Roadtrip- Bangalore to Bekal

Bekal is a beautiful fortified town in Kasargod, Kerala. Famous for the Bekal fort and sand beaches this is still among the lesser known jewels in the crown of God's own country. About 380 km from Bangalore, this is a road trip that you'd remember forever. During the journey you'll pass through the beautiful hills stations of Madikeri and Kushalnagar in Coorg district of Karnataka. The roads are mostly in great condition except for the last stretch along the hills of Kerala.

Our Plan

This was one of those whimsical trips where we decided on the day, duration and destination just a day before the trip. With the football worldcup fever on we didn't want to miss out on the matches, hence chose to set off on Friday morning (29th June) - an off day before the round of 16. My husband longed for the hills and I was craving for some beach time, so I looked up the internet and found this amazing place called Bekal Fort. This is famous for being the location where the popular Hindi song "tu hi re" in the movie Bombay was shot. This is a place where you have hills, the sea , the rock beaches and the sandy ones, and a glimpse of history.
The distance was long for spending just one night there, so we booked a luxury beach resort, unlike most of our trips where we prefer standard hotels in town area. The weather forecast said it would rain throughout the day, but to our pleasant surprise we got to see the Nilgiris if monsoon, summer and spring all in the same journey.

The Journey

Map from Bangalore to Kasargod

Thanks to google timeline I could add the exact route we followed on the map above. The drive from Bangalore to Kasargod is the most beautiful road trip I have had for years. We started at around 6:00 am from electronic city in Bangalore and took the NH275 route where almost three-fourth of the route was on national highways NH48 and NH275. The roads were in great condition with breathtaking landscapes on both sides- ideal for long drives. We had a delicious south Indian breakfast at Kamat upachar on the way at 9am (inked on the map above) after which we almost drove continuously halting at few viewpoints. in Coorg. Once we left Karnataka and took the Thekkil-Aletty road, the width of the road almost reduced to half and the drive got an extra bit of thrill that we were not looking for. This part needs to be driven with caution - there are lots of blind turns and some badly damaged parts in between. This road cuts through the well forested hilly range and runs parallel to a river ( don't remember the name, will be happy if someone can help in the comments section). The road ends on NH66 in Kasargod from where our resort was about 20 minutes away. The colorful flags of all popular world cup teams were enough to say you have stepped into Kerala, without even looking at Google maps. It felt like home to the nostalgic Bengalis settled in Bangalore.

The Destination

We stayed at the Malabar Ocean front Resort and Spa, a beautiful beach resort at Kasargod. It's a small area with well maintained garden, pools and fountain. At off-season discount we got the rooms at roughly Rs.6000 per night and it was a luxury experience at that budget. (Quick update: one of my colleagues actually got 2 nights at Rs.9600 after hearing from me and booking just 2 weeks in advance). The room was larger and better than some of the highly priced top resorts I have stayed in during our corporate trips. Its a place where you can literally wake up to the sound of waves and view of  coconut groves along the sea side. It was 2:00pm when we reached our resort and the first thing we did was to head to the restaurant where we had some authentic Kerala Cuisine - Grilled kingfish, Kerala porota and rara chicken.
As usual, make sure you have checked best prices on makemytrip,, agoda before booking.

After this we spent the entire day walking and chatting at the beach. The sea on this side, as well as at the Bekal fort is rough, unlike the usual calm Arabian sea in Goa or Mumbai, hence not much option for water adventure. Personally I love this rugged face of the sea more than the calm - it's like watching the wild in the wild rather than the zoo. Due to cloudy weather, we couldn't really take Facebook-profile-picture-worthy photos here, but I have included some of the shots that capture the mood in the short video.
Next morning, we headed to Bekal fort at 9am, right after a wholsome breakfast with dosa, bread, eggs, sausages ,cereals and juice. The fort is about fifteen minutes drive from the resort, located just across the Bekal beach. Built in the seventeenth century, spread over 40 acres, this is the largest fort in Kerala. It was built by the Nayakas of Keladi, one of the prominent Kannada dynasties that rose after the decline of the Great Vijayanagara empire in the 16th century. It's easy to appreciate the strategic location of this fort looming upon the rough Arabian Sea. Another aspect that's hard not to notice are the prominent old temple and mosque around the same place bearing testimony to the religious harmony that existed for centuries.
We were pressed for time, since we had to reach home to watch the match at 7:30pm, so we reserved just one hour for the fort and Bekal beach. I'd suggest keeping at least 2.5 hours for enjoying this place if not more. Another attraction of this place are the hoards of peahens living here - strangely enough we spotted a group of 5-6 peahens but no peacock.

Note: I'd recommend this place for a two night stay especially if you choose to drive, so that you can explore the other ruined forts built during the same era, take a boat trip on the backwaters and get time to rest. It took us a little over 8 hours on each side, but that is thanks to minimal traffic on a working Friday morning, and a non-working Saturday evening. Any Bangalorean would know that you can easily add two more hours each side if you decide to travel on Saturday early morning and return on Sunday evening instead.
So are you excited for the trip? Share your thoughts in comments. Happy travelling!

Bekal Fort, Kerala, India
Can you hear the horses galloping from far?

FIFA, football, worldcup, fever, in, Kerala
Football fever in Kerala

Malabar Ocean-front resort and Spa, Kasargod, Bekal
Malabar Ocean-front beach resort & Spa

Beach resort, Swimming pool, Bekal, Malabar ocean-front resort and spa
Swimming pool at beach resort

Bekal Fort, Kasargod, Kerala
Bekal Fort, Kasargod, Kerala

Post a Comment