Bekal Fort is a 17th century fort situated in the city of Bekal in Kerala state in India. It is the largest fort in Kerala, with an area of over 40 acres (160,000 m2).
Bekal Fort was built by a ruler Shivappa Nayaka of Keladi in 1650 AD. It was also an important military station for Tipu Sultan (the ruler of nearby Mysore) when he was leading a military expedition to capture Malabar (the region/kingdoms on the west coast of India). Tipu Sultan had also built an observation tower in the fort, as it offered mesmerizing views.
During the British rule in India in the 19th century, the fort came under the British East India Company's control. It was also made the headquarters of the Bekal Taluk of South Canara District in the then Bombay presidency.
The Bekal fort is situated on the sea shore and has magnificent ocean views. From the centre of this fort, a stunning view of the Arabian sea coastline can be seen; besides that, distant views of the neighbouring towns of Kanhangad, Pallikkara, Bekal, Mavval, Kottikkulam, and Uduma can be seen too.
About three-quarters of its exterior is in contact with the sea water. It also comprises of a water tank. There is a rustic flight of steps leading to the observation tower which was built by Tipu Sultan.
The fort has a zigzag entrance and is surrounded by trenches. It was designed to be a fort that could defend it from attackers – there are holes on the outer walls which used to effectively protect the fort (and people in it) from naval attacks or to help aim at farther targets from the fort.
Bekal Fort is open to visitors from 8 AM to 5.30 Pm on all days of the week. It is open on national holidays too.
The entry fee to Bekal fort is INR 5 for Indian nationals and INR 100 for foreign national visitors.
The nearest railway station to Bekal Fort is Kasaragod Railway Station, which is located around 12 KM away from the fort and can be reached in around 15-20 minutes. Mangalore Airport – an international airport serving the coastal city of Mangalore in Karnataka is the nearest airport from Bekal Fort, located at a distance of 67 km away.