Kasaragod (also spelled Kasargod or Kasargode) is the northern-most district in the state of Kerala, India. It is one among the 14 districts in the state of Kerala and was formed on 24 May 1984. The place was famous in ancient times as Harkwillia, a port city in the west coast of India.
The district has splendid natural beauty and resources, and is bounded by Karnataka in the north and east, Kannur in the south and the Arabian Sea in the west. The land rises from the densely populated coastal region in the west to the forest-covered Western Ghats range in the east. Twelve rivers across the district form lush green gorges in places as they cut their way through out the hills before emptying into the Arabian Sea. The longest of these is the Chandragiri River which flows into the sea just south of the district headquarters, also named Kasargod.
There are a variety of languages spoken, the main being Malayalam, Kannada and Tulu. Languages like Tamil, Hindi and Konkani are also spoken by a minority of the population in the District.
¤¤ Tourist Attractions
Bekal Fort (16 km south of Kasaragod on the national highway) The 300 year old Bekal Fort is one of the largest and best preserved forts in Kerala. This imposing circular structure of laterite rises 130 ft. above sea level and stands on a 35 acre headland that runs into the Arabian sea. Buses are available every 10 minutes from Kanhangad to Bekal and Kasaragod to Bekal via Chandragiri bridge - Kanhangad state highway.
Pallikere Beach (1 km from Bekal Fort) This shallow beach offers a spectacular view of the fort and has ample facilities for recreation and relaxation.
Bekal Hole Aqua Park (1 km from Bekal Fort) The only one of its kind in northern Kerala, this unique Aqua Park provides water sport facilities like pedal boats and water cycles.
Bekal Tourism Project 130 acres of pristine land with all the attractions including backwaters, beaches, hill stations etc. is being developed into what will be Asia's finest Resort.
Kappil Beach (6 km from Bekal fort) Remote and secluded, this beach is fast becoming a major tourist attraction. The Kodi cliff nearby offers a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea.
Anandasram (15 km from Bekal) This internationally renowned spiritual centre founded by Swami Ramdas in 1939, offers a quite, peaceful ambience best suited for meditation and spiritual studies.
Ananthapura Lake Temple (30 km from Bekal) This 9th century temple is the only lake temple in Kerala and is the Moolasthanam (original abode) of Anandapadmanabha, the deity of Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple, Thiruvananthapuram.
Valiyaparamba (30 km from Bekal) This is perhaps the most scenic backwater stretch in Kerala. Fed by four rivers and dotted with numerous little islands, Valiyaparamba is fast turning into a much favoured backwater resort that offers enchanting boat cruises.
Chandragiri Situated on the Chandragiri River, southeast of Kasaragod town, this town is known for its large 17th century fort built by Sivappa Naik of Bandanore. The Chandragiri Fort, one of a chain of forts built by the same ruler, offers a breathtaking view of the river and the Arabian Sea. It is a vantage point to watch the sunset. There is a mosque nearby the ancient Kizhur State Temple at Chandragiri celebrates the annual festival called Pattu Utsavam. Chandragiri Cruises Boat trips to nearby islands and palm groves. Boarding point Chandragiri bridge.
Manjeswaram A number of temples and fifteen mosques make this cashew growing town a prominent pilgrim centre. There are two old Jain Bastis at Bengara Manjeswar on the southern bank of the Manjeswar River. Churches About 11 km from Kumbla on the Kumbla-Badiadka road is the Mother Dolorus Church of Bela. The hundred year old Roman Catholic church is built in the Gothic style. The Our Lady of Sorrows Church constructed in 1890, is the oldest in the district. The memorial of the late Govinda Pai, the grand patriarch of Kannada literature, is also located at Manjeswaram.
Kanwatheertha Beach (3 km from Manjeswaram) A large swimming pool-like formation of the sea on the vast beach is the main attraction.
Kanjamgad/ Hosdurg Fort This is renowned for its chain of forts built by Somashekara Nayak of Ikkeri dynasty and also for the Nithyanandashram, an internationally recognised spiritual centre.
Madiyankulam Durga Temple This Bhadrakali Temple at Kanhangad in Hosdurg is famed of its Bhutha dance (pootham) performed in connection with the annual festivals in May/ June & December/ January.
Sree Mahalingeswara Temple, Adoor (45 km from Kasaragod) Located in wooded surroundings on the southern banks of the River Payaswini this ancient Siva Temple contains a Sanskrit inscription in Kannada script which has been ascribed to the Western Chalukya King Kirthivarman II (745-755 AD).
Cheruvathur This is the home of the illustrious poets and scholars of Kuttamath. The ruins of a Dutch Fort built in the 18th century can be found in the Veeramala Hills. Cheruvathur is also a fascinating picnic spot.
Kottancherry (30 km north east of Kanhagad) This place bears great resemblance to the scenic beauty of Kodaikanal. The rain forests near Konnakkad is ideal for trekking.
Ranipuram (85 km from Kasargod town) Situated 750 m above sea level, Ranipuram is famous for its trekking trails and varied vegetation-evergreen shola woods, monsoon forests and grasslands. This area was formerly known as Madathumala. The extensive forests of Madathumala merge with the forests of Karnataka. Ranipuram in its natural beauty is comparable to Ooty. Wild elephants can be seen wandering on the top of the mountains. Jeep services to Ranipuram are readily available from Panathady, which is linked to Kanhangad by frequent bus services. Accommodation DTPC cottages.
Trikkaripur The old seat of the Thazhekattu Mana, Trikkaripur is the hometown of T S Thirumumb, poet and freedom fighter, and Guru Chandu Pannikkar, the famous Kathakali artist.
Madhur Temple (8 km north of Kasaragod town) The Srimad Anantheswara Vinayaka Temple, with its rich architecture and copper plate roofing, rises majestically against the beautiful landscape of the Madhuvahini River.
Edneer Mutt (10 km north east of Kasaragod) The Mutt of Edneer renowned as a seat of art and learning belongs to the Sankaracharya tradition.
Possadigumpe (18 km east of Mangalpady in Dharmathadka) This is an ideal picnic spot, located on a hillock 1060 ft. above sea level.
Tulur Vanam (4 km east of Panathur) Also known as Kekulom (the eastern place). The temple here is consecrated to Kshetrapalan and Bhagavathi. The eight day annual festival commencing from Sivarathri, attracts large crowds from all over the district as well as from Coorg.
Central Plantation Crops & Research Institute (CPCRI) The Institute was established in 1970 by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and has its headquarters in Kudlu, 5 km north of Kasaragod. The CPCRI serves as a national forum for improving the genetic potential of plantation crops, to conduct basic and applied research on various aspects of these crops, to produce genetically superior planting materials for coconut, arecanut, spices and cashewnut.
Pandiyan Kallu A rock is rising in the sea about 2 km from the Trikkannad Temple, Pandiyan Kallu is an ideal spot for adventurous swimmers. Legend has it that the ship of one of the Pandiya Kings who attacked the Trikkannad Temple was converted into a rock.
Malik Deenar Mosque Kasaragod acquired over the years considerable importance as a centre of Islam on the west coast. The historic Malik Deener Juma Masjid built in the typical Kerala style is believed to have been founded by Malik Ibin Dinar. The Juma Masjid, which is one of the best kept and most attractive in the district is located at Thalankara.
Nileswaram The cultural centre of the district, this was the seat of the Nileswar Rajas. The Nileswaram Palace today functions as the folklore centre of the Dept. of Archaeology. The town is also famous fort is numerous kavus (shrines), temple festivals and the Kavil Bhavan Yoga and Cultural Centre which offers rejuvenation therapy and naturopathy treatments like mud and herbal baths.