TOURISM IN KASARAGOD
Kasaragod is the one of the most beautiful districts in Kerala, the land of Temples, Mosques and Churches. also with Forts, Beaches, Hills and Backwaters. Bekal Fort in Kasargod district is the biggest fort in Kerala. Other tourist attractions are the Chandragiri Fort, Anandashramam, Malik Deenar Masjid,ranipuram,valiyaparamba backwater,Kottencheri Hills,hosdurg fort etc.
Ranipuram is a hill station located within Kasaragod,Kerala.It is about 750 m(2460 ft) above sea level on the western ghats in Kasaragod district. The buetiful Ranipuram is almost 48 kilometers east of Kanhangad.Ranipuram is famous for its trekking trails and varied vegetation - evergreen shola woods, monsoon forests and grasslands.
Ranipuram is formely known as 'Madathumala' until the 1970s.The name Ranipuram is given in memory of the virgin mother.The extensive forests of Madathumala merge with the forests of Karnataka. Ranipuram in its natural beauty is comparable to Ooty. Wild elephants can be seen wandering on the top of the mountains.
Butterflies are in abundance and birds of the evergreen biotope like the black eagle,crested serpent eagle and little spider hunter common. Wild Elephants can be seen throughout the year in Ranipuram if we make necessary water holes and good migratory route here. Now wild elephants are visiting in summer only.
Bekkal fort located on about 16 kilometers south of Kasaragod on the national highway.The impoding fort at Bekkal is one of the best and largest fort in Kerala.There is a shallow beach near the fort known as Bekal fort beach.
It is spreading over 40 acre.The zigzag entrance and the trenches around the fort show the defense strategy inherent in the fort.A beautiful walkway has been laid for the visiting tourists to explore the beauty of the fine coastline and enjoy the panoramic view of the Bekal Fort.
While writing a description of the Kolathiri Kingdom in his Kerala History, K.P. Padmanabha Menon writes: "The eldest of the male members reigned as sovereign Kolathiri. The next in succession, the heir apparent, was the Thekkelamkur. The residence assigned to him was the Vadakara fort. The third in succession was the Vadakkelamkur in charge of Vekkolath fort. This V(B)ekkolath fort is identified by some scholars as the present Bekal."
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 a remarkable evidence of technology in defense strategy.
The Mukhyaprana Temple of Hanuman and the ancient Muslim Mosque nearby bear testimony to the age-old religious harmony that prevailed in the area.
30 kms from Bekal, is a beautiful backwater stretch in Kerala. Valiyaparamba is 5 KMs south west of Cheruvathur separated from the mainland by back waters. One of the main tourist spots of the District. This is an island in the Arabian Sea.Valiyaparamba,a hinterland separated from the mainland, is a noted fishing centre in the district and is just an hour's drive from Bekal - one of the most enchanting beaches of Kerala.The Bekal fort which stands on a headland that runs into the sea offers a spectacular view of the surroundings.
Hosdurg Fort alias Kanhangad fort is an imposing structure located 4km east of Kanhangad town.Believed to be built by Somasekhara Nayak of Ikkeri dynasty, the fort is surrounded by a high brick wall with round bastions. Although only the ruins of the old fort remain
The town's other claim to fame is the noted spiritual centre, Nithyananthashram, founded by Swami Nithyananda and situated on the outskirts, 4 km away. There is a yoga centre opposite the Bekal International Hotel. The Hosdurg beach too, is well worth a visit.
Kottencheri hills is another place in the district which attracts tourists. It is 3000 feet above the sea level situated near Konnakkady in Hosdurg taluk. These mountains are full of dense forests, meadows and medicinal plants. Beyond the mountain ranges bordering on Karnataka boundary, there is the renowned pilgrim center called, ' Talakkaveri'.
Chandragiri lies three kms south of Kasargod town. It has a large square situated high above the Chandragiri river on its southern bank. There is a beautiful bridge over the Chandragiri river. The fort is said to have been built in the 17th century by Sivappa Nayak of Bednore. A long railway tunnel passes through Chandragiri. A boat club has been built recently to attract tourists.
There are two notable asramams in Kanhangad, the Nityanandasramam and Anandasramam.Nityanandasramam is situated on a hillock about 0.5 km south of the Housdurg taluk office. It was founded by swami Nityananda constructed with 45 caves in a mountain slope. This is a temple built in 1963. Anandasramam was founded by swamin Ramdas in 1939. it is situated about 5 kms east of the Kanhangad railway station.