Bekal Fort was built by Shivappa Nayaka of Keladi in 1650 AD, at Bekal. It is the largest fort in Kerala, spreading over 40 acres. Considered the largest as well as the best-preserved fort in Kerala, the Bekal Fort as a majestic structure lies 130 ft above the sea level. Endowed with a rich and long history, the Bekal Fort still is one of the most imposing structures of Kerala, and attracts tourists, historians and nature lovers. The historical relevance of the fort led the Archeological Survey of India to take up the responsibility to look after it and it was made a ‘Special Tourism Area’.
The exact location of the Bekal Fort is about 16 kms south of the Kesargod, on the national highway and at the northernmost tip of the State of Kerala. The Bekal Fort has a long history, which is three centuries old. It was around 1650’s that Sivappa Naik of the Ikkeri dynasty built this fort, though some historians believe that it was Kolathiri Rajas who built the fort that was later captured by Naik. Hyder Ali of Mysore also had the possession of the fort during 1763 A.D from where it passed on to the Huzur of Canara and then to the British Empire.
One interesting feature of the fort is the fact that there are no palaces inside the fort walls and it is likely that the Bekal Fort was built only for defence purposes. The features of the Bekal Fort in Kerala are the underground tunnels, the observation towers, the sea bastion, the meandering entrance, the strategic openings on the walls etc. There is also a mosque built by Tipu Sultan just outside the Bekal Fort.