Location : Chennai
Built by : The British, 1640- 53
Significance : Oldest British Fort on the East Coast
Fort St. George was the first British fortress in India. The construction of the fort at Chennai saw a spurt in settlements and construction activity around the place. The later day Madras/Chennai city evolved around the same fort. Fort St. George has the distinction of being the oldest English fort on the East Coast of India. Constructed between 1640 and 1653 and subsequently reconstructed in the year 1783, Fort St. George was once a town, complete with named streets, alleys and roads. Since Fort St. George was completed on April 23rd, coinciding with St. George's Day; the fort was christened Fort St. George, which soon became the hub of merchant activity. The fort led to the development of a new settlement called George Town. Over a period of time Fort St. George helped the British to extend their influence over the Carnatic region.
It is interesting to note that many historical personalities like Thomas Pitt, Elihu Yale, Robert Clive and Lord Cornwallis either lived in or frequently visited the Fort during the British period. The fort was thus a home away from home for many British officials of the East India Company. To keep the outsiders away, a moat was built around the fort and the British christened the area inside the moat as "the White Town".
Inside Fort St. George
The St. George Fort houses a number of artifacts belonging to the British colonial period. In addition to the British artifacts, there are also some French antiques inside the Fort St. George.
St. Mary's Church
The foundations of the St. Mary's Church were laid in the year 1678 and the church was completed in a span of two and a half years, in the reign of Charles the second. St. Mary's Church, with its marble plaques, tombstones and dedications has been a silent witness to the bygone era of Chennai/Madras city.
The Clive House, also known as the "Admirality House" is the place where Robert Clive stayed with his wife in 1753 and later. The Clive House is a brick and mortar structure and is about 300 years old. The Clive House has wooden floors, beautifully carved wooden staircases and high ceilings. The centerpiece of the Clive House is a huge hall situated on the first floor with Corinthian columns. This was a banquet hall, meant for parties and celebrations.
At present, Fort St. George serves as the administrative headquarters for the Tamil Nadu state Legislative Assembly and also houses a garrison for troops in transit to various locations in South India.
How to Reach
By Air : Chennai is well connected to other important cities of India.
By Rail : Chennai is an important Railway junction in South India. The city of Chennai is also well connected to all the major cities in India through a wide network of railways.
By Road : Chennai city is well connected to all the major cities in Tamil Nadu and other neighboring states through an excellent road network