Fort Facing Arabian Sea – Kannur Fort

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Guns Pointing Out to Sea

Kannur Fort stands on a cliff by the side of Mapilah Bay. It has a history going back to more than 500 years. The waves of Arabian Sea break against one side of the fort. It is also known as Saint Angelos Fort.

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Main Gate at Fort Kannur

History of Kannur Fort

Dom Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy of India, constructed Kannur Fort in 1505. This was at a time when European maritime powers were locked in battles to control the spice trade with India.

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Ancient Gun

The Portuguese were able to block ships to Kozhikode and establish their supremacy in Malabar coast. Later the Kolathiris of Kannur realised their weakness and joined hand with Zamorins to fight the Portuguese. Under the leadership of Kunjali Marakkar of Kozhikode, they fought a joint war against Portuguese . This resulted in the seizure of Kannur Fort in 1564. In February 1663, the Dutch in turn captured the fort.

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The Sea at Kannur Fort

Later the Dutch sold the fort to King Ali Raja of Arakkal in 1772. The English conquered the fort in 1790 and used it as their military stronghold till 1947.

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Horse Stable at Kannur Fort

Architecture

The fort is triangular is shape. On the west is Arabian Sea while a dry moat runs along another face of the fort. The main gate is from the land side. Construction of the fort has made extensive use of laterite stones  which are widely available in Malabar region. Cannons jut out to sea in the ramparts.

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Inside the Stable

The Portuguese constructed most of the buildings in Kannur Fort like chapel, offices and prison. They created Mapilah Bay to isolate the fort from the mainland.

 

Kannur Fort; Fort St Angelos; Kannur; travel; Kerala; uasatish;
View of Arabian Sea from Kannur Fort

Inside the Fort

Archaeological Survey of India maintains the fort. They have laid out beautiful lawns and gardens. I noticed a few old casuarina trees in the campus. Mornings and evenings are the best time to visit. Entry is from 8 am to 6 pm. Parking is available.

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Garden in Fort Saint Angelos
Kannur Fort; Fort St Angelos; Kannur; travel; Kerala; uasatish; old casuarina trees;
Old Casuarina Trees

Location

It is 3.60 km from Kannur railway station. Arakkal Palace and Government Hospital are near by. Cantonment Board extracts an entry fee when you enter the cantonment area. I could not find snack bars in the near vicinity.

Kannur Fort; Fort St Angelos; Kannur; travel; Kerala; uasatish; Mappilah Bay;
Mappilah Bay

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