Kerala’s Bekal Fort is a must-see for history buffs.

Kerala’s Bekal Fort is a must-see for history buffs.

Calm backwaters, beautiful beaches, swaying coconut palms, Ayurvedic massages, and unique spices are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all Kerala has to offer. It also has some impressive historical sites to offer.

The Bekal Fort is one such treasure. Bekal Fort, with its idyllic location at the point where land and sea meet, is a treat for everyone with an interest in history or in the beauty of the natural world.

Timeline of the Construction of Bekal Fort

Bekal Fort has a long and distinguished history as the seat of power for numerous kings, sultans, and the British. By the way, here is a guide on what should you do when your Indian visa rejected.

Although popular belief is that King Shivappa Nayak built the fort, alternative explanations have also been put forth. Bekal Fort likely existed during the reign of the Chirakkal or Kolathiri Rajas, when such strongholds were commonly constructed for defence. King Shivappa Nayak of Bednore eventually conquered and reconstructed it.

It is also said that the Nayaks strengthened the fort by relocating Koteyar and Ramakshatriya people to Bekal and other nearby settlements in the Kasaragod district.

The Kolathiries and the Nayaks fought for a long time to regain control of the region. In 1763, however, Hyder Ali, the Sultan of Mysore, seized Bekal, effectively ending the conflict.

Tipu Sultan and his forces made use of the fort as a major military outpost on their way to seize Malabar. However, the British East India Company took control of the fort after Tipu Sultan’s death in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799.

Bekal Fort was also used as a centre for British military and administrative operations. Kasaragod was incorporated into Kerala after the State Reorganisation Act was enacted in 1956.

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Fort Bekal: Structures

Bekal Fort is a remarkable structure, rising 130 feet above sea level and covering an enormous 40 acres. There are no grand residences or palaces within this towering keyhole-shaped building, suggesting that its primary use was defensive.

Impressive defensive measures were taken by the previous rulers, as seen by the zigzag entrance, the 12-meter-high walls, the strategically constructed openings on the outer walls, and the trenches around the entire fort area.

The peepholes on the Observation Tower serve as the fort’s focal point. Again for defensive purposes, Tipu Sultan constructed the tower. There is a mosque, a water tank, and a Hanuman temple inside the fort.

The exceptional integration of defence technologies into the design of the fort is one of its most striking features. Excellent planning and execution went into the construction of the peepholes in the outer walls to prevent the fort from being attacked by the sea.

The uppermost holes could target faraway foes, the middle ones were designed to engage those closest to the fort, and the lowest ones were reserved for the nearest adversaries. The sea bastion and the underground tunnels are also crucial components of the fort’s design.

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