Manora Fort is about 65 km from Thanjavur and is a tall structure standing up to a height of 23 meters. It is an eight storey structure situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal and offers you a beautiful view of the sea and the surrounding area. Each floor of the fort is separated from the other by eves. It is a hexagonal building and tappers as it goes up. With arched windows and circular stair case the fort looks like a pagoda and can be seen from a distance. There is a wall surrounding the fort and a deep and wide moat with a draw bridge. So no one could enter the fort without permission. The architecture of the fort follows Dravidian style, which is very typical of South India.
The fort is open from 9 in the morning to 6 in the evening and you need not take any entry ticket to visit the fort. There were many other tourists also getting inside and we saw that the interior was as beautiful as the exterior. It was built by the Maratha ruler Serfoji in the eighteenth century to celebrate the victory of the British over Napoleon Bonaparte, and acts as a light house as well as a residence for the royal family.
We were told that there is a belief that treasures are hidden somewhere in the fort. Another legend says that there is an underground passage that connects the fort to the Brihadeswarar Temple. Many people in the locality still believe in it.
Although we wanted to go to the top storey of the fort, we were told that the visitors were allowed to enter till the second storey only for security reasons. During the Tsunami in 2005, there was much damage done to the fort. Measures are taken by the government to renovate the fort, develop the Children’s Park near it with better facilities, improve lightings, plant some more trees and plants and to improve it at all ways.
Manora Fort Thanjavur is one of the most visited places here and is a must visit place in Thanjavur.