Palakkad is a major town of Kerala which is located at the base of the Western Ghats near the famous Palghat gap. It is also acts as a gateway to Kerala. The town abounds in rivers most of which are small and medium tributaries of River Bharathapuzha. It is believed that the name of the town is derived from the combination of the words Pala and Kadu which in Malayalam means a local tree and forest respectively.
Palakkad is a well known tourist destination of Kerala and offers numerous natural and manmade places of interest to explore. There are several beautiful dams built across its various rivers and the Malampuzha Dam, which is the largest dam and reservoir of Kerala, is located at a distance of just 8 kms from the town. Other interesting places include the Palakkad Fort, which was constructed by Hyder Ali in 1766, as well as wildlife sanctuaries like Silent Valley Park, Attapady hills and Parambikulam.
Moreover, people also like to spend time in various gardens and picnic spots built in the vicinity of the dams which are ideal for enjoying a picnic with family and friends. There is also a Fantasy park where adults and children can enjoy various rides and computer games.
Palakkad is well connected to major towns by various means of transportation. The nearest international airport of Coimbatore is located only at a distance of 62 kms from the town. In addition, the town has well connected railway network and a well maintained network of local buses which play to almost all major cities in the vicinity.
Famously known as the Tipu Fort, Palakkad Fort, is situated right in the centre of Palakkad and is considered one of most well-preserved tourist sites in Kerala. Tucked away in the foothills of the majestic Sahayadri mountain range, the fort is a classical beauty situated among dense green forests and serpentine, cascading rivers cutting among the woods.
Having served as a military base in the past, the fort is now under the protection of Archaeological Survey of India. It was built by Hyder Ali of Mysore in 1766 and later taken over and modified by the British in 1790. It is named after Hyder Ali’s son, the infamous Tipu Sultan. The fort holds a special place in the hearts of history aficionados and cultural buffs because of its importance in the history of the subcontinent and the struggle for India’s independence.
Spread over a massive 60,702 square meters, the grounds are an awe-inspiring sight to behold. The fort is also famous among architecture students because of its unique amalgamation of French craftsmanship and traditional Indian style.
The grounds of the fort served as a stable of horses and elephants of Tipu Sultan’s army in the bygone days and is now known as Kota Maidanam. Nowadays, it hosts public events like cricket matches, exhibitions, and gatherings. The huge grounds are an attractive spot for a picnic and taking strolls in the area.
The grounds also host a museum of Archaeology which is a tourist hotbed and attracts hundreds of visitors every year. The museum showcases beautiful photographs of the fort in the before and after fashion. It is quite fascinating to watch the transformation of the place from a forgotten, dilapidated building to its present state bustling with visitors and showcasing gorgeous French architecture.
The work done by ASI over the Palakkad fort is impressive in its own right and makes one stare around the place in wonder. A must visit place for anyone who is interested in architecture, history, and restoration of old buildings.
The fort is surrounded by a beautiful moat that adds to the mystical quality of the place. Earlier, a drawbridge connected the fort to main grounds, but it has now been replaced by a permanent bridge. The jogging tracks running along the moat are extremely popular among tourists and locals for evening and morning runs.
The square-shaped fort with its laterite walls is a sight to behold in itself and because of its beautifully landscaped structure, it is an ideal place for you enjoy a picnic with your friends and family.