Explore Chennai’s Historic Gem – Fort St George

fort-st-george in tamil ladu images

Posted on Tuesday, May 28th, 2024 by Sidakbir Singh

Fort St George is a historic fort in Chennai, India. Built by the British East India Company in 1644, it was the first English fortress in India. The fort helped the British establish trade and control in the region. It includes important buildings like St. Mary’s Church, which is the oldest Anglican church in India, & the Fort Museum, which displays artifacts from the colonial period. Today, Fort St George is used by the Tamil Nadu government and is a popular tourist spot.

AttributeInformation
NameFort St George
LocationChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
TypeFort
AreaApproximately 40 acres
DepthNot applicable
PurposeMilitary defense and administrative center
Construction YearBuilt in 1644
FeaturesWell-preserved architecture, St. Mary’s Church
Historical SignificanceFirst English fortress in India
SurroundingsLocated in the heart of Chennai city, near Marina Beach

History and Origins 

Fort St George was built in 1644 by the British East India Company in Chennai, India. This was the first English fort in India. The British built it to protect their trading activities & to have a strong base in the region. The location was chosen because it was along the coast, making it good for trade by sea. Over time, the fort became a center for British operations in South India and played a key role in the colonial history of the region.

The architecture of Fort St George

Fort St George has a unique & strong design. It is made of brick & stone & has thick, tall walls to protect against attacks. The fort has a rectangular shape with strong, tall gates at the entrance. Inside, there are important buildings like St. Mary’s Church, the oldest Anglican church in India, & the Fort Museum, which shows old weapons, coins, & paintings. There are also many old houses and offices from the British period. The fort’s design helped it stay safe & functional for many years.

How to Reach Fort St George Chennai

  • By Bus –  First reach Chennai and then take a local bus to Chennai Central or Parry’s Corner. From there, Fort St George is just a short walk or a quick auto-rickshaw ride away.
  • By Flight – Fly to Chennai International Airport. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a metro to reach Fort St George, which is about 20 kilometers away.
  • By Train – Arrive at Chennai Central Railway Station from Delhi. Fort St George is located close by, and you can reach it easily by taxi or a short auto-rickshaw ride.

Best Time Visit Fort St George

The best time to visit Fort St George is from November to February. During these months, the weather in Chennai is cooler & more pleasant, making it ideal for sightseeing and exploring the historical site.

Interesting facts about Fort St George

  1. Chennai, built in 1644, is the first British fortress in India and marked the beginning of British colonial rule in the country.
  2.  Within the fort complex is St. Mary’s Church, the oldest Anglican church in India, consecrated in 1680. It is often referred to as the “Westminster Abbey of the East.”
  3.  Fort St George Museum displays artifacts from the British Raj, including coins, weapons, uniforms, & documents. It provides a glimpse into the colonial history of India.
  4. Fort St George India served as the headquarters of the British East India Company and later became the administrative headquarters for the British in Southern India.
  5. The fort showcases a blend of military architecture & colonial design. Its walls are 20 feet high and enclose various buildings, including barracks and administrative offices.
  6. Today, the fort complex houses the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly & other government offices, making it a significant administrative hub.
  7. Fort St George India played a crucial role during various historical events, including battles & power shifts between different colonial powers.
  8. The fort is named after St George, the patron saint of England, reflecting the influence of British culture and tradition.

Entry fee and timings of Fort St George

Entry Fee

  • Indian Citizens – ₹15
  • Foreign Nationals – ₹100

Timings

  • Open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Closed on Fridays and public holidays

Nearby Attractions in the Fort St George

  1. Marina Beach –  A popular urban beach stretching 13 km along the Bay of Bengal, known for its scenic beauty and vibrant local culture. The Marina Beach is just 3 km away. 
  2. Government Museum – One of the oldest museums in India, it showcases a vast collection of artifacts, including archaeological finds, sculptures, and paintings. The Government Museum is just 0.5 km away from the Government Museum. 
  3. Kapaleeshwarar Temple – An ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, known for its Dravidian architecture & intricate carvings. This Kapaleeshwarar Temple is 5 km away from the Fort. 
  4. Santhome Cathedral Basilica – A historic church built over the tomb of St. Thomas the Apostle, featuring stunning neo-Gothic architecture. Santhome Cathedral Basilica is 4 km away from the Fort. 

Visitor Guidelines and Pro Tips

  1. Respect photography guidelines, as some areas within the fort complex may have restrictions on photography due to security or preservation reasons.
  2. Take advantage of guided tours or informational plaques to fully understand the historical significance of Fort St George, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, and its role in shaping colonial India.
  3. Don’t miss visiting St. Mary’s Church within the fort premises. It’s not only a place of worship but also a repository of colonial history and architectural marvels.
  4. Take a leisurely walk through the greenery of the fort complex. It offers a peaceful escape from the busy city & provides excellent photo opportunities.
  5. Keep an eye out for special events or exhibitions happening within the fort premises. These events often offer unique experiences & a deeper understanding of the fort’s heritage.
  6. Help preserve the heritage site by refraining from littering, defacing monuments, or engaging in any behavior that could harm the historical integrity of Fort St George.
  7. Consider visiting during weekdays to avoid crowds & have a more peaceful experience. Also, check the timings in advance to ensure the fort is open during your planned visit.

Other Activities To Do in Chennai 

In addition to exploring historical sites like Fort St George, Chennai offers an excess of other activities for tourists to enjoy. You can indulge in shopping at vibrant markets, relax on the sandy shores of Marina Beach, taste delicious South Indian cuisine, & immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu. Tourism in Chennai thrives with its diverse attractions & experiences.

Other Popular Attractions in India

India has numerous iconic attractions beyond Chennai. From the majestic Taj Mahal in Agra to the busy streets of Delhi’s Chandni Chowk, & the serene backwaters of Kerala, there’s something for every traveler. With its rich tapestry of culture and heritage, Tourism in India offers a myriad of unforgettable experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where is Fort St George located?

A: Fort St George is located in the city of Chennai, which is in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.

Q: What is Fort St George?

A: Fort St George is a historic fortress located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. It was the first British fortress built in India and served as the administrative center for the British East India Company.

Q: Who built St George Fort?

A: Fort St George was built in 1644 by the British East India Company.

Q: What can I see inside Fort St George?

A: Inside Fort St George, you can visit St. Mary s Church, the Fort Museum, and various administrative buildings. St. Mary s Church is the oldest Anglican church in India, while the Fort Museum houses artifacts and documents from the colonial era.

Q: Is there an entry fee to visit Fort St George?

A: Yes, there is a nominal entry fee for visitors. Indian citizens usually pay a lower fee compared to foreign nationals.

Q: What are the timings of Fort St George?

A: Fort St George is usually open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, except on Fridays and public holidays. However, it is advisable to check the timings before planning your visit.

Q: Can I take a guided tour of Fort St George?

A: Yes, guided tours are often available at Fort St George, providing visitors with insights into its history & significance. These tours may be conducted by knowledgeable guides or through audio guides.

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About Sidak | View Posts

A creative person by profession and by passion, Sidak Bir is an enthusiastic writer who adores his job. His passion for writing has inspired him to pursue writing as a career. His commitment to creating quality content shines through, offering readers a blend of enlightenment and knowledge in every piece. Because he reads, writes, travels, and has an enjoyable time, some people claim he is leading the best life possible. They're right because what more could a person possibly need!

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