Blissful Bekal

7th Mar 2015
Photo of Blissful Bekal 1/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Sunset at Bekal Beach
Photo of Blissful Bekal 2/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Bekal Beach
Photo of Blissful Bekal 3/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Bekal Beach
Photo of Blissful Bekal 4/22 by Muktadhara Ray
valiyaparamba backwaters
Photo of Blissful Bekal 5/22 by Muktadhara Ray
valiyaparamba backwaters
Photo of Blissful Bekal 6/22 by Muktadhara Ray
valiyaparamba backwaters
Photo of Blissful Bekal 7/22 by Muktadhara Ray
View from Bekal Fort
Photo of Blissful Bekal 8/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Yours truly at Bekal Beach
Photo of Blissful Bekal 9/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Bekal Beach
Photo of Blissful Bekal 10/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Sunset at Bekal Beach
Photo of Blissful Bekal 11/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Fruits soaked in salted water. Tongue smacking Sour
Photo of Blissful Bekal 12/22 by Muktadhara Ray
View from fort
Photo of Blissful Bekal 13/22 by Muktadhara Ray
View from fort
Photo of Blissful Bekal 14/22 by Muktadhara Ray
View from fort
Photo of Blissful Bekal 15/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Inside Bekal Fort
Photo of Blissful Bekal 16/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Main Gate of Bekal Fort
Photo of Blissful Bekal 17/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Nirvana Dining Room
Photo of Blissful Bekal 18/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Nirvana Resort
Photo of Blissful Bekal 19/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Nirvana Resort
Photo of Blissful Bekal 20/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Kasargode Beach
Photo of Blissful Bekal 21/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Nirvana Resort
Photo of Blissful Bekal 22/22 by Muktadhara Ray
Yours Truly at Valiyaparamba Backwaters

Travel, they say , is not always about the destination.Sometimes, it's just the urge to be on the move, the longing for an unknown distant place away from the maddening crowd. Bekal is a place where silence speaks loud, where the only noise you hear is your heart beat. From the fort, you only see the unending sea wherever your eyes go .

We reached Kasargode Bus stop at 5:30 am in the morning after an 8 hrs bus ride from Bangalore. Autos are available even that early in the morning. Bekal is abou 14 kms from kasargod. We loved Nirvana at first sight and were ecstatic seeing that it was just next to the Bekal fort.

After a complimentary breakfast at the resort, we headed out for the fort armed with umbrellas, sunscreen, shades and water bottle. Yes, it was that hot!

We were quite a sight roaming in hot pants amidst a crowd that wore floor length anarkali suits and burqas even in that heat!!

The best part of the fort is that government and the Archaeological Survey of India is maintaining the fort. The Murud janjira at Kashid is ruined and I was quite sad to see the state of it. The fort is never ending and every view point is worth stopping at. You need at least 3 hours to see it in entirety.

Lunch at the resort comprised of fresh and fried King Fish. I believe if you're travelling to a beach, fish should be your staple diet. The steamed fish in banana leaf was a mess and the generous use of curry leaves and coconut oil added to the disaster.

The bekal beach is also a couple of minutes of walk from Nirvana. we sat in the clean white sands dotted with shells and watched the sea devour the sun.

The sea here is calm and submissive and so is the weather.

Evenings at Nirvana are terrribly quiet. We sat at the open dining hall and sang songs. We put 'Tu hi re' on loop in our mobiles :) ( For the uninitiated, the song was shot here.)

The next morning again we wer back at the beach. these beaches are not as commercialised as Goa and hence no shacks. But lying down in the sun and sand with the cool morning breeze is an absolute bliss!

Travel Details

KSRTC NON AC sleeper Bus from Bangalore : INR 650

Local Auto : 15 INR per km

Stay at Nirvana : 2500 INR for double bed cottage ( discounted price due to an online offer) + 800 for extra cot

Food at Nirvana : Average but no other nearby options

Spa at Nirvana : only available on Saturdays(Kerala massage) but you have to make an appointment

Entry Fee at Bekal Fort : 5 INR per adult and 25 INR per camera.

It's a beautiful resort just next to the Bekal fort. The resort is clean and green and the staff and service is pretty good. Food is average but freshly made. We specifically mentioned after every order, "No curry leaves please! " :) The Bekal beach is also a couple of minutes walk from the resort. And if you're as lucky as me, you might catch a peacock flying around the resort. Now that's a sight I will remember for a long time to come.

Kasargod is 14 kms from bekal. The bus from Bangalore dropped us here. We decided to explore the area a bit before heading towards bekal. The only place was the kasargod beach. You can take an auto from the bus station and reach here. the best thing about the transport is that you don't have to haggle about the price. the auto wallahs charge you Rs 15 per km. They also have a govt. chart for shorter routes that you can check before you pay. The beach is clean and non commercialized.

We had dinner here before leaving for Bangalore. It's just behind the bus stop and has excellent food as compared to Nirvana. I had prawn biryani and it was yummy. So was the chinese food that my cousins ordered. Food in kerala is mostly cooked in coconut oil, so the taste is always a lil different. Word of caution : The first couple of hours bus ride is really rough as it's a ghat area. The food churns vigorously inside and causes lot of discomfort!!!

Bollywood Connection : Maniratnam shot the song 'Tu Hi re' from the film Bombay here. I watched the song infinite number of times after I decided on the trip. History : It is believed that the Bekal fort might have existed even from early days of the Chirakkal Rajas for the fact that it was common in those days to build a fort for the purpose of defense. Many of the old royal palaces have forts to protect them from the enemies. Decribing the Kolathiri Kingdom in his Kerala History, K.P. Padmanabha Menon writes that the residence allotted to the Thekkelamkur: "The eldest of the male members reigned as sovereign Kolathiri. The next in succession, the heir apparent, was the Thekkelamkur. The residence assigned to him was the Vadakara fort. The third in succession was the Vadakkelamkur in charge of Vekkolath fort. This V (B) ekkolath fort is identified by some scholars as the present Bekal. In his Handbook of South Canara written in 1985, H.A. Stuart remarks that "Several forts were built by the Shivappa Nayak of Bednoor between 1650 and 1670. The two forts of Bekal and Chandragiri were originally under the Kolathiri or Chirakkal Rajas until the time of Shivappa Nayaka's invasion. Perhaps, the Bednore rulers might have rebuilt and improved it." The 'Koteyar'/'Ramakshatriya' community found in Bekal, Panayal and other places in Kasargod were said to have been brought to this land by the Nayaks to strengthen and defend the fort. There was a prolonged struggle between the Kolathiries and Nayaks to recapture and maintain their hold over this area. Following the rise of the Hyder Ali and his conquest of Bekal these prolonged battles came to an end. Thus Bekal fell into the hands of the Mysore kings. The reign of Tipu Sultan in Bekal When Tipu Sultan led the great military expedition to capture Malabar Bekal Fort served as an important military station for his army. The coins and other artifacts unearthed by the archaeological excavation conducted recently at Bekal fort shows the strong presence of the Mysore Sulthans. The Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799 led to the death of Tipu Sulthan and consequently the fort came under the British East India Company. Bekal during the British Raj For the British also Bekal Fort was significant for their military and administrative ventures. During the reign of the Company Bekal became the headquarters of the newly organized Bekal Taluk of South Canara District in Bombay presidency. South Canara became a part of the Madras presidency in 1862 and Bekal Taluk was renamed Kasargod Taluk. Slowly the political and economic magnitude of Bekal and its port declined considerably. With the state reorganization in 1956 Kasargod became part of Kerala. ( Source : KeralaTourism) Present day : I was pleasantly surprised to see how much the Archaeological Survey of India has maintained this place. The area inside the fort is lush green even during summers. A stony path is being constructed outside the fort for the tourists to take a walk around the fort. The entry fee is Rs 5 per person and Rs 25 per camera.

There's a small path behind the Nirvana that leads to the Bekal beach. The beach is one of the cleanest I have seen and is dotted with shells.

The beauty of the backwaters at kerala is something I really can't describe in words. Last minute addition to our plan but m glad it happened. We sat in absolute silence and stared at the still beauty of the backwaters.