Bekal Fort is the largest fort in Kerala, situated at Bekal village in Kasaragod district, Kerala.If you remember the hauntingly beutiful song ‘Uyire’ from the 1990s Tamil movie Bombay, then you are already familiar with the keyhole shaped 15th century Bekal Fort. It overlooks the Arabian Sea and has an illuminated beach with several sheds and tree houses, from where you can sit and watch the waves crash against the shore.
An important feature of this fort is the water-tank with its flight of steps. The fort has a tunnel opening towards the south and a magazine for keeping ammunition with broad steps leading to the Observation Tower. From there one has an ample view of towns in the vicinity like Kanhangad, Pallikkara, Bekal, Kottikkulam, and Uduma. The nearest railway stations are Bekal Fort, Kotikulam, Kanhangad, and Kasargod. This observation center had strategic significance in discovering even the smallest movements of the enemy and ensuring the safety of the Fort.
The Fort appears to have been built up from the sea since almost three fourths of its exterior is drenched and the waves continually stroke the citadel. The Mukhyaprana Temple of Hanuman and the ancient Muslim mosque nearby bear testimony to the age-old religious harmony that prevailed in the area. The zigzag entrance and the trenches around the fort show the defense strategy inherent in the fort.
Unlike most other Indian forts, Bekal Fort was not a center of administration, for no remains of any palace, mansion or such buildings are found within the fort. Arguably the fort was built especially for fulfilling defence requirements. The holes on the outer walls of the fort are specially designed to defend the fort effectively. The holes at top were meant for aiming at the farthest points; the holes below for striking when the enemy was nearer and the holes underneath facilitated attacking when the enemy was very near to the fort. This is remarkable evidence of technology in defense strategy.