written by - Harsha Kulkarni
Road trips are always fun. I have always enjoyed that. It’s a different amazing feeling when we drive all the way up to a place because we gradually dwell into the place even before we get there. Lucky for me, Anu shares the same interest which is why we are off to road trips now and then. We had been on a road trip to Bekal in the summer of 2016 and it was one hellova experience. I’m chronicling this road trip adventure for CEAT Tyres in association with BlogAdda.
Bangalore to Bekal distance is close to 400 km which makes it a good 8 hour drive without a break. But what’s the point of rushing to reach a destination right? The real fun is in taking the breaks, absorbing the journey, talking with locals, stopping at a tea shop, visit a place you encounter by chance, enjoy the stops at view points along the way and much much more. The journey from Bangalore to Bekal has many things to offer. You end up at a beach location from a city through lush green forests of the Western Ghats.
We chose the route via National Highway 275 to reach Bekal. Click here to get the exact route we took including the stop-overs. This route goes through Kunigal -> Hassan -> Sakleshpura -> Kukke Subramanya -> Kasargod to reach Bekal.
We left Bangalore by 6:00 am. Exercise caution during mornings as this is the time when most of the accidents happen. Bangalore – Mangalore highway is well maintained. Distance can be covered sooner and easier. Our first stop was in Adyar Ananda Bhavan for breakfast at around 9:00 am. It was slightly drizzling by the time we reached there.
Masala Dosa served here is delicious! I have a tendency to repeat my order if I like something. Meanwhile Anu tells me that I can try other items on the menu for which I respectfully disagree 😛 By this time it had started to pour outside. We ordered a filtered coffee for both of us and went outside with our coffee. Sipping the coffee with rain as company is annoying enjoyable 🙂
The next stop was Sakleshpura. There is drastic shift in landscape when one nears Sakleshpura. The surroundings are much cooler and greener and the views are much better. Driving through the Malnad region of the Western Ghats is an enjoyable experience. It is also in these stretchers you find a good amount of traffic sometimes especially heavy vehicles and predominantly huge oil tankers. Please exercise caution. Also, due to huge rains and unpredictable weather there is always wear and tear of the roads. Please drive with patience and do not try to over-speed or overtake in the turnings.
The way to Manjarabad fort is just beside the highway. A small walk through the steps leads one to the entrance of the Manjarabad fort. Manjarabad fort was built by Pallada dore. Structurally, the fort is star shaped with a hillock in the middle and eight corners. The fort stands magnificent and strong amidst the lap of nature. We spent an hour exploring the fort. We had lunch in Sakleshpura at Myhtri Restaurant after which we resumed our journey to Bekal.
From Sakleshpura, it takes approximately 4 hours to reach Bekal. This route goes through Pushpagiri reserve forest. Kukke Subramanya can be a stop point if visiting the holy temple is on your list. Kukke Subramanya is a pit stop for people who want to trek Kumaraparvatha. I have trekked Kumaraparvatha way back in 2009. A couple of throwback pics 😉
The road conditions to reach Bekal was more or less favourable with small little bumpy roads here and there. But it is still manageable. Once you start coming out of the forests, you start feeling a little humid. We reached by Bekal by around 2:30. We planned our stay at Vivanta By Taj – Bekal. It is an amazing property with the river Kappil running through the property and meeting the Arabian sea forming an estuary. The Kappil beach is an amazing place. The sea is rough but it adds an element of beauty to the place. The property itself is beautiful with a river, beach and green vegetation adding to the magic. There are loads of activities to choose from including kayaking, cycling, archery, spa etc. It was real fun spending time there.
After a relaxed and refresing sleep and some more activities in the property, we visited the Bekal fort next day. It is an amazing place of historical importance right from the 12th century. During Tippu Sultan’s era it became a strategic point for his Malabar expedition. After the defeat of Tippu Sultan in the fourth Anglo Mysore war, the fort fell into the hands of the British. Bekal fort and beach is the perfect place to spend an evening, especially during the sunset.
We bid adieu to Bekal the following day and were on our way back to Bangalore to return to the hustle bustle of the city life.
I enjoyed sharing my experience with all of you. Hope you enjoyed it too. See you all. Until next time! 🙂