History of Kunchan Smarakam Fort
Kunchan Smarakam Fort is dedicated to the Kunchan Nambiar who was a famous Malayalam poet. He is credited with inventing the popular dance form of Kerala - Ottamthullal. The word 'Smarakam' has been derived from Sanskrit which means 'memorial.' The birth place of Kunchan Nambiar is popularly known as Killikurissi Mangalam. The poet had spent his early years at Kudamaloor and his youth at Ambalappuzha. Some scholars believe that Kunchan Nambiar and Sanskrit poet Rama Panivada were same. Kunchan Nambiar had served at the court of Martanda Varma in 1748. However, later he shifted to the court of Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma.
Kunjan Nambiar bears the honour of creating and organizing Thullal as a genre of poetry in Malayalam and as a dance form. According to legend once during a temple festival, Kunjan Nambiar was playing a drum for a Chaakiaar. While playing the drum he made a mistake, which annoyed Chaakiaar. He publicly dejected him and Kunjan Nambiar left the place. The following day when the same Chaakiaar was performing, Nambiar began to sing and dance. Within few minutes Nambiar's antics drew the attention of the audience thus leaving the Chaakiaar without spectators. Kunchan Nambiar represented the golden age of Malayalam literature. Kunchan Smarakam is regarded as a national monument today. It is now governed by a committee appointed by the Government.
Kunchan Smarakam Fort is thus regarded as an important historical monument of Kerala that serves as a training institute teaching various art forms that have been devised by the renowned poet. The institution provides an insight into the life and academic excellence of the poet. The fort is an example of cultural, literature and artistic growth of the state. A detailed library and an auditorium is also a part of the Smarakam.
Kunchan Smarakam Fort is easily accessible by rail, road and air. The nearest airport is Coimbatore International Airport, about 55 km from the place. The monument is well connected by the network of road. Hence, it is easily accessible by road too. The nearest railway station is at Palghat Railway Station, about 12 km away.