Vattakottai Fort is a seaside fort near Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, the southern tip of India. It was built in the 18th century as a coastal defence-fortification and barracks in the former Travancore kingdom. It is one of the few surviving forts in Tamil Nadu that showcases the military architecture and history of the region. The fort is also a scenic spot that offers a panoramic view of the sea and the hills. Visit during Kanyakumari One day tour by cab
Location of Vattakottai Fort
Vattakottai Fort is located at Vattakottai Fort Rd, Vattakkottai, Tamil Nadu 629401, India. It is about 7 km (4.3 miles) from Kanyakumari town and 90 km (56 miles) from Thiruvananthapuram, the nearest airport. The fort is easily accessible by road from different parts of Kanyakumari and nearby areas.
Timing/Entry Fees Vattakottai Fort
Vattakottai Fort is open to the public daily, including Sundays (excluding public holidays) between 08:00 am and 05:00 pm. There is no entry fee for visiting the fort, but visitors are requested to follow the rules and regulations of the archaeological department that maintains the site. Visitors are also advised to avoid littering and damaging the fort premises.
How to Reach Vattakottai Fort
There are many ways to reach Vattakottai Fort from different parts of Kanyakumari and nearby areas. Some of the common modes of transport are:
- By Road: Vattakottai Fort is well-connected by road with various parts of the city and nearby towns. There are many buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws that ply to and from the fort. The fort road, also known as Vattakottai Fort Road or Beach Road, runs parallel to the coast and has signboards indicating the direction to the fort.
- By Rail: Vattakottai Fort can be reached by train from various railway stations in Kanyakumari and nearby areas. The nearest railway station is Kanyakumari, which is about 7 km (4.3 miles) away from the fort. Other nearby railway stations are Nagercoil, Tirunelveli and Thiruvananthapuram. From these stations, one can take an auto-rickshaw or cycle-rickshaw to reach the fort.
- By Sea: Vattakottai Fort can also be reached by sea from Kanyakumari town. There are boat services that operate daily between 08:00 am and 04:00 pm, except during rough weather conditions. The boat ride takes about 30 minutes to reach the fort.
Things to Do/Must See Vattakottai Fort
Vattakottai Fort offers a historical and cultural experience for visitors who want to learn about the Travancore kingdom and its defence system, as well as enjoy the natural beauty of the sea and the hills. Some of the things to do and see at the fort are:
- Exploring the architecture: Vattakottai Fort has a rectangular shape that covers an area of about 3.5 acres. The fort is made of granite blocks and has walls of varying thicknesses and heights. The front wall has a thickness of about 29 feet and a height of about 26 feet, while the side wall has a thickness of about 18 feet and a height of about 25 feet. The back wall has a thickness of about 6 feet and a height of about 15 feet. The fort has watch towers, weapon rooms, rest rooms and other sections to explore.
- Visiting the beach: Vattakottai Fort is located near a sandy beach that offers a relaxing and refreshing experience for visitors. The beach is famous for its black sand that is rich in minerals such as ilmenite and thorium. The beach also offers a view of the sunrise and sunset over the sea.
- Enjoying the view: Vattakottai Fort offers a panoramic view of both the sea on one side and the hills on the other side. Visitors can also see the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, another popular attraction in Kanyakumari, from the fort.
- Exploring the surroundings: Vattakottai Fort is located near other attractions and places of interest in Kanyakumari, such as:
- Padmanabhapuram Palace: Padmanabhapuram Palace is an ancient palace that was built by the Travancore kings in the 16th century. It is one of the finest examples of traditional Kerala architecture and woodwork. It is located about 15 km (9.3 miles) from the fort.
- Mathur Aqueduct: Mathur Aqueduct is an engineering marvel that was built in 1966 to carry water from one hill to another. It is the longest and highest aqueduct in Asia and has 28 pillars that support the structure. It is located about 20 km (12.4 miles) from the fort.
- Thirparappu Falls: Thirparappu Falls is a scenic waterfall that cascades from a height of about 50 feet into a natural pool. It is a popular picnic spot that also has a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva nearby. It is located about 35 km (21.7 miles) from the fort.
Significance of Vattakottai Fort
Vattakottai Fort is not only a tourist attraction but also a significant place for Kanyakumari and India. Some of the reasons why Vattakottai Fort is important are:
- It is a historical site that showcases the military architecture and history of the Travancore kingdom, which was one of the powerful and progressive states in India. The fort was built by the Travancore king Marthanda Varma and his commander Eustachius De Lannoy, who was an ex-Dutch naval officer who joined the Travancore army after being defeated by them in the Battle of Colachel. The fort was part of the defence-fortifications that they undertook throughout Travancore to protect the kingdom from external threats.
- It is a cultural site that reflects the influence and integration of different cultures and communities in Kanyakumari. The fort has motifs of fish carved on its walls, which are a symbol of the Pandya kingdom, which ruled Kanyakumari before the Travancore kingdom. The fort also has inscriptions in Tamil, Malayalam and English languages, which indicate the linguistic diversity of the region.
- It is a natural site that showcases the beauty and diversity of Kanyakumari and India. It is one of the few surviving forts in Tamil Nadu that are located on the coast and offer a view of the sea and the hills. It also has a unique geological formation and a rich marine life.
Q: Is photography allowed at Vattakottai Fort?
A: Yes, photography is allowed at Vattakottai Fort for personal use only. However, visitors are requested to be respectful and discreet while taking photographs and not to disturb or offend anyone.
Q: Are there any facilities or amenities at Vattakottai Fort?
A: Yes, there are some facilities and amenities at Vattakottai Fort, such as toilets, drinking water, benches, parking, etc. There is also a souvenir shop where visitors can buy books, photos, CDs, etc. related to the fort and Kanyakumari.
Q: Are there any other attractions or places near Vattakottai Fort?
A: Yes, there are some other attractions or places near Vattakottai Fort, such as Padmanabhapuram Palace, Mathur Aqueduct, Thirparappu Falls, etc.
Vattakottai Fort is a seaside fort near Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, the southern tip of India. It was built in the 18th century as a coastal defence-fortification and barracks in the former Travancore kingdom. It is one of the few surviving forts in Tamil Nadu that showcases the military architecture and history of the region. The fort is also a scenic spot that offers a panoramic view of the sea and the hills. Vattakottai Fort is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to experience the heritage and culture of Kanyakumari.