Palakkad is a small town on the lower edges of the Sahyadri ranges of the Western Ghats, with patches of dense forests and crisscrossed with rivers. And it is a treasure land for the lovers of termite-smitten annals of history. Because in the heart of this sleepy town stands the Tipu’s Fort, also known as the Palakkad fort.
The old granite and well preserved fort, which situated in the very heart of Palakkad town, is built by Hyder Ali of Mysore in 1766. The sober majesty of the laterite walls of the fort reminds one of the old tales of valour and courage.
The fort was built by Hyder Ali (1717 – 1782), the emperor of Mysore province, supposedly to facilitate communication between both sides of the Western Ghats, (Coimbatore and the West Coast). He had captured the Malabar and Kochi regions, which come under the West Coast area. His son Tipu Sultan (1750 – 1799) a warrior as well as a linguist was known as the ‘Lion of Mysore’. Tipu waged a series of wars against the British colonial rule.
In 1784, after an eleven-day seige, the fort was captured by the British under Colonel Fullerton. Though it later fell into the hands of the troops of the Kozhikode Zamorin, it was recaptured by the British in 1790. Tipu Sultan lost his life in 1799 in an encounter with the British and the fort later came to be known in his name.
Palakkad was only a taluk of old Malabar district of Madras presidency till the linguistic reorganization of the States in 1956. The fort, one of the major attractions of Palakkad district now houses some government offices and a sub jail.
Kottamaithanam, west of the fort, is very famous. It is said that it was here Tippu’s cavalry camped. This maithanam is used for conducting exhibitions and mammoth meetings. Nearby the fort, there is a children’s park and an open air stadium called ‘Rappadi’.
- Nearest railway station: Palakkad about 5 km.
- Nearest airports: Coimbatore about 55km in Tamilnadu State; Cochin International Airport, about 140 km towards south.