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Written by kris_kandath on 03 Oct, 2006
This is one place on the Arabian coast of India where history has stood still. Approximately 3km west of Kannur city is Fort St. Angelo. Dramatically silhouetted against the sea, its massive laterite blocks give this fort, built by the Portuguese in 1505, a faintly…Read More
This is one place on the Arabian coast of India where history has stood still. Approximately 3km west of Kannur city is Fort St. Angelo. Dramatically silhouetted against the sea, its massive laterite blocks give this fort, built by the Portuguese in 1505, a faintly menacing air. At one time, nearly thousand people lived within Fort St. Angelo´s walls, from where one can enjoy commanding views of the sea and of the legendary Moplah Bay. Here, the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch, the French, and finally the English, have fought among themselves and against local rulers. We can still see the influence of the British in Thalassery and that of the French in Mahe. They established their supremacy in the region by exploiting the discord among local rulers. Portuguese ruled supreme till 1663 when the Dutch captured the fort. Years later the British led by General Abercrombie, besieged the fort on December 14, 1790. They later rebuilt it and made it their most important station in the region. The most interesting thing currently in the Fort is the 450-year-old stone inscription which puzzled everyone for a long time. A skull symbol, which was part of it gave rise to strange rumours. But recently Constable Satyan of the Tourism Police Department, with the help of some visiting Dutch scholars, deciphered the inscription which turned out to be written in an old Dutch dialect. Please see the photographs for more details. Constable Satyan is an authority on the history of the Fort, won the state government award for the best tourism police officer in 2005, and is contactable for any visitors planning a visit to the fort. Without a doubt, visiting this wonderful place was a moving experience for me. There is a lot more to see for a prospective visitor to Kannur and there are good hotels to stay in the city. This is what Wikipedia, the well known web encyclopedia, had about this fort:
"St. Angelo Fort (Kannur Fort) is also known as Kannur Kotta is a fort facing Arabian Sea is situated 3km from Kannur town of Kerala state, south India."Don Francisco De Almeida of Portuguese constructed this fort in 1505 AD. The Dutch captured the fort from Portuguese in 1663 they sold the fort to the king Ali Raja of Arakkal kingdom.In 1790 the British seized the control over this fort and became one of the important military centres of the British in Malabar.please follow this URL to see the entry in Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Angelo_FortMany people believe that there is a secret tunnel in this fort. This tunnel was built underneath the sea to the Thalassery Fort which is 21 km from Kannur fort. This under passage is said to be used by soldiers to escape.The Moppila Bay Harbor and Arakkal Mosque are near the fort.The fort, is now under the supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India.On the whole it was a very interesting outing indeed. This place was indeed like a door to the past, a bygone era which always had an air of mystery indeed! I hope my amateurish way of explaining proves to be helpful to you all. Take care and enjoy your exploration where ever you are.Cheers,Kris Kandath