Tengapatnam was the southern-most VOC settlement on the Malabar Coast. It was situated in the area of Travancore, south of today's Trivandrum. The VOC established a settlement here in order to prevent other European companies entering Malabar from the south. Contracts were sealed with the rajah, agreeing that the pepper grown in the region could only be supplied to the VOC. Of course this was not always the case. For this reason Tengapatnam also functioned as a guard post to combat smuggling.