Bekal Fort: History

Bekal Fort boasts a rich history as it was the stronghold of many kings, sultans as well as the British.

While the fort was reportedly constructed by King Shivappa Nayak, there are several other theories associated with its creation. It is believed that Bekal Fort existed during the rule of Chirakkal or Kolathiri Rajas as such forts were built in the olden days for defence purposes. It was later invaded and rebuilt by King Shivappa Nayak of Bednore. It is also said that the Nayaks brought the Koteyar/Ramakshatriya community to Bekal and other places in the Kasaragod district to strengthen the fort.

There was a long struggle between the Kolathiries and Nayaks to recapture and rule the area. However, this battle came to end in 1763 when the Sultan of Mysore, Hyder Ali, captured Bekal. The fort was later used as an important military station by Tipu Sultan and his army during his expedition to capture Malabar. However, after the death of Tipu Sultan in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799, the fort fell in the hands of the British East India Company. The British also used Bekal Fort for their administrative and military affairs. In 1956, the State Reorganisation Act was passed, and Kasaragod became a part of Kerala.

Commissioned By

King Shivappa Nayak of Bednore

Year of Establishment

1650 AD

Time Required

2-3 hours

Material Used

Laterite and red sandstone


Zigzag entrance

 Bekal Fort contact number is +91 467 2310700.

Bekal Fort: Today

Bekal Fort is a popular tourist destination these days. In fact, the stunning surroundings make it a popular shooting location among movie and ad filmmakers as well. The well-manicured gardens and beautiful pathways add to the charm of this historic structure and make it one of the most amazing places to visit in Kerala.

Bekal Fort: Architecture

Bekal Fort sits at an impressive height of 130 feet above sea level and boasts an area of 40 acres. This lofty keyhole-shaped structure was mainly built for defence purposes as it has no palaces or mansions inside. The zigzag entrance, 12-meter-high walls, tactically planned openings on the outer walls, and trenches around the entire fort area speak volumes of the impressive defence strategy that the past rulers adopted.

The focal point of the fort is the Observation Tower with peepholes. The tower was built by Tipu Sultan, again for defence reasons. The fort also houses a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, a mosque, and a water tank.

A notable aspect of the fort’s architecture is the outstanding utilisation of defence technology. The peepholes on the outer walls were designed brilliantly to protect the fort from naval attacks. The topmost holes could aim at the enemies who were at a distance, the middle ones were meant to fight those who were nearer to the fort, and the lowermost holes were for those enemies who were closest to the fort. The underground tunnels and a sea bastion are other important parts of the fort’s structure.

How to Reach Bekal Fort

The town is well connected by air, rail and road, so you can choose a suitable mode of transportation to reach Bekal. If you are taking a flight, Mangaluru International Airport is 71 km from the fort. Bekal has a train station but with limited connectivity. So, it is better to reach Kanhagad (9 km away) or Kasaragod (18 km away) railway station and hire a taxi from there to cover the distance. Bekal enjoys good road connectivity, so you can also take a private vehicle, taxi or bus to reach the fort from nearby towns and cities.