Historical Forts in Kerala

Historical & Heritage

Forts in Kerala

Kerala or ‘God’s own country’ is abundantly blessed with breathtaking scenic beauty but this beautiful place is actually much more than that. The numerous forts in Kerala are evidence of the glorious historical past of the state. These relics attract tourists from all over the world and allow tourists to travel back in time and experience all the grandeur.

Here is the list of 12 Historical Forts in Kerala

1. Palakkad Fort, Palakkad

Palakkad Fort, also known as ‘Tipu’s Fort’ or sometimes ‘Hanuman Kotta’ is one of the best-preserved forts in Kerala, maintained by the archaeological survey of India. According to legends, there existed another fort on the same spot, before the construction of the Palakkad Fort. A small bridge like structure leads to the entrance of the fort, basically a granite structure, which is surrounded by a moat. Palakkad Fort offers amazing panoramic views of the Palakkad town.

Where: Around 70kms north-east of Thrissur.
Entry fees: No entry fees

2. Bekal Fort, Bekal

Established in the 17th Century by Shivappa Nayaka of Nagar, the Bekal Fort is the largest fort in Kerala and is spread over 40 acres of land. History has it that Tipu Sultan’s father, Haider Ali took over this fort in 1763, but was eventually seized by the British in 1792. This popular tourist destination is managed by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) and has an adjoining beach, where one can witness breath-taking sunsets. 

Where: Kasaragod, Kerala
Entry fees: INR 5 for Indians and SAARC nationals and INR 100 for foreign nationals.

3. Pallipuram Fort, Kochi

Pallipuram Fort is the oldest existing European fort in India, built way back in 1503. Locally, this fort is known as Ayikkotta or Alikotta. The ruins of this hexagonal fort still lie unprotected between thick vegetation. 

Where: Vypin,Kochi
Entry fees: No fees

4. Thalassery Fort, Thalaserry-tellicherry

Thalassery was one of the most important trading centers in Kerala, and the East India Company,during their reign, was compelled to establish a strong hold on the Malabar coast and hence they built the Thalassery or sometimes known as Tellicherry fort. It is a square fort with high walls and intricately carved doors. This fort also has a secret tunnel leading to the sea.

Where: Pilakool,Thalassery,Kerala
Entry fees: No entry fees

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5. St Angelo Fort, Kannur

Built in the 16th century by Dom Francisco De Almeida, St. Angelo Fort, or Kannur Fort offers mesmerising views of the Arabian Sea. It is a huge fort made of laterite stones and it overlooks the harbour. According to legends, this fort was built by the Portuguese with the official permission from Ali Rajas. Located in the Kannur Cantonment area, it is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Where: 3 kms from Kannur City
Entry fees: No entry fee

6. Chandragiri Fort, Bekal

3.7 /5

Chandragiri Fort, located in Kasaragod, was built in the 17th century by Sivappa Naik of Bednapore and stands tall at 46meters above sea level. The fort is spread over seven acres of land and shares its boundary with the Payaswini River. Owing to the lack of maintenance, the fort is slowly losing its grandeur. Chandragiri Fort is a part of a series of forts constructed by Shivappa Nayaka.

Where: Kasaragod,Kerala
Entry fees: INR 100 for Adults and INR 20 for children

7. Anjengo Fort, Varkala

Anchuthengu or Anjengo Fort was built in the 17th century by the East India Company and served as the first permanent imperial post of the British on the Malabar Coast. There is a beach adjacent to the fort, which is a favourite among tourists. There are a lot of attractions near the Anchuthengu fort like the birthplace of Kumaran Asan, a popular Malayali poet, and a few famous temple of Kerala like Sree Bala Subrahmanya Swami Kshethram.

Where: 36 Kms away to the northern side of Thiruvananthapuram 
Entry fees: No entry fees.

8. Chendamangalam Fort

This fort is around 450 years old and is one of the oldest forts in India. It has a lot of historical items on display for the public and is surrounded by lush greenery. There are a few churches and mosques nearby as well.

Where: Kochi
Entry fees: INR50

9. East Fort

East Fort, located in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram gets its name from the Eastern Entrance of the Fort. The fort was built to guard the city. Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple is located in the heart of the fort along with a few other attractions like Ganesha Temple, Gandhi Park and Kuthiramalika Palace museum. 

Where:  Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Entry fees: INR150(Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple)

10. Hosdurg Fort, Kasargod

Built by Somashekara Nayaka from the Keladi Nayaka dynasty, this roundish fort is actually an old Shiva Temple popularly known as Karpureshwara Temple. The Hosdurg fort was used as a crematorium and burial ground in the past. The Nityananda Ashram lies in the south western part of the fort and Sri Lakshmi Venkataramana Temple lies to the south-east.

Where: Hosdurg, Kanhangad, Kerala
Entry fees: INR5

11. Kodungallur Fort

Kodungallur Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1523 and was previously known as Cranganore Fort or Kottappuram Fort. Kottappuram literally means ‘the place around a fort’. Since this fort was found in ruins, the Archaeological Survey of India found one pillar and is preserving it for public property. 

Where: Thrissur District
Entry fees: No entry fees

12. Nedumkotta Fort

Nedumkotta Fort was built by the Dharma Raja Karthika Thirunal, King of Travancore. This fort was built as a precautionary measure against the constant attacks from the Northern Kingdoms of Kozhikode. 

Where: Thrissur
Entry fees: INR5

Forts are a testimony to the glorious past associated with a place and these forts in Kerala surely tell stories through their walls. Although these forts in Kerala are in complete ruins today, they still continue to intrigue tourists with their magnificence.

This post was published by Shreyasee Deb

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