St Thomas Fort, Tangasseri

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St Thomas Fort
(Tangasseri Fort)
Thangasseri Fort.jpg
Front View of St Thomas Fort
Location Tangasseri, Kollam,
Kerala province, India
Coordinates 8°53′N 76°36′E / 8.88°N 76.60°E / 8.88; 76.60
Built 1518
Architect Portuguese
Architectural style(s) Portuguese Colonial,
Built using sandstone and lime mortar
Type Cultural
State Party  India
St Thomas Fort, Tangasseri is located in Kerala
St Thomas Fort, Tangasseri
Location of St Thomas Fort
(Tangasseri Fort) in Kerala

St. Thomas Fort also known as Tangasseri Fort, is a ruined fort located in the beach town of Tangasseri on the shores of the Arabian Sea in the city of Kollam, Kerala, India. It is located around 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the city center of Kollam and 71 kilometres (44 mi) from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.[1]


Sketch of the Thangaserri, 1505. The fort can be seen close to the shore.

Tangasseri was associated with the Chinese trade from the first millennium AD and later colonised by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British to become the "gold village". According to Historians, Captain Rodriguez came to Quilon and was appointed as the captain of the factory and trade, with permission from the queen. St.Thomas Fort (once known as Forte de São Tomé) was built by the Portuguese under Afonso de Albuquerque for the protection of the newly developed trade. In 1505 the Portuguese established a trading port here, and in 1518 established its sovereignty through the construction of Fort St. Thomas. Later in 1661 the town and the fort were handed over to the Dutch who made it the capital of Dutch Malabar. The Dutch occupied the fort for several years. In 1795, the British East India Company took possession of the fort. In 1823 Fort St. Thomas accepted a lease by Travancore from the British Government for a period of twenty years.[2][3]

Fort St. Thomas was originally around 20 feet (6.1 m) tall. Today, the remains of the fort, popularly known as "Tangasseri fort" remain facing the beach. The government of India has taken over the fort and it is being considered an historical landmark. Restoration of the fort is ongoing. At present, the fort is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).[4]



  1. ^ "Kollam Mayor inspects Tangasseri Fort". The Hindu. 1 February 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "Parishes - Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon". Kollam, India. Retrieved 2 December 2014. Parishes of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon 
  3. ^ "St Thomas Fort in Tangasseri - Kollam". Colonial Voyage. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  4. ^ "Mining rampant at Tangasseri Fort". The Hindu. 30 January 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 

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