Thalassery Fort has a tale to tell

Thalassery Fort, built by the British in 1708, has witnessed the development of Thalassery into a full-fledged town. The fort is now one of the major tourist attractions in Kannur district.

Thalassery Fort
Entrance to the Thalassery fort and the security guards post. Photo: Vidhuraj M T

It was at the beach near this fort that the British engaged in their first ever cricket matches against the Indian natives. The fort, which withstood numerous French attacks, was later used as a prison to confine the army of Hyder Ali.

Thalassery Fort has a tale to tell
A view from the fort. Photo: Indu P R

The British, who landed in Thalassery in 1683, later moved their commercial center to here from Kozhikode. The fort is designed in such a way as to facilitate quick survey of the enemies approaching by the sea route. Initially, the fort was used as a warehouse to store spices like cardamom and pepper. The beach at the rear of the fort must have facilitated the transit of cargo. There is a gate that opens to the beach. In 1776, the fort began to be used as the administrative center.

Thalassery Fort has a tale to tell
Underground passage. Photo: Indu P R

The square-shaped fort is 90 feet above the sea level. The entrance of the fort, set on a 10 meter tall massive wall, is one of its unique features. Visitors have to ascend the stairs to enter the fort.

While entering the fort, the first thing one will notice is the arch-shaped area where the sentinels used to keep vigil. An expansive courtyard, two underground chambers, a tunnel leading to the beach and bastions which once held artillery follow the sentry station. The tunnel is now closed down due to security issues. You can also see a lighthouse inside the fort.

Thalassery Fort has a tale to tell
The exteriors of the Thalassery Fort. Photo: Indu P R

Pagoda, a coin used by the British, was minted during 1799 and 1805 in the underground chambers which were also used for garnering pepper and cardamom. This underground chamber remained a silent witness to the conspiracy of Arthur Wellesley to capture Pazhassi Raja.

Thalassery Fort has a tale to tell
(Left to right) The tunnel to the sea, light house, the entrance to the fort. Photo: Indu P R

A mixture of lime, jaggery and white of the egg were also used for the construction of the fort built in bricks. For a period after the independence, various government offices had functioned inside the fort. Taking into account the historical significance of the fort, it was later handed over to the archaeological department.

How to reach:

The fort is situated in the heart of Thalassaery about a kilometer away from the Thalassery railway station. It is about 22 kilometers away from Kannur.

Nearby attractions:

Overbury's Folly, is close-by. Dharmadam beach and Muzhappilangad beaches fall within 11 kilometers from the Thalassery Fort.

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