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.
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 5 (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.
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.
An hour and half into the trek and two thirds to the end of the crescent, spot multicoloured fishing boats beached on your right. The Uduma fishing village 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 Uduma 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 hour later reach the rocky outcrops that mark the end of the crescent.
Start of Kappil beach extension to Chambrika. Distance: 4 kms. Time: 3½ hrs
Standing on top of the rocky outcrop, the deserted extension of the Kappil beach stretches out in front.
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. An hour and half hour into the trek, a lagoon meets the sea forming a clear backwater.
Coconut palms line either banks of the lagoon and stretch up to the edge of the sea. Cross the lagoon at the mouth where it meets the sea. The dept of the water is knee deep at this point – and the least. A wooden bridge on the other bank of the lagoon leads to a resort, so avoid it.
The confluence of the lagoon with the sea is an excellent place to take a bath. The surf is calm and very inviting. Chambrika the road head is about an hour away from the estuary.
Trek for 15 minutes on the beach and spot a big grove of coconut trees on your right. A clear mud trail runs thru the grove. The trail is visible from the beach. Take this trail as it winds its way through the groves finally ending in the village of Chambrika from where you get buses to Kasargod.
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.
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.