Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Manora, commemoration for the victorious British - Waterloo battle

The Manora.
The Manora, Mallipatnam

Though the delta districts of Thanjavur, Thiruvarur and Nagapatnam, perhaps, have the highest concentration of historical old Hindu temples dedicated to Shiva, Vishu, goddess Durga and others, besides Navagraha, non-religious  historical monuments such as forts, palaces, etc can be counted on fingers. Among the monuments, the Manora near Pattukottai attracts a lot of tourists.

The Manora. Tamil Nadu
The Manora fort, set in a picturesque place with azure sea water in the back drop, dancing waves kissing on the shore and gently swaying  tall coconut trees in the midst of greenery, offers an ideal place for the tourists who seek a different adventure. Hence, this place is an important tourist destination  and it is about 65 km (40 miles) away from Thanjavur city, Tamil Nadu, India. The nearest town is Pattukottai which is about 20 km from here.  

Raja Serfoji of Thanjavur 1798 to 1832. T.N.
Thanjavur kingdom.

In the early 1800s the French and the British forces were at loggerheads and had frequent wars over their supremacy in Europe and other places. As for as as India was concerned, the French forces had begun to lose their steam after the fall of their close alley Tipu Sultan in 1799 at Srirangapatna  and the British became a powerful force to reckon with in India 
the Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815)

 The  Manora fort was built by Maratha ruler Serfoji II (1777-1832 CE) in 1814–1815 to commemorate the successful  military advance of the British over  the French led by Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) in the Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815).
the Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815).
 The fort  was put into dual use. It was used by the royal family as residence and  it served as  light-house as the area happened to be a coastal area. The stone inscription installed there says  “a friend and ally of the British to commemorate triumphs of British Arms and downfall of Bonaparte”

The Manora, Mallipatnam, T.N
Located in a place called  Mallipattinam  or  Sarabendra Rajanpattinam  on shores of Bay of Bengal, Manora is an important land mark in this area. The word Manora is believed to be derived from the word minaret, meaning tower. Hexagonal in shape, it very much resembles a  pagoda, with arched windows, circular staircase and eaves separating one story from the other. It is an eight story structure,  rising to a height of of 75 ft (23 m), surrounded by a wall and a moat, giving it an appearance of a fort. Tourists are not allowed to access beyond the second level of the for

As it is an important historical monument, it was in 2000-2003, the state government took some conservation and restoration work to avoid damages in the future.
However, this monument suffered damages during the worst Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 26 2004 that shook the entire world.

The Tamil Nadu state Tourism Development Corporation  contributed ₹3,195,000 (US$47,000) for improving the infrastructure around the fort. The proposal included  development of  children's park,  essential  amenities, providing additional lighting, planting saplings along the road, and laying of a new road from Sethu Road to the fort .

 Serfoji II, who reigned from 1798 to 1833, was the most popular Maratha ruler of Thanjavur. He knew many languages and established the world famous Sarawathi Mahal Library, which, in fact, was first introduced by the Nayak ruler. In 1855 the small kingdom of Thanjavur was annexed by the British under the Doctrine of lapse. The Manora is an example of the Maratha architecture. During their period, it is believed, this place was used for building big ships.