The Bekal Fort stands tall amidst the two palm-fringed beaches with the eternal note of the unending waves. Legends hold that the Bekal fort was there since the days of the Chirakkal Rajas as it was very common in those days to build a fort for the purpose of defense. The zigzag entrance and the trenches around the fort bear testimony to it.
This idyllic fort also provides many options to those who want to explore. It has been attracting tourists as well as historians for ages. The fort is built up from the sea. The major portion of its exterior is drenched, and the waves hit the citadel.
Bekal Fort, which spreads over 40 acres of land is the largest fort of Kerala. The hallmarks of the fort are the vista of the tunnel in the south, the steps to the tank and the magazine to store military armours and the wide flight of steps to the Observation Tower.
The Bekal Beach is one of the major attractions of Bekal. The beach with the sun-drenched sand is stunningly beautiful. You can have a wonderful day’s outing here on the beach. You can wade through backwaters, swim in the calm waters, stroll under the beautifully lined coconut trees, climb the hillocks and end your tour at the beach.
The sunsets at Bekal are a sight to see. The sherbet coloured sky with the setting sun sets over the palm trees and creates a mesmeric view. The Bekal Beach also bestows upon you to pass by a small fishing village that possesses a glory of its own. You can also see a renowned seaside fort where films are shot and might get fortunate to catch a glimpse of a movie star.
Nityanandashram was founded by the infamous Swami Nityananda. The ashram stands imposingly on a hillock which is about 500 m south of the Hosadurga town. This place used to be a forest, and the Swami constructed 45 caves from a single laterite stone. The caves lie very close to the Hosadurga Fort. These caves are a wonder to all and especially to the engineering world till date.
They are great crowd-pullers and thousands of people come every year from all parts of the world to see them. Nithyanandashram is the ideal place of meditation and the Swami himself used to sit in these caves and meditate. One of the attractions of the Nithyanandashram is a full-size statue of the Swami in a sitting posture. This statue is made of panchaloha.
The Nithyanandashram is located 27 km away from Kasaragod. This ashram is accredited as a widely renowned international spiritual centre. Do not ignore the caves when you pay a visit to Bekal.
Ananthapura Temple is the only lake temple in Kerala. Folklore has it that this is the original seat, Moolasthana, of Anantha Padmanabha Swami. Here, in the temple lake lives a crocodile, and this venerable creature is believed to be the guard of the temple. It is also said that if one crocodile dies, another mysteriously takes its place.
The Ananthapura Temple was built in the 9th century. This temple is situated 30 km from Bekal. One important feature of the Ananthapura temple is that it can be visited by any visitor regardless of caste, ethnicity and religion. The temple has a Chuttambalam a (porch built around the main temple). The Temple Lake in which the Sanctum is located is a large building. It measures 302 sq ft, which is about 2 acres.
The Chandragiri Fort is perched besides the Chandragiri river. It is an alluring tourist destination with the old fort in view along with the coconut groves and a river flowing by and not to forget the Arabian Sea on its side. Moreover, come to the western part of the fort; this is an ideal place to watch sunsets.
The Chandragiri Fort is constructed by Sivappa Naik of Bedanore in the 17th century. The fort has a tale of its own to tell. Hundreds of years ago, the river Chandragiri was counted as the border of Kolathunadu and Thulunadu. Both the kingdoms were very powerful. When the Emperor of Vijaynagara captured Thulunadu, Chandragiri became a part of the Vijayanagara Empire.
In the 16th century, the mighty Vijayanagara Empire declined. It was then when Chandragiri became an independent region and the Chandragiri Fort was built for defence. Later, the fort went to Hyder Ali of Mysore and subsequently to the British East India Company. Now the fort is preserved by the State Archaeology Department.
Malik Deenar Mosque, formally called the Malik Deenar Grand Juma Masjid, was built by Malik Ibn Dinar at Thalankara. It was originally built in around 642 AD, and the mosque was reconstructed in 1809. This is one of the ancient and historic Mosques of India.
The Mosque houses the tomb of Malik Ibn Mohammed who is a descendant of Malik Ibn Dinar. This place is a holy place for the Muslims. This ancient mosque was built in typical Malabar style.
It is believed that Malik Ibn Dinar reached Kasargod to spread Islam. The then ruler of Kasargod, Emperor Cheraman Perumal was influenced by Islam and later converted to the religion. During the celebrations of the Uroos Festival, the mosque is visited by many tourists and devotees.
Houseboat cruise is another prime attraction of Bekal. You can rejoice cruising along the peaceful backwaters decked with palm trees in the Malabar region. Apart from enjoying the jaw-dropping natural beauty of the backwaters, you can pamper yourself in these exceptionally comfortable houseboats. You will forget your worries and your existing monotonous hectic life while cruising on the boathouses.
These houseboats are perfect for newly-weds. A houseboat cruise is excellent too for a family vacation. These houseboats are designed with latest technologies that make them perfect for business purposes as well.
Kappil Beach stands around 7 km away from the Bekal Fort. This vast, serene and secluded beach is a major tourist hotspot. The Kappil Beach is refreshingly different from the other beach destinations in its tranquil surroundings.
This sun-kissed beach acts as a perfect place to break loose after a tour of the neighbouring Bekal Fort. Those adventurous-minded souls can also climb the Kodi Cliff to get a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea. This cliff appears as if it emerged from the Arabian Sea. A perfect spot for those who love to shoot nature!
Nileswaram is located 12 km away from Bekal. The word Nileswaram is abbreviated form of the words ‘Nilakanta’ and ‘Iswar’. This place was the kingdom of the Nileswaram Rajas in ancient times. The place is considered as the cultural hub.
The main attraction of this place is the palace. This palace is considered to be the folklore foundation for the Department of Archaeology. Moreover, the town of Nileswaram is famous for its various shrines, known as kavus and temple fiestas.
You can visit this yoga and cultural centre to undergo a rejuvenation therapy as well as naturopathy treatments such as herbal baths and mud baths. The Western Ghats in the eastern boundary, Lakshadweep in the west, Kasaragod in the north and Wayanad and Kozhikode districts in the southern boundary make Nileswaram infused with the bounty of nature. You can explore the enticing backwaters and deltas too.