Kasargod - A tete a tete with the city
Location : Southern India, North Western Kerala
Founded in : May 24, 1985
Best time to visit : August to March
Local Transport : Auto rickshaws, private cars, jeeps , buses
Places to see : Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Vaikom
Souvenirs : All coir and handloom articles
Kasargod - The Tale of the city
Kasargod has been famous from ancient times. Kasargod was an important trade centre between 9th and 14th century. It was called Harwillia then. A Portuguese traveler Mr. Barbose has written about rice being exported and coir being imported in this trade centre. There are also mentions that Kasargod, the coir land, was a part of the Kumbala kingdom comprising of 64 Tulu and Malayalam villages. The Vijaynagar King attacked Kolathi King Nileshwar at Kasargod. This King Kolathi is mentioned in the local folk songs. During the Vijaynagari Empire declined, it was taken over by the Naikans. They ruled till the 16th century. Sivappa Naik was an illustrious Naikan king who constructed Bekkal and Chandragiri forts. He ruled over the Bednoor area and in the 17th century Haider Ali conquered Bednoor and tried capturing the Thalassery fort in a bid to capture entire Kerala. But the Thalassery attempt failed and Haider Ali’s son Tipu Sultan continued the attack. In the treaty of 1792, Tipu Sultan gave Malabar to the British except the Tulunadu or present day Canara. Thus Kasargod was a part of the Bekal taluk of the South Canara district. The British took Canara after Tipu Sultan died. In 1882, Kasargod was merged with Malabar district and finally confirmed in 1956 only.
Kasargod - Down the Ages
Famous for its coir and handloom industries, this prime source of nature and a beautiful gift of natural vegetation, Kasargod is a district with immense water, forest and mineral resources. Down the ages, this district has the best of landscape with amazing mountains on the sides and rivers and seas surrounding the district. The rocky surface amidst the green vegetation, also contributes to the inherent beauty. Kasargod down the ages is a centre of coir and handloom industries and has the credit of being a part of the National Freedom Movement where there have been a good number of freedom fighters from this place.
Kasargod - A Rendezvous
Kasargod, the land of the Yekhsgana and Theyyams, has different views about its etymology. It is said that the Sanskrit word means Kaasaara means lake or pond and Kroda means a place to keep treasure. So Kasargod means the treasure of lakes. The other view is that Kaasaraka trees are there in plenty here so it is known as Kasargod. Whatever, be the reason the fact that this is Nature’s gift to earth is seen in the scenic beauty it offers and the natural ambience it exudes. A rendezvous with this place is exotic.
Kasargod - Travel kitty
Lying on the northern part of the State of Kerala, this place is historically important with all its forts and palaces symbolizing the proof of its past. Besides this, the style of architecture here and the construction of mosques offers the best travel kitty and the unique style of the Madhur Mahaganapathy temple is worth a see. Thus Kasargod, or “land of the Gods” is a gift of Nature and is revered as the land of blessed people.
Kasargod - Joie de vivre in the city
With its marvelous surroundings and plush green fields , the city of Kasargod, is all about history, culture and a lot of stories to tell. Each construction and each structure here speaks volumes about the past and one needs to see the minutest detail here to figure out the making of a beautiful city. One can find the following things here :
Forts and Palaces :
Bekal Fort : This significantly historical fort has the best of views of the sea. The tall observation towers here offer the best for the tourist. These towers were once upon a time huge cannon emplacements. This is the largest fort of Kerala and the best preserved. The strategic view is possible because of its strategic location on top of a hill. History has it that in 1650, Sivappa Naik built this fort and later was taken over by Haider Ali and then by the British. Made of laterite this 130ft high fort is around 300 years old and testimony to a history which is rich and is the main site of Indian Archaeological institutes also.
Chandragiri fort : This fort was built in the 17th century by Sivappa Naik of Bedanoor. This is located to the south east of Kasergod in Chandragiri. It has a beautiful mosque nearby.
Kappil Beach : This is a quiet, lonely , serene area of Kasargod which is slowly gathering the momentum to become a hot tourist spot soon. This place has an unmatched beauty and the surroundings are exquisite, amazing and wonderful. The Kodi Cliff is found nearby and has the best of scenic views. The waters of the Arabian sea loll around quietly as a tourist watches it from a destination.
Pallikere Beach : This is another beautiful expanse of blue found in the Kasargod district and gives a stupendous view of the Bekal fort in the distance. This is an ideal spot for rest and relaxation and is slowly growing into a fantastic tourist spots. Very soon it will be among the best beaches in the country.
Kanwatheertha Beach : This lies around 3 kms from a place called Manjeshwaram,. This beach has the main attraction of having a large swimming pool like formation of the sea.
Sri Mahalingeshwar : This is in the Adoor district and is situated in the exotic ambience on the banks of the River Payaswini. There is a temple with inscriptions in Sanskrit . The script is in Kannada and they speak about the Western Chalukya King Kirthi Varma II.
Ananthapura LakeTemple : This is located around 30 kms from Bekal. This is supposed to the only lake temple in the State of Kerala. Regarded as the original seat of Sri Padmanabha or Lord Vishnu, the deity of the Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram. This is a much revered spot for the pilgrims. This is a temple where a person of any caste, creed can go and is situated on a rocky hill. This temple also has an exquisite bird’s eye view from its top. There is a belief that the lake is having a sole crocodile in it. The temple has a verandah running around it. This verandah is called the “Chuttambalam”. There is also a cave which leads into a pond which has a constant water level in spite of any climatic change. The presiding deity in this temple is Lord Vishnu who is sitting on the serpent god, Adisesha.
Nileswaram : This is regarded as the cultural centre of the Kasargod district. Earlier it was the seat of the Nileswar Rajas. Today, the Nileswar palace is used as a folklore centre of the Archaeological Department. There are lot of Shrines, temple festivals etc here and this town also has facilities for a yoga and cultural activity. There are rejuvenation therapies here which are based on the naturopathy way of treating a disease.
Manjeshwaram : This is a small, town which is rich in cashew production. It is at the northern tip of Kasargod and has around 15 mosques. This is actually a memorial to the grand patriarch of the Kannada literature Govind Pai. One can also see the Madiyankulam temple in the Hosdurg area at Kanjangad. This temple is dedicated to Bhadrakali. Near Kanjangad in Hosdurg, is the Madiyankulam dedicated to Bhadrakali. There is a temple festival here every year where the Buta dance is done.
Bekal Hole Aqua Park : This is a preferred spot for many tourists who wish to relax here. This park is much sought after as it is the only kind of park here and there are pedal boats, water cycles and long stretches of Bekal Hole Backwaters.
Anandasram : This is situated around 15 km from Bekal . This is a renowned spiritual centre and has been founded by Swami Ramdas in the year 1939. This quiet , serene ambience sets a person at peace and tourist love to come here just to seep in the tranquility around. This calm atmosphere is the perfect place for meditation and spiritual studies and has a Valiyamparamba Backwater Stretch just 40 minutes from here.
Ranipuram : This is around 55 km from Bekal and provides enough opportunities for a wild trek. The cool weather and the trekking trails here are a favorite of the visitors. The vegetation is lush green and the forests here actually join with the Karnataka forests. One can see wild elephants roaming here and this adds to the attraction to this place.
Veliyaparamba : Backwaters are the mainstay of tourism in Kerala and the backwater here in Veliyaparamba which lies 30 km from Bekal, is perhaps the best. This beautiful backwater stretch is dotted with many islands too and this place is rapidly gaining base to become the most favored Backwater Resort. It has already enthralled a good many boat cruises and there is surely going to be a lot of tourists coming here to visit very soon.
Kasargod - Entertainment factor
The Kizhur State is situated here and this is where the annual festival is held. The deity is taken to the Thrikkananaya district at Bekal. Besides one also finds the ceremonious Bhutha dance during the temple festival in May and June and also in December and January.
Thus the city of Kasargod, is an ancient testimony to the history of India. With its archaeological importance, this city sure is a place to reckon with in the tour of the State of Kerala.
As we leave the city, we feel, “ History repeats itself, and Kasargod watches on”.