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Top Historical Forts in Kerala, India

A crown jewel for popularizing Indian Tourism, Kerala is a place brimming with divinity in any direction you set your gaze. No wonder it is called ‘God’s own country’; you can feel the presence of The Divine in Kerala. Enveloped with lush greenery at one side and decorated with golden beaches at other, Kerala offers unparalleled beauty to the visitors. Apart from the famous backwaters, Kerala is also known for its centuries-old forts that still grace the landscape of Kerala. Kerala has been the trading center between Europe and India during colonial era and many European colonies built legendary forts in and around Kerala.

Top Forts in Kerala

Bekal Fort in Kasaragod

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Bekal Fort in Kerala

Spreading over 40 acres, Bekal Fort is the one of the largest and well preserved forts in Kerala. Constructed almost 400 years ago in 1650 AD, the Bekal Fort lies on the shore and almost three fourths of its external area is soaked and the waves repeatedly hit the fort. It is renowned for its superb and hearty structure made up of laterite. This makes Bekal fort perfect place to view the enchanting sunset into the gorgeous Arabian Sea. Lots of tourists come here to discover and experience the lost glory of the past dynasties who ruled this fort for centuries, making Bekal Fort one of the popular tourist attractions in Kerala.

How to Reach Bekal Fort:

By Air: You can reach the Bekal by flight, with the nearest airport from Kasaragod is at Mangalore, which is about 50 km away.
By Rail: Bekal can be reached easily by rail as the city has a railway station, which is linked to several important towns in the state as well as other parts of the country.

Chendamangalam Synagogue

Photo Credit- nagarjun

Chendamangalam Fort in Kerala

Located in a small town in Ernakulam district of Cochin, Chendamangalam Fort is a 450 years old architecture marvel which is surrounded by vast expanses of lush green landscape and small hillocks with and three rivers flowing nearby. The fort houses some of the rare artifacts, relics and historical documents that tell the tales of this fort. A temple, a mosque, and a church situated in the close proximity of the fort are a historic example of religious harmony prevalent in the region. In April, on the eve of the harvest festival Vishu, the annual fair called Mattachanda is organized nearby.

How to reach Chendamangalam Fort:

By Air – Cochin International Airport (Nedumbassery Airport) in Cochin is the nearest airport to Chendamangalam Fort.
By Rail –The nearest railway station is Ernakulam junction. From here, you can board a train to almost all major cities of India.

Pallipuram Fort in Kochi

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Pallipuram Fort Kerala

Built by the Portuguese in 1503, Pallipuram Fort is located in the Ernakulam district of Kerala and is one of the few surviving European forts in India. Situated in the northern edge of the Vypeen Island, the fort is in a hexagonal shape and is one of the heritage sites at Kochi. The Dutch captured the fort in 1661 and sold it to the State of Travancore in 1789. The fort is constructed using laterite, chunam, and wood and the walls are thickly plastered using mortar. Cellar inside the fort was used to store gun powder. The tourists, in order to reach Pallipuram Fort, can avail of the ferry service operating from Ernakulam and Kochi to Vypeen.

How to reach Pallipuaram Fort:

By Air: The nearest Airport to Pallipuram Fort is Cochin International Airport is located in Ernakulam District, 26 km away from Pallipuram
By Rail: Ernakulam district has two important railway stations- Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Terminus.

Palakkad Fort in Kerala

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Palakkad Fort in Kerala

Also known as Tipu Sultan fort, Palakkad fort remains one of the best preserved forts in Kerala and is today a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India. The fort was built by Hyder Ali (1717 – 1782), the emperor of Mysore province. His son, Tipu Sultan, known as the Tiger of Mysore, waged series of wars against the British colonial rule and became a nuisance for the East India Company. Tipu Sultan lost his life in 1799 in an encounter with the British and the fort later came to be known in his name. There is also a Palakkad Special Sub Jail is also located within the fort.

How To Reach Palakkad Fort:

By Air: Coimbatore International Airport of Tamil Naidu State is the nearest airport located to Palakkad city.
By Rail: Palakkad Junction and Palakkad Town Railway Station are two stations located in Palakkad town. Palakkad Fort is about 5 km from Palakkad Junction.

St. Angelo Fort  in Kerala

Photo Credit- Paul Varuni

St. Angelo Fort , Kerala

Located on the 3km on outskirts of the Kannur city, St. Angelo fort is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India and offers a stunning view of the Moppila Bay and Dharmadom Island. It was constructed by the first Portuguese viceroy in India, Don Francesco de Almeida in the year 1505. The fort is an architectural marvel, with its massive triangular design and it adjoining bastions. This fort remains the classic example of Portuguese architecture, though modernization throughout the time makes it more of a fusion of various European architectural styles. Recently, a huge cache of cannon balls was unearthed at the 510-year-old fort.

How to Reach St. Angelo Fort:

By Air: The nearest airport to St. Angelo’s Fort is Karipur International Airport, located at Kozhikode, which is 93km away from the fort.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is the Kannur Railway Station, which is located about 3 km from the fort.

Kodungallur  Fort in Kerala

Photo Credit- Challiyan

Cranganore Fort in Kerala

Constructed by the Portuguese in 1523 AD, Cranganore Fort (also known as Kodungallur Fort) is located in Thrissur district of Kerala. This fort been a site of many battles and has changed hands from Portuguese to Dutch to the legendary Tipu Sultan. After annexing the fort from the Dutch one last time, Tipu Sultan demolished it. The remains of the fort show that the original fort wall was staggering 18 feet in thickness. Archeological Department of Travancore took a pillar from this fort ruins and conserved it as a public property. The fort is about 2 km from the town of Kodungallur.

How to Reach Cranganore Fort:

By Air: Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport to the Kodungallur city located about 58 km.
By Rail: Thrissur Railway Station is one of the important railway head in South India and is well connected to the cities of Kerala as well as with other cities of India.

Chandragiri Fort in Kerala

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Chandragiri Fort, Kerala

Built in the 17th century by Sivappa Nayak of Bedanore, Chandragiri Fort is located in Kasargod district of Kerala. Situated on the bank of a river, this large square-shaped fort is famous for its architectural beauty and rich collection of well-maintained articles which give tourists a chance to see the glory of yesteryears. An architectural marvel, the fort is now in ruins and is a famous attraction in the neighborhood of the beach. According to the legends, Chandragiri was once upon a time the capital city of the glorious Vijayanagara Empire and is linked with the Aravidu dynasty.

How to Reach Chandragiri Fort:

By Air– Mangalore International Airport is the nearest airport to the Kasaragod town just 50 km away.
By Train– Kasaragod has a railway station which is well connected by the other railway network of the state.

East Fort in Trivandrum

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East Fort in Kerala

Situated at the heart of city of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, The East Fort is an important part of the history of Kerala. East Fort has several magnificent palaces, palatial houses, and Brahmin houses within itself. A jewel in the historic Travancore kingdom, East Fort encloses the majestic Padmanabha Swamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Built in traditional Kerala and Dravidian style, the construction of this seven-storied temple is a must to see. It is said that there were huge metal arches on this entrance to the Fort which was adorned with the symbol of a conch as it was the emblem of the royal family of Travancore.

How to Reach East Fort:

By Air Trivandrum International Airport is located about 4 km from the fort.
By Train– Nearest Railhead is Trivandrum Central Railway Station which is well connected with other railway lines of the state and rest of India.

Hosdurg Fort in Kerala

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Hosdurg Fort, Kerala

Situated in Kanhangad, Hosdurg Fort is an impressive fort with its round bastian, looks imposing from a distance. It was built by Somashekara Nayak of Ikkeri dynasty. Another important tourist attraction near the fort is NithyAnandashram, an internationally recognized spiritual centre with 45 caves. It is believed that this fort is actually an old Shiva temple popularly known as Karpureshwara temple. However, with the passage of time, the fort is turned into ruins with few structures intact within the fort.

How to Reach Hosdurg Fort:

By Air– Nearest airport is Mangalore International airport, which is located about 50 km from Kasaragod.
By Train– Kasaragod Railway Station is located about 29 km from Hosdurg Fort in Kanhagad.

Nedumkotta Fort in Kerala

Currently known as Travancore Lines, Nedumkotta Fort was actually a wall built as a security against constant attacks and threats from northern kingdoms mainly Zamorins. It was built by the King Karthika Thirunal, King of Travancore. A formidable line of defense in the past, only the ruins of this majestic fortification remains. It started from the Krishan Kotta on the west coast, above Kodungallur, and stretched up to the Annamalai Hills on the Western Ghats covering an astounding distance of 48 kms. The wall itself is twenty feet wide and twelve feet high.

How to Reach Nedumkotta Fort:

By Train– Thrissur Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Nedumkotta Fort.
By Air– Cochin International Airport located about 59 km from Thrissur town is nearest to the fort.

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One Response to “Top Historical Forts in Kerala”

Babu r Says

Nice post , covering important forts in Kerala. Bekal is the best i would say

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