History of Kasaragod

From the Arabs to the Europeans to travellers from the Far East, Kasaragod has been glowingly mentioned in all records as a trade-friendly destination with a progressive outlook to the future. The letters and descriptions written by those traders and adventurers talk about the cultural and economic diversity of the northern tip of God's Own Country. As early as 1514, the Portuguese traveller Duarte Barbosa visited Kumbla and indicated an active trade with the Maldives in rice.

Any mention of the political history of a place begins with the rulers in charge of it. The Tuluva Kingdom was setup in the northernmost parts. The central and southern parts were under the rule of Chirakkal (Mushika or Kolathiri) Royal Family. There were said to have been 32 Malayalam and 32 Tulu villages in this region. The Kolathiri played an integral role in the culture of the place and it is said that to this day,Theyyam characters represent those who helped the Kolathiri fight against the invasion of the Vijayanagara Empire. The Battle of Talikota in 1565 led to the end of warring period and power shifted to local sects. The Keladi Nayakas (Ikkeri Nayakas) rose to power and took over Tullunadu. Bekal became the crux in establishing the dominance of the Nayakas in Malabar and the port area was fortified to protect it from attacks from all sides.

Bekal Fort is said to have been the brainchild of Shivappa Nayaka of Ikkeri dynasty. The Chandragiri Fort and Bekal Fort are considered to be part of a chain of forts constructed as part of a strategic military manoeuvre. Hyder Ali invaded in 1763 and took over a majority of the area. His son, Tipu Sultan, followed him and conquered most of Malabar. He would eventually cede most of the territory to the British. In 1882, Bekal taluk became part of Madras Presidency and Kasaragod came into being. Since 1927, the movement to join Kasaragod with Kerala strengthened and it finally came into being officially a part of the State on November 1, 1956.




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