An Elegant but forgotten sea side fort at Vattakottai

Posted Date: 27 Feb 2011      Author: Latha Jayaprakash    Member Level: Gold (Rs 35)

Vattakottai is a seaside fort, elegant and fully steeped in History of Tamil Nadu and India, is located in the district of Kanyakumari in India. Recently the Vatta Kottai Fort had been renovated and has now become a popular tourist destination of Kanyakumari, in the state of Tamil Nadu in India.

Location of the Vattakottai Fort

Vattakottai Fort is located at about 7 km from Kanyakumari town. The road to Vattakottai is lined with thatched huts, squarish cement housesamidst swaying coconut trees and other shrubs and plants.
For the person travelling to the Fort for the first time, the place is very unassuming as there are no fort like ramparts or crumbling walls of the ruins or huge look out points to the sea to watch for the enemy. There is just a massive wall bearing a symbol of two elephants and a conch shell above the words Vattakottai written in English.

About the construction of the Vattakottai Fort

Vattakottai Fort was established in the 18th century as a coastal defence-fortification and barracks in the erstwhile Travancore kingdom. The Vattakottai Fort was constructed under the supervision of Captain Eustachius De Lannoy, an ex-Dutch naval officer of the VOC (The Dutch East India Company ).
Captain Lannoy surrendered to the Travancore Army after VOC was defeated in the Battle of Colachel in the 18th century. After he earned the trust of the Travancore King Marthanda Varma, became the commander of the Travancore army. De Lannoy constructed Vattakottai, as part of the defence-fortifications he undertook throughout Travancore.
The fort is constructed with granite blocks and a part of the fort extends into the sea. The Vattakottai Fort is an Indian archaeological department protected site. Recently a major renovation was undertaken by the archaeological department and now it has become a tourist spot. It is said that in the earlier days one could see right up to Padmanabhapuram Palace from the Vattakottai fort and it is believed that there is a tunnel leading to the palace from the fort which should be about 25 kilometers long. The tunnel has caved in now and has been closed for years.

Sights to see in and around the Vattakottai Fort in Kanyakumari

Vattakottai Fort presents a picturesque and beautiful view of the sea one side and the majestic hills of the Western Ghats on the other. There is another interesting feature near the site is that the beach has black coloured sands.
There are watch towers, rest rooms and the weapon rooms. The fish motif s drawn all over the Fort makes one think that the Pandyas must have used the fort for quiet sometime.
You can see bay of Bengal on one side and Arabian sea on the other side of the Vattakottai Fort, the Bay of Bengal appears rougher comparatively. You can also see the tiny coral clusters under the water's surface.
There is a small river flowing by the side of the fort and the green vegetation all around the area adds to the natural scenery of the fort.

How to Reach Vattakottai Fort

Vattakottai is located at about 7 kilometers from the Kanyakumari town.
The nearest airport is Madurai if you are travelling by air and to know How to Reach Madurai, see here.
You can also reach Thiruvananthapuram International airport and then travel to Kanyakumari either by road or rail.

If you are travelling by rail to Vattakottai fort you have to reach Kanyakumari railway station which is located at about 7 kilometers from the Vattakottai Fort. Kanyakumari being an importnt tourist destination is easily accessible from different parts of India through trains. Trains from the northern most tip of India, the state of Jammu and Kashmir, are connected to Kanyakumari.
You can also easily reach Vattakottai Fort from the Thiruvananthapuram airport and the railway station. Thiruvananthapuram is an International airport. The City is connected to Kanyakumari by rail and by road. Regular trains and the buses connect both the places. Thiruvananthapuram is located on the National Highway 45 which runs from Salem to Kanyakumari.
There are many state transport buses of Kerala and Tami Nadu plying in the route. The route is also very picturesque and beautiful that you will not get tired even if you are travelling by Road.

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