Bekal, situated on the sea shore of Pallikara village, is an important place of tourist interest in the district. It lies 12 kms south of Kasargod town. According to Bekal Rama Nayak, a local Kannada writer, the word Bekal is derived from the word ‘Baliakulam’, meaning big place.
The place is said to have been the seat of a big palace in the past. The term Baliakulam got corrupted as Bekulam and later as Bekal.
Bekal fort fell into the hands of Haider Ali in 1763. After the overthrow of Tipu Sultan in 1799, Bekal was incorporated into the dominions of the English East India Company.
The technical skill displayed in the construction of the fort would spring a surprise on the tourist. It is a wonderful phenomenon of Kerala’s sculpture. The Central Tourism department had already approved the project to develop Bekal into an international tourist center. It is the study reports of the internationally famous tourist experts that brought Bekal into the focal point of a massive project worth Rs. 1000 crores. This part of the earth is famous for its hoary history and rich beauty. Bekal tourism project embraces the whole northern Kerala.
It was in the year 1992 the central government declared Bekal Fort as a special tourism area. It was with the intention of transforming Bekal Fort into international tourist center that in the year 1995 the government formed Bekal Tourism Development Corporation.
It is in Chemmanad, Udma, Pallikkara and Ajanur panchayats that of the Bekal tourism project is implemented. At present the corporation has decided to acquire 278 hectares of land for Bekal tourism development. By this time, 178 hectares of land have been acquired. Towards the end of this year, land acquisition will be completed. The Bekal Fort is now under the Archaeological department of the Government of India. Of the 178 hectares of land taken over, 24 hectares are set apart for resort centers and 75 hectares for housing sites. When the land acquisition is over, programmes like water supply, total sanitation, waste incineration, road construction and installation of street lights will be implemented in the project area.
Six beach hotel resorts will be established in the project area on priority basis. For each resort 30 acres of land will be provided. Of the six resorts two will be started in government sector.
Plans for bettering and increasing basic facilities will be implemented in the four panchayats where Bekal tourism project is implemented. Water supply scheme for the entire people of Pallikkara, Udma Ajanur and Chemmanad will be implemented. A tank having the capacity of 7 billion litres will also be constructed. Total sanitation programme will be implemented in the four panchayats. As a first phase of this, latrines will be constructed and other sanitation programmes will be carried out in the coastal area. In the first phase, programmes like waste incineration, road construction and installation of streetlights will also be carried out.
B.TD.C has programme to develop other tourist centers of the district as part of Bekal project. House boats will be operated at Valiyaparampu this year itself. Boats clubs will be established at Bekal and Chandragiri this year. Trekking facilities will be arranged and roads will be developed at Ranipuram. In Pallikkara, a public beach and attached to that a play ground for children and a rest house will be arranged.
There is plan to preserve the Chandragiri Fort in connection with Bekal development. In the month of April 1996, an office of the corporation started functioning. The central office of the corporation is functioning in Thiruvananthapuram.
A Bekal facility center expending Rs. 35 lakhs was established in 1998 near Bekal Fort. In the facility center there are an information center, toilet block, restaurant, handicraft development show room, kids’ play center and vehicle parking facilities.