Saturday, April 13, 2024

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Palakkad (Palghat) Fort

Place : Palakkad, Palakkad (Palghat)  District, Kerala
Best Season : Throughout the year  
Timings : 10 am to 5pm
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Palakkad (Palghat) Fort or Tippu's Fort is an imposing fort situated in an area of 15 acres, on the western border of Palakkad town, in the state of Kerala. A protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India, this is one of the best preserved forts in Kerala. 

Palakkad Fort-Tippu's Fort has great historical importance, and also represents the rich cultural heritage of Kerala. The Fort narrates the history of Mysore invasion and the advent of the British to the region. History says that when the local ruler of Palakkad declared independence from the Zamorins of Calicut (Kozhikode), the Zamorins threatened an invasion to restore their lost possession. So the local ruler sought the help of the King of Mysore province (now a part of Karnataka state) against the Zamorin's invasion. Hyder Ali was deputed to help him and later all these areas came under his control. Hyder Ali  in 1766 AD built a fort with the help of French engineers in Palakkad. This was to facilitate Hyder's communication between both sides of the Western Ghats - Coimbatore and the West Coast which were by then under his control. 

The fort was also used as the military headquarters by Hyder Ali. In 1768, the British under Colonel Wood captured it from Hyder Ali and in that war the fort was damaged. But a few months later it was re-captured by Hyder Ali and it was reconstructed on a solid foundation. The British under Colonel Fullarton again re-captured it in 1783. When the British left, it fell into the hands of the Zamorins. Taking advantage of this, Tippu Sulthan's (Hyder Ali's Son) soldier's returned to capture the Fort. Due to a delay in the arrival of help dispatched by Colonel Fullerton, the Zamorin abandoned the Fort and the fort came under Tippu's control.  In 1790, the British under Colonel Stuart captured the fort again and it was used as a base for the final onslaught on Srirangapatnam. They renovated the Fort in European style.

The fort is square in shape, with massive walls and strong bastions in all four corners and in the middle. The entrance was through a draw bridge which was later replaced by a permanent one. The spacious ground surrounding the fort known as 'Kotta maidanam', which had once served as a stable for the elephants and horses of Tipu's Army, is now a place for public meetings, local get together, circus and other exhibitions. An open air auditorium called 'Rappadi', a Hanuman (the monkey god) temple which is believed to be as old as the fort, a sub-jail and a martyr's column are also located within the fort premises. There is also children's park very near to it. Tourists on their way to Malampuzha and Nelliampathy find this fort an attractive place to visit. 

Timing & Entry

Open from 9.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M. 
Free Entry. Camera fee is Rs. 20/- and for video camera it is Rs. 50/-