A south Indian Coastal Fort with a Dutch connection
We had gone to the southern tip of India for a family wedding. With time on our hands we went birding in nearby places and ended up in Vattakottai, a granite coastal fort. In Tamil language, Vattakottai translates literally as circular fort, for it does have a circular plan.
The fort is believed to have been a military base to protect the Kanniyakumari Port. For many centuries famed pearls from the region were being exported from this port and hence needed protection.
Originally constructed with bricks, 18th century ruler King Marthanda Varma who ruled over the southern Venad Kingdom had the Dutch (the Dutch had some strongholds in India then) army general Eustachius de Lannoy to renovate the fort. de Lannoy, who strengthened the fort, decided to clad the walls with granite blocks. And so stands the coastal fort today as a granite sentinel against the azure sea.
From atop the fort, one can see the shimmering shades of blue as far as the eyes can see. Because the fort is close to Kanniyakumari, the tip of peninsular India where the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, and Arabian Sea meet.