Tamil Nadu

A walk to soak in the heritage

History enthusiasts during the Heritage Walk at Attur Fort in Salem.- Photo: Special Arrangement  

Around 70 history enthusiasts explored Attur Fort under the aegis of the Heritage Walk organised by the Salem Historical Society and Salem Historical Research Forum.

The team including historians, young men and women, professors and students discussed measures to conserve the 17th Century fort built by Palayakarar Lakshmana Nayakar of Gatti Dynasty, from further devastation.

Located along River Vashista, about 56 km from Salem, the square-shaped monument has four entrances.

The trenches around the fort were constructed in such a way that water from River Vashista enters and fills the trench from the south side of the fort and again joins the course of the river.

Two magazine points, two palaces, local chieftain Gatti Mudali’s court, three treasuries and three temples are located inside the fort while the main palace is located in the middle of the fort. A statue of a British soldier with a horse and a gun, located in the Muniyappan temple on the premises, reminds the British era.

The tomb of Lieutenant Colonel John Murray and a cenotaph in memory of Mrs. Jane Coyle erected by her husband and commandant of the Attur Fort Captain Henry Coyle are located on the rear side of the fort. The remains of Captain Anthony Beale of 24th Battalion of Coast Native Infantry was buried inside the fort in 1795. But over the years, the grave was demolished. This is mentioned in the book, “List of Inscriptions on Tombs or Monuments in Madras Possessing Historical or Archaeological Interest” by J.J. Cotton in 1905, a former Salem District Collector during the British rule. After the king’s rule, the fort was occupied by Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan and by the British during various periods. The fort was used by the British as a garrison till 1854. Currently, the fort is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

J. Barnabas, general secretary of Salem Historical Society, said that due to poor maintenance, vandalism, and encroachments most of the structures in the fort were in a deplorable condition. Efforts must be taken to preserve the fort, he said.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 4:41:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/A-walk-to-soak-in-the-heritage/article16073350.ece

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