Bekal Fort and it features
Spread over 40 acres of land standing the tough trials of the waves is the largest fort in the state of Kerala – the Bekal Fort. The ever enchanting charm of the pristine and sandy beaches, its crashing waves and winds all tell the tale of a renowned history guarded inside the mighty walls of this 300 year old fort.
Bekal Fort is spread over 40 acres (160,000 m2). Some important features of this fort are the water-tank with its flight of steps, the tunnel opening towards the south, the magazine for keeping ammunition and the broad and wide steps leading to the Observation Tower which is a rarity. From there one has ample view of towns in the vicinity like Kanhangad, Pallikare, Bekal, Kottikkulam, Uduma etc. This observation center had strategic significance in discovering even the smallest movements of the enemy and ascertaining safety of the Fort.
The Fort appears to have been built up from the sea since almost three fourth of its exteriors 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 moats 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 exclusively 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 a remarkable evidence of technology in defense strategy.
Near the bekal fort is an old mosque said to have been built by the valiant Tipu Sultan of Mysore. Built by the rulers of the ancient Kadampa dynasty, the fort changed hands over the years to the Kolathiri Rajas, the Vijayanagar Empire, Tipu Sultan and finally, the British East India Company.