Bekal Fort


Why In News?

  • Recently it was decided to build the first public sector caravan park in Bekal, Kerala state, India.

Description of Bekal Fort:

  • Bekal Fort, located in the Kasaragod district of Kerala state, India, is a beautiful historical building, which is known as a symbol of the rich heritage and maritime history of the region.
  • This fort was built in 1650 AD by Shivappa Nayak of Keladi, spread over an area of ​​40 acres. This huge fort is famous as the largest fort of Kerala.

With reference to the architecture of Bekal Fort:Bekal Fort

  • Bekal Fort appears as a distinctive keyhole-shaped structure when seen from outside.
  • Due to the strategic location of the fort near the Arabian Sea, it appears as if it has emerged from the water.
  • The fort is constructed primarily of laterite stones, demonstrating the architectural expertise of its builders.
  • There are wide and deep ditches around this fort, which serve both defensive and aesthetic purposes. Many bastions and watchtowers have been strategically built inside this fort.

Historical Importance of Bekal Fort:

  • Clear information about the construction of this fort has not been received yet, but the origin of Bekal Fort is considered to be ancient.
  • The fort underwent significant expansion and renovation during the reign of Tipu Sultan in the late 18th century, becoming a strategic military post.

Other important points about this fort:

  • The defensive features of this fort include a zigzag entrance, moats and strategically made holes in the outer walls for effective defense against naval attacks.
  • The fort was part of Bekal Mahodayapuram during the Perumal era and later came under the control of the Kolathiri royal family around the 12th century.
  • The construction of this fort was started by Hiriya Venkatappa Nayak and completed by Shivappa Nayak. It served as an important center for establishing dominance and protecting the Malabar region.
  • Today, Bekal Fort is a major tourist destination, attracting tourists from all over the world. Tourists can see and enjoy the historical remains of Bekal Fort amidst the picturesque views of the Arabian Sea.
  • Recognizing its cultural importance, the Government of Kerala declared Bekal Fort a special tourist area in 1992. Subsequently, Bekal Tourism Development Corporation was established to promote and develop this historical site.
  • Bekal Fort has also been featured in various films, for example the Tamil film “Bombay” (song: ‘Uyyire’) and the Malayalam film “Madhuranombarkattu” (song: ‘Dwadashiyil’).
  • The fort is serving as a living testament to the enduring legacy of Kerala’s maritime heritage and its cultural diversity.

Source – Indian Express

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