Timings : St. George Museum: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Closed on Friday)
St. Mary's Church: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Monday - Saturday)
It holds the regular mass service on Sundays.
Time Required : Less than 1 hour
Entry Fee : St. George Museum
Indians: INR 15
Foreign individuals: INR 200
Kids (up to 15 years): Free
The origin of the great white structure of Fort St. George is inextricable from the history of the city of Chennai itself. Popularly called the 'White Town', the sole purpose of establishing the massive fort compound was to establish a British stronghold in the Coromandel Coast and the rest of south India. With Fort St. George as a British headquarter, it was easier to develop the many small towns and villages in Tamil Nadu. The now bustling city of Chennai grew up around this fort during this time, under the British-conferred name Madras.
The magnificent fort happens to be the first in many aspects in the entire era or British rule in India. The fort itself is the first British garrison settlement in India. It also houses the first British official residential complex, the Clive House which was the home of the Commander-in-chief and the orchestrator of British India, Lord Robert Clive. St Mary's Church inside the fortress is also the oldest Anglican Church, not only in India but among all the landmasses east of Suez.
The grand fort is now protected by the Archaeological Survey of India and the station of Tamil Nadu Government. The administrative branches and legislative assembly are housed in here today. However, the church and a museum are open for the common public to visit and understand the significance of this fort in the history of India. The building which houses the museum used to be the location for the Madras Bank since 1795. However, after independence, it is serving as a large collection house of more than 3600 artefacts dating back to the entire period of the British rule - weapons, letters, coins, silverware, ceremonial dresses, medals, some personal items of the residents of the fort and many more.
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