Kasaragod District

Kaleidoscopic

Kasargod

A kaleidoscopic bundle of seductions and surprises unravel when you visit Kasargod, the northern tip of Kerala, bounded by the Western Ghats in the east and  the Arabian sea in the west; twelve rivers flow across its terrain.  A land as serene as can be! The wealth of surprises itself is the greatest treasure trove of the place, where one gets mesmerized by the breathtaking landscapes, dipped in long cherished emphatic mythology that has passed on to generations and generations. Quietness and charm is what makes Kasargod so dear to visitors, who, once there, unwillingly leave the place, hoping to make a comeback soon. Also home to an incredible set of tribal population, Kasargod in itself is rich in folk culture, thus having its weighty contribution made in the realms of folk arts and folk music. Enchanting to every possible extent, this is  where natural beauty is wedded to cultural heritage.

The enviable landscapes here have made thick acquaintance with the ever fascinating forts and fortresses.  Fashioned out of powerful materials, these fortresses are a few of the best maintained in the whole of India.  Anyone would  also straight away agree that the beaches here are incomparably lovely; with rivers, hills and rocky mountains chained up to accentuate the brilliance. And Kasargod has found its place on the international tourism map for its acclaimed Bekal Fort and beautiful chain of beaches.

Nature has poured her finest essence here, thus gifting the place with superb scenery, water-bodies, forests and a rich amount of mineral reserves. This is where the mighty Western Ghats with its evergreen forests borders the eastern frotier. And the impressive Arabian sea borders the western. Demarcating the north and the south borders are two sumptuous rivers,  the Talapadi and the Trikaripur.  With nature having played its trick in abundance, there should be no second thought that would restrict your visit to this land of immense glory!

Perhaps one will call Kasargod a city with contrasts, where grey rocky pathways make way for the barren land in the midst of rich vegetation and tranquil lagoons. As the ever gorgeous coconut palms edge the coastal bent, the city wears a rare charm and distinct beauty. With all these and more in store for a visitor, Kasargod's stride in the realm of tourism was indeed forecast by destiny!
Immensely renowned for its coir and handloom industries, Kasargod has a 293 kilometre long coastline. This tranquil place is famous as a land of gods, sea-kissed forts, majestic hills, rivers and delightful beaches.Historically significant, Kasargod is home to the largest and best preserved fort in the state: Bekal. The historic Malik Deenar Juma Masjid and the unique Madhur Mahaganapathy Temple display a variety of styles in traditional architecture. Strategically located on the banks of the Payaswini River, this yesteryear port town of the Kolathiri Rajas abounds in myths and legends and exudes a magical charm with its spectacular art forms of Theyyam, Yakshagana, Poorakkali, Kolkali, etc.

There are different views on the derivation of the name "KASARGOD". 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). Another view is that it is the place where Kaasaraka trees (Strychnos nux vomica or Kaanjiram or Kaaraskara) are in abundance. Both the views are relevant as there are large number of rivers, lakes and ponds in the coastal belt of the district,  besides thick flora consisting of innumerable varieties of trees, shribs, etc. particularly the plentitude of Kaasaraka trees.
Many Arab travellers who came to Kerala between the 9th and 14th centuries A.D., visited Kasargod as it was then an important trade centre. They called this area Harkwillia. Barbose, the Portuguese traveller,who visited Kumbla near Kasargod in 1514, has recorded that rice was exported to Male Island, whence coir was imported. Dr.Francis Buccanan, who was the family doctor of Lord Wellesley, visited Kasargod in 1800. In his travelogue, he has included information on the political and communal set-up in places like Athiparamba, Kavvai, Nileshwar, Bekal, Chandragiri and Manjeshwar.

The district is marked off from the adjoining areas outside the State by the Western Ghats, which run parallel to the sea and constitute an almost continuous mountain wall on the eastern side. The Ghats dominate the topography. The coastline is fringed with low cliffs alternating with stretches of sand.  A few miles to the interior, the scene changes and the sand level rises towards the barrier of the Ghats and transforms into low red laterite hills, interspersed with paddy fields and coconut gardens.
The landscape is dominated by the characteristic coconut palms accompanying rolling hills and streams flowing into the sea. The landscape is dotted with tiled-roof buildings, topped with the famous Kasaragod tiles, made with the local hard red clay and typically walled with laterite blocks. Older houses are commonly found with elaborate woodwork.

There are 12 rivers in this district. The longest is the Chandragiri (105 kms) originating from Pattimala in Coorg and embracing the sea at Thalangara, near Kasargod. The river assumes its name Chandragiri from the name of the place of its source Chandragupta Vasti; where the great Maurya emperor, Chandragupta, is believed to have spent his last days as a sage.

Kasargod offers a variety of patterns of arts, which speaks volumes about the rich cultural heritage of the region. The spectacular pageant of Theyyam deities impersonated - raises Kasargod into a land of fabulous fantasies.  The symphonic melody created by Yakshagana, Kambala (buffallo race), Cock fight etc. of the Thulanad culture, thrilling along with Poorakkali, Kolkali, Duff Mutt, Oppana etc.  vastly enchants visitors.

Yakshagana Bombeyatta or Puppet show is an art form of Kasargod district and South Canara district in Karnataka State. The movements of the dolls are monitored and controlled by strings and rods. Yakshagana is presented through puppets and hence it is known as Yakshagana Bombeyatta. Puppets made out of wood are painted and dressed according to the characters in the story. Bombeyatta is controlled from a curtain chamber specially put up behind the seen for the purpose. Musical instruments are also used, rhyming with the shows.

Kasargod is a land of different languages.  Languages without script are also used here. Tulu, Kannada, Malayalam, Konkani and Tamil are the popular local languages. Though the people speak different languages, there is no barrier on the cultural unity. Mosques, Temples and Churches stand side by side, as symbols of communal solidarity.

 

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Nearby Tourist Destinations

Kasargod Town

Kasargod town is situated on the banks of the Chandragiri river and is 31m. above sea level. It is an important business centre. Arecanuts and copra are the main cash crops.


Kasargod Aqua Tourism

Fishing is a prime source of livelihood along with the coir and handloom industries. With its unique natural and cultural attractions Kasaragod is known as the land of Gods, forts, rivers, hills and beautiful beaches.

Kappil

The secluded and relatively unexplored Kappil Beach is worth a visit. This sun-drenched beach is a perfect getaway after a hectic tour of the nearby Bekal Fort

Madhur Temple

Located 8 km. northeast of Kasaragod, on the banks of the Madhuvahini River, the Srimad Anantheswara Vinayaka Temple, with its unique three-tiered dome,

Edneer Mutt

Located 10 km. northeast of Kasaragod. The Mutt of Edneer, renowned as a  centre of art and learning, belongs to the Sankaracharya tradition.  

 

Ranipuram

Located 85 kms. from Kasaragod town and situated 750m. 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… read more

Nileswaram

Nileshwaram is, without any doubt, one of the top backwater destinations in Kasaragod. It, one of the three municipalities in Kasaragod and the third biggest town, is well-known across the globe as the cultural capital of the district. As always the case with all top Kerala backwaters, rivers are always… read more

Bekal

Bekal Beach and Bekal Fort are two prominent attractions that make Bekal, a small town in Kasaragod, one of the the prime tourist destinations in Kerala. Being just 16 km away from Kasaragod city, both these sites are a-small-drive-away destinations from the city. These are easily accessible through roadways. Bekal Beach… read more

Ananthapura Lake Temple

This famous ancient temple is located at Ananthapura,  about 18 km. north of Kasargod  and 30 km. from the historical town of Bekal. The only Lake temple in Kerala, this 9th century shrine is open to all visitors regardless of caste or creed. Sree Padmanabha (Lord Vishnu, The Preserver) seated… read more

Madhur Temple

Located 8 km. northeast of Kasaragod, on the banks of the Madhuvahini River, the Srimad Anantheswara Vinayaka Temple, with its unique three-tiered dome, copper-plated roofing and a cloistered court,  rises majestically against the beautiful landscape of the Madhuvahini River. Believed to contain the essence of spirituality, a cleansing dip here… read more

Anandasramam

This internationally renowned spiritual centre, founded by Swami Ramdas in 1931, offers a quiet, peaceful ambience, ideally suited for meditation and spiritual studies. It is located 15 km. from Bekal, a small town in Kasaragod.  Ph: 0467-2203036. www.anandashram.org   read more

Kasargod Town

Kasargod town is situated on the banks of the Chandragiri river and is 31m. above sea level. It is an important business centre. Arecanuts and copra are the main cash crops. Pepper, copra and cashew nuts are the important commodities exported from here. One of the important local industries is… read more

Kappil Beach Kasaragod

While touring Kasargod district, no one ever likes to return without paying a visit to Kappil beach. This less crowded and unexplored beach remains a better option for the tourists who seek greater privacy while on a picnic with family. Another attraction of the beach is that it is close to Bekal Fort and… read more

Edneer Mutt

Located 10 km. northeast of Kasaragod. The Mutt of Edneer, renowned as a  centre of art and learning, belongs to the Sankaracharya tradition.  It attracts devotees from all over Kerala, Karnataka and other states.   read more

Malik Ibn Dinar Mosque Kasargod

Located at Thalangara, Malik Ibn Dinar Mosque is one of the top Muslim pilgrim centers in Kasaragod, Kerala. The mosque is believed to be constructed by Malik Ibn Dinar, an Arabian Islam missionary who is one among the pioneers to bring Islam to India. The mosque is known after his… read more

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