July 16, 2019
Kochi: Maniratnam’s super hit Tamil film ‘Bombay’ is an inimitable flick and so is the melodious song ‘Uyire’ in it.
The song becomes more enchanting for the location where it was shot. Bekal Fort near Kanhangad in Kasaragod was found to be the apt location for the song.
Many Malayalam albums have also been made here.
But there is no information board or guide to educate tourists about this spot.
The staff appointed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in the fort instead of attracting tourists and being soft towards them are harsh and do everything that makes it repulsive for people to make a second trip to the place.
Anyone landing at the closing hours are literally pushed out of the premises as the clock needles strikes the time.
The Kasaragod District Tourism Promotion Council secretary told The Covai Post that it was a major problem. ASI rules were very rigid. But the DTPC had got permission to start a light and sound show past 7 pm. The Rs 4-crore project is implemented by a Bengaluru-based company. The aim is to launch it during Onam, he said.
The DTPC is also planning to launch electric vehicles for the elderly and disabled tourists. But the ASI is yet to give clearance.
Bekal Fort, spread across 36 acres, is one of the major tourist attractions in north Kerala where thousands of people visit every day.
Situated on the coast of Arabian Sea, it is one of the surviving heritages that has been witness to a number of wars between native rulers and natives and invaders.
The decline of Mahodayapuram Perumals saw the fort going under the control of Chirakkal royal family in the 12th century.
After the Battle of Talikota in 1565, feudatory chieftains, including the Keladi Nayakas (Ikkeri Nayaks), became powerful in the region.
The rivalry between the Kolathiries and Nayaks helped Tipu Sultan’s father Hyder Ali take control of the fort and cede it to Mysore empire.
The death of Tipu Sultan in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War saw the fort go under the control of British East India Company.
The presence of Mukhyaprana temple of Hanuman and an ancient mosque show the religious harmony that prevailed in the area.