Fort St. George Chennai

Monuments in Chennai

Fort St. George

Fort St. George of Chennai is a British architectural marvel. Know more about Fort St. George of Madras, India.
Location: Island Grounds
Built in: 1640
Built By: The British

St. George Fort is located on the banks of Bay of Bengal. It was built by the British East India Company in 1640 AD. The fort is believed to be the first establishment of the British in India. It is a military architecture marvel, which was erected as a trading post and later evolved to be the origin of modern Indian Army. Situated in the coastal state of Tamil Nadu, this ancient monument is worth watching on your trip to Chennai. St. George Fort holds great historical importance and is looked after by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Towards the end of the 17th century, the East India Company was established by the British. Their main aim behind this was trade and economic activities. After this, the company was looking for a permanent trading station. 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.

St. George Fort has a number of other worth watching monuments within its boundaries. St. Mary's Church, situated in the fort, is one of the oldest surviving churches built by the British in India. This beautiful building has stood the test of time and still holds the splendor of the yore. The glass windows, wall frescos, teak plaques still shine with their all time glory. Another fascinating structure here is the 150 ft tall Flagstaff, made entirely of teakwood. Though the original flagstaff is no more to be seen, its remains are still visible.

One of the most striking buildings here is the Fort St. George Museum. It houses the relics of the British personnel, who inhabited this fort. The construction of the building was completed ion 1795 and served as the Madras Bank. The long hallway upstairs once served the venue for public meetings as well as for entertainment. A light house was also built on top of the building in 1976. After Independence, the Archaeological Survey of India declared the fort as a protected monument.

The fort museum showcases a host of artifacts such as coins, medals, paintings, letters, etc, belonging to the colonial period. There is a 14.5 ft tall statue of Lord Cornwallis in front of the museum, which is an art masterpiece. It was brought to India from Britain through ship. It is carved with a scene depicting Tipu Sultan, his two sons and the East India Company officials. The importance of the fort cannot be undermined till date, as it still serves as an important base for the Indian Army.