Kasaragod tour is all about beaches, backwaters, hill stations, shrines and cultural discoveries. Here are the top destinations of the northern corridor of Kerala.
Bekal - Fort, beach and Water Park
Bekal is the prime tourist spot of Kasaragod, thanks to the fort, beach and stunning views.
The pride of the place is the fort, which is built over a headland that runs into the sea. Archaeologically speaking, it is a 300 year old key-hole shaped structure, built with defensive strategy in mind. It is the largest fort in Kerala, well preserved and nowadays managed by Archeological Survey, the Department of the Government of India, who is in charge of ancient structures.
The beach runs by the side of the fort. If you are looking to spend time on the beach, the beach strip of Bekal – Pallikkare is just a starting point. Further afield, there are more fine beaches.
Another place to spend some time playing in water is Bekal Hole Aqua Park. If you are on a North Kerala tour and looking for water parks, there are not many around. There is Vismaya in Kannur, near Parassinikkadavu temple. Then there is Bekal Hole Aqua Park, and that is all there is.
Bekal is 10 kms south of Kasaragod town. Kanhangad, the other regional town, is 14 kms from the fort.
It may take tow or three hours just to walk around. Summer days are hot and sunny. So make sure you have sunscreens, hats, sunnies etc. Noon time can be really hot, so better to schedule your visit to the late afternoon.
Some years ago, Government started developing Bekal as a major tourist area. Since then lot of development has happened, thankfully not adding scars to the pristine environment.
In line with those developments, several hotels and resorts have sprung up. If you are looking for a decent place to stay, there are places such as Vivantha by Taj, Laith Spa and Resort and Holiday Inn. Home stays are also available. Make sure to read reviews before you book.
Madhur temple is one of the most important places of worship in Kasaragod district.
Regarded high for spiritual powers, the temple has two deities. The principal deity is Srimad Anantheswara (Lord Siva). So it is called Srimad Anantheswara Vinayaka temple.
However, the more potent deity here is Ganapathy (Ganesh).
Poojas (worship rituals) are performed thrice daily - at 8:00 A.M, 12:30 P.M and 8:00 P.M.
Located by the side of a small river, Madhuvahini, the temple is attractive for its distinct architectural style. On a side view, the three tiered dome appears elliptical. The tiled lower roof blends well with the upper roofs, which are made of copper.
The inner walls of the temple have paintings from Ramayana, the ancient epic of India. Please bear in mind that this is a place of worship and entry inside the temple is restricted to Hindus only. Visitors are permitted in areas other than the sanctum.Madhur temple, 8 kms from Kasaragod town, can be reached by car in about 20 minutes.
Are you feeling that it is time to swap the plains for the cooler hills?
Kottancheri (kottanchery), the chill out hill, has some forests, grass lands and plantations. You could walk along the slopes with the goal of watching some wildlife. Birds and butterflies are easy find. Deer and boar can be seen in some areas. There is also the prospect of elephant and other wildlife sightings since Kottancheri is an extension of the animal rich Ranipuram forests.
Overnight stay is not possible and that makes Kottanchery a picnic or day tour destination.Kottanchery is a part of Konnakkad, which is about 66 kms from Kasargod town and 48 kms from Kanhangad.
Ranipuram hill station
If kottancherri disappoints you for the lack over overnight stay, the spot light should be on Ranipuram, where a few tourist cottages are available.
Ranipuram has landscapes similar to Kottancherry. The jungle that continues to Karnataka is rich in wildlife. Elephant, leopard, boar, types of deer, civet cat, rare squirrels, different species of monkeys and a rich population of other animals, birds and butterflies are found here.
Government is looking at the prospect of declaring Ranipuram forest as a wildlike sanctuary. The Karnataka part of the same forest is already a protected reserve - Thalakavery wild life sanctuary.
Ranipuram is a group of hills near the small town of Pananthady. The distance from Kasaragod town is about 85 kms. Kanhangad is about 48 kms from here.If you are relying on public transport, you will have to reach Pananthady first. Hop on a bus to Panathady from Kasaragod or Kanhangad. From Pananthady, jeeps service regularly to Ranipuram.
Posadigumpe is a hill top location that offers uninterrupted views of Arabian Sea, and regional towns such as Mangalore and Kudremukh.
The views and the walks, that is all there is. A few hours, all to your self - Posadigumpe is just for that. Make sure to take some food / snacks since there are no shops around.At the base of the hill is Dharmathadka, which is about 25 KM north-east of Kasargod.
Just 3 kms south of Kasaragod, the fort is easy to reach. The fort was built in the 17th century. Similar to Bekal fort, it is also a defensive bastion built by laterite bricks.
The fort is built on a hillock near Chandragiri River bank. The river curves in front of the fort, only to meet the sea soon after. Yes, the sight is pretty from the top.
Chandragiri boat ride is another to do list item. The boat club offers rides to tourists. Chandragiri Bridge is the starting point of the rides.
Ananthapura Lake Temple
Set in the middle of a 2 acre pool, it is one and only lake temple in Kerala. A crocodile named Babia lives in the pool. A vegetarian crocodile! He survives on the food given to him by the temple!
On the north east corner of the pool, there is a cave.
It is a Vishnu temple. It is one of the two two Anantha Padmanabha Temples in Kerala. The other one is the famed Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Trivandrum. It is believed that Ananthaa Padmanabha Swamy (Lord Vishnu) settled at Ananthapura Lake Temple originally. Hence the temple is called a moolasthanam (original seat) of the Lord.
The Temple timings are: 6:30 AM - 12:30 PM and 5:30 - 8:00 PM.
The temple is about 45 kms from Kasaragod town.
Looking for a spiritual twist to your Kasaragod tour?
Anandasram, located 5 km from
Kanhangad, is one of the choices. The spiritual retreat was founded by Swamy Ramdas in 1939.
Swami Nityananda founded the Ashram and lived here during his younger days. Using local workforce, he ingeniously carved out 43 caves from a laterite hill. These caves were meant for mediation.
Swami also built a temple atop the hill. Its design resembled the famous Somanatha Temple of Gujarat.
The Ashram is just in the outskirts of Kanhangad town.
Solitude lovers, welcome! A stunning beach is waiting for you at Kappil, about 6 kms north of Bekal. Get to the top of the beach side hillock (Kodi cliff) for breathtaking views of the sea and surroundings.
Kanwatheertha beach is a well liked coastal spot mainly because there is a lake like pool cut of from the sea. This pool, about half a km long, is great for swimming for adults and even kids.
One of the fine beaches in the region, Kanwatheertha is about 4 kms.
There are resorts and home stays near the beach.Kanwatheertha is only 3 kms from Manjeshwar, one of the regional towns. Kasaragod town is 15 kms to the south.
Surrounded by sea, rivers and hills, the landscape of Nileshwar is pretty.
The small town of Nileshwaram (also Nileshwar) is also highly held as the cultural centre of the region. The reasons are many – shrines, temple festivals, the folklore centre, theyyam, other folk arts, Kavil Yoga Centre......
Great if you can have a glimpse of the festivals and arts.
The beach is near and backwaters are known for great scenery around.
Kottappuram is only a couple of kms away from Nileshwar. Kottappram Jetty is the starting point for house boat rides.
Boat rides to Valiyapramba start at Kottappuram. A couple of operators rent house boats.
Valiyaparamba is an island, about 10 kms south of Nileshwar. The island is about 23 kms long. The backwater also came to be known by the name of the island.
Vast backwaters, scenic shores and green islands –
Valiaparamba is the future of North Kerala backwater tourism. If you can include only a couple of places in your Kasaragod tour, Valiyaparamba should be one.
People hire house boats for overnight stay as well as backwater tours. If a house boat is over your budget, there are smaller boats available. The least expensive way to enjoy the scenery is to use ferry service for local travel.
Kareem Park is a man made forest. Abdul Kareem, a local, purchased some barren land at his locality, Puliyamkulam, in 1979. After several tough years and a lot of effort, plants and trees started to grow. Today the 32 acre forest is a shining example of what anyone can achieve, if they put heart and mind into something.
Visitors include nature lovers, students, agricultural and environmental activists and general public.
Wondering whether to include it in your Kasaragod tour? It is 23 Kms from Kanhangad. Nileswaram is at 30 Kms.
Some of the other choices to include in your Kasaragod tour are Belikoth, Bela Church, Pandian Rock (Pandian Kallu), Malik Dinar Mosque and Nellikkunnu Mosque.