I got this wonderful chance to travel around North Kerala during the monsoon, the most pleasant and green time of the year. We happened to visit the Bekal Fort; the largest and the most preserved fort in Kerala. The Fort comes under the Archeological survey of India, the body that takes care of the preservation and maintenance of the Fort. Just in front of the fort you can see a Hanuman kovil (temple) close to the Fort entrance.
The fort is spread across around forty acres on the Malabar coast overlooking the Arabian sea. There are large key hole kind of structure that extend to the sea amidst the rocky formations on the coastline. Towards the south there is an extended beach almost crescent shaped which looks very much beautiful. There are storage spaces for ammunition and it was said there there have been cannon lying here for some time until recently they were taken away. There is a large water tank and observation tower. The place looked very green and there was small opening to the sea, where you can find steps, evening would be wonderful here with nice soothing breeze from sea. To walk around the fort it would take at least half an hour to forty five minutes.
It was built during the 1500’s by the local rulers Shivappa Nayaka of Bednore, who were the prime rulers who reigned the region after the fall of the Vijayanagara Kingdom. They ruled over coastal Karnataka and North Kerala, and almost all parts of Karnataka. Since then the fort have been taken over by many rulers and kingdoms. The Forts in India we primarily built around the capital or the administrative area of the kingdom, unlike that the Bekal fort was built away from the kingdom administration. The prime intention behind the construction of the Fort was to resist any attack from the Sea by foreign powers. Bekal was also a prominent port which had trade relations with the Arab world.
For a stay at Bekal you a few options like Neeleshwar Hermitage, Kanhan Beach Resort, Vivanta By Taj Bekal, The Lalit Bekal.
Written By Benjamin John