Main gateway of the temple in the fort, Vellore. At the side is a fives court with army officers sitting in an upper gallery
Water-colour by an anonymous artist of the main gateway of the temple in the fort at Vellore, dated c.1815.
Vellore is situated 129 km west from Madras. The town is famous for its sixteenth century old Vijayanagara fort surrounded by a moat and for the Jalakanteshvara temple situated within its walls. In 1780 an English garrison held out against Haidar Ali for over two years. After the fall of Seringapatam in 1799 Tipu's family were detained in the fort. The temple dates from the sixteenth century, Vijayanagara period and is entered through a tall gopura. This gateway consists of a six storeys plaster and brick pyramidal tower. The two lower storeys are decorated with mouldings, pilasters and sculpture niches. The arched ends of the roof are decorated with makaras and monsters masks. The temple is renowned for its Kalyana Mandapa which has some of the finest carvings of the Vijayanagara period on its pillars. The outer piers are fashioned as rearing lions, yalis and horses with riders and other mythical beasts. These magnificent carvings are done almost in the round. The main temple consists of a linga shrine and a Nataraja shrine.