As St. George Fort was near the Marina Beach, I went straight from the beach to the fort, after having my breakfast. The beach extended from the fort and I soon reached the fort after somewhat a long walk. The fort was open to the public from 9 am to 4.30 pm on all days except for Fridays. There was an entry fee, which I paid and entered inside. there was security check before entering and I was told that no photography was allowed inside. The fort was built by the British in 1644 and stands on the shores of Bay of Bengal. It has great historical importance and it is now under the archaeological Survey of India.
The fort is a massive structure built in the British style, and has a six meter high wall around it. Inside, it is divided mainly into two parts, the church called St. Mary’s Church, and the
museum. The church was built between the years 1678 to 1680 and is the oldest Anglican Church in the country. It is well known as the ‘Westminster abbey of the East’. The tomb stones in the
graveyard of the church are also the oldest in India.
St George Fort Museum is the most visited building in the fort. In front of the museum there is a large statue of Lord Cornwallis, which is about 15 ft tall. The statue was brought to India from England on ship and is considered as a masterpiece. Inside the museum I could see many relics, coins, medals, weapons, uniforms, letters and other items that belonged to the colonial era. There were also original handwritten letters by Clive and Cornwallis.
I also visited the banquet hall in the fort called Wellesley House, which contains paintings of British officials. The canons of Tipu Sultan are other attraction here. I saw many of the tourists admiring them. The flagstaff of the fort is another attraction here, which is made of teak. It is about 150 ft tall.
Presently St. George Fort Chennai is the headquarters of Tamil Nadu Government, housing the legislative assembly and other administrative branches. By afternoon I had a complete tour of the fort and came out.