Popular Forts in Tamilnadu You Must Visit On Your Tamilnadu Trip


Tamilnadu boasts a rich cultural and architectural heritage which is a fusion of Dravidian and European cultures and has a large number of grand and beautiful historical forts to prove so. Paying tribute to the glorious heritage and narrating the golden tales from history, these historic forts in Tamilnadu have a soul of their own and connect us to the past. 

There is no denying the fact that the Historical Forts in Tamilnadu attract a large number of visitors every year. If you are a traveler and history enthusiast who wants a peek into the cultural and architectural history of Tamilnadu, you should not think twice before including some of these popular Forts in your Tamilnadu trip itinerary.

In this article, we mention 10 Popular Forts in Tamilnadu You Must Visit On Your Tamilnadu Trip:

Fort St. George

A symbol of the British Raj in India, Fort St. George, historically famous as White Town is the first fortress built by the British in India in 1644. It is located in the coastal city of Chennai, on the banks of the Bay of Bengal. It was with the construction of this majestic Fort that migration, trade, and industries started to reach the uninhabited coastal area which grew into the city of Madras (present-day Chennai) today.

St. George fort in Chennai

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Fort St. George currently houses a museum (Fort Museum) that displays antiques and artefacts from British rule, St. Mary’s Church which is one of the country’s oldest Anglican churches, and Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly along with other official buildings.

Gingee Fort

Gingee Fort which has witnessed copious battles and bloodshed and withstood the test of times is one of the best surviving medieval forts in Tamilnadu. This historic fort is built atop the rolling hills of Tamilnadu in the Villupuram District, forming a huge triangular area dotted with royal, religious, and military structures.

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The renowned Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji lauded Gingee Fort as the ‘most impregnable fortress in India’ because of its amazing construction, boasting high walls and ramparts. Also, the Britishers called the magnificent Gingee Fort the ‘Troy of the East‘. A visit to Gingee Fort takes you on a journey to the bygone era, offering a glimpse into a world of valor and outstanding ancient architecture.

Vellore Fort

Served as the headquarters of the Vijaynagar Empire, Vellore Fort is one of the most unique and popular forts in Tamilnadu. Over the years, Vellore Fort was transferred to the Bijapur Dynasty, the Mughals, and eventually to the British.

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The distinct architectural features of each changing dynasty that took over the fort are clearly evident which makes the Vellore Fort so popular. What makes it so unique is the fact that it serves as a major symbol of secularism because there is a temple, a mosque, and a church built inside its premises. This 16th-century fort is situated in heart of the Vellore city.

Vijayanagar Fort

Situated in the beautiful city of ThanjavurVijayanagar Fort is yet another architectural and historical masterpiece you must visit on your Tamilnadu trip. The grand and beautiful Vijayanagar Fort was built by the Nayaks as well as the Maratha rulers. Vijaynagar Fort is well known for its size as it houses the imposing Thanjavur Palace, Sangeetha Mahal, and an art gallery Library that has a wonderful collection of exquisite sculptures and paintings. The Shiva Ganga gardens inside the Fort complex are a must-visit.

Udayagiri Fort

Udayagiri Fort is a 17th-century fort situated on the Thiruvananthapuram – Nagercoil National Highway in Tamilnadu. It was originally a mud fort built during the reign of the Venadu king, Sri Vira Ravi Varma and later reconstructed using massive blocks of granite by Maharaja Marthanda Varma of Travancore in the 18th century. Udayagiri Fort also served as a cantonment under Dutch admiral, De Lennoy who was captured as a prisoner of war by Marthanda Varma and later appointed as commander-in-chief of the military equipment. Udayagiri Fort is also called Dillanai Kottai or De Lannoy’s Fort, in the chief’s honor. Udayagiri Fort is now converted into a bio-diversity park. It houses the tomb of De Lennoy and a beautiful chapel that was constructed in his memory as well.

Vattakottai Fort

The historic Vattakottai Fort in the Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu is not just a remnant of an empire, but also a charming tourist place to relax and unwind. The Fort is well-known for its historic importance and splendiferous beauty.

A fascinating view of Vattakottai fort in Kanyakumari

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It looks absolutely captivating with breathtaking scenic views of the mighty sea on one side and the green-drenched Western Ghats on the other. Vattakottai Fort is one of the most visited attractions in Kanyakumari that lures visitors from far and wide. This amazing fort was constructed in the 18th century by the Dutch during the time of King Marthanda Varma.

Dindigul Fort

Dindigul Fort is yet another popular fort in Tamilnadu you must visit on your Tamilnadu trip. It is located in the town of Dindigul. Also known as Dindigul Malai Kotai, Dindigul Fort was built by Madurai Nayak king Muthu Krishnappa Nayak in the 17th century.

A scenic view from Dindugal fort in Tamilnadu.

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The Fort was later occupied by the Mysore Wodeyars and came into prominence during the era of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali. After that, the Dindigul Fort was used by the Britishers during the Polygar Wars and now it is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of IndiaDindigul Fort is indeed a great place to explore and learn about the glorious history of the bygone era.

Sadras Fort

Sadras Fort, situated in Kalpakkam near Mahabalipuram is one of the oldest Dutch forts in the country. This Fort was initially a Hindu temple with Lord Vishnu as the presiding deity. But the Dutch invaders, for their commercial purposes, transformed it into a Fort.

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The Sadras Fort is believed to be built in the early 17th century by a Dutch Queen. Though the fort is in near-ruins today, its centuries-old halls, captivating high walls, and a lone cemetery remain as one of the last remnants of Chennai’s Dutch heritage. The most fascinating feature of Sadras Fort is its secret tunnel from the cemetery.

Alamparai Fort

Beautifully set between Mahabalipuram and PondicherryAlamparai Fort is one of the most picturesque seaside forts in Tamil Nadu and is worth including in your Tamilnadu itinerary. It is said to be one of the only forts along Tamil Nadu’s northern coastline without any colonial origin.

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Alamparai Fort was built by the Mughals and was under the control of Nawab of Arcot. The Fort was better known for its bustling dockyard, where zari fabrics, silk cloth, salt, and ghee were exported to far-off lands. 

Rock Fort

Situated in Trichy (Tiruchirappalli), Rock Fort is one of the most popular forts in Tamilnadu. The fort is believed to be more than a billion years old. It is built on a 272 feet high rock and features a beautiful temple complex which houses two temples namely the Ucchi Pillayar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Thayumanaswami Temple, dedicated to Lord Ganesha.

A majestic view of Trichy Rockfort in the state of Tamil Nadu.

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The Rock Fort has witnessed the ferocious battles between the Madurai Nayakas and Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur, Maratha Imperial forces, and the Carnatic region. The fort also played a key role during the Carnatic Wars, helping lay the foundations of the British Empire in India. It is now a major landmark of Trichy.

Head over to Tamilnadu and discover the popular Forts of the state that conveys magnificent tales from history.

Which of these Popular Forts in Tamilnadu do you wish to visit on your Tamilnadu trip? Have you ever visited any of them before? Share your experience with us.

If you think there’s something we missed out, let us know in the comments below!

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