Kasargod ( Kerala , South India)
Kasargod is 86 kms away from Kannur. Sandwiched between the southern tip of coastal Karnataka and northern limit of Kerala, Kasargod enjoys a unique position of its own. Culturally, the region is the melting pot of two traditions that of Thuluva and Kerala. Centuries ago, the famed Vaishnavite teacher Madhavacharya established a few Brahmin colonies in and around Kasargod and encouraged the construction of temples. Hitorically, the Raja of Kumble ruled the southern part of Kasargod.
Historically and culturally Kasargod offers lot of aspects, things and places of tourist interest.
Bekal Fort: Bekal, 10 kms from Kasargod, had become famous during the rule of the Ikkeri kings. A fort was built by Shivappa Nayaka of Bednore in 1625. The region was under the Kadamba dynasty and subsequently became a part of Vijayanagar Empire. Bekal, the largest fort of Kerala, is situated at a height of 43 metres above sea level facing north. A fašade of high walls with the basement and the entire structure of the fort is in a good state of preservation. There is a large tower in the middle of Bekal Fort 10 metres high having a circumference of 27 metres. From this point, one can see the entire fort and beyond it the sea on the west. This fort must have been built with a view to spotting enemy vessels sailing in the high seas.
Chandragiri Fort: Chandragiri Fort, 05 kms from Bekal Fort, is another small fort almost camouflaged under the canopy of coconut palms, built in the 17th century. This fort has no major structures except the outer walls. From the ramparts of the fort, one can get a scintillating view of the Chandragiri river flowing into the Arabian sea.
Kappil Beach: Kappil beach is at about 3 kms from Chandragiri Fort. This is a remote and secluded beach with a small cliff called Kodi in its vicinity that it offers the vantage views. All these places are approachable by an auto-rickshaw.
Kanhanghad Anandashram: Situated at Kanhangad is one of the model charitable organization, having activities mainly for the spiritual guidance to the people. The place has become a symbol of solace and peace to thousands of devotees and householders. People come to Anandashrama to seek mental peace and rest, to discuss their problems and for spiritual guidance.
Perched on gentle slopes of lush Western Ghats, its idyllic surroundings invest Anandashrama with serene atmosphere. Founded by Swamy Ramdas and Mother Krishnabai in 1931, it is currently headed by Swamy Sachidanada. One can stay at the Ashrama and take part in the activities of meditation, bhajans and prayer. The Ashrama is involved in many activities like a school for the mentally handicapped, orphanages, old age homes following the foot-steps of the founder. Convenient buses are available to this place via Kasargod from Mangalore in Karnataka and Kannur in Kerala.
Ananthpura: 20 kms from Kasargod, the temple of Ananthapadmanabha at Ananthapura is one of the very few lake temples in India. The location of the temple is surrounded by enchanting natural scenery and its architectural beauty attracts many tourists, pilgrims and visitors. The main temple and the subsidiary shrines are situated in the middle of a vast lake cut into the laterite sub-soil of the locality. The fascinating aspect of this temple is the appreciation of stucco work in depicting sculptural idols. The life-size idol of Ananthpadmanabhaswamy flanked by Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi are of stucco work of remarkable art. It is full of dignity and proportions and bears almost all the features of mid-Chola art and sculpture. Bus service is available to this temple from Kasargod.
Madhupura: 7kms from Kasargod and also known as Madhur, Madhupura's ancient temple dedicated to Vinayaka is a popular shrine in this part. Although the main deity is Shiva, it is popularly called as Anantheshwara and is renowned for its unique idol of Vinayaka. The communion is readily felt by the beautiful from of Vinayaka. The temple is built in South Canara style resembling the back of a tortoise. It is an excellent example of the ancient and rare Gaja Prishta style (back of an elephant) of architecture built in the 6th century. The top and front of the hall bear exquisitely carved sculpture depicting scenes from Ramayana. The deity is worshipped here as Siddhi Vinayaka. Regular buses run to this place from Kasargod.
How to reach Kasargod
Kasargod is connected by rail and road from Karnataka side as well as from Kerala side. Many buses and vans operate from Mangalore and Kannur very frequently. Very good Iodgings and rest houses are available at this place to suit the budget of the tourist. Taxis and autorickshaws can be hired for local travel.