Palakkad Fort

Palakkad Fort: Discovering Kerala’s Military Legacy (2024)

Palakkad Fort, a historical gem nestled in the heart of Kerala, beckons visitors with its rich heritage and architectural splendour. Constructed in the 18th century by Hyder Ali of Mysore, the fort is a testament to the region’s vibrant past. Explore the corridors of time as you wander through the well-preserved bastions and walls.

Delving into historical destinations has always fascinated me, and India is a treasure trove of ancient sites with profound significance. Palakkad Fort, nestled in the charming town of Palakkad, is an example of this rich historical legacy. Its beauty lies in its age-old charm and rustic allure, drawing visitors into a bygone era.

My visit to Palakkad Fort was serendipitous, a delightful accident that allowed me to stumble upon this hidden gem. I am grateful for the unexpected discovery of this beautiful, old fortress, adding another layer to my exploration of India’s captivating history.

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About Palakkad Fort

Reconstructed under the reign of Mysore Emperor Hyder Ali in 1766, the Palakkad Fort stands as a venerable testament to history in Palakkad, Kerala, India. Despite the lack of precise information on its original construction date, the fort underwent a significant transformation under the leadership of Hyder Ali, the Sultan and de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore during the mid-18th century.

Within the fort complex, notable features include the Palakkad Special Sub Jail, a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, and the picturesque Vatika Shilavatika garden. The exterior boasts a park on one side, complemented by the fort’s encirclement by a water body. Maintained with meticulous care by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Palakkad Fort stands out as one of the most aesthetically pleasing spots in Palakkad.

For those seeking a delightful outing, the fort provides a charming ambience. Plan your visit during the winter season, between November and March, to enjoy pleasant weather. The fort welcomes visitors from 8 AM to 6 PM daily, offering a perfect window to explore its historical grandeur and natural surroundings.

Palakkad Fort: Discovering Kerala's Military Legacy (2024)
The outer wall of Palakkad Fort

History of Palakkad Fort

While the exact origins of the fort’s construction remain elusive, local lore suggests that it may have been initiated by the regional ruler Palakkad Achchan, a tributary of the Zamorin, the monarch of the Kingdom of Kozhikode. The Zamorin asserted independence before the 18th century dawned, facing potential threats that led him to seek assistance from Hyder Ali.

Palakkad Fort

In a strategic move, Hyder Ali seized control of Palghat, placing the fort under the dominion of the Mysore Sultans or the British. The fort’s ownership subsequently shifted hands between these powers, marking a historical episode where alliances and strategic maneuvers were pivotal in shaping its destiny.

How to Get to Palakkad and Palakkad Fort?

  • By Air – The nearest airport is in Kochi (Cochin), approximately 140 kilometres from Palakkad. Optimal travel involves flying into Cochin and taking a local taxi from the airport to Palakkad.
  • By Public Transport – Palakkad boasts two railway stations, one within the city (3 kilometres from the fort) and another at Palakkad junction (6 kilometres from the fort). For the latest train information, refer to the IRCTC website.
  • By Road – The journey from Bangalore to Palakkad spans around 415 kilometres and takes approximately 8 hours. If travelling by road, Coimbatore is the nearest city to Palakkad, conveniently located between Bangalore and Palakkad.

Is Palakkad Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

I strongly recommend not exploring this location solo. My friend and I visited together, ensuring a safer experience in what can be an isolated area. Having a companion when visiting is advisable due to the potential isolation. If you go alone, exercise caution, particularly in the evenings.

If you’re new to solo travel or contemplating embarking on solo adventures with lingering questions, check out the frequently asked questions about solo travel for valuable insights.

Palakkad Fort

Closing Notes

Palakkad Fort is one of the most enchanting forts I’ve enjoyed exploring. Steeped in history, this fortress echoes with captivating stories waiting to be discovered. The allure of Palakkad Fort is undeniable, making it a must-visit destination when in Palakkad.

The palpable sense of history creates a unique and immersive experience as you wander through its ancient corridors. The architectural marvels and well-preserved structures transport you to bygone eras, connecting you with the region’s rich culture.

Forts in India
Rayadurga Fort (Andhra Pradesh)
Red Fort (Delhi)
Zorawar Fort (Ladakh)
Bangalore Fort (Karnataka)
Chitradurga Fort (Karnataka)
Gudibande Fort (Karnataka)
Ballalarayana Durga Fort (Karnataka)
Channarayana Durga Fort (Karnataka)
Panhala Fort (Maharashtra)
Sinhagad Fort (Maharashtra)
Palakkad Fort (Kerala)
Rayakottai Fort (Tamil Nadu)
Gingee/Senji Fort (Tamil Nadu)
Golconda Fort (Telangana)
Rani Durgavati Fort (Madhya Pradesh)

I wholeheartedly recommend including Palakkad Fort in your itinerary when exploring Palakkad. The aesthetic charm, coupled with the wealth of historical narratives, ensures an unforgettable visit. Embrace the opportunity to delve into the past and witness the enduring legacy of Palakkad Fort, a true gem in Kerala’s cultural heritage.

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Palakkad Fort: Discovering Kerala's Military Legacy (2024)
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