Tellicherry Fort

By Akhil chandran - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Tellicherry Fort: History in Kannur

History Jun 3, 2024

Tellicherry Fort: A Legacy of British Power on the Malabar Coast

Nestled in the coastal town of Thalassery (Tellicherry), in the Kannur district of Kerala, stands Tellicherry Fort, a testament to the British East India Company's influence on the Malabar Coast. Constructed in 1708, the fort served as a vital stronghold, playing a significant role in shaping the region's history.

A History Steeped in Power Struggles:

The fort's strategic location on the Malabar Coast made it a coveted prize for various powers. The British East India Company, seeking to secure its trading interests, built Tellicherry Fort to establish a dominant presence in the region. This move sparked tension with the Kingdom of Mysore, ruled by Hyder Ali. In 1781, Hyder Ali attempted to capture the fort, hoping to wrest control of the Malabar Coast, but his efforts were unsuccessful.

After Hyder Ali's death, his son, Tipu Sultan, inherited the throne and continued his father's ambition. However, the British proved too formidable, eventually forcing Tipu Sultan to concede the Malabar District to the British in 1792. This marked the end of the Mysore rulers' influence in the area and solidified the British East India Company's control over the Malabar Coast.

A Fortress of Impeccable Architecture:

Tellicherry Fort stands as a proud testament to architectural ingenuity. Its imposing structure boasts thick and robust walls, intricately carved massive doors, and strong flanking bastions, highlighting the fort's defensive prowess. The presence of secret tunnels leading to the sea adds an element of intrigue and underscores the fort's strategic design.

Preserving the Past:

Today, Tellicherry Fort stands as a historical monument, a poignant reminder of the British colonial era in India. Recognized for its historical significance, the fort is meticulously preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India, ensuring that its story continues to be told for generations to come.

Exploring the Fort:

Visiting Tellicherry Fort offers a captivating journey through time. The fort's imposing structure, its secret passages, and the echoes of historical battles paint a vivid picture of its past.

Getting There:

  • By Air: The nearest airport is at Karipur (Kozhikode), located approximately 93 km south of Thalassery. From there, you can reach the fort by road or train.
  • By Rail: Thalassery Railway Station is the primary railway station in the town, with most trains stopping there.
  • By Road: Kozhikode is conveniently located just 67 km away from Thalassery, offering easy accessibility by road.

A Must-Visit Destination:

Tellicherry Fort is an indispensable destination for anyone interested in Indian history and architecture. Its captivating history, impressive structure, and strategic location make it a site of immense historical and cultural significance. As you wander through the fort's ancient corridors and explore its secrets, you'll be transported to a time of empires, battles, and shifting power dynamics.

Share Your Experience:

If you've had the privilege of visiting Tellicherry Fort, share your experiences in the comment section below! Your insights can be incredibly valuable for other travelers planning their own journey to this historic marvel.


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