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Timings : 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Alamparai Fort, Mahabalipuram Overview

Many do not know the significance of the captivating fort as this long forgotten trading post is spoken about quite infrequently. In fact, the fort was listed in the International Tourism Fair in Berlin as one of the twenty lesser known tourist attractions in Tamil Nadu by The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC). No matter what the present condition of the Alamparai fort is, the view is sure to take your breath away. As you walk across the enthralling fort, you'll find surprising traces of life in the form of shrubs, creepers, bushes and trees even on the walls. It almost looks like they are supporting those parts of the structure and help them stand strong even today.

The Alamparai Fort exudes a gloomy yet attractive vibe that is irresistible for many. Some may condemn the state of the fort, and some may still find beauty in its existence. The enchanting location of the fort has been used for many outdoor advertisement and movie shootings including a Tamil movie named Pithamagan, starring Suriya and Vikram, famous actors in Tollywood. References to this beautiful location and the trading post are also made in Sangam Literature, Cirupanarruppatai. 

Alamparai served as a sea port in ancient times. It was also known as Alamparva and Alampuravi. The fort was constructed during the rule of the Mughals extending from 1736 CE to 1740 CE. It was first under the control of the Nawab of Arcot Doste Ali Khan. However, it was later given to the French. After the Carnatic war had taken place, French lost to the British which is how the British began exercising direct control over the fort and then the fort got demolished in 1760. Before the war, the fort was ruled by Nawab Doste Ali Khan in 1750, and for the services provided by the French commander Duplex to Subedar Muzarfarzang, the fort was handed over to them.

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Architecture of Alamparai Fort

The Alamparai Fort was a magnificent trading port built with bricks and limestone on an area of 15 acres facing the Bay of Bengal. Although the fort was demolished by the British when they attacked and captured it from the French during the Carnatic war, the traces of the 17th-century architecture can be seen on the formations that still stand strong.

Most of the fort was also damaged during the 2004 Tsunami that occurred in the Indian Ocean. Some portions of the fort now lie underneath the ocean. The bedazzling fort also had a 100-metre long dockyard that stretched into the sea, which has been completely damaged with no traces to be seen now. The structure has magnificent tall walls with a stairway made of bricks leading to the top. The watchtower that was built for defence purposes also provides a gorgeous view of the site.

History of Alamparai Fort

The Alamparai Fort was erected in the late 17th century during the era ruled by the Mughals. In 1735 AD, the bewitching fort was under the realm of Nawab Doste Ali Khan who was the Nawab of Arcot. As time progressed, it was handed over to the French in 1750 AD for the services provided by a French commander, Dupleix. At that time, the fort was controlled by Subedar Muzarfarzang. Later, in 1760, the British attacked it to gain control over the trading post during the Carnatic wars. They did capture the mighty fort by defeating the French and also destroyed the entire structure.

The existence and importance of the Alamparai Fort is documented in the private diaries written by Ananda Ranga Pillai, Dubash to Commander Dupleix in French India. The diaries consisted of his observations and experiences when he served as a Dubash (an interpreter or a middleman) for the French East India Company. It was a regular functioning port of call on the east coast of India with a 100-metre dockyard stretching into the sea and served as a primary trading port to export salt, clarified butter (also known as ghee) and zari clothes.

Best Time To Visit Alamparai Fort

The best time to visit Alamparai Fort is between November and March as the temperature is pleasant for exploring the region.

Tips For Visiting Alamparai Fort

1. Watch your step while exploring the fort.
2. Wear a hat, sunscreen and breathable clothes.
3. Carry enough water and snacks if required.
4. Although the fort is open 24 x 7, a day time visit is always advisable.
5. There are no guards at the fort. Tourists are responsible for their own safety.
6. Avoid littering the fort area.

How To Reach Alamparai Fort

The remains of the Alamparai Fort lie in a village named Kadappakkam which is lies at a distance of 50 km from Mamallapuram. Private and tourist vehicles can be driven to the gorgeous ruins and serene lagoon from Chennai via the scenic and mesmerising East Coast Road. Local buses or cabs to Alamparai Fort can be availed from Thiruvanmiyur that follow the same route via the splendid East Coast Road. 

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