The Tipu's Fort, also known as Palakkad Fort, stands in the heart of Palakkad town. Palakkad is a small town on the lower edges of the Sahyadri ranges of the Western Ghats, with patches of dense forests and crisscrossed with rivers.
One of the well preserved forts in south India, Tipu's Fort was constructed in 1766 AD and is today a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India. The sober majesty of the laterite walls of the fort reminds one of the old tales of valour and courage.
The fort was built by Hyder Ali (1717 - 1782), the emperor of Mysore province (now part of Karnataka State), supposedly to facilitate communication between both sides of the Western Ghats, (Coimbatore and the West Coast). He had captured the Malabar and Kochi regions which come under the West Coast area. His son Tipu Sultan (1750 - 1799) a warrior as well as a linguist was known as the 'Tiger of Mysore'. Tipu waged a series of wars against the British colonial rule.
In 1784, after an eleven-day seige, the fort was captured by the British under Colonel Fullerton. Though it later fell into the hands of the troops of the Kozhikode Zamorin, it was recaptured by the British in 1790. Tipu Sultan lost his life in 1799 in an encounter with the British and the fort later came to be known in his name.
…Palakkad Fort, also known as Tipu's Fort among the natives, was constructed by Haider Ali in 1766. This old granite fort located near the centre of Palakkad Town is presently operational as a Taluk Office. The fort is spread over an area of around 60702.84 sq m and is known for its architecture that displays the workmanship of French engineers.
Palakkad Achchan, local ruler till the beginning of the 18th century, ruled over this fort for a long time. In 1757, he sent his soldiers to Haider Ali to seek help against an invasion threat by the Zamorins. However, Haider Ali strategically conquered the fort himself and ruled over it till 1790.
The large ground between the fort and the Palakkad Town Hall, popularly known as the Kota Maidanam, served as a stable for elephants and horses of Tipu Sultan's army. The garden is presently used for hosting exhibitions, public meetings, competitions and cricket matches. The Rappadi or the open air auditorium in the fort has been preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
This square shaped fort is supported by walls and bastions that are located in the four corners. Earlier a draw bridge was used as the main entrance for the fort. This draw bridge has now been replaced by a strong and permanent bridge. The fort also houses a Hanuman Temple, a sub-jail and a martyr's column. The Jainmedu Temple, Kumarapuram Temple, Manapullivaku and Vadakkanthara Temple lie in the vicinity of the fort.