Bekal Fort

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Timings : 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM

Time Required : 2-3 hours

Entry Fee : INR 15

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Bekal Fort, Bekal Overview

Built almost 300 years ago, Bekal Fort is considered as one of the largest and most preserved forts in Kerala. Nestled in the lap of nature, Bekal Fort is a historic fort surrounded by a beautiful beach offering an enchanting view of Arabian Sea from its high observation tower where once the cannons were placed. The beautiful walkway, illuminated beach and the grand architecture of the Bekal Fort make this place a favourite among the masses. The fort was featured in the popular A R Rahman song ' Tu hi re'.

Located at 65 kms away from Mangalore, Bekal Fort is a keyhole-shaped lofty structure that stands still against the rocky shores of sea amusing its visitors with its finesse. The whole purpose of erecting this structure by Shivappa Nayaka of Bednore in the year 1650 was pure of defence.

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Bekal Fort History

The location has been a witness to an uninterrupted history with changing several seats of power from Indian royal dynasties to the rule of refined Sultans and surviving the colonial era of British Raj. It is the largest fort in Kerala, spread over an area of 40 acres. Located in the Bekal Village of Kasaragod District of Kerala, Bekal Fort was declared as the special tourism area by the Government of India in the year 1992.

Considered to be built by Shivappa Nayaka in 1650, Bekal Fort has various other versions of its origin. According to some theories, the fort was in existence during the Kolathiri Rajas after the decline of Kolathiri and Vijayanagara Empire. Later it came under the rule of Ikkeri, Nayakas, who rebuilt the fort.

Then the fort fell into the hands of Hyder Ali in the year 1763, also serving as an important military station of Tipu Sultan later when he had the great military expedition to capture Malabar. It was in 1799 that the Mysorean control came to an end and subsequently the Bekal fort came under the English East India Company. Further, Bekal became the headquarters of the Bekal Taluk of South Canara district.

Architecture of Bekal Fort

Bekal Fort is a lofty keyhole-shaped structure situated in the small village of Pallikkara, Kasaragod district spread over a total area of 40 acres. The head of the fort is circular made of red-brown stone. The fort land comprises of walls, walkways and citadels with trenches surrounding the whole structure, said to be built in 1650 AD.

A fascinating part of the fort is the Observation Tower built by Tipu Sultan. It offers a splendid view of the rocky shoreline of the Arabian Sea and an advantage with regards to its strategic position. Recently a temple and a Darbar along with some coins belonging to the period of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali have been discovered.

Unlike the majority of Indian forts, Bekal was not a centre of administration, and hence, there are no remains of any palace or mansion in its premises. The fort exhibits various features that aptly justify its purpose of construction. It has holes on the outer walls that are an effective way to improve the defensive power of the fort. The fort utilises remarkable defence technology. For instance- the holes on the top were used to aim at the enemies who were present at a distance, while the holes in the middle were used to fight the nearer enemies and the lowermost holes were used to defend the fort from the closest located enemies.

The zigzag entrance and the trenches are also a symbol of the excellent defence technology inherited by the fort. The area shows religious harmony as well. One can visit the Mukhyaprana Temple of Hanuman as well as the ancient mosque nearby while visiting the Bekal Fort. There is an old 9th-century lake also located in the vicinity of the fort.

Bekal Fort Beach

Bekal beach lies adjacent to the famous beach sea-side Bekal Fort. The beach offers an exhilarating view of the sun setting amidst the palms, which has a great contribution to the popularity of this place. Many Bollywood movies have utilized the beauty of this beach along with the Bekal Fort. The water here is excellent for swimming and the Casuarina trees nearby invites a lot of shutterbugs. The majestic Bekal fort stands proudly between two beautiful palm-fringed beaches. This idyllic location is usually flocked throughout the year by travellers, but the sea is considered to be quite unsafe from the month of June until September, due to heavy rainfall.

Bekal Fort Timings and Entry Fees

The fort opens at about 8:00 AM and closes at 5:30 PM. As the fort showcases an open structure, sunny days might be a little harsh on the visitors. This place is a perfect weekend getaway if the weather is a little windy and cool. The site also offers some options for the shutterbugs with its captivating beauty and scenic glory. One can cover the entire place in about 2 hours.

The entry fee for the fort is INR 15.

Best Time To Visit Bekal Fort

The best season to visit the Bekal Fort is from October to March, as the weather is cooler and dry. The tourists find this season comfortable and enjoyable in the entire region of Kerala.

How To Reach Bekal Fort

There are many ways to arrive at the Bekal Fort through various modes of transportation available. One can easily take a bus (which takes about an hour), taxi, auto-rickshaw or a private vehicle to reach here. Bekal Fort also has a railway station located at a distance of 1.7 km from the fort. The Bekal Fort is located about 15 kilometres from the Kasaragod Town.

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