KOTE SRI ANJANEYA SWAMI TEMPLE, PALAGHAT FORT,PALAGHAT, KERALA....
The Kerala State is protected naturally by Western Ghats on one side and on the other by the sea. To get connected to rest of India, there are two strategic pass through which the Western Ghats could be crossed. One is near Kottaiyam and the other is near Palaghat. Thus Palaghat had assumed importance, and served as a link for Kerala, Mysore State, and Madras State.
Hyder Ali in Palaghat
Hyder Ali, under whose rule the area Palaghat was falling, had his interest controlling the area of Mysore, Malabar, South Canara and Coimbatore. Therefore Palaghat had assumed importance, and he had positioned some of his army in this strategically important place. Considering the oppressions he was facing from the British forces, he had to reinforce his army with more men and ammunition. Hence he decided upon building a fort in this strategically located Palaghat and constructed one in the year 1766. Once the fort was built he improved upon the fort in later years with the help of his French advisors.
The British captured the Palaghat fort from Hyder Ali in 1784 after eleven days of siege. But soon British lost control of the fort and Hyder Ali had recaptured it again. But once again in September 1790 British took control of the fort. The British had improved upon the fort when under their control.
The Fort of Palaghat
The mammoth fort is rhombic in shape with huge moat of about thirty feet wide running all around the fort. Built with granite rocks, to a good height. The outer wall was of nearly ten feet thickness, so big that a column of army can move on the top of the outer wall itself. For the entire fort there is only one gateway in the East. During old time one can enter the fort only through the split bridge operatable from inside the fort. Two big logs used to be brought together for passing over the moat.
Today the fort houses a sub jail and a taluk office. Archaeologically there is nothing special except that there is a stepped well, small-pillared mandapa where A.S.I. had put up a small gallery now. The pillars of mandapa have no special carving as that of any Godhead or symbols etc.
Temple for Anjaneya in fort
Today this fort is visited by thousands of local every day for a different reason. While there is no carving of any art figures in and around the fort, near the Eastern entrance of the fort there is figure of Anjaneya carved in the inner side of the wall. It is worth mentioning here that some of the forts built during the time of Hyder Ali/ Tupu Sultan have Anjaneya figure in 'ardha shilpa' form or in shilpa form in or around the fort. The Lord was worshiped by the warriors, and the Lord is known as Kote Anjaneya (kote in south Indian language means fort). Presently a small temporary shed had been erected in front of the carving, without affecting the archaeological beauty of the fort. It is said that the carving dates backs to Tupu Sultan. The warriors of his army who were basically from Mysore had unshakable faith in the prowness of Lord Anjaneya and it is felt that they must have had the carving made at the entrance of the fort as the God of Guards.
Lord Anjaneya of Palaghat Fort
The murthi of Lord Anjaneya is south facing, while the Lord Himself is facing west. The ardha-shilpa carving of the Lord is of about seventeen inches in height. He is seen in the standing posture with the 'ghatha' (mace) held in the 'Anjali Hasta' (folded hands). The lord's 'laukuulam' (tail) raised and curved with a small bell at the end of the tail. He has His right leg forward; and the left is seen just raised and ready to move. The Lord had been an inspiration for many warriors who had been living here during those days. He had been a protector of the warriors who had plunged the faith on Him.
Bhaktas of the Lord
It is seen to be believed that thousands of locals offering ghee for the lamp on Saturdays and Tuesday from early morning itself. Today He continues to inspire many of the Bhaktas who visit Him for their missions' success. The Lord Anjaneya of Palaghat fort continues to be a protector of poor and faithful. Next time when you visit Palaghat visit this temple and bring back inspirations for your missions' success.
The Lord Anjaneya of Palaghat fort continues to be a protector of poor and faithful. Next time when you visit Palaghat visit this temple and bring back inspirations for your missions' success.