Land of Gods
Kasaragod town, the headquarters of this district, is the northernmost municipal town in the state. Situated on the right bank of the mouth of the Chandragiri river, the area was once part of the Vijayanagar empire.
The northernmost district of Kerala, Kasaragod is world renowned for its coir and handloom industries. Fishing is a prime source of livelihood. Kasaragod is known as the land of Gods, forts, rivers, hills and beautiful beaches. The fort at Bekal is the largest and best preserved in the State.
Kasaragod displays a variety of styles in temple architecture - the unique style of the Madhur Mahaganapathy temple, a typical Kerala style of the historic Malik Deenar Great Juma Masjid and so on speak volumes about the rich cultural heritage of the region. Spectacular pageants of Theyyam, Yakshagana, Kumbla (buffalo race), Poorakkali, Kolkali, etc. enchant visitors.
INDIA is a country of forts and palaces and these forts were built as defense against invading enemies. Among the forts, Bekal fort is the largest and best-preserved fort of Kerala. It is situated 10 Kms north of Kanhangad and is of great historical and archeological interest.
The fort has been under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India since the time of the British. Bekal Fort, which is about 350 years old, is the largest fort in Kerala. It is proposed to be developed into a tourist complex.
This magnificent fort which is nearly 16 hectares in extent virtually juts into the sea with a beautiful bay on its southern side. The fortification of the semi-circular construction with an imposing frontage is still intact as an architectural monument.
Sivappa Naik of the Ikkeri dynasty is said to have built the fort between 1645-16660. But some other historians are of the opinion that the fort was built by the then north Kerala rulers, the Kolathiri Rajas. Sivappa Naik of Bednore captured the fort when the Kolathiri Raja stopped paying tributes to him.
Later, the fort fell into the hands of Hyder Ali and later into his son, Tipu Sultan. With the over throw of Tipu Sultan, Bekal was incorporated into the dominions of the English East India Company in 1799.
A mosque and a Hanuman temple are located at the entrance of the fort as a symbol of religious harmony. The facade of the high walls with the battlement and the entire structure of the fort are architecturally commendable.
There is a large tower in the middle of the fort at a height of 10 meters and with a circumference of 27 m. From this tower, one can see the entire fort and the sea on the west and the lush green valleys on the east and the undulating Blue Mountains.
The fort must have been built with a view to spotting enemy vessels afar in the high seas. The waves lashing against its many extensions jutting into the water for years have not caused any serious damage. Neither time nor the mighty waves have dimmed the magnificence of the Bekal fort.
Peeping through its ancient moss covered cannon holes, one can see the Arabian sea shimmering in the sun and stretching into the horizon in all its varying moods.
Kanhangad / Hosdurg Fort
This is renowned for its chain of forts built by Somashekara Nayak of Ikkeri dynasty and also for the Nithyanandashram, an internationally recognized spiritual centre.
The cultural centre of the district, this was the seat of the Nileswar Rajas. The Nileshwaram Palace today functions as the folklore centre of the Dept. of Archaeology.
The town is also famous fort is numerous kavus (shrines), temple festivals and the Kavil Bhavan Yoga and Cultural Centre which offers rejuvenation therapy and naturopathy treatments like mud and herbal baths.
This is the home of the illustrious poets and scholars of Kuttamath. The ruins of a Dutch Fort built in the 18th century can be found in the Veeramala Hills. Cheruvathur is also a fascinating picnic spot.
4 Kms from Kasargod town. Situated on the Chandragiri River, southeast of Kasaragod town, this town is known for its large 17th century fort built by Sivappa Naik of Bandanore. The Chandragiri Fort, one of a chain of forts built by the same ruler, offers a breathtaking view of the river and the Arabian Sea. It is a vantage point to watch the sunset. There is a mosque nearby the ancient Kizhur State Temple at Chandragiri celebrates the annual festival called Pattu Utsavam. Chandragiri Cruises Boat trips to nearby islands and palm groves. Boarding point Chandragiri bridge.
40 Kms away from Kanhangad. This hill station is situated 750m above sea level, Ranipuram is famous for its trekking trails and varied vegetation - evergreen shola woods, monsoon forests and grasslands. This was formerly known as Madathumala. The extensive forests of Madathumala merge with the forests of Karnataka. Wild elephants can be seen wandering on the top of the mountains.