(Last Updated on : 25/03/2016)
Kunchan Nambiar. is one of the famous forts of Kerala
. It is located in Palakkad
District and serves as an important tourist spot of the state. The fort has been built by Hyder Ali
in 1766. The fort remained under the rule of Tipu Sultan
hence it is also known as Tipu's Fort. The fort has an important in the history of Kerala. Palakkad Fort is made of old granite fort and covers an area of about 60702.84 sq. The fort is renowned for its architectural grandeur and majestic beauty. It also speaks about the rich cultural heritage of Kerala. Surrounded by scenic beauty and natural environment, Palakkad Fort depicts the workmanship of French engineers. Presently the fort is operational as a Taluk Office and is being preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India
. A children's park has been constructed just outside the fort. This has heightened its value as an important tourist attraction in Kerala.
History of Palakkad Fort
According to the history the King of Palakkad Achchan was earlier a part of the Zamorin. However, gradually he broke all ties from the rule of the Zamorins. He built a completely independent state for himself and ruled till the beginning of the 18th century. The king asked for help from Hyder Ali when the Zamorins attacked him. Hyder Ali was aware of the strategic importance of Palgha hence he strategically took over Palakkad and conquered the Palakkad Fort too. Since then, the place has always remained under the control of Sultans of Mysore or the British. The fort was also used as the military headquarters by Hyder Ali.
Palakkad Fort has witnessed the rule of many mighty rulers and has been under the patronage of many kingdoms. It was conquered by Colonel Wood in the year 1768 but it was recaptured by Hyder Ali within a few months time. The fort was also captured by Colonel Fullarton in 1783 but he soon abandoned it. Later, the Zamorin troops captured it. In1790, under the leadership of Colonel Stuart the British took control of the Palakkad Fort. They renovated it and used it as the base for their operations in this part of Kerala. The Fort was continually garrisoned till the middle of nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, the Fort was converted into a Taluk office.
Structure of Palakkad Fort
Palakkad Fort stands as a unique piece of architecture. The fort is square in shape. It has huge walls and strong bastions in all four corners as well in the middle. The fort was earlier entered through a draw bridge which was later replaced by a permanent one. The 'Kotta maidanam' is a huge spacious ground that was earlier used as the stable for the steeds and elephants. These once formed an important part of Tippu Sultan's massive army. Presently, the ground is being used for sporting activities, such as local cricket matches, and public meetings. Inside the fort there is a small Anjaneya Temple, dedicated to Lord Hanuman
. There is also an open air auditorium called 'Rappadi,' a sub-jail and a martyr's column within the premises of the fort.
The Palakkad Fort is easily accessible by road, rail and air. Palakkad is well networked with roads. Reaching Palakkad Fort by road, from nearby districts is most convenient. Private transport like taxies is readily available. Peelamedu Airport in Coimbatore is the nearest airport to the fort. The nearest railway station of the fort is the Palghat station.