One of the most pristine and peaceful places of ‘God’s Own Country’, Bekal is a perfect holiday destination for all those who wish out to unwind and reinvigorate themselves amidst a splendid natural ambience. The place has numerous beaches, backwaters, estuaries and other natural delights that are still unexplored and unspoiled. This makes it a great place in the south western part of our country to be at. Majestic forts from a rich history, an elegant culture, refreshing beaches and sparkling water bodies, Bekal has it all.
All these unique attractions have contributed in motivating the Government of Kerala to initiate the project of Bekal Resorts Development Corporation Limited. Supposedly it will empower and enable the beautiful city to become an international tourism destination.
Major Tourist Attractions
The most prominent spots that must be visited by all those on a trip to Bekal include the following
- Bekal Fort– The most dignified and renowned of all the places of tourists’ interest that this city owns, the 300 years old Bekal Fort is the largest of all the forts in Kerala. Its situation beside sea shore further enhances it charm to a great extent. Inside the fort are Traveller’s Bungalow, Hanuman Temple, Mukhya Prana Temple, a tunnel and an observation tower. Close to the fort is Pallikere Beach which has shallow waters.
- Kappil Beach– Calling it the best beach of Kerala would probably not be an exaggeration. Serene, unspoiled and vast, the Kappil Beach is the best place in Bekal to relax and rejuvenate yourself. Kodi Cliff situated close to it offers a scintillating view of the Arabian Sea.
- Valiyaparamba Backwaters– The most captivating of all the backwaters in Kerala, Valiyaparamba Backwaters lie at a distance of about 30 km from Bekal. A fishing center, lots of sea birds, coconut palms, pleasant weather, boating and houseboat experiences present at this place are a complete treat for its visitors.
- Chandragiri Fort– Standing on the banks of Chandragiri River, the fort belongs to the 17th century and was built by Sivappa Nayak of Bednore. From this spot one can clearly see Chandragiri River merging into the Arabian Sea which is a great sight to watch.
- Ananthapura Lake Temple– Situated at a distance of 25 km from Bekal, this ancient shrine is dedicated to Sri Padmanabha- an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and belongs to the 9th century.
Festival and Fairs
Bekal has gained its popularity in recent times among the tourists and visitors because of its rich culture and heritage. Bekal is well known for its folk dance, art and dance events and the traditional customs followed here to celebrate various festivals belonging to various communities and religions.
- Sarvajanika Ganeshotsavam: This is one of the most important and famous festival celebrated in Bekal with a lot of enthusiasm and joy. Thousands of people gather during this festival from in and around the city. This festival is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is usually held in the month of September every year. Big idols of Lord Ganesha made of clay is worshipped for five to seven days and on the last day huge processions are carried out with these idols to immerse them in the holy temple tanks.
- Annual Temple Festivals: Many annual festivals dedicated to different Gods and Goddesses are also celebrated here. These annual festivals are celebrated for five to seven days at various temple sites and are generally held in the months of March-April. Among them the important ones are Madhur Temple festival and Mallikarjuna Temple festival. Devotees and visitors usually come in large number to witness the exclusive sight of celebration during this timeframe.
- Mukhya Prana Temple Festival: This is another important festival celebrated at the land mark of the city i.e. Bekal Fort. It is known as ‘Bekal Fort Mukhya Prana Temple Festival’ which has its connection with Ram Navami. This festival is celebrated during the month of April along with many cultural and dance events like Kathakali and Satsang programmes.
- Perunnal Festival: Also known as ‘Thirunaal’, it is one of the most important festivals of Christians residing at Bekal. It is celebrated with huge pomp and gaiety in the Churches with the equal participation of people from different religions.
- Makham Uroos: Makham Urooses are celebrated by the Muslim community living in Bekal at various holy mosques and graveyards of holy Muslim saints. These Muslim festivals last for a minimum of seven days. The main site of attraction during the Uroos celebration is mass feeding of the poor and needy.
Best Time to Visit
Winters at Bekal starts between December and February when the city offers a bit dry but pleasant weather. This is the time when temperature is moderate (Ranging from 200C to 250C) and climate is cool. It is the preferred time for the tourist to visit this place. Summers starts from March till May with maximum temperature touching 370C. Heavy showers take place between the months of June and September where one can enjoy the scenic beauty of this place.
How to Reach
- By Air – Mangalore Airport is the nearest airport located at a distance of around 50 Km from Bekal. Many buses and taxis are available from the airport to reach the main city.
- By Rail – Two most important railway stations – Kasargod and Kanhangad are located at a distance of approximately 12 Km from the main city. Tourists and visitors can commute on taxis, which are easily available, to reach their final destination at Bekal from the railway station.
- By Road – Kerela State Road Transport Corporation has developed a well planned road network that connects Bekal with all the major cities and towns of Kerela.