Monday, January 8, 2018

The Great Wall of Malabar: Ruins of the Travancore Lines

     In the 1760s, fearing the imminent invasion of the Zamorin of Calicut and Mysore’s Haidar Ali Khan, the King of Travancore, Dharma Raja, set aside his differences with the neighboring northern kingdom of Cochin to work together to build a defensive line. This 40-feet-high bulwark was called Nedumkotta — the famed Travancore Lines. The defense line stretched roughly 30 miles east-west and extended from the Dutch fort at Kodungallur near the western seaboard through the plains of the Periyar and Chalakudy rivers to the Western Ghats, which formed the eastern border of the Malabar states (Figure 1).