The next morning I woke up early for I had to plan our sightseeing trips. The first on my itinerary was the St. George Fort, which is located on Anna Salai. I had a cab arranged by the hotel for all our trips. Sipping my tea, I looked out of the window; Egmore was slowly coming to life at 7 am. By then, my husband woke up and we sat to talk, which is a usual practice wherever we are.
After the breakfast, we started at 9 o’clock to Fort St. George, which is just about 10 minutes journey from the hotel. Built in 1644, this historical fort stands as the epitome of the British regime in South India. Situated near the coastal area, the existence of the fort added development of the area around it. The East India Company used the fort as a trading station, where trading activities were held.
Interestingly, the fort got its name from the St George’s Day, which was the day celebrated to observe the patron saint of England, as its completion coincided with this day. Maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, the fort consists of two parts: a Fort Museum and St. Mary’s Church. Other than these, some official buildings, including the one of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and another of Indian Army is found here.
We had to take a ticket, only for the adults, which was five rupees per head. The timings for the visit were scheduled from 9 am to 5 pm. We walked into the St. Mary’s Church, which is called the ‘Westminster Abbey of the East’. Being the three-century-old Anglican Church built in 1680, it takes you back in time with its antique lamp, entrance, tomb stones, and so on.
Next, we went to the Fort Museum, which was opened in 1948 and believed to be the oldest building in the fort. The museum has three floors with ten galleries housed in them. In the front, we saw the impressive statue of Lord Cornwallis, which was believed to be built by Thomas Banks.
Hopping from one gallery to another we saw many arms used during the World Wars, uniforms of British army, ceremonial dresses of bodyguards of the Madras Governor, medals and medallions, table wares, porcelains, portraits, paintings, and so on.
With memories of the old India during the British rule, which I have studied in my school days, still etched in my memory, I left the place, with my family to the next destination.