Pallipuram Fort, also known as Ayikkotta or Alikotta, is an ancient fort located in Vypeen Island, Kochi, Kerala, India. It is one of the oldest existing European forts in India and holds historical significance due to its age and colonial connections.
The Pallipuram Fort was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. According to historical records, it was constructed in 1503 by the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, shortly after his historic voyage to India. The fort was established as a strategic defense outpost to protect their trade interests in the region and to counter the growing power of the local rulers and merchants.
The fort is a simple structure with typical Portuguese architectural elements of that era. It is made of stone and laterite blocks and features sturdy walls and bastions. The fort was built in the shape of a square and had watchtowers at each corner to keep an eye on the surrounding areas and any approaching ships.
Ownership and Influence:
Over the centuries, the ownership and control of the Pallipuram Fort changed hands several times. The Dutch East India Company captured the fort from the Portuguese in the early 17th century and later ceded it to the Kingdom of Travancore. Eventually, it fell under British control when they took over the region from the Dutch in the late 18th century.
Today, the Pallipuram Fort is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Despite its historical significance, the fort is not as well-known or widely visited as some other forts in India. The condition of the fort has deteriorated over time, but efforts have been made by the ASI to conserve and preserve this ancient structure.
While Pallipuram Fort may not be a major tourist attraction, history enthusiasts and those interested in colonial-era architecture can visit the site to explore its historical legacy. The fort’s location on Vypeen Island also offers beautiful views of the surrounding backwaters, making it a peaceful spot for visitors.