The northern end
The northern-most district of Kerala, Kasargod is known for its coir and handloom industries. Fishing is a prime source of livelihood. The district has water, forest and mineral resources. It is flanked by the forest-covered Western Ghats in the east and the Arabian Sea in the west. Demarcating the north and south are two rivers- the Talapadi and the Trikaripur. Grey rocks and barren land amidst dense vegetation as well as calm lagoons visible through the coconut palms along the coastal belt lend this district a rare and different beauty. Not surprisingly, Kasargod is poised for growth in the area of tourism. These days most travellers who land in Kasargod head straight for Bekal, 16 km south on the National Highway. The beautiful Bekal beach with the historic and archaeologically significant Bekal Fort in the background is now being developed into a major beach resort. But for now you can still savour a touch of history as you view the serene Lakhadweep sea from the tall observation towers of the fort, once huge cannon emplacements, perched on a hill top. The largest and best preserved fort in Kerala, belonged in ancient times to the Kadampadynasty and later came under the Kolathiri Rajas. Still later it became part of the Vijayanagar empire. In the late 18the century Tipu Sultan captured it. An old mosque near the fort is believed to have been built by him. After he was overthrown by the British, the fort came under the East India Company.
Places to visit
Spread over nearly five acres, the Kasargod fort is believed to have been built by Sivappa Nayak in the middle of the 17th Century.
16 km south of Kasargod town, the beautiful Bekal Beach with the 300 years old Bekal Fort in the background, is of great historical and archaeological interest. Once held by Tipu Sultan the fort was later incorporated into the domain of the English East India Company. The fine beach and natural scenery around the fort is exchanging. Bekal is also a wonderful health resort. An old mosque nearby is believed to have been built by Tipu Sultan.
Chandragiri is also a famous for its large square fort on the left bank of the Chandragiri river. A mosque and ancient temple are also located nearby.
The Hosdurg Fort here, with its round bastions is a major attraction for tourists. Several public offices and the Karpooreswara Temple are located in fort area.
The memorial of Govinda Pai, the grand patriarch of Kannada literature is situated here. Manjeshwara also has its share of temples and mosques.
The cultural centre of the district was the seat of Nileshwar Rajas, patrons of art and culture for centuries. In and around
Nileshwar, there are several 'Kavus' where nature, God and man commune in serene silence. Major among them in Mannampurathu
Kavu, where the grand final of the annual temple festival of the region takes place. A Folklore centre of the Archaeological Department of the State functions in the Palace of Nileshwar Rajas.
The town is famous for a yoga centre, which has been flourishing for decades.
This shallow beach offers a spectacular view of the fort and has ample facilities for recreation and relaxation.
Bekal Hole Aqua Park:
The only one of its kind in northern Kerala, this unique Aqua Park provides watersport facilities like pedalboats and water cycles.
Remote and secluded, this beach is fast becoming a major tourist attraction. The Kochi cliff nearby ofers a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea.
Ananthapura Lake Temple:
This 9th century temple is the only lake temple in Kerala and is the moolasthanam of
Anandapadmanabha, the deity of Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple, Thiruvananthapuram.
A large swimming pool-like formation of the sea on the vast beach is the main attraction.