Bekal is a small town, located at the Northern part of Kerala. To be exact an 8 km ride separates the town from Kanhangad, and going due North you could reach Kasaragod after 18 km.
Gifted with natural and archaeological wonders, Bekal is the place to be if you want to relax in the shades of history as well as a coconut tree (which I must say is abundant in these parts of the state). But surely the single and commanding attraction for any tourist is indeed the Bekal Fort.
Constructed by Shivappa Nayaka of Bednore in 1650 AD, the Bekal Fort spreads over a vast 40 acres of land, making it the largest fort in Kerala. But what strikes you at first sight is not the exquisite stone artistry but the calmness (both mental and spiritual) which you receive out of the place. Constructed entirely as a defensive unit and not as an administrative unit also grants the fort a genuine uniqueness.
The elegant design of the Fort captivates both historians and travelers which I believe served as the reason for large investments to flow towards this seaside town.
Here are a few snaps I took on my visit :
While the fort gives you a walk back into history and the glorious days of Indian architecture, the sands nearby speak of the natural beauty coastal Kerala is endowed with.
Though like in every one of my travels, the displeasure with a mismanaged system continued. One could see floating debris in the Bekal Beach, which range from liquor bottles to plastic covers. Sometimes, I wonder if it is an innate Indian nature to disrespect the divine tunes of nature.
Anyhow, for a person who wishes to fill his futile hours with abundant wonder and beauty, there are very little places to be other than Bekal.
ADVICE to fellow tourists :
1. Spent time in and around Bekal, walk, watch the Sea and Sand, and the delicate lives, plants and animals.
2. Never visit the Fort or the beach in the afternoon. The heat would sometime be too much to handle
3. Carry water with you. The shops nearby offer bottled water and other drinks at higher prices than in the normal market.
4. Be wary of autorikshaws
On my way back, I had a thought. A virulent thought. Perhaps the winds of Bekal planted the thought upon my fertile mind. Somewhere North in Kasaragod lies a few villages tortured by a chemical storm. I don’t know why, but I got down from my bus and took the next bus towards Perla at Kasaragod. I never met a person who faced the hardships due to Endosulfan, never asked about the well being of anyone. I stood there for a while, and felt for that minuscule moment, every human hope and suffering suddenly mixed with my solitary loitering.