Vattakottai (Circular Fort)
Vattakottai, a granite fort six kilometres north-east of Kanyakumari cape, forms the terminal of a line of ramparts known as the South Tranvancore lines built by Marthanda Varma to serve as defence for Nanjil Nadu. 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. The portion running into the area is the most strongly built underText Box: the orders of De Lannoy during the reign of Mathandavarma (1729-58). About 1810 A.D. the British forces under the command of St. Leger marched into Nanjilnad through the Aramboly pass and demolished the defence lines. The small river by the side of the fort, and the green vegetation all around add to the scenery of the fort and has now become a holiday resort and picnic centre.
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. On the northern side of the fort is found a slop to being the canon from the lower to the upper part of the parapet of the fort. There is well of about 6’ diameter. The whole wall around the fort is repaired and fresh mortar is being applied. Literary or epigraphical evidences are not in store to know much about Vattakotai. However, from the evidence left by the fort itself, it may be presumed that his fort was the military base to protect the Kumari port which was a rich pearl harbour. Since the emblem of the Pandya Kings was ‘Fish’ and we find this emblem in some of the places of the fort, it can be safely concluded that the Pandya Kings had control over this fort for sometime.
Next to Vattakottai, we can see the traces of a light house in Leepuram being called so after Colonel Lee who has destroyed most of the Kadukkarai Kanyakumari Fort in 1806. This is a picnic spot, the sea is calm and suitable for bathing.