How to go about it
Getting to Bekal
Bekal is 400 Kms from Bangalore on the Panvel – Cochin highway and is easily approachable from Mangalore and Kasargod. KSRTC has limited buses to Kasargod. Instead reach Mangalore by any means and take another bus to Kasargod, 49 kms away. All buses that head towards Cochin stop at Bekal.
Get off at the Bekal Fort stop. The best time to do this trek is in the months of November until March when the humidity is the least.
➤ Short Itinerary
Why the Bekal Beach trek compares with the best beach treks in India
- This is an unexplored beach trek on the sandy shores of the Lakshwadweep Sea
- As you trek, you pass through a famous seaside fort where cinemas are shot and a tiny fishing village that has a unique culture. You wade through back waters, climb over hillocks, pass under coconut trees and end the trek at a spot where the setting sun sets majestically over palms.
- There are excellent calm waters to swim in and spots where tall Casuarina trees sway over the beach. For a day’s adventure the Bekal Beach Trek is complete.
➤ Trail Information
Bekal Fort to end of Kappil Beach, via Udduma fishing village. Distance: 3 kms. Time: 2½ hr
The trek starts at Bekal Fort. You need to get inside the fort, so pay the small entrance fee of Rs 25 (for Indians). Bekal fort is unique as it completely rises from the edges of the sea. Spend time at the largest fort in Kerala going around the tank with its flight of steps, the opening of the tunnel towards the South, the magazine for keeping ammunition and the broad and wide steps leading to the observation Tower.
Walk along the fort’s western wall and pass through a tiny gate that takes you down a flight of stone steps to the bastion on the extreme right of the fort. Skirt around the bastion and climb down the gaps in the rocks to reach the beach in 2-3 minutes.
Once at the beach you can take your shoes off and put on a comfortable pair of sandals or slippers.
The Bekal beach trek starts at this point. With the tourists of Bekal Fort behind you, the sudden quietness of the uninhabited Kappil beach can take you by surprise. Mark a trail that curves around the crescent of the beach to a point where the tip of the crescent juts out into the sea.
The beach is completly isolated and you might feel cut off from the civilization. Along the hike you’re never far away from the highway which lies to your right. In fact you’ll spot a vehicle or two every now and then from in between the trees and that line the beach.
Half an hour into the trek, you will spot the Bekal River to your right. Once a confluence with the sea, there is landform of the sandy beach now that you can trek through.
About 15 more mins later into the trek and one thirds to the end of the crescent, spot multicoloured fishing boats beached on your right. Pallikara fishing village of Tharavadu is a cluster of houses along the beach and life of the sparsely populated fishing village is on display. Spare some time talking to the villagers and get an insight on the life of the fishing folks of Kerala.
The Pallikara fishing village is also marked by an artificial rock bund created to prevent sea erosion wiping out the village. Climb over the embankment and walk until the village is behind you. The embankment merges with the beach soon after.
Half an hour forward, you will see the main road opening to the right. You will spot Trikannad Temple. There are small shops if you want to resupply any essentials.
Continue forward for another 20 mins to half hour, you reach the rocky outcrops that mark the end of the crescent. You are at the cliff of Bekal now.
Start of Kappil beach extension to Chambrika. Distance: 4 kms. Time: & Distance:
Standing on top of the rocky outcrop, the deserted extension of the Kappil beach stretches out in front.
Few shrubs and trees welcome you to the next stretch of Kappil beach. You feel a shift with more greenery and less crowd. The beach is in between the crowded beaches of Bekal and Chembrika.
Mark another trail on the beach that gently curves to form another crescent, this one straighter than the first. The beach lonelier, the colour of the sand turns into a deeper shade of golden.
Right at the start of this part of the trail is a lagoon.
At the moment of recording this trail, the lagoon didn’t meet the sea.
Notice a fancy resort across the lagoon. That is the Taj Bekal Fort resort, on the banks of the Kappil River. You’ll also see some houses and can refill your water bottles by requesting the families in the houses.
A few hundred meters is a good place to take a break under the shade of coconut and Casuarina trees that line the beach.
Keep heading northward, under the shade of the coconut and Casuarina trees on a mud trail that runs through the grove. About 40 mins further to the trek, you’ll come to another resort by the lagoon. But what seems like a lagoon is the Kalanad River. The Lalit Resort and Spa is by it’s banks. You would have crossed the Uduma village and beach now.
Ignore the bridge which leads you to the resort.
A little further ahead of the lagoon in about 20 mins and you will have arrived at Chembrika beach. Walk a little bit ahead you and you’ll notice a roadhead. The rock of Chembrika is a nice place to climb. You can soak in to the breeze with overlooking two sides and the sea.
If you get here by late afternoon you’ll notice some carts setting up shop selling beach snacks. From here it would be another 15-20 minute walk to the village of Kizhur from where you can catch a bus to Kasargod.
Alternatively you can also walk a little further ahead on the beach ahead from where rocks and small cliff jut out to the sea and set up camp for the night. Find a spot that offers protection from the wind and set yourself up for a gorgeous sunset and a match of football among local kids and a gorgeous sunset to follow.
The next morning, after wrapping up camp, you could continue on to Kizhur for a bus to Kasargod from where you can make you way back to home.
Location: Kasaragod, Kerala.
Duration: 1 day, 2 nights to travel to and fro from Bangalore
Altitude: Sea level
Seasons: Winter is the best season to do this beach trek. ( Nov – Jan )
Terrain: Starts at the Bekal fort. Goes along the beach, backwaters and a fishing village.The Bekal Beach trek compares with the best beach treks in India. The variety stands out on this trek.
The trekker passes through a famous seaside fort where cinemas are shot and a tiny fishing village that has a unique culture. The trekkers wade through back waters on foot, climb over hillocks, pass under coconut trees and end the trek at a spot where the setting sun sets majestically over palms. There are excellent calm waters to swim in and spots where tall Casuarina trees sway over the beach. Crescent shaped beaches where no humans set foot stretch to the horizon. For a day’s adventure the Bekal Beach Trek is complete.
➤ How to Get Fit for Bekal Beach Trek
Bekal Beach is a just a one-day trek, where the trekker would be covering a distance of 7 kms. It is a flat walk exploring a famous seaside fort and a tiny fishing village. You will wade through the back waters on foot, climb over hillocks, pass under coconut trees and end the trek at a spot where the setting sun sets majestically over palms. The trek does not require much fitness. However, it is important to keep yourself hydrated.
➤ What to Take on Your Trek
Bekal Beach is just a one day trek, you will only need the following things.
- Small 20L backpack
- Two litre water bottle
- A jacket or poncho in case of rain
➤ Trek Contribution
Sandhya is possibly the most experienced woman trekker in India. Through Indiahikes, she has explored and put on the map more than 20 of the greatest Himalayan treks in India.
Trek Documented by Sandhya UC, Suhas Saya and Venkat Ganesh
A note to trekkers
Indiahikes does not run the Bekal Beach Trek any time during the year. However, it is a wonderful Do-It-Yourself trek
Indiahikes only runs treks in the Himalayas. You can choose a Himalayan trek that you wish to based on your experience, season and difficulty here.