Thursday, September 10, 2015

A day in Bekal

Kerala is one of my favourite places to visit, since it is really beautiful and peaceful here. The coast oozes bliss and guarantees some ‘me-time’. So, along with a few friends I decided to visit Kasargod district of Kerala. That’s very close to Mangaluru, where I am currently based.

Since I was travelling to the South, I went in for a simple street wear look. Teamed my favourite printed palazzos with a black tanktop and a denim jacket with tassles on the edge of the shoulder. Even though the pants are monochrome, I kinda love the two distinct prints on them. Wooden accessories seemed perfect, and I put on a pair of white earrings and a printed wooden bangle that matched with my pants. My short hair left loose, a hint of eye liner and lipstick and I was good to go. My little black duffle bag completed the look.

There are regular buses and trains plying from Mangalore to Kasargod. We took the early morning train to Bekal. The weather was indeed great with the sun neatly tucked in the blanket of clouds and a slight drizzle every now and then that made it nice and cool to move around.

The serene beach in Kasargod is very peaceful. With hardly any tourists or human activity, it was rather nice to be here. There is a park at one end of the beach, and the other side is used to park fishing boats. Met a few fishermen and stopped by to say ‘hey’. Not many people know English or Hindi here, and since I do not know Malyalam at all, I couldn’t really interact with anyone. The small bamboo benches placed a little distance away from the shore are rather cute.

Next headed to the very popular Bekal fort, a coastal fort lying 16 km south-east of Kasargod situated on the backdrop of Arabian seashore of Pallikkara village. It is one of the best preserved and largest forts in Kerala. The fort spreading over forty acres, has massive walls about 12 meters in height built of local laterite stones.

The headland on which it is situated runs into the sea with fine bay towards the south. You can get a view of the entire surrounding area from top of the fort. It is a large fort, the wall and ramparts on the sea side being strong and interspersed by the bastions with opening for guns. The main gate is towards the east and is protected by bastions. A ditch surrounds the fort on the land side.

The important features of this fort are the tank with its flight of steps, the opening of the tunnel towards the south, the magazine for keeping ammunition, wide ramp leading to the observation tower. This tower is a rarity giving fascinating view of the surrounding area. From there one has ample view of all the important places in the vicinity. The fort is covered by beautiful plants and shrubs, and the blossoming flowers give it a wonderful look.

The forever-hungry-we devoured some sumptuous beef biryani at Hotel Victoria in Kasargod and headed back to our routine life. Kasargod can be a perfect weekend getaway for people living in South India. I was rather lucky to go on a weekday and enjoy the serenity the place had to offer. There were a few domestic tourists, that’s all! And considering the great weather, I got a chance to explore the place at my own pace.

Would you suggest any great places in South India that I should add to my wishlist? I am in Mangalore until April 2015, so have an opportunity to explore a lot many places in the South! Do write to us in the comments box below.  

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