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Bekal Fort, located in Kasaragod/Kasargod, is one of the major tourist attractions in Kerala.

Bekal Fort

Fast Facts :

Location Kasargod, Kerala
Nearest Airport/Railway Station Mangalore Airport / Kasargod Station
Nearby Attractions Chandragiri Fort, Hosdurg fort, Pallikere Beach
Best Time to Visit August to March

Bekal Fort is one of the largest preserved forts in Kasargod district of Kerala. The fort gets its uniqueness quotient from its exotic structure, which is shaped in the form of a keyhole. It was exclusively meant for the purpose of providing defense to the territory. Bekal Fort is prominent, because unlike most of the Indian forts, this monument does not have a palace or a mansion. For that matter, even the remains of any such structure cannot be found in Bekal Fort. The holes which are made on the outer walls of the structure are specially designed, so that the fort could be defended in case of a war. The holes on top are designed to aim at the farthest enemy, while the holes which are lower on the wall are for striking when the enemy is approaching. This shows how much time and hard work was spent in forming the design of the Fort.

During Kolathiri kingdom's reign, Vekkolath Fort was identified by a number of scholars as the Bekal Fort. It is supposed that later the Bednore rulers rebuilt the fort and heavy renovations were done to improve it. Bekal Fort has supposedly served the Nayakas in establishing their dominance in the then called Malabar region. Later, the Nayakas found out the economic importance of the port and hence, they fortified the Bekal Fort subsequently.

The renovations of Bekal Fort were started during the reign of Hiriya Venkatappa Nayaka. The renovations were finished during the period of Shivappa Nayaka - both of these rulers were of the Nayaka clan. The Nayakas needed the speedy completion of Bekal Fort's construction, so that they could use it for the defense of the port and also to curb any other overseas attack on the Malabar territory. For the same reasons, Chandragiri Fort was also erected by the Nayakas.

Later on, Bekal Fort came under the majestic Tippu Sultan when he led a great military expedition to add the Malabar to his territory. Excavations were done in and near Bekal Fort, which led to the discovery of a number of coins and other artifacts that support the fact that the Bekal fort remained under the rule of a number of Sultans of Mysore. After the death of Tippu at the Anglo-Mysore war, the Fort came under the influence of British East India Company. Nowadays, the protection and maintenance has been undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The main attraction of Bekal fort is its architecture. The Fort has been constructed, keeping in mind its military importance. There is a unique secret tunnel end inside the fort, which eventually leads to the outside wall of the fort facing the Arabian Sea. The fort is built in such a manner that three-fourth of the exterior is drenched and the citadel is continuously stoked by sea waves. The fort was strategically built at this place. It has zigzag entrance, which kept the enemy under a watch for longer period of time. The trenches are purposely made to secure the fort. There is a sea bastion which is located on the rocky projection. From the west side of the fort, one can enjoy the beautiful view of the sea and the beach.

How to Reach

By Road
Reaching Bekal Fort via road is the best option, as it is located a bit far from the main city. It is also advised to arrange for a private vehicle to go to Bekal Fort.

By Air
The nearest airport to Bekal is Mangalore Airport, which is 50kms from the fort. You can catch flights to a number of major cities of India from here.

By Rail
The nearest railway station to Bekal Fort is located in Kasaragod, which is 16kms away from this Fort. The railway station is well connected to all major cities in India.

Arakkal Palace and Kannur Fort | Bekal Fort | Chendamangalam Fort | Kunchan Smarakam Fort | Palakkad Fort | Pallippuram Fort | St. Angelo's Fort

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