Before we set out to make a to do list for Bekal, let's look at a few factors that will influence your itinerary.
Bekal sees two types of visitors. The daytrippers on a mission mode to visit as many things possible in a whirlwind. And the one who wants to soak in the laidback ambient at a leasure.
Though the experiences differ vastly, surprisingly Bekal is ideal for both types of tourism.
Here we are exploring how do Bekal in the later fashion, that is, how to experience Bekal in leisure.
Otherwise, if you are looking for a 1 day tour, check this list of attractions in and around Bekal. Also some possible route plan are listed further below as well.
Here is a not so minimalist plan. Go for a 3 days agenda at Bekal. That's two night's stay at a resort. Most Likely you'll be arriving in the afternoon on day 1 and leaving by noon on day 3. That left you with a full day sandwiched between two half days at your disposal. The following will give you some idea about what to pick and chose for these three days.
Do nothing tops the agenda!
Yes. We're talking about how to spend time in a small rustic resort town, sandwiched between the seaside and the western ghat forests.
Generally resorts in Bekal are located by the beach, on the edges of a river or Backwater. These palm fringed retreats offers great natural ambiance to idle all day. If that sounds insane, check the following to daytrip options.
Assuming you've booked at one of the resorts or hotel around the Bekal Fort area as your base.
Day excursions: The lake temple at Ananthapura is possibly the northmost point of your excursion from Bekal. Ananthapura is about 25km (1hr drive) from Bekal town area. On the way you can make short detours to visit other popular attractions like the Madhur Temple ( about 7km south of Ananthapura), Malik Deenar ( 3km south of Kasargod town), Chandragiri Fort (1km off the highway).
Also add Kappil Beach to this day trip plan, if you are not already staying at one of the places next to Kappil Beach.
This itinerary takes about 5 to 6 hours, or even more, if you want to spend more time at these attractions.
The attractions south of Bekal town includes Bekal Fort (3km south of Bekal town), Kodi Cliff (½km off highway), Pallikere Beach (near Bekal Fort). Valiyaparamba houseboat jetty neary Nileshwar (25km south of Bekal town) is potentially the southmost day trip point. The backwater cruise takes about 2 hours.
Plan Detours part of your drive back home: Club some of the sightseeing with your return journey (drive). For example, if you are heading back to say Mangalore or Bangalore, attractions like Malik Deenar , Ananthapura , Chandragiri Fort etc are a short detour from your main route.
Similarly for those heading towards Kannur, attractions like Valiyaparamba backwater , Nitanadashram and Anandasramam are at minor diversions from the highway.
Adhur is on the way to Jalsoor and Subrahmanya.
Ranipuram saddles the Kerala-Karnataka border and merge with Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary in Coorg of Karnataka. Those driving towards Coorg (Madikeri) a detour to Ranipuram is a doable addition. Take diversion at Panathady.
Beachlife : Set aside ample time at the beach, especially early in the morning and evenings. Beaches in Bekal area like Kappil Beach spots that proverbial eerie loneliness. Get to the beaches by sunrise to see the fishing folks in action, the only time you may see some crowd on the beach!
Hiking tour to Ranipuram : This is typically a 1 day affair from Bekal. About 2 hours drive (46km) to east will take you to the base of Western Ghats. Hiking to the Ranipuram hilltop top takes about 2 hours. It's a A soft trek to the hilltop along the grassy shola slops. Spotting wildlife is a bonus!
However skip this if holidaying with little kids, for obvious reasons. Start early to avoid hiking under hot sun. Bring hiking boots, also carry salt (to deal with the leeches!).
Cuisine Irrespective of where you stay, local cuisine is a highlight of Bekal. Seafood tops the fare. Keep yourself ample time at the resort for the local flavoured breakfast and dinner with generous options.
Indoor and outdoor actions at the resort : Most of them offer fishing village tour, Ayurveda spa, beach hinking beach football, volleyball, kayaking in backwaters etc.
Now the task is on you to pick things based on your taste and improvise a plan. Also seek help from the resort you're planning to book for suggestions.
Here is a list of popular resorts in and around Bekal. Also explore to options to stay at one of the Houseboats in the Valiyaparamba backwaters, located south of Bekal.
The Windflower Sattwa is a popular wellness (Ayurveda) retreat in Ranipuram, 46km (28 miles) west of Bekal.
Apart from the resorts, there are quite a few budget hotels as well (at Kanhangad, Bekal and Kasargod) to cater the tourists coming to Bekal.
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