Vattakottai (Circular Fort) near Nagercoil

Circular Fort (வட்டக்கோட்டை or Vattakottai) is a seaside fort near Kanyakumari, the southern tip of India. It is about 7 km from Kanyakumari town. It was built in the 18th century as a coastal defence-fortification and barracks in the erstwhile Travancore kingdom. It is set up as the southern most sea coast defense point by the Dutch.

It is rectangular in shape and covers an area of about three and a half acres. The fort is enclosed by walls 25 to 26 feet high, including the parapet, 29 feet thick at the front, 18 feet at the corners and 6 feet at the rear. It is said that there is a subway or tunnel about four feet width, supposed to connect the Padmanabhapuram palace. Now the tunnel has been closed.

It was constructed under the supervision of Captain Eustachius De Lannoy during the reign of Mathandavarma (1729-58). The fort is made of granite blocks and, today, a part of the fort extends into the sea. It is a protected site under the Indian archaeological department. A major renovation of the fort was undertaken recently by the department, and the site is now a popular tourist spot. Another interesting feature near the site is a beach of black sands.
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