Kasargod is district of Kerala lying at the northern tip of Kerala bounded by the Western ghats in the east and Arabian sea in the west; twelve rivers flowing across its terrain, Kasaragod is an enchanting beauty of Nature's creations.
There are different views on the derivation of the name "KASARAGOD". One view is that it is the combination of two Sanskrit words kaasaara (which means lake or pond) and kroda (which means a place where treasure is kept).
District Map :
KASARAGOD TOWN – District headquarters
Chandragiri Fort (4 km from Kasaragod) – Built by Shivappa Naik in the 17th century. Small square shaped fort. Offers view of Chandragiri river and Arabian sea. Vantage point to watch sunset. Mosque and ancient Kizhur Sastha temple nearby.
Chandragiri Cruises – Backwater boat trips to nearby islands & palm groves available from Chandragiri bridge.
BEKAL (16 km south of Kasaragod) - Planned to be developed as a major beach & backwater tourist destination.
Pallikere Beach – Walking distance from Bekal fort. Shallow water beach offers a scenic view of Bekal fort. Gardens & playground have been developed near the beach. Bekal Aqua Park – Offers boating facility in the backwaters near Pallikere beach/Bekal Hole backwaters.
Bekal Fort – Largest and best-preserved fort in Kerala. 130-ft high laterite structure shaped like a giant keyhole. The fort’s tall observation tower offers a view of Arabian sea, beach and surrounding areas. Believed to be built in the 1650s by Shivappa Naik of Ikkeri dynasty. Mosque built by Tipu Sultan and Hanuman temple at fort entrance.
Ananthapura Lake Temple (12 km northeast) – This 9th century temple set in a rock cut lake is the only lake temple in Kerala. It is believed to be the moolasthanam (original seat) of Ananthapadmanabha swamy at Thiruvananthapuram. Deity is Padmanabhaswamy seated on Anantha. Theppotsavam of deity on canoes in the lake and Yakshagana performances are held during annual festival in April.
VALIYAPARAMBA (30 km from Bekal) – Perhaps the most scenic backwater stretch in Kerala. Fed by four rivers and dotted with numerous little islands. Valiyaparamba offers enchanting boat cruises.
Kumbla (14 km northwest of Kasaragod) – Set on a picturesque lagoon separated from the sea by a sand pit & connected by a narrow channel. Was the seat of Kumbla kings who ruled the southern Tuluva kingdom. Sree Parthasarathi Temple at Munjankavu nearby.
NILESWARAM – Cultural centre of the district. The Nileswaram palace today functions as the folk centre of the Dept of Archaeology. The town is also famous for its shrines and the Karl Bhavan Yoga and cultural centres. There are several ‘Kavus’, where nature, God and man commune in serene silence. Mannanpurathu kavu is the most important.
Manjeshwara – Known for Srimad Anantheshwara temple or Mahalingeshwara temple.
Birth place memorial of Govinda Pai – patriarch of Kannada literature and poetry.
Kanwatheertha beach (3 km from Manjeshwara) – A large swimming pool-like formation of the sea on the vast beach is the main attraction.
Bela (15 km north of Kasaragod) – Mother Doloru Church or Church of ‘Our Lady of Sorrows’ – oldest church in the district. Built in 1890 in Gothic style – rare architecture.
Madiyankulam Durga Temple – Architectural heritage property. Bhutha dance performed during annual festivals in May/June and Dec/Jan.
Cheruvathur –A fascinating picnic spot. Sight from hill above is exquisite. Known for Veeramalakunnu – home of the illustrious poets and scholars of Kuttamath.
Kottancherry (30 km north east of Kanhangad) – Similar in scenic beauty to Kodaikanal. The rain forest near Konnakkad is ideal for trekking.
RANIPURAM (55 km) – 750 m ASL. Trekking trails and varied vegetation – evergreen shola & monsoon forests & grasslands. Accessible by jeep.
Thalankara – Malik Dinar Juma Masjid – Built in old carpentry style; believed to be one of the oldest mosques in India. Located near Arabian Sea. Built by a Muslim preacher Malik Mohammed Dinar, whose tomb lies adjacent to the mosque.