Ancient structures and formations are a great source of history in the present world. If there can be anything that is still standing tall with its charm it is the structures and formations from the days gone long back. These are the biggest sources to know more and more about the various rules as well as their power politics. And the Palakkad Fort in Kerala is no exception. This is a fort that has seen multiple changes of powers. Also the change of powers has also shaped the way this fort was fortified in the later times as well.
If you are someone who takes interest in knowing the history of a certain location then visiting this fort will be an exciting activity for you. Located on the foothills this beautiful fort looks majestic in its appearance. Not just that it also offers a gorgeous view of the whole area as well. When you are in Palakkad or in Kerala make sure you include the Palakkad Fort in your itinerary. Keep on reading this article as I will mention everything that you need to know about this fort. It will be a helpful read for you if you are planning a trip to this location.
Location of Palakkad Fort: Palakkad- Koduvayur, Meenakshipuram Highway, Kenathuparambu, Kunathurmedu, Chittur-Thathamangalam, Palakkad, Kerala
Palakkad Fort timings: The Palakkad Fort opening time is 8 am and closes at 5:30 pm on all days.
Palakkad Fort entry fee: There is no entry fee for Palakkad Fort. However for still cameras there is an additional charge of Rs. 20 and for video cameras the charge is Rs. 50.
How to reach Palakkad Fort
The nearest airport to reach Palakkad Fort is Coimbatore airport that is located at a distance of 55 km. And the nearest international airport is Cochin International Airport that you can opt for as well. You will get flights from almost all major cities. The Cochin International airport is located 140 km away from the fort.
If you are travelling by train the nearest railway station is the Palakkad Railway station. The station is only 5 km away from the fort.
The Palakkad fort is located at a convenient location. You can reach here by driving your own vehicle or you can also hire a car as well. From Thrissur it is 63 km away, from Kozhikode it is 127 km and from Athirappilly it is 108 km away.
Best time to visit Palakkad Fort
The months between November to March is the ideal time to visit here. During these months the weather remains mostly pleasant and therefore it gets comfortable for all kinds of tourist activities. You can explore the place well if you are visiting around this time. Also this time there is no rainfall here, which makes it even more convenient to visit. Palakkad is one of the regions that experiences light rain throughout the year. However the months from June to October are months of heavy rainfall. The rainfall may dampen your travel spirits totally so you can avoid visiting around that time.
Also the summer months are not very comfortable here as the temperature rises quite a bit during the summers. Especially during peak summer months of April and May the temperature is very high. These are the hottest months here and it would be uncomfortable to visit here in the scorching heat. So plan your trip accordingly.
Overview of Palakkad Fort
The Palakkad Fort is basically an 18th century military base in Palakkad. It is undoubtedly one of the best preserved forts and is one of the popular forts in Kerala as well as in Palakkad. What makes this fort even more special is the fact that this fort is a witness to multiple changes of powers. There had been a chain of capturing and recapturing of this fort. And through everything the fort could still retain its charm. Also there had been multiple fortifications of this fort as well during various rules. You can see a mix of French, European as well as medieval style of architecture here. With high walls and beautiful gardens the fort is picturesque. Also the fact that it holds on to itself a long history of change of power makes it alluring for the visitors.
This fort in itself is an attractive historical spot. Along with that the temple premise also houses multiple smaller structures. For history buffs this will be one of the most interesting spots to explore. This magnificent structure consists of granite stones and is a brilliant example of strong architecture. With mosque, temple, gardens, auditoriums inside the fort premise it is a great location to explore for visitors in Palakkad.
Palakkad Fort History
According to history, the existence of the Palakkad Fort goes back to ancient times. However if you are wondering who built Palakkad Fort, then Hyder Ali the emperor of Mysore is the one who rebuilt the present structure of this fort in 1766. At first the king of Palakkad, Paliyath Achchan was a part of the Zamorin. Later he moved away from the rule during the beginning of 18th century. Also he formed an independent state for himself as well. But the Zamorins attacked him in 1757. It was then that he approached Hyder Ali, and Hyder Ali took over Palghat and then also took over Palakkad Fort as well. And from then, the Palakkad Fort remained in the control of Mysore Sultans.
Moreover later in 1768 the fort came under British rule. Colonel Wood captured the fort from Haider Ali in 1768 and continued fortification. However after some time again Hyder Ali recaptured the fort. In 1783 Colonel Fullarton again recaptured this fort the next year itself. Basically there was a power game following the capture and recapture of the fort. The fort also fell into the control of Zamorins as well. But Colonel Stuart finally captured the fort. During the 1900 this fort became a taluk office.
Architecture of Palakkad Fort
Located at the foothills of the Sahyadri range this is a picturesque fort spreading across 60, 702 sq meters. One of the most attractive parts of this fort is the stunning architecture here. A very strong influence as well as finest skills of French artisans is noticed here. The shape of this fort is a square. Furthermore there are walls and bastions of square shapes as well. Earlier the entrance of this fort had a drawbridge. However at present there is a permanent doorway at the place of that. At the entrance there is an L Shaped screen wall. The purpose of this wall was to safeguard the fort from any sorts of attacks. In each of the corners there are bastions. Everything was done to safeguard and protect the doorway from external attacks.
On the main gate there is a stucco design very similar to that of temples. It is again one of the most unique features of this fort. After crossing the first doorway there is a second doorway here as well. From there the way will lead you to the citadel and the passage next to it leads to a sub jail.
At present this is a popular tourist destination. There is a large ground, “Kota Maidanam” in between this fort and the Palakkad Town Hall. Presently the ground is a space for Cricket Matches, Public Meetings and Exhibitions. Also there is an open air auditorium here, “Rappadi”. Currently the Archeological Survey of India looks after the maintenance and preservation of this place. A children’s park by the name “Vatika” is also present here within the fort premise.
A shrine of Lord Hanuman known as the Anjaneya Swamy Temple is also located inside the premises of this fort. On the eastern entrance of this fort the carving of Lord Anjaneya is there on the inner walls of the fort. Alongside there is an idol of Lord Anjaneya and according to stories Tipu Sultan and his troops used to worship him for protection from enemies. The fort is also popular as the Tipu Sultan Fort in Kerala.
Nearby places to visit from the Palakkad Fort
Palakkad Fort to Malampuzha Dam distance is about 10 km and it is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Palakkad. This is a dam on Malampuzha River that is a popular picnic spot. From here you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire terrain. There is the Malampuzha Gardens as well, which is yet another spot you can explore here.
Silent Valley National Park
This national park is located 80 km away from the Palakkad fort and is one of the most beautiful sites here. Moreover this park is a home to varied flora and fauna including some threatened species as well. This can be a good place to visit for nature and animal lovers.
This is basically a natural pass connecting the coastal plains of Kerala with the Western Ghats. Located in between the Nilgiri Hills and Anaimalai Hills, this gap is 30 km wide. It is a popular spot for adventure lovers as well as trekkers. The view is magnificent from this location so you can surely visit here.
Located at a distance of 15 km from the Palakkad fort, this one is a beautiful hill station. Mainly for the tea and coffee cultivation here this hill station is popular. You can enjoy a spectacular view of the hills and valleys from here. It is again a popular spot for trekking and hiking enthusiasts.
This is one such fort in Kerala that reflects the history of the land so well. It would surely be very intriguing to learn about the location by witnessing this magnificent structure. It is one of the most popular structures in Kerala. And there are reasons behind that too. Whenever you are visiting Kerala make sure you include this location in your list of must visit places. The Palakkad fort will surely leave you in awe with its architectural brilliance. And there is indeed a lot to explore here. So when are you planning a trip to this location? Let me know if this article on this fort is helpful for you in planning a trip to this spot.