Situated in the northern part of Kerala being developed as a new hub for tourism, Bekal is a small town 16 kms away from town of Kasargod in Kerala. It is located 70 kms from the city of Mangalore in Karnataka.
Bestowed with lush green cocounut trees, this is a best location for a quiet holiday with family. The atmosphere is quite serene and absolutely noiseless.
The Lalit Resort and Spa, a 26 acres property, is located 4.5 kms from the main road in Bekal on the shores of Arabian sea and on the banks of Nombili river. At the spot where the property ends, the Nombili river can be seen merging into the sea. There is a private acess to the sea beach from the resort property.
Visited Bekal in November 2015.
The nearest city is Mangalore at a distance of 70 kms from where regular buses from KSRTC and private taxies available. Kasargod, the nearest town, is 16 kms from Bekal.
Distance from important cities :
Mangalore - 70 kms
Bangalore - 380 kms
Coimbatore - 350 kms
The nearest railway station is Kasargod on the Konkan Railway route which is at a distance of 16 kms. There is another station by the name Kanhangad which is at a distance of about 18 kms from Bekal. There are taxis available from both these stations to Bekal.
The nearest Airport is Mangalore which is at a distance of 75 kms.
Bekal has two five star resorts viz., Vivanta by Taj on the left side and Lalit Resort and Spa on the right side. Both are located close to the sea shore.
There are not many hotels available at Bekal. Even restaurants for food are limited. Both the resorts have good in-house restaurants.
We stayed at Lalit the Resort and Spa for two nights. This is a sprawling property with luxury suits and rooms. Being a luxury property, the cost per room is higher. The rooms have attached zacuzzi with natural light pouring from the top.The luxury rooms have a sit out facing the river.
The resort has cultivated ayurvedic plants which are maintained in the shape of a human body. The 2 kms stretch of the river bank provides boating facilities (rowing and paddling). The spot is selected for fishing activity. The river is famous for local fish like kari-meen. A sample of my catch from fishing in the river can be seen from the image below. The fish was thrown back into the river.
Other activities inside the resort are indoor games like table tennis, snooker, and a well equipped gym. "Rejuve" the spa has 10 rooms for treatment. Cycling is encouraged by the resort by providing cycles to the guests to enjoy the sprawling property on bicycle.
The resort has personalised yoga, outdoor swimming pool, beauty room, bird observatory hut, kayaking and canoeing.
"Utsav" the pillarless hall comes with a large pre-function area, opening into lush green gardens overlooking the calm water of the lagoon.
1. Bekal Fort : This is a 16th centurey Fort located at Pallikare, Kasargod at a distance of 10 kms from the resort. The fort is built of laterite blocks and is perched on the hill top. This is the biggest and best preserved fort in the state. It was built by Sivappa Nayaka of Bednore between 1645-1660. In 1763 it fell into the hands of Hyder Ali and after overthowing of Tippu Sultan, it was taken over by the East India Company. The fort has seven watch towers with a view of the sea on the one side and cocounut trees on the other. The main watch tower provides a panoramic view of the entire area. There is a pathway to go to the sea beach from the fort.
2. There are number of temples and mosques in Bekal and Kasargod area. Some of the temples are Durga Parameshwari Temple, Thyathottil Temple which are located on the inner road between Kasargod and Bekal. Ananthapuram Lake Temple also known as Padmanabha Temple is a 9th Century temple located inside a lake like pond which houses 40 year old crocodile. This temple is located 30 kms from the resort. Sligthtly ahead of the Padmanabha Temple is Krishna Prasanna Temple. On the way from Mangalore to Kasargod, you will find Pulikuna Temple at Kasargod.
The other important temple is Madhur Temple dedicated to Lord Ganapthi. It is said that this temple was not destroyed by Tipu Sultan. Devotees usually offer prayers to Mahaganapathi in the form of "Udayastamana". "Appa", Madhur's famous prasad, is a very tasty preparation. This is prepared daily and anyone offering prayers can avail these at the counters. Among the special poojas that are performed, "Sahasrappa" (Thousand appas) is very prominent. It consists of making an offering of thousand appas and then the devotees get to take home all these (and eat them with full relish). Another very special pooja that happens is Moodappam Seva which involves covering the Mahaganapathi statue with Appam. This is usually done on a community scale. Ganesh Chaturthi and Madhur Bedi are the occasions when the temple is at its busiest.The board displayed at the entrance reads "Entry for Hindus only".
About 4.5 kms from Padmanabha Temple is Bela Church, the local church. On the way is Maipadi Palace and Bhagwati Temple on the inside road of 2.5 kms.
3. Thonikadvu Trek in the Bekal Forest. At this place the Payaswini River flows next to the property and cultivation of spices and flowers can be watched during the trek. It is located 30 kms from the resort. With prior intimation, the resort will arrange for a guide at the spot.
4. Kottapuram House Boat cruise can be seen at Nileshwaram on the river Thejaswani located 15 kms from the resort.
5. Malik Deenar Mosque is located 14 kms from the resort. The Mosque is believed to have been founded by Malik Deenar. The mosque, Juma Masjid, which is one of the best kept and most attractive in the district, is located at Thalangara. It contains the grave of Malik Deenar, one of the companions of the prophet Muhammad and the place is sacred to Muslims. The mosque property is under expansion at present.
6. Bekal Beach : This beach has been developed by Bekal Resorts Development Corporation. There is sufficient parking space in the parking area and a walkway has been developed parallel to the beach. Sit out facilities provide an opportunity to the tourists to watch the sunset in a relaxed manner. The childrens' park contains various items like camel walk, digital illusions, various games etc. Illumination is also provided in the park area.
Although not a place bustling with tourists, Bekal is gradually turning into a tourist destination particularly for those looking for peace and solitude for a relaxed holiday.