Monday, October 03, 2005

Day out in Kasargod

Term 5 is moving along at a snail’s pace here. 3 weeks into the term and classes are still sporadic. That's exactly what paved the way for the next explore-Kerala trip!

Kasargod and Kannur (formerly known as Cannannore) are not very well known in the tourist map of Kerala. Even so, we decided to explore the place, all thanks to Mr. Mani Ratnam who chose the Bekal fort to shoot one of the songs in Bombay.

Kannur St. Angelo’s fort

Cannons at Kannur Fort
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It’s a 500 year old fort preserved by the Archaeological survey of India. The fort by itself was not very impressive. But the setting of the fort – Arabian sea crashing on a good part of the fort was quite an eyeful. It looked pristine at 7AM. Though can’t say the same about the barracks (which was quite disappointing – pity the people who had to hole in there days on end), the magazine (for the uninitiated, it’s a storehouse where weapons and ammunition are stored), the chapel (currently being used as a garbage dump) and the information boards which are nothing but ‘boards’ now. The cannons, the well maintained lawns and so many varieties of twisted trees were quite impressive.

Had a fleeting glimpse of A. K. Gopalan’s statue while travelling through Kannur town area. Was surprised that I could recollect who he was!

Ananthapura Lake Temple, Kasargod

Where is the lake?
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This was supposed to be a filler and ended up being just that. The drive through the rocky terrain (signal that we were on the northern border of Kerala) in the afternoon heat made the experience less pleasant. From the pictures I had seen before embarking on the trip, I expected this temple to be in the middle of a huge lake, basking in the lost glory of a historic splendour of the 9th century. But all we could see was a small tattered temple in the middle of a very filthy pond.

But there were some takeaways from this place too…
A great story (?) about a crocodile who lived in that ‘lake’. It’s a magical crocodile which is scared of humans and eats rice and who mysteriously replaces itself every 50 years or so. So much for evolution…..

A cave with a small pond inside it, which unfortunately was not open to us. The cave looked very inviting and I would have loved to look around inside it.

Skeletons of Gods. I didn’t know that Gods had skeletons. (By Gods, I mean the deities in the temple). The overseer of the temple showed us some pictures of these skeletons made out of wood – they looked like toys and were a little scary too. It seems the deities were made layer by layer by coating these skeletons with different exotic materials. And this process takes nothing less than 5 years to complete! phew...some project!

The tree who knew only to give…..

The mahaan tree at Ananthapura Lake Temple
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This huge peepal tree, the tree of enlightenment, was covered with so many parasites that it was difficult to see even one of its own leaves. It looked so humble and majestic standing there, a host to countless sap sucking mouths…..

Bekal Fort, Kasargod

Uyireeeeeeeeee :)
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Bekal fort was the high point of the entire trip. Not just the Uyireee.....… (Tu hi re…) effect, but for its sheer size and surroundings. The small openings on the walls that made them a perfect place to enjoy the ocean view and the cool breeze, observation towers of different models, the sea bastion, the green moss covered fort covering close to 50 acres, the underground passageways, huge trenches now covered with a think layer of vegetation.......

View from the fort
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..........the shallow idyllic beach with colourful fishing boats completing the picture, the railway line so close to the beach – it was trancing watching the blue train move side by side the beach - making its way slowly like a blue centipede, the unlittered unpopulated beach with coconut grooves on one side.........I miss that place!

While we were leaving the place, couldn’t help but thinking Thank God, we don’t need these forts for what they were intended for once upon a time.

For the insatiable, here are more pics.


Anonymous said...

Hey piri,
Zabil here. Cannanore is now Kannur and is different from Kasargod. Kasargod is a different district bordering karnataka. Kannur has a different fort which is St angelo's fort.
So did you go to the fort at kannur as well as kasargod or only one fort.

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Hi Zabil,

Good to see you here.

Thanks to you I went to Kannur fort (in Kannur) and not just Bekal fort (in Kasargod).

Though didn't have time to visit all those beaches you had mentioned about.

LI said...

Nice Snaps , Evokes Nostalgia of Malluland for Fraud Mallus like me :-D . BTW Was Kannur called as Cannanore or Kasargode called as Cannanore , just a doubt??

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Hi LI,

Kannur was formerly Cannannore!

Thanks for pointing out the typo.

Uma said...

Nice pics Priya; I feel so sorry that I never went north of Sulthan Battery. Thanks for sharing the experience.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic pics...Invokes memories of college trips to these places...

yesbob said...

Ft St Angelo. Every year, my school would drag us all for a picnic there.

Thanu said...

Great Pictures. I've been to kannur like almost 10 years ago. Will love to go visit that part of Kerala. Been to the usual Trivandrum, Kochi and home town Thiruvalla.