वेल्लोर किला

( Vellore Fort )

Vellore Fort is a large 16th-century fort situated in heart of the Vellore city, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India built by the Emperors of Vijayanagara. The fort was at one time the imperial capital of the Aravidu Dynasty of the Vijayanagara Empire. The fort is known for its grand ramparts, wide moat and robust masonry.

The fort's ownership passed from Emperors of Vijayanagara, to the Turko-Persian Bijapur sultans, to the 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 as prisoners in the fort. It is also a witness to the massacre of the Vijayanagara royal family of Sriranga Raya. The fort houses the Jalakanteswarar Hindu temple, the Christian St. John's Church and a Muslim mosque, of which...Read more

Vellore Fort is a large 16th-century fort situated in heart of the Vellore city, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India built by the Emperors of Vijayanagara. The fort was at one time the imperial capital of the Aravidu Dynasty of the Vijayanagara Empire. The fort is known for its grand ramparts, wide moat and robust masonry.

The fort's ownership passed from Emperors of Vijayanagara, to the Turko-Persian Bijapur sultans, to the 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 as prisoners in the fort. It is also a witness to the massacre of the Vijayanagara royal family of Sriranga Raya. The fort houses the Jalakanteswarar Hindu temple, the Christian St. John's Church and a Muslim mosque, of which the Jalakanteswarar Temple is famous for its magnificent carvings. The first significant military rebellion against British rule, the Vellore Mutiny, erupted at this fort in 1806.

Vellore Fort is one of the most popular tourist destinations for both domestic and international visitors to Tamil Nadu.

Part of Vijayanagara Empire

Vellore Fort was built by Chinna Bommi Nayak and Thimma Nayak, subordinate chieftains under emperor Sadasiva Raya of the Vijayanagara Empire in the year 1566 CE.[1] The Fort gained strategic prominence following the re-establishment of Vijayanagara rule with Chandragiri as their 4th capital after the Battle of Talikota. The Aravidu Dynasty that held the title of Rayas in 17th century resided in this fort, using it as a base in the battle of Toppur in the 1620s. This major battle took place for the claiming of the Raya title between two factions of the Raya family. Each faction included their respective subordinates: the Nayaks of Tanjore, the Gingee and the Madurai taking sides to suit their interests.

The Rayas also had long-running battles with their longtime rivals, the Turko-Persian Bijapur Sultans, and with their subordinates in the Nayaks of Madurai and the Gingee over non-remittance of annual tributes. In the 1640s, during the reign of Sriranga Raya III, the fort was briefly captured by the Bijapur army, but was eventually recaptured with the help of the Nayaks of Tanjore.

During Emperor Sriranga Raya's reign in 1614 CE, a coup broke out within the royal family and the reigning Emperor Sriranga Raya and his royal family were murdered by the rival factions of the royal family, with the younger son Rama Deva Raya of the emperor smuggled out from the fort by supporting factions of the emperor. These events led to the Battle of Toppur in 1616, one of the largest Southern Indian wars of the century.[2]

In 1639 CE, Francis Day of the East India Company obtained a small strip of land in the Coromandel Coast from the Nayakas of the Vellore-Chandragiri regions to do trading, which is in present-day Chennai.

Under Bijapur (1656–1678)

In the 1650s, Sriranga allied with the Mysore and Tanjore Nayaks and marched south to attack Gingee and Madurai. His first stop was the capture of Gingee Fort, but Thirumalai Nayak of Madurai responded by requesting the Sultan of Bijapur to attack Vellore from the north to divert Sriranga's attention. The Bijapur sultan promptly dispatched a large army and captured Vellore Fort. Subsequently, both the Madurai-Bijapur armies converged on Gingee, defeating the Vellore-Tanjore forces. After a melee, both the forts ended up in the hands of the sultan of Bijapur. The defeat also marked the end of the last direct line of Vijayanagara emperors. Within 20 years after this incident, the Marathas seized the fort from the Bijapur sultans.

Under the Marathas (1678–1707)

In 1676, the Mawlas under the Great Maratha King Shivaji marched south to the Tanjore country, which had recently been attacked and captured by Chokkanatha Nayak of Madurai. That same year, Ekoji, the brother of Chh Shivaji Maharaj took control of Tanjore, but was under threat from his immediate neighbours Madurai and Bijapur Sultans, based in Gingee and Vellore respectively. Shivaji Maharaj’s army first captured the Gingee Fort in 1677, but left the task of attacking Vellore to his assistant and rushed to Deccan as his territories were being attacked by Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb. In 1678, after a prolonged fourteen-month siege, the fort passed on to the Marathas. Shivaji's representative strengthened the fort's fortifications and ruled the area in relative peace.

Under the Mughals (1707–1760)

In 1707, the year that Aurangazeb died, the Delhi Army under Daud Khan captured Vellore Fort after defeating the Marathas. The struggle for the Delhi throne empowered the Deccan Muslim governors to declare independence. In 1710 the recently established Nawab of Arcot under Sadat Ullah Khan followed suit. Dost Ali, the latter's successor in 1733, gifted the fort to one of his sons-in-law.[3]

Under control of the British (1799–1947)  European Burying-Ground at Vellore (MacLeod, p.142, 1871)[4]

Following the decline of Madurai Nayaks, and coinciding with the emergence of the British on the Madras coast, conflict developed between the Nawab and his sons-in-law. The Nawab was supported by the British and the rival claimants by the French; resulting in the Carnatic Wars. The British took possession of Vellore Fort with relative ease and used the fort as a major garrison until Indian independence.

In 1780, the fort was besieged by Hyder Ali during the Second Anglo-Mysore War, but the British garrison held out for over two years before the siege was lifted.

 General Lord Cornwallis receiving Tipu Sultan's sons as hostages in 1792, both of whom were kept captive in Vellore.Vellore Mutiny (1806)  Tomb of Tippoo family, Vellore (MacLeod, p.141, 1871)[4]

The fort was the scene of the Vellore Sepoy Mutiny, popularly called the Vellore Mutiny.[5] In 1806 Vellore Fort was used by the British to station two infantry regiments of the Madras Army plus four companies of an English regiment. The British commander-in-chief of the Madras Army had prescribed a new round hat for the Madras sepoys to replace their turbans, plus ordering the removal of beards, caste markings and jewelry. These measures were intended merely to improve the appearance of the Madras soldiers on parade but the sepoys considered them to be an offensive meddling with their religious beliefs. The situation was worsened by the fact that the hat included a leather cockade, made from cow hide.

On 10 July 1806, before sunrise, the Indian sepoys stationed in the fort attacked the European barracks there, and by late morning had killed about 15 officers and 100 British soldiers and ransacked their houses. Some of the rebelling soldiers also urged the sons of Tipu Sultan to lead them. The news quickly reached the colonel commanding the cavalry cantonment in Arcot, who reached the fort within nine hours with several squadrons of British and Indian cavalry, accompanied by horse-artillery. The mutineers, numbering more than 800, were scattered with heavy losses. By noon the mutiny was put down. The events lead to a court of inquiry by the British, who decided to shift the Tipu Sultan's family from Vellore to faraway Calcutta, in isolation.

The news of the Vellore Rebellion sent shockwaves to Britain. The governor, Lord William Bentinck, and Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army, Sir John Cradock both were recalled on this count. The Vellore Mutiny was the first significant military rebellion experienced in India by the British, although it has been largely overshadowed by the Bengal mutiny of 1857.[6]

 Vellore Fort and Jalakandeswarar temple Panorama
^ "Rediscovering the tomb of our last king". Sunday Times. March 2012. Archived from the original on 17 June 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2013. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastry, History of South India, From Prehistoric times to fall of Vijayanagar, 1955, OUP, (Reprinted 2002) ISBN 0-19-560686-8 ^ "Rulers of Arcot". Ug.net. 28 April 2002. Archived from the original on 8 June 2002. Retrieved 10 October 2013. ^ a b MacLeod, Norman (1871). Peeps at the Far East: A Familiar Account of a Visit to India. London: Strahan & Co. Retrieved 2 November 2015. ^ Moulana, Ramanujar (16 April 2018). "Day-trip down history lane". Metro Plus. Chennai: The Hindu. p. 4. ^ "Tamils dispute India mutiny date". BBC. 28 April 2002. Archived from the original on 6 August 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
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