Colachel is a municipal town that lies on the Malabar Coast and is about 20 km from the town of Kanyakumari. Not many people are aware of the town of Colachel which is a pity since the place has been witness to the famous Battle of Colachel. The battle was fought on the grounds of Colachel in 1741, and has gone down in the history of India as being the only time that an Indian kingdom defeated the naval forces of a European country.
A Dutch fleet landed in the area around Colachel with the intention of looting the place. MarthandaVarma, the ruler of Travancore defeated the Dutch forces so bad that they could never colonize any other part of India. Victory in this battle was a big achievement for the army of a small kingdom. In fact, many Dutch soldiers were also captured. Among these captured soldiers was Admiral D’lennoy who later became the Senior Admiral in the army of MarthandaVarma and served the king for 20 long years.