Tamil Nadu has always been a land steeped in the ink of history as countless kingdoms have risen and fallen in its soil. If one wishes to take a closer look at the cultural thread of the state, they can visit the ancient forts of Tamil Nadu which are still standing witness to the time gone by. The following road trips to explore the forts in Tamil Nadu are a great way to relax and get immersed in the lost pages of history.
14 Best Forts to Visit in Tamil Nadu
- Vellore Fort
- Fort St George
- Gingee Fort
- Manora Fort
- Vijaynagar Fort
- Udaygiri Fort
- Vattakottai Fort
- Dindigul Fort
- Thirumayam Fort
- Alamparai Fort
- Rock Fort
- Droog Fort
- Sadras Dutch Fort
- Krishnagiri Fort
1. Vellore Fort
Vellore fort was built on the bank of River Palor in the 16th century. It was the headquarters of the Vijaynagar Empire. There is a temple, church and mosque in the fort along with some other buildings. You will be able to see the detailed military architectural styles of Southern India in this fort.
2. Fort St George
Fort St George is today one of the most visited forts in Chennai. This was the first fort that was constructed by the British in India in 1644. In the present day, it serves as the administrative office of the legislative assembly of the state of Tamil Nadu.
3. Gingee Fort
Located in one of the historical cities in Tamil Nadu, Villupuram, Gingee Fort was constructed by the Cholas. It was modified at the time of Vijayanagara period, but then Gingee Nayaks made it their headquarters during their rule in Tamil Nadu. The fort was also used by the Marathas, during the reign of Shivaji. The height of this fort is around 800 feet and the moat that surrounds it is 80 feet wide. Apart from the history, the other interesting things that you can still witness include granaries, Chenjiamman Temple and prison cells.
4. Manora Fort
Manora Fort in Thanjavur was built in the 17th century by the Marathas. Overlooking the Bay of Bengal, Manora Fort is beautiful with its eight storeyes and a hexagonal tower. The fort was damaged in Tsunami; however, renovated in 2007.
5. Vijaynagar Fort
One of the interesting places in Tamil Nadu, Thanjavur, has a few forts and one of them in Vijaynagar Fort. This fort was constructed by the Nayaks as well as Maratha rulers. Vijaynagar Fort is known for its size as it includes the Thanjavur Palace, Sangeetha Mahal, an art gallery Library, with quite a few sculptors and paintings and the Shiva Ganga gardens.
6. Udaygiri Fort
Udaygiri Fort was built in the 17th century. However, it was modified in the 18th century by the Travancore rulers. The fort now has been converted into a bio-diversity park. Something very interesting that you can witness at this fort include the tombs of the Dutch admiral De Lennoy and a wonderful chapel that was constructed in his memory.
7. Vattakottai Fort
Standing along the sea side, Vattakottai Fort was built by the Dutch for the Travancore kingdom. Today, the fort is one of the most visited attractions in Kanyakumari, as you can see sea on one side, while the Western Ghats on the other side look absolutely captivating.
8. Dindigul Fort
Dindigul Fort, also called Dindigul Malai Kota was built in the 17th century by Madurai Nayak. It was then taken care of by the Mysore Wodeyars and came into prominence during the era of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali. During the Polygar Wars, the fort was used by the Britishers. Upon visiting the fort, you can see a temple and some cannons.
9. Thirumayam Fort
Spread across 40 acres of land, the Thirumayam Fort was constructed in the 17th century by the king of Ramnad. The fort had seven concentric walls, out of which only four could survive. The fort has three entrances, and there are shrines of Hanuman, Ganesha and Karuppar on the southern end and Bhairava on the northern end. Some other attractions in this fort include two rock-cut temples, a natural pond and cannons.
10. Alamparai Fort
Overlooking the sea, Alamparai fort was built by the Mughals in Kadapakkam village. It is said that there was a 100 m dockyard in the fort and commodities like salt, ghee and silk cloth used to be exported from here. The fort later was gifted to the French, and then the British conquered it.
11. Rock Fort
The fort is built on a 272 feet high rock and believed to be more than billion years old. Located in Trichy, the Britishers used this fort during the Carnatic Wars. You can still find two temples the UcchiPillayar temple and Thayumanaswami temple, placed in the premises of the fort. It is one of the tourist attractions in Trichy today.
12. Droog Fort
Locals call this fort Bakasur Malai. The fort was constructed by Tipu Sultan which was then used as a significant outpost. To reach the fort, you have to hike through the Nonsuch Tea Estate.
13. Sadras Dutch Fort
Situated in Kalpakkam, Sadras Dutch fort is one of the oldest Dutch forts in the country. The construction of the fort started in 1612. The fort witnessed wars, and one of its important features is the secret tunnel from the cemetery. The distance from Chennai to this fort is 72 km, and can be reached in just some hours.
14. Krishnagiri Fort
It is one of the forts in the Krishnagiri district. Krishnagiri fort was ruled by many rulers. Now it is protected by the Archeological Survey of India.
The forts of Tamil Nadu are evidence of the cultural heritage of the state and an inseparable part of its legacy. The best time to visit these forts is between October and March, and the tourists can explore these by taking a car rental services by Revv which provides excellent value without compromising with the high standards. The cars can also be taken outstation and are available at hourly as well as daily rates.