The northern-most district of Kerala, Kasargod is known for its coir and handloom industries. Fishing is a prime source of livelihood.
The district has water, forest and mineral resources. It is flanked by the forest-covered Western Ghats in the east and the Arabian Sea in the west. Demarcating the north and south are two rivers- the Talapadi and the Trikaripur. Grey rocks and barren land amidst dense vegetation as well as calm lagoons visible through the coconut palms along the coastal belt lend this district a rare and different beauty. Not surprisingly, Kasargod is poised for growth in the area of tourism.
These days most travellers who land in Kasargod head straight for Bekal, 16 km south on the National Highway. The beautiful Bekal beach with the historic and archaeologically significant Bekal Fort in the background is now being developed into a major beach resort. But for now you can still savour a touch of history as you view the serene Lakhadweep sea from the tall observation towers of the fort, once huge cannon emplacements, perched on a hill top. The largest and best preserved fort in Kerala, belonged in ancient times to the Kadampadynasty and later came under the Kolathiri Rajas. Still later it became part of the Vijayanagar empire. In the late 18the century Tipu Sultan captured it. An old mosque near the fort is believed to have been built by him. After he was overthrown by the British, the fort came under the East India Company.
Another fort, a large squarish one by the side of a river, is at Chandragiri, south-east of Kasargod. It was built in the 17th century by Sivappa Nayaka of Bedanore. Here too there is a mosque nearby and also the ancient Kizhur State temple for whose annual festival the diety is taken to Thrikkanaya temple at Bekal.
At Manjeswaram, a quaint little cashew-rich town at the northern tip of the district which is home to 15 mosques, is the Memorial to Govinda Pai, the grand patriach of Kannada literature.
Near Kanhangad in Hosdurg is the Madiyankulam temple dedicated to Bhadrakali. During the temple festival in May/June and December/January, the ceremonious Bhutta dance is performed here.
The Sree Mahalingeswara temple at Adoor is located in pretty surroundings on the banks of the river Payaswini. In the temple is a Sanskrit inscription in the Kannada script which scholars have ascribed to the Western Chalukya king Kirthi Varma II.
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