Kasaragod is a beautiful town poised at the northern extreme of Kerala State.16 kms south of the town on the National Highway, is the largest and best preserved fort in the whole of the Kerala, surrounded by a splendid beach. Shaped like a giant keyhole, the historic Bekal fort offers a superb view of the Arabian Sea from its tall observation towers, where a few centuries ago huge cannons used to be placed.
Bekal Fort is spread over 40 acres (160,000 m2). Some important features of this fort are the water-tank with its flight of steps, the tunnel opening towards the south, the magazine for keeping ammunition and the broad and wide steps leading to the Observation Tower which is a rarity. From there one has ample view of towns in the vicinity like Kanhangad, Pallikare, Bekal, Kottikkulam, Uduma etc. This observation center had strategic significance in discovering even the smallest movements of the enemy and ascertaining safety of the Fort.
The Fort appears to have been built up from the sea since almost three fourth of its exteriors is drenched and the waves continually stroke the citadel. The Mukhyaprana Temple of Hanuman and the ancient Muslim Mosque nearby bear testimony to the age-old religious harmony that prevailed in the area. The zigzag entrance and the trenches around the fort show the defense strategy inherent in the fort.
Unlike most other Indian Forts, Bekal fort was not a center of administration for no remains of any palace, mansion or such buildings are found within the fort. Arguably the fort was built exclusively for fulfilling defense requirements. The holes on the outer walls of the fort are specially designed to defend the fort effectively. The holes at top were meant for aiming at the farthest points; the holes below for striking when the enemy was nearer and the holes underneath facilitated attacking when the enemy was very near to the fort. This is a remarkable evidence of technology in defense strategy.
Nearby bekal fort is an old mosque said to have been built by the valiant Tipu Sultan of Mysore. Built by the rulers of the ancient Kadampa dynasty, the fort changed hands over the years to the Kolathiri Rajas, the Vijayanagar empire, Tipu Sultan and finally, the British East India Company. Today, the Bekal fort and its surroundings are fast becoming an international tourist destination and a favourite shooting locale for film makers. Bekal is also one of the five centres selected by the Government of India to be developed into a 'Special Tourism Area'.
Bekal Fort Location:
Location:16 kms south of Kasaragod town, Kasaragod District.
Attractions: Giant keyhole shaped fort, the golden expanse of a beautiful beach surrounding the fort, backwaters and hill destinations and water sport facilities nearby.
Nearest railway station: Kasaragod, about 16 km