Palamathi Hills, also known as Balamathi Hills, are an extension of the Eastern Ghats spread across the southeastern parts of Vellore city in Tamil Nadu. The hills, along with the nearby Palamathi Reserve Forest and the Otteri Lake, are collectively referred to as Palamathi Hills. The hills offer a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape and are a thriving hotspot for various flora and fauna. The hills also have a famous Hindu temple (Bala Murugan Temple) and a children’s park on the top.
The hills are a popular tourist destination and a perfect getaway for nature lovers and adventure seekers in Vellore. Visit during One Day Chennai to Vellore Tour Package by Private Cab
Location of Palamathi Hills
Palamathi Hills are located on the Vellore-Tiruvannamalai road, about 14 km away from the Vellore city. The hills are easily accessible by road from various parts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states. The nearest airport is Chennai International Airport, which is about 130 km away from the hills. The nearest railway station is Vellore Town Railway Station, which is about 13 km away from the hills. There are also regular bus services to Palamathi from Vellore, Tiruvannamalai and other cities.
Timing/Entry Fees Palamathi Hills
Palamathi Hills are open for visitors from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm every day. There is no entry fee for visiting the hills, but there are charges for parking and boating. The parking charge is Rs. 10 per vehicle, and the boating charge is Rs. 50 per person.
How to Reach Palamathi Hills
Palamathi Hills can be reached by road from Vellore city or from the nearby towns. There are auto rickshaws and taxis available for hire from the railway station, bus stand and other places. Alternatively, one can walk or cycle to the hills from nearby areas.
Things to Do/Must See Palamathi Hills
There are many things to do and see at Palamathi Hills, such as:
- Trekking: The main attraction of Palamathi Hills is trekking up to the hill top, which takes about an hour to reach. The trek offers a scenic view of the greenery, the waterfall and the lake along the way. The trek is suitable for beginners as well as experienced trekkers.
- Temple: The hill top has a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Murugan, also known as Bala Murugan or Karthikeya, who is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The temple is a simple structure with a colourful gopuram (gateway tower) and a sanctum sanctorum that houses the idol of Lord Murugan. The temple is visited by many devotees who seek blessings from the deity.
- Park: The hill top also has a children’s park that has various play equipment such as swings, slides, seesaws and merry-go-rounds. The park also has benches and gazebos where one can relax and enjoy the view.
- Boating: At the foot of Palamathi Hills is the Otteri Lake, which is a man-made lake that was created in the British era to supply water to Vellore. The lake is also a thriving hotspot for various birds such as ducks, egrets, herons and kingfishers. One can enjoy boating on the lake and admire the beauty of nature.
- Shopping: Palamathi Hills is also a good place to shop for souvenirs, handicrafts, books and other products related to spirituality and culture. There are many stalls and shops near the hills that sell these items at reasonable prices.
Palamathi Hills Nearby Tourist Attractions
There are many other tourist attractions near Palamathi Hills that are worth visiting, such as:
- Vellore Fort: This is a large 16th-century fort built by Vijayanagara kings that houses several monuments of religious and cultural significance, such as the Jalakandeswarar Temple, the St. John’s Church and a Muslim mosque. The fort is known for its grand ramparts, wide moat and robust masonry.
- Sripuram Golden Temple: This is a Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu and the goddess of wealth and prosperity. The temple is located in Sripuram, a spiritual park in Thirumalaikodi, about 9 km away from the hills. The temple is famous for its golden exterior that covers an area of about 1500 kg of gold. The temple also has a star-shaped path that leads to the main shrine, which symbolises the path to enlightenment.
- Vellore Government Museum: This is a museum situated within the premises of the historical Vellore Fort, in the heart of the Vellore city. The museum was established in the year 1985 as the 6th district museum to impart knowledge about the erstwhile North Arcot District and its significance. The museum has a wide range of artifacts of art, archaeology, anthropology, geology, botany and zoology that showcase the rich flora and fauna and cultural heritage of the region. The museum also has a fiberglass model of a 16 ft height life size Tyrannosaurus that attracts visitors at the entrance.
Significance of Palamathi Hills
Palamathi Hills are not only a tourist attraction, but also a source of education and awareness for the public. It is a place that imparts knowledge about the natural and wildlife resources of the region and their conservation. It is also a place that provides a recreational and educational experience for the visitors, especially children and students. It is also a place that promotes research and development in the field of zoology and botany.
Q: How big are Palamathi Hills?
A: Palamathi Hills cover an area of about 25 hectares and have a height of about 300 metres.
Q: How old are Palamathi Hills?
A: Palamathi Hills are an extension of the Eastern Ghats, which are ancient mountain ranges that date back to millions of years.
Q: What is the best time to visit Palamathi Hills?
A: Palamathi Hills can be visited throughout the year, as the climate is moderate and pleasant. However, the peak season is from October to March, when the weather is cool and dry.
Palamathi Hills are a must-visit destination for anyone who loves nature and adventure. It is a place where one can explore, admire and learn from various plants, animals and birds that inhabit the hills. It is a place where one can enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the waterfall and the lake. It is a place where one can experience the glory and spirit of Vellore.