The Manora fort is situated 68 km (40mi) away from Thanjavur, Tamilnadu, India. The fort was built by Maratha ruler Serfoji II to commemorate the successful advance of the British over Napoleon Bonaparte. It is an 8 storied, hexagonal tower, which is 23 meters high overlooking the Bay of Bengal. The fort derives its name Manora, from the word Minaret. In December 2004, five monuments including the fort were damaged in the Indian Ocean Tsunami.
It was planned in 2007 by the State Tourism Department to renovate the structure and improve its infrastructure by building several additional facilities including upgrading the children’s park and building a tourist’s shed. Manora fort is 20 km away from the town of Pattukkottai in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. The fort is picturesquely located in lush greenery surrounded by swaying coconut palms, overlooking the azure waters of the Bay of Bengal. You can’t miss it with its 8 Storey, 75 Feet high hexagonal tower soaring towards the sky. The tower, which is a striking blend of different architectural styles, is surrounded by a moat and offers stunning views of the sea and the surrounding dense green coconut groves.
Locals claim that in the olden days, the Fort overlooked Sri Lanka, a claim unproven so far. Manora was earlier an important port and a center for ship-building. Manora Fort was a summer palace for the Maratha kings and the moat, which had sea water, provided drainage facilities to the fort. There are rest shed surrounding the moat and in olden days, soldiers who guarded the fort, used to stay in these sheds. There were hanging lasers that were used to reach the fort. Manora Fort has been declared a monument and was handed over to the Tamil Nadu Archaeological department.