Kerala, though not essentially a land of fortresses, has a few amazing ones to its credit. Bekal Fort, located in Kasaragod district in northern tip of Kerala, is the largest fort in Kerala. Located along the coast, the Fort overlooks the vast expanse of Arabian Sea. Unsurpassed natural beauty combined with grandeur of age-old construction; aren’t these enough reasons to visit Bekal Fort when you travel to Kerala?
Bekal Fort History
Bekal Fort was constructed in 1650 AD by King Shivappa Nayaka. When Nayaka rulers established their base in Bekal, they built a fort to secure their territory. The strategic location on the seashores is what prompted them to fortify the place. Bekal Fort history has seen every succeeding ruler converting the place into his stronghold for security. For Tipu Sultan, Bekal served as a military station. It became the headquarters for the subsequent British colonial empire also. In 1956, Kasaragod including Bekal, was annexed to Kerala as a part of re-organization of states.
Reasons to visit Bekal Fort
Bekal Fort is one of the places to visit in India which allures tourists with a surreal charm. Why pay a visit to this lesser known destination? Here are few facts to tempt you.
A Fort with a view: Splendid sea view is the first thing that welcomes your eyes in Bekal Fort. Perched atop a hillock on the Arabian coast, it is ocean and just ocean, everywhere. Stand on the observation deck of the fort and you will feel as though you are on the deck of a cruise ship. Remember the song Tu Hi Re, from the movie, ‘Bombay’? It was in Bekal that the hero cried his heart out for his lover. Head to this fort and your heart will also let out a cry, for joy of course!
Well-built and well preserved: Many forts which were among the best places to visit in India have been reduced to ruins due to lack of maintenance. Bekal Fort is an exception in this matter. The laterite brick construction has indeed stood the test of time and how? The keyhole shaped structure with its stoned pathways still remain intact. The fort has a tunnel inside and also an observation area which was once used to keep cannons for firing.
Beach and backwater: A backwater is a quintessential part of every Kerala tour. Here also, Bekal does not disappoint you. Bekal beach is a soothing, unspoiled beach which looks magnificent with the fort in the background. Valiyaparamba backwaters is the hidden treasure of Bekal. A backwater with rustic charm, it is still not characterized by commercial tourist activities. So it’s beach and backwater plus a history outing, in Bekal. Good reasons to visit Bekal Fort, right?
Offbeat destination: There are quite a few amongst us who would love some quiet and peace while holidaying. Away from the din and bustle of city, with just nature to give you company. Is this your idea of a holiday? Then Bekal is a destination that will undoubtedly satisfy you.
Culture and cuisine: Kasaragod district has its own unique cultural and art forms like Theyyam and Yakshaganam. There are a few Theyyam sculptures made of laterite bricks adorning Bekal beach. And Kerala cuisine, especially the dishes of Malabar, have always been dear to all tourists, no matter where they come from.
How to reach Bekal Fort?
As Bekal is a little far from crowded cities, the question how to reach Bekal Fort is asked quite often.
By air: Mangalore airport is at a distance of 60 kms from Bekal and is the nearest.
By rail and road: For rail travel, you need to depend on Kasaragod or Kanhangad railway stations which are around 12 kms away. Road travel is the option that most tourists adopt. You can fly to Mangalore or Kochi and travel by road from there.
Best time to visit Bekal Fort
Although Kerala is a place that attracts tourists almost throughout the year, summers are hot and humid. As Bekal is located on the seashore, it will be unbearably hot during summer months. Monsoons are the best time to visit Bekal Fort, provided you don’t mind getting drenched. How pretty will be the sight of raindrops whispering to the waves in the ocean! If you are the kind to celebrate every drop of rain, monsoons are the best to head to any part of Kerala. Winter months are also good as cool winds let you enjoy from dawn to dusk.
Bekal Fort is a place where you feel overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of nature. With so much of pristine charm in the waiting, do you need more reasons to visit Bekal Fort?
Author: E Jey
Just a passionate traveler who loves scribbling his expeditions @ www.jauntmonkey.com, www.outonroads.com, and www.blogthatall.com