Constructed between 1645 and 1660, Bekal Fort is one of the biggest forts in Kerala spreading across 40 acres. This sea fortress is located in Kasargod district of North Kerala, around 49kms south of Mangalore and 93kms north of Kannur.
Built with laterite stones this fort is of prime archeological importance in the country. Bekal Fort is recognized under the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites Remains Act 1958 (24 of 1958).
Bekal owes its history to the 12th century Mahodayapuram Perumals who were succeeded by the Ikkeri Nayakas who later fortified Bekal during the 16th century. Sivappa Nayaka of Bednore (Ikkeri Nayakas) had built Bekal Fort during his reign from 1645-1660. By 1763 Bekal Fort was captured by Hyder Ali and after the defeat of Tipu Sultan in 1799, the East India Company took over the fort.
Bekal Fort is known to have secret passage ways that helped the armies to enter or return into the fort. A popular spot for local film shootings, Bekal is undergoing major restoration work in its premises. It is highly advisable to visit Bekal in the morning hours before 12 noon or in the early evenings post 4 pm as it can get very hot and there aren’t many trees to offer a much needed shade to escape the Kerala sun.
Timings to visit Bekal is between 8:00 am to 5:30 pm. The entrance of the gate will remain open from 8:00 to 6:00 pm. Entrance fee is Rs. 5/- per head for Indian tourists and Rs. 100/- for foreign tourists. For still camera and video camera they charge a fee of Rs. 25/-. There’s Nirvana Luxury Cottages close to the fort with an in-house multi-cuisine restaurant Kia-Ora (Phone: 0467-2272007/ 2272900. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
After a visit to Bekal Fort, just 7kms away you can visit The Lalit Spa and Resort and enjoy a healthy and hearty meal. As a first timer, it may be difficult to spot this resort, so it is advisable that you keep driving towards Mangalore, on the same road keeping the railway tracks to your right.
Once you spot a nursing medical college (a glass building), keep a look out on your left for a sign board which says ‘Lalit Spa and Resort – 3kms’ and follow the arrows as you drive through the interiors.
The roads are yet to be developed, but don’t let that deter you from driving up till the end. The Lalit Spa is located at a dead end and you can’t miss it thanks to the red arrows pointing to the direction. A visit to the resort is a must especially after a hot and sunny day spent at Bekal Fort.