Thursday, June 7, 2012



Arakkal Palace holds the credit of being the one and only royal residence of the Arakkal Royal Family in Kerala. Arakkal Palace and Kannur Fort stand in close proximity to each other, singing the lore of the ancient and medieval times. In 2005, the palace was converted into a museum. Now, it is preserved by the Department of Archaeology and Kerala Tourism. The fort stands till now as the witness of the glorious years which have been a part of the rich history of Kerala. Arakkal Palace belonged to the Arakkal Royal family, the only Muslim royal family in Kerala. In 1663, Arakkal ruler also purchased St. Angelo Fort from the Dutch. The Arakkal rulers had control over the northern coastal region of Kerala and Lakshadweep. The Arakkal family used to accept the eldest member of the family, irrespective of gender, as the ruler of the province. ‘Ali Rajah’ was the name given to the male rulers of the Arakkal family, while their female counterparts were called ‘Arakkal Beevis’. By 1870, the British seized the fort and built their military base on the Malabar Coast. They also carried the construction of a tunnel connecting the Fort, with Thalassery Fort, located at a distance of 21 km from Kannur Fort. This tunnel used to come in handy at the time when the enemies used to attack. The major residents were transported to another location through this tunnel.
Arakkal Palace is constructed in the traditional Keralite manner. It holds resemblance with other monuments in Kerala. The upper floor of the palace has large halls, with neat wooden floors. The windows are double shuttered with colored glass panes. The palace still owned by the Arakkal family Trust, but it is preserved and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. The durbar hall section of the palace houses an elaborate museum. Dedicated to the Arakkal family, it exhibits various credible belongings and artifacts of the royal family.

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