Kasaragod is one of the districts of the Indian state of Kerala. Kasaragod District was organised as a separate district on 24 May 1985. It is the northernmost district of Kerala and is named after Kasaragod Town which is the administrative headquarters of the district. Lying in the northern tip of Kerala bounded by the Western ghats in the east and Arabian sea in the west, 12 rivers flowing across its terrain, Kasaragod is an enchanting beauty of Nature’s creations.
Kasargod became part of Kerala following the reorganisation of states and formation of Kerala in November 1,1956. Kasaragod district was part of South Kanara district of Madras state prior to the States reorganisation on 1st November 1956. On that day Kasaragod taluk was made part of the re-organised Malabar district of Kerala state. Two months later on 1st January 1957, the present region covered by Kasaragod district became a part of the newly formed Cannanore (later renamed as Kanoor) district. Along with it the erstwhile Kasaragod taluk was bifurcated into Kasaragod and Hosdurg taluks. In 1984 Kasaragod became a new district with Kasaragod town as its headquarters. The formation of Kasargod District was a long felt ambition of the people. It is with the intention of bestowing maximum attention on the development of backward area, Kasaragod district was formed on 24th May, 1984.
Kasargod is a land of different languages. The languages without script are also used here. Tulu, Kannada, Malayalam, Konkani, Tamil and other local languages are the popular.
There are different views on the derivation of the name “KASARAGOD”. 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. Bothe views are relavant 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 plentitude of Kaasaraka trees.
Kasargod is the northern-most district of Kerala State. It is spread in North-West and South-East axis. It is about 82 KMs in length and is more than the double of the East-West axis which is 40 KMs long at its broadest point. The distance from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram is 575 Kms.
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.
There are 12 rivers in this district. The longest is Chandragiri (105 kms) originating from Pattimala in Coorg and embraces 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. The second longest river is Kariankod (64 kms), across which a dam is being built at Kakkadavu. Shiriya (61 kms), Uppala (50 kms), Mogral (34 kms), Chithari (25 kms), Nileshwar (47 kms), Kavvayi (23 kms), Manjeswar (16 kms), Kumbala (11 kms), Bekal (11 kms) and Kalanad (8 kms) are the other rivers. These rivers provide ample irrigation facilities.
The diversity of the physical features results in a corresponding diversity of climate. The climate of the district is classified as warm, humid and tropical. The average maximum temperature is 31.2°C and minimum is 23.6°C. Though the mean maximum temperature is only around 90°F, the heat is oppressive in the moisture laden atmosphere of the plains. Humidity is very high and rises to about 90 % during the south-west monsoon. The annual variation of temperature is small, the diurnal range is only about 10°F.
Hot Season – March To May
South – West Monsoon(Edavappathi) – June To September
North – East Monsoon (Thulavarsham) – October to November
Dry Weather – December To February.
MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS/ PLACES TO VISIT
Ananthapura Lake Temple:
The only lake temple in Kerala and the Moolasthanam (original seat) of Ananthapadmanabha Swami (Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple) Thiruvananthapuram. is 5 km. from Kumbla. Local belief is that Ananthapadmanabha had settled down here originally. The industrial park of KINFRA is situated here.
Bekal, situated on the seashore 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 Palace. 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. The Bekal fort is now under the Archeological Department of the Government of India. There is a Travellers’ Bungalow, maintained by the PUBLIC Works Department of the State Government within the Bekal fort. The natural scenery at Bekal is alluring and makes a visit to the place an exhilarating experience. There is a recently renovated temple dedicated to Hanuman, at the entrance to Bekal. An old mosque is also situated very near the fort and this is believed to have been founded by Tipu Sultan. Bekal Fort Bekal is derived from the word Baliakulam meaning Big Palace. The term Baliakulam got corrupted as Bekulam and later Bekal. The largest and the best preserved fort in Kerala is the important place of tourist interest in the district lying 12 kms South of Kasargod town. The beautiful Bekal beach with the historic and archaeologically significant of the Bekal fort in the background, is now being developed into an international tourist destination. You can savor the touch of history as you view the serene Lakshadweep sea from the tall observation towers of the fort, once huge cannon emplacement perched on hill top. Bekal Fort is considered to be part of a chain of forts constructed by Sivappa Naik for the defense of the kingdom. Another version says that the fort was captured by Shivappa Naik from the Kolathiri Rajas, who were its owners. Hyder Ali of Mysore Kingdom taken the control of Bekal Fort in 1763. After his death in 1782, Tippu Sultan was successful in taking the Malabar under his Kingdom. An old mosque near the fort is believed to have been built by Tippu Sultan. The British (East India Company) got Canara after the death of Tippu in 1799. Buses are available in every 10 minutes from Kasargod & Kanhangad to Bekal.