Lying on the northwestern coast of state, Kasaragod was famous from time immemorial. Many arab travelers, who came Kerala between 9th and 14th centuries A.D., visited Kasaragod as it was then an important trade centre. They called these areas Harkwillia. Mr.barbose, the Portuguesse traveller, who visited Kumbala near Kasaragod in 1514, had recorded that rice was exported to Male Island whence coir was imported. Dr. Francis Buccanam, who was the family doctor of Lord Wellesley, visited Kasaragod in 1800. In his travelogue, he has included information on the political and communal set up in places like Athipramba, Kavvai, Nileswar, Bekkal, Chandragiri and Manjeswar.
Kasaragod was part of the Kumbala kingdom in which therte were 64 Tuluand Malayalam villages. When Vijayanagr Empire attacked Kasaragod, it was ruled by the Kolathiri king who had Nileswar as his headquarters. It is said that the characters appearing in Theyyam, the ritualistic folk dance of northern Kerala, represent those who had helped king Kolathiri fight against the attack of the Vijayanagar Empire. During the decline of that empire in the fouteenth century, the administration of this area was vested with Ikkeri Naikans. They continued to be the rulers till the fall of the Vijayanagar Empire in 16th century. Then Vengappa Naik declared independence to Ikkeri. In 1645 Sivappa Naik took the reins and transferred the capital to Bendoor. Thus they came to be known as Bednoor Naiks. Chandragiri fort and Bekal fort are considered to be parts of a chain of forts constructed by Sivappa Naik for the defense of the kingdom.
In 1763 Hyder Ali of Mysore conquered Bednoor and his intention was to capture entire kerala. But when his attempt to conquer Thalassery fort was foiled, Hyder Ali returned to Mysore and died there in 1782. His son, Tippu Sulthan continued the attack and conquered Malabar. As per the Sreerangapattanam treaty of 1792, Tippu surrendered Malabar except Tulunadu (Canara) to the British. The British got Canara only after the death of Tippu Sulthan in 1799.
Kasaragod was part of Bekkal taluk in the south Canara district of Bombay presidency. Kasaragod taluk came into being when Bekkal taluk was included in the Madras Presidency on April 16, 1882. Though Vengayil Kunhiraman Nayanar moved a resolution in 1913 on the floor of Madras Governer’s council demanding the merger of Kasaragod taluk with the Malabar district, it had to be withdrawn because of the stiff opposition of the members from Karnataka. In 1927, a political convention held at Kozhikode, passed a revolution stressing the above demand. In the same year, an organization titled Malyalee Seva Sangam was constituted. Thanks to the efforts made by many eminent persons like K.P Kesava Menon, Kasaragod became part of Kerala following the reorganization of states and formation of Kerala in November 1, 1956.
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