Kasaragod is a district located on the northern coastline of Kerala, popular for its coir and handloom industries. The district is abundant in water, forests and natural resources. It is flanked by the Arabian sea in the west and the dense forest of the Western Ghats in the East. There are several places to visit in Kasaragod that you absorb your attention. The unique styles of temple architecture will fascinate you for sure. The district of Kasaragod is a land rich in cultural heritage which is reflected in the blend of mosques, churches, and temples.
Kasaragod lies on the banks of Payaswini River where you will find the historical 17th century Chandragiri fort which is why the river is also popularly called as Chandragiri river. You will be spellbound by the colorful gray rocks and sterile land in between the thick foliage as well as the calm lagoons which can be seen when you pass through the coconut palms along the coastal belt. It is important for you to carry a Kasaragod tourist map with you on your holiday. The map locates all the significant tourist spots in the Kasaragod district in the Gods own country Kerala.
Interesting places to visit in Kasaragod:
One of the highlights of Kasaragod tourism is the northern backwaters in Valiyaparamba. The backwaters are the northern part of the Kavvayi backwaters that flows through the district of Kasaragod. The Valiyaparamba backwaters served by four rivers is the third largest backwaters of Kerala and the largest in the north Kerala.
The Valiyaparamba Island is the main island in Kavvayi backwaters and the number of tourists and visitors is slowly increasing every season. Valiyaparamba is one of the exciting sightseeing places in Kasaragod. To the west of the island lies the serene and calm Valiyaparamba beach. If you are looking for relaxation and quietness away from the hectic daily crowds you will find the beach a blessing.
The Valiyaparamba backwaters are not as developed as the other major backwaters and retain the rustic charm and innocence of a serene and peaceful environment. You can do fishing and hunt for crabs although you may not find much of the modern fishing rods and sophisticated tools. Nevertheless, you can take a try at your fishing talent using the light uncomplicated equipment that the local fishermen use.
Take a boat ride and enjoy the chirping of the migratory birds which you are visible in plenty around the small islands in the Valiyaparamba backwaters. Take a dip in the cool waters and have a wonderfully refreshing and invigorated experience. Although you can have a good time throughout the year, the best season is between November and February. You can easily find plenty of hotels and resorts in Kasaragod at affordable prices.
About an hour’s drive from the Valiyaparamba is the Bekal fort. It is one of the most important tourist spots in Kasaragod Kerala where you can do many things capturing pictures of the stunning views and enjoy a day at the beach. The 300-odd- year- old key-hole shaped structure is the primary attraction. It is the largest fort in the state of Kerala that was built as a security as well as defense strategy and is preserved and maintained by the Archeological Survey of India. The fort overlooks the Bekal beach where you can spend some time.
While at Bekal, visit the Bekal Hole Aqua Park. There are only a couple of water parks in northern Kerala and this is one of the significant ones with Vismaya in Kannur being the other. Bekal is hot in summers and it is recommended to carry sunscreens, umbrellas, hats and dark glasses with you. It is better to stay indoors in the afternoon. You can cover the entire beach by walk in two to three hours. The tourism department in the state is developing Bekal as a tourist spot with the intention of making it among the must-visit sightseeing places in Kerala without disturbing the nature’s gift and pristine environment.
You will find hotels in Kasaragod in all ranges. There are also several homes stays like service apartments. It is advisable for you to check the reviews and recommendations of other visitors before you book any of the places. Many of the star hotels and popular resorts have their properties in the area.
Bekal is about 10 km away from the Kasaragod town and 14 kms away from the other major town, in the Kasaragod district, called Kanhangad.
Kanhangad also called as Kanjangad, is one of the places to see in Kerala as it houses many spiritual and religious places. They include:
Nityananda Ashram: Founded by Swami Nityananda, the ashram is situated on a hillock and has about 45 caves. There is also a temple similar in design to the Somnath temple built in the year 1963. It is said, Bade Baba did his prayers(tapasyas) here. While here, you should visit the Guruvan and take a bath/ dip in the Papanasini Ganga and offer your prayers.
Ananda Ashram: The ashram was founded by Swami Ramadas in the year 1939. It is a famous spiritual center that has several huge shady mango, coconut, and other trees. Visitors interested in offering some prayers or want to spend some time on meditation can do so, on a hill on the east of the ashram. The entire environment is serene and calm.
Our Lady of Sorrows Church: It is the oldest church in the district built in the year 1890. The structure was renovated a few years earlier. It is also referred as Bela Church and is now under the management of the Mangalore Diocese.
Madiyan Kulom temple: The primary deity here is of Badrakali and has many other deities like Bhagavathy, Bhairavan, and Kshetrapalan. The daily Poojas here are conducted by a sect of Maniyanis while only the Pooja at noon is performed by a Brahmin.
Chandragiri fort is one of the must see places in Kasaragod as it offers an interesting eventful history. The fort lying on the banks of river Chandragiri has a lot of historical and archeological importance. The river was a border between two powerful dynasties of Kolathunadu and Thulunadu. The region was lost to the Vijayanagara empire and much later after the decline of the Vijayanagara rulers, Chandragiri was taken over by the Naikkars. The fort is one among several forts constructed as a defense by Sivappa Naik. However, it was soon first taken over by Hyder Ali and later the British East India Company. It is now a protected monument maintained by the state archaeology department.
While at Chandragiri, you can have a breathtaking view of the sunset from the fort. Check with the Chandragiri boat club for boat trips to the nearby islands and groves. The club also offers island camp tours, wildlife tours, houseboat cruises and speed boat rides among other attractions.
Kasaragod- Land of Gods
The district of Kasaragod is popular as the land of gods in addition to the forts, beaches, rivers and more making it one among the important sightseeing places in Kerala. You will be mesmerized by the unique variety of styles of the traditional architecture used in the different constructions at Kasaragod. The famous Malik Dinar Jama Masjid mosque located at Thalankara was founded by Malik ibn Deenar is built in the typical Kerala style. Malik Deenar is believed to be the first to bring Islam in India in 624AD.
The temple architecture of the Madhur Ganapathy Temple is worth seeing and it will leave you awestruck in wonder. The temple is of historical importance and is a land of sanctity. It carries the idols of Lord Shiva and Lord Ganapathy and carries many stories related to the installation of the idols.
There are many more activities that you can do while visiting tourist places in Kerala Kasaragod. Check with your travel agent or your local tourist guide. Do not forget to pick up souvenirs at good bargain prices and carry wonderful memories back home.