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Trip to Bekal fort and beaches – Bangalore Road Trip

Bekal is a beautiful fortified town in Kasargod, Kerala. Famous for the Bekal fort and sand beaches this is still among the lesser-known jewels in the crown of God’s own country. About 380 km from Bangalore, the road trip from Bangalore to Bekal is a journey to remember. On your way, you’ll pass through the beautiful hills stations of Madikeri in Karnataka. The road to Bekal is mostly in great condition except for the last stretch along the hills of Kerala.

The Plan for Bangalore to Bekal Trip 

This was one of those whimsical trips where we decided on the day, duration and destination just a day before the trip. With the football world cup fever on we didn’t want to miss out on the matches, hence chose to set off on Friday morning (29th June) – an off day before the round of 16. My husband longed for the hills and I was craving for some beach time, so I looked up the internet and found this amazing place called Bekal Fort. This is famous for being the location where the popular Hindi song “tuhi re” in the movie Bombay was shot. This is a place where you have hills, the sea, the rocky beaches, and the sandy ones, and a glimpse of history.
The distance was long for spending just one night there, so we booked a luxury beach resort, unlike most of our trips where we prefer standard hotels in the town area. The weather forecast said it would rain throughout the day, but to our pleasant surprise, we got to see the Nilgiris if monsoon, summer, and spring all on the same journey.
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Trip to Bekal Fort and Beach - A road trip from Bangalore. Places to visit in Kasargod (Kerala) near Bekal Fort. Where to stay , what to do and more

The Road trip from Bangalore to Bekal

Thanks to google timeline, I could add the exact route we followed on the map above. The drive from Bangalore to Bekal (Kasargod) is the most beautiful road trip I have had for years. We started at around 6:00 am from an electronic city in Bangalore and took the NH275 route where almost three-fourth of the route was on national highways NH48 and NH275. The roads were in great condition with breathtaking landscapes on both sides- ideal for long drives.

We had a delicious south Indian breakfast at “Kamat Upachar” on the way by 7:30 am (inked on the map above) after which we almost drove continuously halting at few viewpoints. in Coorg. Once we left Karnataka and took the Thekkil-Aletty road, the width of the road almost reduced to half and the drive just got an extra bit of thrill that we were not looking for. This part needs to be driven with caution – there are lots of blind turns and some badly damaged parts in between. This road cuts through the well-forested hilly range and runs parallel to a river ( don’t remember the name, will be happy if someone can help in the comments section).

The road ends on NH66 in Kasargod from where our resort was about 20 minutes away. The colorful flags of all popular world cup teams were enough to say you have stepped into Kerala, without even looking at Google maps. It felt like home to the nostalgic Bengalis settled in Bangalore.

Rent a car on Myles or ZoomCar to self-drive on this road trip.

Where to stay in Bekal, Kasargod?

There are many hotels in Kasargod at a different price range starting from Rs.2000 per night. In the off-season, you can book beach resorts like Lalit Resort and Spa or Taj Vivanta across Kappil beach at great discounts. We stayed at the Malabar Ocean-front Resort and Spa, a beautiful beach resort at a relatively lower price range.

Our experience at Malabar Resort and Spa

It’s a small area with a well-maintained garden, pools, and a pretty fountain. At the off-season discount, we got the rooms at roughly Rs.5500 per night and it was a four-star luxury experience at that budget (you can get it even cheaper if you book in advance). Not many people in India know about this site, but it’s worth adding to your list while comparing hotel-prices alongside MakeMyTrip and Booking. Note that the payment on Agoda can be done only through international credit card in dollars (the price I mentioned in the final amount charged after interchange).

The room was larger and better than some of the higher-priced top resorts I have stayed in during our corporate trips. Its a place where you can literally wake up to the sound of waves and view of coconut groves along the seaside. It was 2 pm when we reached our resort and the first thing we did was to head to the restaurant where we had some authentic Kerala Cuisine – Grilled kingfish, Kerala porota, and Raare chicken. As usual, make sure you have checked the best prices on MakeMyTrip, booking.com, Agoda before booking.

Book your stay at Malabar Resort and Spa

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Other amazing beach resorts within the affordable range are-

After this, we spent the entire day walking and chatting on the beach. The sea on this side, as well as at the Bekal fort is rough, unlike the usual calm Arabian sea in Goa or Mumbai, hence not much option for water adventure. Personally, I love this rugged face of the sea more than the calm – it’s like watching the wild in the wild rather than the zoo. Due to cloudy weather, we couldn’t really take Facebook-profile-picture-worthy photos here, but I have included some of the shots that capture the mood in the short video.

The Bekal Fort

Next morning, we headed to Bekal fort at 9 am, right after a wholesome breakfast with dosa, bread, eggs, sausages, cereals, and juice. The fort is about fifteen minutes drive from the resort, located just across the Bekal beach. Built-in the seventeenth century, spread over 40 acres, this is the largest fort in Kerala. It was built by the Nayakas of Keladi, one of the prominent Kannada dynasties that rose after the decline of the Great Vijayanagara empire in the 16th century.
Bekal Fort Kasargod, Kerala India It’s easy to appreciate the strategic location of this fort looming upon the rough Arabian Sea. Another aspect that’s hard not to notice is the prominent old temple and mosque around the same place bearing testimony to the religious harmony that existed for centuries. We were pressed for time since we had to reach home to watch the match at 7:30 pm, so we reserved just one hour for the fort and Bekal beach. I’d suggest keeping at least 2.5 hours for enjoying this place if not more. Another attraction of this place is the hoards of peahens living here – strangely enough, we spotted a group of 5-6 peahens but no peacock.

Bekal Fort Kasargod Kerala - roadtrip from BangaloreWhat to do on a perfect trip to Kasargod?

I’d recommend this place for a two-night stay especially if you choose to drive so that you can explore the other ruined forts built during the same era, take a boat trip in the backwaters near Bekal fort itself and get time to rest. You can reach here by bus followed by auto, but given the beautiful route, I’d always recommend a drive (book Zoom Car or Myles) over the bus route any day. In my experience, this cuts the cost also for couple or group trips.

It took us a little over 8 hours on each side, but that is thanks to minimal traffic on a working Friday morning and a non-working Saturday evening. Any Bangalorean would know that you can easily add two more hours each side if you decide to travel on Saturday early morning and return on Sunday evening instead. I also strongly recommend you to watch the 1.5-minute video I made and subscribe if you like.😊

Going on a road trip to Kasargod? Don’t forget to read and download our Road Trip Essentials Checklist.

Pin this for your next trip!

A road trip to Kasargod, Kerala from Bangalore. Kasargod is an offbeat paradise with hills, seas , backwaters and the imposing Bekal Fort. Click to read more about this awesome weekend getaway. #India #Kerala

Other Fabulous Trips from Bangalore

You can also read about our other fabulous road-trips from Bangalore.

So are you excited about going on your next road trip? When was your last road trip? Share your thoughts in comments. Happy traveling!

Sinjana Ghosh

Sinjana Ghosh is a full-time business professional with a penchant for writing and travel planning. Backpack & Explore is a journal of her travel stories and tips she collected from her experience. She is the author of the travel book “Postcards from India” which is available on Amazon, Flipkart and Notionpress.com

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  1. Sue and Reggie October 28, 2018

    Greta road trip. Nice to see it through your eyes. And that you were able to keep turning things into adventures.

  2. Jane Dempster-Smith December 29, 2018

    In 2017 we spent time in Kerala but did not know about Bekal. So lush and green and the resort looks amazing. We would like to return to Kerala and definitely will put Bekal on our travels.

  3. Jane Dempster-Smith December 29, 2018

    We visited Kerala in 2017 and missed out visiting Bekal. It looks amazing and would definitely consider staying in the resort. Great tips on pricing. Thanks.

  4. Jane Dempster-Smith December 29, 2018

    We visited Kerala n 2017 and missed out on Bekal. We will definitely put it on our travel list when we return. It is such a beautiful state in India. Thanks for the tips re the hotels as well.

  5. Anda December 30, 2018

    I love road trips but never thought India would be a safe place for them. I am probably wrong, considering your experience. IMalabar Resort and Spa looks very inviting. It must have been great staying there. There are some awesome places in India that I would definitely love to visit , so I am glad to add Bekal Fort to the list.

  6. Amy Chung December 30, 2018

    Sounds like a wonderful road trip, especially when its sort of impromptu and spontanous. Can’t miss that Wolrd Cup! LOL. I have never been to India and Kerala is high on my list of places to visit. I have heard such great things about their food of which you have highlighted:) Forts, beach, water, great food…. awesome combination!

  7. Kavita Favelle December 30, 2018

    I have not really read much about Bekal fortified town before, so I enjoyed learning a bit more about it. The road trip itself looks like a memorable one. The scenery is so green and lush, not at all like those few areas of India that I have visited thus far. The fort itself looks in good condition for exploring.

  8. Daniel December 31, 2018

    I visited Kerala a couple of years ago but never knew about Bekal. Judging by your article, it seems like I’m missing out and I really enjoyed learning more about this place. I’ll definitely leave some spare time for exploring Bekal next time I come to India. Thanks for the recommendation.

  9. Lisa December 31, 2018

    It looks like you had a great time exploring this beautiful area! I like the sound, and look, of your resort too, especially with that beautiful pool! I’ve not been to India, so never heard of the Bekal Fort, but it looks like somewhere I’d definitely visit. The culture there is so interesting and rich too!

  10. Annick January 1, 2019

    Last minute road trips can be so much fun! I see we’re not the only ones who worked our schedule around the World Cup matches. Your resort was lovely and I always enjoy waking up to the sound of waves. I love the fact that you and your husband explore so much of the area on the weekends.

  11. Clarice January 1, 2019

    I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip to Kasargod. Taking a boat trip is such a wonderful idea and would definitely consider this during our next getaway. Thank you for sharing the video.

  12. Bhushavali N January 2, 2019

    Somehow, the last time I was in Kozhikode, I planned to visit Bekal and it was pouring down!
    Locals told me it was pointless and rather risky to go there when its raining so I had to skip.
    Its been a decade since that happened and still I haven’t been to Bekal!!!!
    I hope I can get my a** there soon. Your post is just so damn tempting!!!
    Malabar resort definitely looks so relaxing!

  13. Ann January 7, 2019

    Having gone from knowing nothing about the Bekal Fort – to wanting to visit so badly! The scenery reminds me of the one in Bali, very lush and green, almost tropical. I would love to go here to explore some.

  14. Ankita & Mohit July 16, 2019

    We stayed at Lalit Resort & Spa, Bekal. It was really beautiful. Thanks for sharing your experiences 🙂

    1. Sinjana Ghosh July 16, 2019

      Thanks for reading. I will try it next time

  15. Jan March 18, 2020

    I have been to Kerala, but never heard of Bekal Fort. The place looks lush with greenery and the beaches are lovely! Must plan a trip someday. 🙂

  16. Gopika April 11, 2020

    I am from kasargod and I visited bekal fort many times it is a gorgeous place

    1. Sinjana Ghosh April 11, 2020

      Thanks Gopika for stopping by. I loved Kasargod too.

  17. sue July 17, 2021

    This looks like a great trip & I really like you made the most of your time there, short but sweet! And I love the idea of staying in the beach resort too.

  18. Jennifer Mostert July 17, 2021

    Sounds like a lovely road trip with great advice – thank you. I would definitely add a day or two to lounge on those beautiful beaches.


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