Alamparai Fort is located at around 100kms away from south of Chennai in ECR road and it is maintained by State Department of Archaeology. It is one of the most unknown historic places found on the outskirts of Chennai in Tamil Nadu.
Alamparai fort was constructed in around 15 acres during 18th century AD by Mughals. This place is believed to be the only port during that time along the Coromandel Coast. The Fort once had a 100 meter long dockyard that runs into the sea which helped in exporting zari cloth, salt and ghee produced in ancient Tamil Nadu. The square shaped fort was later gifted to French commander Dupleix and later it was destroyed by the British during their invasion. The remains of the fort were then destroyed again by a tsunami in 2004 along the coast of Bay of Bengal. The Tamil Sangam literature Siruppanatruppadai describes that this places is also called IdaiKazhinadu(one of the region of ancient Tamil Nadu). In those days, Alamparai Kasu(coins) and Alamparai varahan(coins) were produced at the Alamparai Mint. It is believed that the person who is in charge of this mint has constructed a Shiva Temple with a big pond and a Choultry (a resting place where food is provided) for the benefit of pilgrims who used East Coast for travelling from Kasi to Rameswaram.
About the Fort
The Fort in its currents state is almost destroyed with only some of the outer walls are currently seen. By looking at its current state, we can recognize that the Fort is surrounded by tall brick walls with watch towers in-between that is overlooking the sea (Bay of Bengal). At the eastern side of the Fort is the beautiful sandy beach with backwater which is very scenic. There is no maintenance done on this Fort for long time and with its current condition it looks like we may not even find a clue of this Fort’s presence in near future.
Apart from the Fort, the sandy beach and the scenic backwater is the main attraction here. The bluish back water and sandy beach will definitely make you to visit this place again and again. At some places, the backwater just starts or literally touches the outer walls of the Fort. Due to its scenic view, this place is one of the main attractions for the movie makers, especially to shoot the romance sequence, songs of their movies. For instance, you would have seen this place in movies like Veyil (Uruguthey maruguthey song), Winner(Enthan Uyir Thozhiyae song) and Pithamagan(Pirayae..pirayae..song) are notably some. The backwater is very shallow at some places that you could just walk into it, but beware of the shells, crabs, etc.
A view of backwater and sea shore clicked from the top of a outer wall,
The Fort is located just adjacent to the fishermen village and you can notice fishermen parking their boats, Kattumaran close to this site after fishing. The local folks here take you for a boating if you pay them and don’t miss it if you have enough time.
The backwater and the beach have abundant of shells, different colored crabs, fish that adds to the pleasant experience of visiting this place.
A sea shell coming out of its home,
A green colored crab,
Another different colored crab,
Another commonly found shell,
Empty shell remains and a group of live shells on a rock,
This place is 55 kilometers away from Mahabalipuram through ECR road. You need to reach a place called Kadapakkam which is 51 km away from Mahabalipuram and need to take the road in the left in Kadapakkam junction which takes you to the fort.
Broken remains of Fort walls built with bricks and limestone.
Just climb over the outer wall to have an amazing view of the ocean and backwater.
Very scenic backwater and sandy beach.
Boating arranged by local villagers.
You get fresh fish. There is a local fish market just near the fort.
As such, it is one of the must see places around Chennai due to its historic value and also because it may soon fade off. You can plan for a one day trip or club it with a trip when you are planning for Pondicherry. Beware of Chennai weather and plan for early morning or evening trip and remember to pick enough water and snacks since you have no shops nearby.
Fisheries department of Tamil Nadu state arranged a Fish festival where varieties of fish are displayed in Aquarium and other fish farming techniques and instruments were kept for display. This expo is opened to public from 10 AM to 08:30 PM at Island ground near beach from May 09 to May 12, 2013.