windows open, you might even get some sea breeze, as you travel!
Mahabalipuram is famous for its rock-sculptures and other historical monuments. Most of the monuments here were constructed during the 7th/8th Century CE during the Pallava period. Considering its historical importance, the monuments here have (collectively) been designated as UNESCO world heritage site.
The countless legends and myths from such misty antiquity as the beginning of Kali yuga bestow to the temple an aura of compelling sanctity. The holiest of the 108 pilgrim centers, Tirumalai Hills snugly nestles in the Eastern Ghats surrounded by hills.
The unique temple impregnated with the spirit of ancient seers in reported to be the richest in the world (the greatest money-spinner, the temple hundi alone collects annually Rs.18 crores.
Mystical vibration surrounds everyone in the chanting of the dawn invocation know as “Suprabhatham” to the Lord, in the twinkle of the temple bells; in the fragrance of sandal paster and camphor; in the heavy, smoky scent of incense all these blending together to raise the restless mind to an experience of intense spiritual awareness.