The Bekal Fort is situated 16 km south of Kasaragod on the National Highway 17 at the northern tip of Kerala. The fort is built of laterite blocks directly on the bedrock. The structure is around 24 metres in circumference at the base and more than nine metres in height. One opinion is that Kolathiri Raja built the fort and later on, it was reconstructed by Sivappa Nayaka (AD 1645-1660). Due to its resourceful and strategic importance, this area had witnessed many battles between the British and Haider Ali. Later, Haider Ali captured Bekal Fort in AD 1763. During the time of Tipu Sultan, it became a centre of administration of the Tulunadu and Malabar area. After the fall of Tipu Sultan in AD 1799, the Bekal Fort was incorporated into the dominion of the British.
There is a stairway inside the fort, steps of which lead to a tunnel and open to the outside wall of the fort, facing the Arabian Sea. It is the largest and well-preserved fort in Kerala, spreading over 40 acres. An important feature of this fort is the broad steps leading to an Observation Tower, which is a rarity. This observation tower, located at the centre of the fort, was built by Tipu Sultan and offers a magnificent view of the coastline. This fort served as an important military station of Tipu Sultan when he led the great military expedition to capture Malabar. The zig-zag entrance and the trenches around the fort show the defense strategy inherent in the fort, as it was built especially for defensive purposes.
The Bekal Fort has been used as a shooting location for many films, music, commercials, etc. This fort was declared as a special tourism area by the government in 1992.
Related information :