There is so much to see and explore around our own backyard, that one lifetime sometimes does not seem enough. Anita, a HR consultant and Trainer took a trip down a familiar road to explore a few places that she has passed by often and yet not visited.
Jalakanteswara is a beauteous Temple located in Vellore. Jalakanteswara means “Lord Shiva residing in the water”. This was built in the Vijayanagara style of Architecture in 1556. . The temple has a beautiful Kalayana Mandapam. The carvings in this pillared hall are some of the most impressive in India. The outer pillars have sculptures of rearing horses and dragons. The inner pillars have sculptures of yalis, which are lion-like creatures.
Especially in the pillars and columns. The architectural style is reminiscent of the Hampi/Halebidu Temples .Quite a few travelers who have been to Hampi and Halebidu have pointed out the similarities. This could be on account of the fact that the Naiks who built the temple were chieftains under the Vijayanagara Kings
The Temple is housed in a fairly large premise. The Gopuram when viewed from outside stands tall, majestic and awe inspiring like a good South Indian Temple should.
It is contrasted with the open blue sky. A sight to behold indeed. The Temple is inside the Vellore Fort, which is another place worth visiting. For a long time the Temple was used to store arms/granary. The Fort has some really beautiful Carvings and Sculptures in it.is a large 16th-century fort situated in Vellore city near Chennai, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The Fort was at one point of time the headquarters of the Vijayanagara Empire. The fort is known for its grand ramparts, wide moat and robust masonry. It has Statuettes, Wooden
Carvings, it even has burial urns of different types. Unfortunately these relics are not properly protected both in terms of security and in terms of protection from the forces of nature. The Wooden Carving are really exquisite. The detailing and effort that has gone into it is testament to the artists of those times. Some of them bear resemblance to south East Asian faces. Surprisingly they were some Hellenic Sculptures in Wood as well.
There are a quite a few monolithic sculptures displayed outside. one can only hope they don’t erode with time and exposure to the vagaries of nature. The fort and the temple have not really been given too much importance nor been promoted by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Board. But I would recommend both place , as it makes for a very interesting & rewarding visit.