A lush landscape, lazy days and the sea waves crashing against a fort. This scene awaits any wayfarer, who has had enough of the nightlife of Bangalore, and the beach shacks of Goa. Kasaragod on the northmost tip of Kerala is a little-known coastal destination and holds much of value and pleasure for those who take the risk to explore something new.
This coastal town is framed by the Western Ghats in the east and the Arabian Sea in the west. A town is a serene place, with amazing seafood cuisine, economical accommodation. You can get around the town on foot or use the local autos.
A major attraction is the Bekal fort. Shivappa Nayaka of Keladi constructed the Bekal Fort in 1650 AD. This is one of the largest forts in Kerala. The top of the fort is easily accessible, and affords a sprawling view of the Arabian sea. A 300-year-old key-hole shaped structure, it was built with a defence strategy in mind.
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Bekal Beach is right adjacent to the fort. There are a few colourful fishing boats on one end while the rest of the beach is an ideal setting for swimming and sunning in the sand.
Another imposing structure in the vicinity is the Chandragiri Fort. Almost in ruins now, it is still a worthy site because of the spectacular view of the Chandragiri River joining the Arabian Sea.You can also take a boat-ride on the Chandragiri River that lasts for around half an hour and starts from the Chandragiri Bridge. You can time your ride into the river to view an Instagram-worthy sunset.
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Kappil Beach is an ideal destination for those who crave solitude. You can laze around here or hike to a small hillock, Kodi Cliff, for some spectacular views.
You can also visit the fully functional lighthouse at Kaup. A visit here feels like an escape into a children’s novel, as the thrill and excitement of the climb and the view of the ocean are real and rare.
There are also many ancient temples in the region like the Mallikarjun temple and Bhagavathy temple. Sri Gopalakrishna Temple is located close to Kasaragod town and is dedicated to Lord Bala Gopalakrishna, the older brother of Lord Krishna. According to mythology, the idol of Lord Bala was presented to Kanva Maharishi, the saint who established this temple, by Lord Krishna himself.
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Kasaragod is an important site to view the traditional art of Theyyam. It is a ritual that incorporates dance, mime and music and enshrines the rudiments of ancient tribal cultures which attached great importance to the worship of heroes and the spirits of ancestors.
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Kasaragod is connected by rail to major metro cities of India, and the closest airport is at Mangalore. It is also accessible by NH 17.
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