About 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) to the northeast of Kanyakumari is the granite Vattakottai Fort. It was built in the 18th century as a coastal defence-fortification and barracks in the erstwhile Travancore kingdom.Vattakottai Fort commands a picturesque view of both the sea on the one side, and the hills (Western Ghats) on the other. Another interesting feature near the site is a beach of black sands.Today this fort is maintained by Indian archaeological department and has become a tourist spot.