Tag Archives: tourism

Sands, Sea and Sun at the Bekal – 13th March 2014

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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 :

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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.

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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.

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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

5. Enjoy

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.

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The ever changing moods of Princess Kodai – Dec 23 2013

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There are very little things a man can do when caught in the charms of beauty Kodaikanal offers to him. The name itself means ‘Gift of the forests’, and indeed it is a gift both to the eye and the heart. Adorned as the princess of all hills, Kodai is rather a queen which brings a royal magnificence and spreads it around for the whole world to rejoice. Yet, one feels the economic side of Kodai has pulled her into a place she never wish to tread. You could see plastics all around; rejected carry bags, paper, garbage that the consumerism of the tourism industry leaves her with at the end of the season. Yet the splendor of Kodai still remains etched in time.

There are lot that could be said about the princess. She has a history of being owned by the Palaiyar tribes in the very distant past and being visited by a variety of people which include American missionaries and English bureaucrats during the time of colonization. She has an exploding tourism industry that she holds ever so well on her back. Being a hotspot, I would rather warn you not to be mislead into what guides would offer you with, cause the beauty of Kodai should be felt by yourself, in her subtle change of skies, in her evil spread of mists, and her calm array of forests. Rather than using the powered transport, I would suggest a visitor to use the bikes available at a very minimal cost and to go out exploring Kodai’s vast beauty on your free will.

I am pretty certain that any of her visitors would find it hard to go away from the alluring force of Kodai. Yet, I had the pleasure of bidding her goodbye in the night. And in my descent the valley beneath offered me a sight to behold. A million lights were spread across, greeting me and my thoughts on that winter night. It pulled me out of Kodai’s prowess, and maybe asked me to continue my journeys into self discovery more so than ever. So anyone who has the pain of bidding adieu to the princess, I would suggest you do it at night, because I assure the charm of the valley at night would wipe away the tears in your eyes.