BY DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY
KOCHI, 27 NOVEMBER 2022
The superhit ‘Tu Hi Re’ song of the 1995 released Bollywood chartbuster movie Bombay by Mani Ratnam starring Arvind Swamy and Manisha Koirala, with the background music of A.R.Rahman has been shot at the Bekal Fort in Kerala.
One of the Most famous film shooting locations of Molywood is – The Bengkal Fort.
Today, the Bekal Fort and its scenic surroundings are fast becoming an international tourist destination and a favourite shooting locale for filmmakers.
Kasaragod boasts of the largest and best preserved Fort in the whole of Kerala, bordered by a magnificent beach. Shaped like a giant keyhole, the historic Bekal Fort was built in the 17th century. This historic monument offers a superb view of the Arabian Sea from its tall observation towers, which were occupied by gigantic cannons till a few centuries ago.
Near the Fort is an old Mosque that is said to have been built by Tipu Sultan of Mysore. Originally constructed by the rulers of the ancient Kadampa Dynasty, the Fort changed hands over the years to the Kolathiri Rajas, the Vijayanagara Empire, Tipu Sultan and finally, the British East India Company.
Around 16 km to the south of the northernmost district in Kerala, Kasaragod, lies the massive Bekal Fort. It is among the biggest forts in Kerala and has been impeccably maintained throughout the years. It
rises to 130 feet above sea level and is situated on a headland spanning 35km. Much effort has been put into developing a beautiful beach here called the Bekal Fort Beach. People flock to these spots in great numbers. Situated comfortably on steep hills by the sea, the fort provides for an imposing view from the beach. Built using laterite slabs and with a polygonal shape, it is amongst the most visited sites in Kerala.
There are many factors that have added to the popularity of the site. An observation tower fitted with beautiful peepholes, the Anjaneya Temple with its famous masonry and two Theyyam sculptures built from laterite are among the primary attractions. An ancient mosque built by Tipu Sultan and various underground passageways are also important places in the area. A rock garden was built using laterite in the parking area and is an architectural marvel in itself. Trees have been planted on the beach along with the construction of a splendid walkway which makes it easier to traverse the beach and enjoy its sights. At night, the entire place is lit up with special lights that add a whole new dimension to its beauty.
Bekal is a land whose sands are sodden with the essence of history and the breeze is fragrant with pristine beauty. A land whose moods shift and sway with every heartbeat. The essence of magical Bekal captured in frames by tourists. Rediscover Bekal in the calm of dawn, charm of the morning, the cheer of the afternoon, the romance of the evening and in the serenity of the night. A different Bekal in each different frame, the visit takes you on a journey of reconnection. A reconnection to the past where history sleeps and to nature wherein the world is unplugged.
“At the confluence of land and sea, stands the largest and the most popular fort in Kerala – the Bekal Fort. This massive fort was built nearly 3000 years ago. Spreading across an area of about 40 acres, the Bekal Fort was primarily a military stronghold in the Malabar area which was built to resist invaders from the sea. This structure of the Fort is designed in the shape of a magnificent keyhole which makes it so unique among the other forts in Kerala. The head of the Fort is circular in shape and is furnished with red-brown stone. The numerous peep-holes of the Fort offer a beautiful view of the surrounding valleys. The Observation tower that provides a stunning view of the Arabian Sea and the golden shore is a major attraction here, “ according to Kerala Tourism.
Visiting hours: 08:00 – 17:30 hrs.
Entry Fees: Adults, Rs. 15/- (Free for children up to 15 yrs).
Nearest railway station: Kasaragod, on the Kozhikode-Mangalore-Mumbai route, about 16 km
Nearest airport: Mangalore International Airport, about 50 km from Kasaragod town | Kannur International Airport, about 110 km from Kasaragod town | Calicut International Airport, Kozhikode, about 200 km from Kasaragod town
TOP TOURIST ATTRACTIONS NEAR BEKAL-
Bekal Fort, Bekal Beach, Valiyaparamba backwaters, Nithya Sundaram caves,Kappil Beach, Kodi cliffs, Chandragiri fort, Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Bekal Hole Aqua park, Pallikere Beach, Ananthapura Temple, Nileswaram, Hosdurg Beach etc.