Friday, April 20, 2012


When my son-in-law H and daughter L came up with a suggestion for a short Easter weekend holiday in Kerala, I was very excited. But then, when I asked them about the location, they said it was going to be Bekal. I had never heard about this place and I was not really sure what I was in for. Before I could even change my mind and suggest a better known place, they assured me that I was going to love every bit of my stay. They had booked the air  tickets and accomodation was reserved at the Taj Vivanta which hardly gave me any choice to opt out. After all, L's birthday was falling during that period and our two cute grandaughters were coming with us. To cut a long story short, I agreed to join them. It was an unforgettable holiday.

Bekal is a small sleepy seasidetown in the North of Kerala. One has to take a flight to Mangalore and then drive down for about one and half hours to reach Kasargod and finally Bekal. Taj Hotels manage the huge property of beach-front rooms and villas in the midst of lush greenery all around. It is a spanking new hotel with luxurious rooms and a plunging pool in each villa. All of us spent a lot of time  in the water, either in the plungepool or in the main swimming pool or taking long morning walks on the pristine beach with the strong waves lashing at our feet. R enjoyed the excitement of picking up sea shells and preserved them as a present for her grandmother who could not make it to Bekal. Holding R's hand and walking along the beach early in the morning was an unforgettable experience. We enjoyed the food which was a combination of North Indian and Kerala cuisine and ate to our heart's content.  I took several massages in the makeshift spa as the main spa was under some renovation. It was very relaxing and enabled me to recharge my batteries.

On L's birthday, Taj Vivanta took great pains to decorate our room with flowers and baloons and kept for us the choicest of wines. And of course a big birthday cake which L cut surrounded by her beaming two daughters. All of us immersed ourselves in cake and champagne while R & R enjoyed every bit of the chocolate cake.

We visited the huge Bekal fort next day. It is a massive key-hole shaped laterite structure. It stands imposingly on the beach with supposedly many secret tunnels into the sea. During Tipu Sultan's period the fort was of strategic importance to him. A surprise in store for me was the Anathapadmanabhaswamy lake temple in Anathapura, an hour's drive from Bekal. The only one of its kind in Kerala, it is supposed to be the moolasthanam of Lord Ananthapadmanabhaswamy. There are many legends associated with the temple.

It is said that all good things must come to an end. I felt sad when we packed our belongings to leave. It was a fine holiday, well spent. Good food, good ambience, soothing massages, lovely beach and wonderful hospitality at the Taj. What more could one ask for? After all isn't it God's own country?