The above picture shows how Fort St. George must have been originally. This fort was the first bastion of the British in India. Though British had taken control over several forts in Tamilnadu, this was the only fort that they had built from scratch. As per a treaty with the Nayakas, they were not allowed to paint exteriors of their buildings with any colour except white. Hence this fort got a moniker of the white town. Along with the British, Portuguese and Dutch also lived within this fort. It is said that there was some sort of fortification on the same site before St. George was established. But today nothing remains of that old fortification. All that you see presently is from the 18th century. St. George was a site of several assaults conducted by the Indian rulers and communities. So, it was quite a few times that this fortified town had to be reestablished. But it stayed in the control of the Europeans.
Monuments in the Fort
The 17 hectares of the protected land is dotted with the colonial-era buildings. Some of them are very impressive. There are only two buildings which are accessible to the visitors: St Mary’s Church and the Fort Museum. The museum has a good collection of portraits, weapons, coins, regimental flags, and uniforms. St Mary’s Church is considered to be the oldest ‘Protestant Church’ in Asia. It has a plain and whitewashed facade broken by arched openings.
How to Reach?
Railway: Fort St George is situated off the coast in Chennai city which has several railway stations. Chennai Central and Egmore Station are the largest amongst all of them.
Road: Fort St George is a short drive away from Marina Beach, and the city centre of Chennai.
Air: There is an international airport in Chennai which is well connected with all the major cities of India.