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Tags : Forts & Palaces

Timings : 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Vattakottai Fort, Kanyakumari Overview

Vattakottai Fort, which translates to the 'Circular Fort' is a seaside fort near Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India. The fort is largely made of granite blocks and today, a part of the fort even extends into the sea. The Fort is now a protected site under the Indian Archaeological Department and a major renovation of the fort was undertaken recently by the Department.

Spreading over an area of 3.5 acres, the Vattakottai Fort is one of the must-visit attractions of Tamil Nadu. Located only 7 km north of Kanyakumari in the Agasteeswaram Taluka, this fort is a truly enhances the beauty of Tamil Nadu as it rests on the coast of the magnificent Bay of Bengal.

Even though the aesthetics and architecture of the fort are renowned, the primary purpose of erecting this fort was utterly different. The historical significance of the mighty fortress clubbed with its perfectly scenic location has made it an actively visited tourist spot. A panoramic view of the Bay of Bengal Sea on one side and the other decorated with the majestic hills of the Western Ghats, bright blue skies with cotton clouds and plains of beaches with sparkling black sand makes this place mesmerising.

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History of the Vattakottai Fort

This coastal fort was built in the 18th century during the reign of the Travancore Dynasty. In fact, this is the last fort built by the Travancore Kingdom. The building of this fort commenced in 1729, during the rule of King Marthanda Varma, under the supervision of Captain Eustachius De Lannoy. Captain Eustachius De Lannoy's army was defeated and taken over by the Travancore army in the Battle of Colachel. In due course, Captain Eustachius De Lannoy had earned the trust and respect of the King to the point where he was given the entire responsibility of building the Vattakottai Fort as one of the defence fortification projects he undertook for the Travancore Dynasty. The Vattakottai Fort is declared to be a protected site under the Indian Archaeological department, and the administration makes timely renovations to ensure that the site is preserved as well as qualified to accommodate tourists.

Architecture of Vattakottai Fort

Even though the name "Vattakotai Fort" literally means "Circular Fort", it is actually a rectangular marvel. They say that they named it so because it facilitated the lookout for enemy lines from all sides of the fort- a 360-degree view.

A rectangular fort, spreading across 3.5 acres of lush green land by the sea, surrounded by 25 feet tall walls; imagine the majesty of this structure. Built to withstand the force and stop enemy troops, the front walls of the fort are 29 feet thick! The side walls are 18 feet thick, and the inner walls are no less than 6 feet wide! No wonder this fortress has sustained for over two centuries!

The entire structure is constructed of enduring and beautiful granite blocks. This massive fort is fully equipped with watchtowers, equipment rooms, army cantonments and provisional facilities to help the army survive any attacks. The watchtowers provide a complete view of the distant surroundings of the fort. The northern side of the fort shows a slop, which bore a canon that reached the upper parapet. From the few literary and epigraphical evidence found, it can be inferred that the fort was primarily built to watch and protect the Kumari port, which was a rich pearl harbour.

Right next to Vattakottai, there are remains of a lighthouse in Leepuram. With its perfect location right by the sea, it is a favourite spot for picnicking and a little splashing in the waters. They say that in those times, the fort gave a crystal clear view of the Padmanabhapuram Palace from the top. Not just that, there is a 4 feet wide secret tunnel inside the fort that leads straight to the palace. The purpose of the tunnel was to allow the king and his family a quick escape in the event of an invasion or an emergency. However, this tunnel has been closed down to tourists to avoid anyone getting lost or suffocated in the dark.

Many walls of the Vattakottai fort, have carved in them, motifs of fish. A similar fish motif was extensively used by the Pandya Kingdom. This has led archaeologists to believe that the fort must also have been in the rule of and under the use of the Pandya Empire. A small pond is situated right at the centre of the fort. The calm water contained in a rectangular trench makes it a perfect spot to sit and relax. The atmosphere is airy, peaceful and undoubtedly inviting.

Tips For Visiting Vattakottai Fort

1. The fort has steps that you will need to climb to explore it fully. It is best for senior citizens to sit comfortably as soon as they find seating.
2. Wear comfortable shoes and loose cotton clothing. Use generous amounts of sunscreen and carry a cap and sunglasses.
3. Do get down to explore the black sand beach. It is a perfect location for making memories, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

How To Reach Vattakottai Fort

The Kanyakumari Railway Station is only 8 km from the Vattakottai Fort, which is just a 9-minute drive. The Kanyakumari Road Transport Corporation offers a regular flow of buses which ply to and from the fort frequently. The magnificent fortress is located really close to Sri Narayan Maharaj Datta Mandir, which is a top-rated tourist attraction in the area, and a lot of buses start their routes at this temple and go to the fort.

It is also very easy and pocket-friendly to hail a cab from Kanyakumari to the fort, which is only 7 km away.

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Vattakottai Fort Reviews

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Premlata Kujur

on Vattakottai Fort 4 years ago
It's the best and must place to visit in Kanyakumari. The sea views from above and cool breeze blowing was amazing there. Enjoyed a lot.
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