Fort St David, now in ruins, was a British fort near the town ofCuddalore, a hundred miles south of Chennai on the Coromandel Coastof India. It is located near silver beach without any maintenance. It was named for the patron saint of Wales because the governor of Madras at the time, Elihu Yale, was Welsh.
Fort St David, situated on the mouth of River Gadilam, has a memorable history. The region was under the domains of the Nayaks of Gingee. The Dutch in early 17th century wishing to expand their trade in the Bay of Bengal region and take advantage of the local manufacturing of goods choose the Cuddalore region and sought the permission of Krishnappa Nayaka of Gingee, to build a fort at Devanampatnam which was, subsequently granted in 1608 and construction was started. But the Nayak pulled back after the Portuguese, then dominant players at the Coramandal Coast trade, pressured Gingee’s overlord rulers,Venkata I of Vijayanagara Empire to prevent Dutch entry. Therefore, the fort was left with the Gingee Nayaks under appointed traders. Overseas trade continued and the port became an important source of sandalwood, camphor, cloves, nutmeg, mace, green velvet, porcelain, copper, and brass.
Later when Gingee was occupied by the Marathas, Shivaji’s sonsell the Devanampatnam fort to the highest European bidder. In 1690, the British won by out bidding the Dutch and the French. Elihu Yale, Governor of Madras, after long protracted negotiations, acquired the fort and named it Fort Saint David after a Welsh Saint.
James Macrae had been governor of the fort and in 1725 he became the Governor of the Madras Presidency. From 1725 onwards the British greatly strengthened the fortifications. In 1746 Fort St David became the British headquarters for thesouthern India, and attacks by French forces under Dupleix were successfully repulsed. Robert Clive was appointed its governor in 1756; in 1758 the French captured it, but abandoned it two years later to Sir Eyre Coote, KB.
How to Reach:
Air : The nearest International airports is Chennai (200Km ). Another nearest Air Port is in Pondicherry has charter flights located 25KM from Cuddalore. New Airport also prosed and the work is in progress, At Neyveli in the same District located 45Km from Cuddalore Town the head quarters of this District.
Rail : 1. Chennai – Villupuram – Cuddalore – Thanjavoor – Trichy Raliways route is available running via Cuddalore Town the District head quarters. 2. Another major rail route is also available in this District is Chennai -Villupuram – Vridhachalam – Trichy . It is also operational, In which Vridhachalam is loacted 50KM from Cuddalore Town. There is connecting rail route is also available between Cuddalore and Vridhachalam. Nearest Railway station is Tiruppapuliyur ( Cuddalore )
Road : Road transport is very good in Cuddalore District. National highways NH45 , NH45A are running through Cuddalore. Satte Highways 32 & 36 are also running through Cuddalore District. On road Cuddalore is located 200Km From state head quarters. Nearst Bustand is Cuddalore.