A brief history of Chandigiri Fort, Bekal
The state of Kerala is called God’s own country because it has been bestowed with natural bounty and has a cultural legacy to match its beauty. The state is believed to be reclaimed from the sea by Parasurama, the warrior-sage, himself. Mythology aside, the rich and vibrant land has a history peppered with momentous events and massive changes through the centuries. The Kasargod district of Kerala has its fair share of interesting history and the Chandragiri Fort near the town of Bekal has also been the centre of many such events and changes. Currently, it is one of the best-loved tourist destinations in Kerala. Let us understand the history of the place better.
The history of Chandragiri Fort
The River Chandragiri that flows through the Kasaragod district formed the natural boundary between two powerful kingdoms of the 16th century – the Kolathunadu Kingdom and the Thulunadu Kingdom. This area belonged to the Kolathundu Kingdom but when the adjacent Thulunadu Kingdom was overtaken by more powerful Vijayanagar Empire this region came under the control of the Vijayanagar kings. By the 17th century the Vijayanagar Samrajya was on a wane and the Keladi Nayakas of Ikkeri gained control over the region. Shivappa Nayak of Bedanoor embarked on an ambitious project and built a chain of forts along the banks of the Chandragiri River. The Chandragiri Fort is one of the few forts that bears testimony to this feat. The fort is spread over 7 acres and was built atop a hill. It is at a height of over 150 feet above sea level.
What Chandragiri has to offer
The Chandragiri Fort is a majestic reminder of days bygone. Though not intact, the remnants of the fort are preserved and protected by the Archaeology Department of the state of Kerala. What remain untouched, though, are the astounding view that the river and the Arabian Sea offers. The coconut groves on either side add to its lustre. This fort is a photographer’s dream destination, particularly during sunrise and sunset.
The Chandragiri boat club offers boat rides to nearby islands and palm grove is offered by. The houseboat cruises are perfect for romantic rides with your beau and beloved. There is much for adventure enthusiasts as well – camping in the island, and wildlife tours in the vicinity make for a great time in the lap of nature. Fishing in the river and cooking your catch in the camp will certainly make for a better dinner than in one of the multi-cuisine restaurants in Kerala.
The best time to visit Bekal and the fort is during the 9-day Pattutsavam festival at the ancient Kizhur Siva Temple.
Getting to Chandragiri
Chandragiri is at a distance of about 12 kilometres from the town of Bekal where some of the best five star hotels of Kerala are located. Chandragiri can be a wonderful daytrip getaway from Bekal and also from Kasaragod town (4 kilometres away). The nearest airport is in Mangalore City in Karnataka (67 kilometres away).