May 30, 2016

Mahal in ruins...

I saw this dilapidated mahal on the highway at Abdullahpuram near Vellore. Must be built by one of the Nawabs of Arcot (may be Abdullah Khan as the name of the area suggests). Looks like insensitive widening of the highway must have damaged most of the structure. It serves as a cow shed now. The facade has some impressive workmanship.
If you have any info on this ruined structure, let me know...

May 21, 2016

Vellore Fort

Fort Museum
I had travelled to Vellore to attend a cousin's wedding and in between the short visit managed to have a quick round of the Vellore fort. The Fort was built by the Vijayanagara chieftains around 1566 AD. The Fort has seen many battles and has passed hands of many empires and local rulers before being finally taken over by the British in the 1760s. In the year 1806, this fort saw the first sepoy mutiny in British India. (The Bengal sepoy mutiny in 1857 is wrongly thought to be the first rebellion by less informed historians).
The Fort had seen some illustrious royal prisoners.The last Tamil speaking monarch of Sri Lanka, Sri Vikrama Rajasinha of Kandy and his family were prisoners of war in this fort for 17 years till his death. Tipu Sultan's family were imprisoned here for a few years.
The Fort is surrounded by a very wide moat which makes it appear like an island. Local folklore talks about a secret tunnel escape that opened near Virinjipuram about 12 kms away. But Archaeologists are yet to unravel this mystery !
The fort houses a dysfunctional Mosque , the Jalakandeswara temple and St.John's Church. I had the privilege of  attending the Sunday worship at the historic church,
The Museums are a big disappointment and the displays are really pathetic to say the least. The ASI needs to wake up!

May 18, 2016

Jalakandeswarar temple at Vellore Fort

The Jalakandeshwara temple at Vellore fort was originally built in 1550 AD . Its a fine example of Vijayanagara architecture. The gopuram stands over 100 feet.

May 17, 2016

St.John's Church at Vellore Fort

St.John's church at Vellore Fort was built in 1846 by the British for the officers of the East India Company military station. Major C G Ottley , the Fort adjutant of Vellore fort , designed and built the church with a capacity to seat 280 people.

May 14, 2016


Ice Apples ( Nungu in Tamil) are an absolute delight to eat in the scorching summers. 

Another summer delight is the Nungu Paal (ice apple milk shake / sharbath). I used to enjoy it at a bakery during my student days at Kilakarai. If marketed well, this drink can be a big hit.