Lost In The Backwaters: Thekkekadu, Kerala

11th Mar 2014
Photo of Lost In The Backwaters: Thekkekadu, Kerala 1/7 by Fatema Diwan
Ananthapura Lake Temple
Photo of Lost In The Backwaters: Thekkekadu, Kerala 2/7 by Fatema Diwan
Backwaters of Kerala
Photo of Lost In The Backwaters: Thekkekadu, Kerala 3/7 by Fatema Diwan
Beautiful beaches of Thekkekadu
Photo of Lost In The Backwaters: Thekkekadu, Kerala 4/7 by Fatema Diwan
Bekal Fort
Photo of Lost In The Backwaters: Thekkekadu, Kerala 5/7 by Fatema Diwan
Chandragiri Fort
Photo of Lost In The Backwaters: Thekkekadu, Kerala 6/7 by Fatema Diwan
Malik Deenar Mosque
Photo of Lost In The Backwaters: Thekkekadu, Kerala 7/7 by Fatema Diwan
Relaxing in Mr. Gul's private island retreat

Thekkekadu is among Kerala's best kept secrets. The Southern state of Kerala is widely known for its beautiful backwaters and its infinite expanses of tea plantations. A serene and romantic getaway for many travelers, Kerala has always received the tourist attention that it deserves. While the capital Thiruvanthampuram, the hill station of Munnar and various other "known" spots like Thekkady and Kottayam are the go to places for travelers, there are certain other small villages and towns that lay silently without asking for much attention.

Northern Kerala as a whole has been quite unexplored, while the southern part of the state attracts throngs of people. The lack of tourists is what makes a journey to the Northern districts of Kerala interesting. The raw, beautiful, virgin backwaters (where you won't spot any tourist boats) lined only with fisherman, the untouched culture and a landscape that hasn't been commercialized by hotels and resorts (except one) - Thekkekadu in Kasaragod district is quite a holiday. Before visiting Thekkekadu, I tried my luck with Google, but received almost no substantial information on the place. However, certain travelers swore on their blogs that Thekkekadu was a gem. I couldn't agree more.

For reasons unknown, this place doesn't count as a "tourist attraction" in Kerala, which is good. Chances are you will get to enjoy a beautiful sunset on the white sandy beaches all by yourself! Or row in the backwaters with a fisherman! Or lay in a hammock and soak some sun among the palm trees! Thekkekadu is essentially a small, little island in the backwaters of Kerala. So, when it comes to sightseeing, it doesn't offer much apart from the backwaters and the panoramic landscapes and beaches. It is a place where you just sit back, relax and let nature work its magic.

Just in case you are an adventurous soul, who can't stay put, you can use this little island as a stay and rest place while you explore the district of Ksaragod. Kasaragod has a number of places that you can explore while using Thekkekadu as your base.

This is the single largest place to live in Thekkekadu. The complex is very serene and quiet with a beautiful view of the Arabian sea and coconut palms. You can lay here in a hammock for hours at a stretch with no one to disturb you. This resort offers cottages that are very comfortable and give a very rural Kerala feel. The rates are also reasonable. Moreover, this place doesn't feel like a commercial resort at all, it is neither a resort nor a home stay, but just a place that perfectly encapsulates the languid way of life in these backwaters.

Photo of Mr. Gul's Private Island Retreat, Thekkekadu, Kerala by Fatema Diwan

This one's a little far off, but worth a visit. Spreading over 40 acres, it is the largest Fort in Kerala. This fort was not an administrative center as many other forts in India, but was highly equipped with the best designs and technology. It's one of the rare forts that has an observatory, which was used to track enemy movements. Today, it is used to get a nice view of the nearby villages. The fort is around 300 years old and is situated in the backdrop of the Arabian sea. It was built by Tipu Sultan as a defense strategy and is today converted into a tourism spot by the government. It is pretty scenic with many Bollywood songs being shot there.

Photo of Bekal Fort Road, Kasaragod, Kerala, India by Fatema Diwan

This temple is located around 30 kms from the Bekal Fort. Built in the 9th century, it is the only lake temple in Kerala. It is surrounded by the Ananthapura Lake and the only way in is through a bridge. The temple is very serene to spend time in. Another attraction here is a Crocodile that is said to be around 150 years old. This is one of the few South Indian temples that is open to people of all castes. It is a very modest looking temple with greenery around. There is also a small Ganesha temple near the gate that is worth a stop.

Photo of Ananthapura Lake Temple, Kasaragod, Kerala, India by Fatema Diwan

Chandragiri Fort is situated very close to Kasaragod. Lying on the banks of the Chandragiri river, it is much smaller to the Bekal fort, but is one of the main forts of the Vijayanagar empire. You can see the ruins of what was once the Capital of the Vijayanagar empire. Built in the 17th century, this fort is well known for its architecture and well preserved artifacts that highlight the lives of the past rulers. There is also a beautiful beach just 4 kms away and boating options are available on the Chandragiri River.

Photo of Chandragiri Fort, Kalnad, Kasaragod, Kerala, India by Fatema Diwan

Around 1400 years old, This mosque reminds of the Islamic influence in Kerala. Built in a typical Kerala style architecture, this mosque was built by Malik bin Deenar, the first people to bring Islam into Kerala. The place is sacred to Muslims as it has the grave of Malik Ibn Mohammed, one of the descendants of Malik Bin Deenar. It is one of the monuments that speaks of the cultural heritage of Kerala. It is one of the Historical places to visit in North Kerala.

Photo of Malik Deenar Juma Masjid, Thalangara, Kasaragod, Kerala, India by Fatema Diwan

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