St. George Fort Chennai

St. George Fort is one of the oldest monuments of chennai.Established by the British East India Company in 1639, the fort is one of the greatest tourist attractions of Chennai.

St. George Fort,Chennai established in 1639 and located along the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Chennai city, is probably one of the most important tourist attractions of Chennai. It is often said that the fort marks the birth of the Chennai city. Built by the British East India Company in 1640 AD, the fort is believed to be the first British establishment in India. It is a wonder of military architecture which was initially set up as a trading post but later developed as the origin of modern Indian Army.

The East India Company was set up by the British towards the end of the 17th century. Though their main aim was trade and economic activities, the company was also looking for a permanent trading station in india. Their dream was realized when they acquired the land on which the fort stands today. The company built the fort on this land and expanded their activities. It served as a home away from home for the officials of the East India Company. This helped in the development of the city of Madras.

Today, The Fort St. George is the administrative headquarters for the legislative assembly of the State of Tamil Nadu and known as the Secretariat Building where various Government offices function. However, it is not merely a boring seat of politics but a complex of historic landmarks of Chennai that gives it a special atmosphere. Some of the buildings inside Fort St. George are open to the public.

Places to see inside the St.George Fort, Chennai

One of the most striking buildings inside the fort is the Fort St. George Museum, Chennai. The construction of the building was completed in 1795. At that time, it served as the Madras Bank. A 14.5 ft tall statue of Lord Cornwallis stands in front of the museum. In the pedestal of the statue, a scene depicting Tipu Sultan's representative handing over Tipu's two sons as hostage in lieu of the loan he had borrowed from British but was unable to pay in time, is carved. The statue was built in Britain and later was brought to India by ship. It is a masterpiece of art. The museum also houses, besides the relics of the British personnel who stayed here from time to time, a host of other artefacts such as coins, medals, paintings, letters, etc, belonging to the colonial period. There is also a lovely Portrait Gallery known as 'The Long Room' where the large portraits of the various Governors of British era can be found.

In 1976, a light house was also erected on top of the building. protected monument.

Clive's House in St.George fort, Chennai

Clive's House, also known as the Admiralty Building, is a three-storied structure situated on the southern side of Fort St. George, Chennai. Once the residence of Robert Clive and his family, this grand mansion presently houses the office of the Archaeological Survey of India. The beautifully carved wooden staircases and high ceilings of the mansion speak high of olden India's architecture. There is a spacious hall on the first floor which at one time was used for lavish banquets.

St. Mary's Church in St.George fort, Chennai

St. Mary's Church, situated inside the fort, is one of the oldest surviving churches built during the colonial rule in India. This beautiful building has stood the wear and tear time and still holds the magnificence of the bygone era. It is assumed that the roof of this church was specially designed to withstand enemy gunfire. A replica of 'Last Supper', the immortal painting by the world famous painter Leonardo da Vinci adorns one of the walls of the church. Here one can also find the register showing a record of Robert Clive's wedding. The glass windows, wall frescos and teak plaques still shine with their all time glory. One can also find quite a few memorial plaques within the Church and many British tombstones in the backyard of the church.

Another fascinating structure here is the Flagstaff, where the National Flag flies with all its glory at a height of 150 feet. It is the tallest flag pole in the country. The Pole, now made of metal, was originally made entirely of teak wood. There is also a big library with its exotic collection of books.
Since St. George Fort holds great historical importance, it is directly looked after by the Archaeological Survey of India. Therefore, it is well preserved and well maintained. A visit to Chennai is incomplete without getting a taste of the colonial heritage through this building.

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