Well, it was a quick fire visit to the ancient Bekal fort in Kasargod, Kerala merely 50kms away from the port town of Mangalore. Bekal fort is the largest and best preserved fort in Kerala currently in the hands of the ASI.
Bekal fort was constructed during the period of Shivappa Nayaka and it later fell into the hands of the Mysore Maharajas and subsequently the British Raj. History says, Bekal was a fort used for the military and defense purposes and it became an important trade route during the Mysore and then the British empire.
How to reach: Nearest towns are Kanhagad (8kms) and Kasargod (18kms). Kasargod is connected to all major ciities by road and through the Konkan railway. Volvo's and Rajahamsa services are operated by KSRTC from Bangalore daily.
As this was planned last minute, we got the last 2 seats in a Volvo bus to Kasargod from Bangalore. It was a roller coaster ride and with every bump you get a feeling of floating in air (just as you feel if you are sitting in the giant wheel). Hopefully we don't end up in the last seats of an Volvo again. It was quite surprising for me to digest the fact that Volvo covered 260 kms to Sakleshpur in flat 4 hours and we never realized it!
Next, I was back in my senses only when we were in the Kasargod town at around 6am. Looking for an accommodation, we roamed around the streets near to the bus stand only to realize the town was sleepy and would be awake after 8am. Found a decent accommodation at State Lodge located in the MG road that has a history of 60 years. It was raining all through and a small nap for a couple of hours and later we were ready to go.
Finishing our work near Bekal, we moved further towards Bekal fort with the weather being cloudy and sunny. The massive fort is now under the watchful care of the ASI and they are doing a good job in maintaining the premises in spite of the huge crowds that converge here during the weekends.
We spent close to 3 hours here roaming around the huge complex, photographing, watching the waves hit the shore and we got drenched too in the salt waters of the Arabian sea. A lone White bellied Sea Eagle kept us occupied for close to half an hour with its antics hovering around the shore and the sea.
We had lunch at the Kia-Ora restaurant at the Nirvana resort located just outside the fort, the food was great but a tad expensive on the pockets, nevertheless it's expected at a tourist location. From here back to Kasargod town and a little rest later, we were on the streets of the town roaming around each and every street.
Every street here is filled with shops of electronics, dresses, automobile parts, gadgets and imported stuff. The roads are all lit up with bright lights and designer lamps. Past 8pm, half the town was shut down for the day as we had some light dinner stuff and headed towards the bus stop where the Airavat was waiting for us.
A short trip but nevertheless very exciting and entertaining for me and Raja.