Amongst all the roads lesser travelled, there sometimes are those which take you straight to paradise. And thats what I would call Bekal, a tiny resort town in the northern edge of Kerala, overlooking the flamboyant Arabian Sea. Just short of 400 kms from Bangalore, it makes for a great long weekend drive from the city and a place to just sit around and listen into the sounds of nature.
We started our drive from Bangalore at 2am on a Friday morning, picked up my sister from BIAL (she flew in from Dubai for a long weekend) and headed towards Tumkur road. The roads till Madikeri were pretty smooth and we had left Madikeri by 10 am (had taken two 30 mins break enroute). After Madikeri, you are slowed down considerably by narrow winding roads which are typical to Kerala and finally, after losing our way a couple of times, we reached The Lalit Bekal at 3pm. Unfortunately, our room was still not ready, so we headed straight to the Nombili restaurant for a late lunch. Even at that hour, I thoroughly enjoyed the simple lunch of Kerala fish curry and rice.
Our room overlooked the green landscaped gardens and in the distance, the calm backwaters. The resort has everything that you could ask for when on a relaxing vacation – spa, reading room and even a tender coconut vendor on the grounds with fresh coconuts right from the plantation. In fact they grow most of their fruits and vegetables on the ground.
What to do in Bekal
If you have had enough of the resort, you could head out to the picturesque Bekal fort made famous by the haunting A R Rahman melody ‘Tu hi re‘ from the film Bombay. But unfortunately I fell sick the first night and thus kept ourselves confined to the resort for the rest of our stay. If you are a beach bum though, then you will be slightly disappointed with Bekal because access to the beaches are restricted from the resorts as it tends to get really rough. In fact I cannot forget the sounds of the angry sea literally thrashing its waves onto the shore, and it was no stormy night.
Bekal’s restaurant scene is dominated by The Lalit and The Taj and so if you are staying in one you can choose to dine at the other. We chose to dine at By The Bay at the Taj on our second night and the experience was memorable. You could hear the sea growling from the terrace restaurant and enjoy the meal with the scent of the sea in the air
Where to stay in Bekal
Although there are a few resorts in the nearby towns, there are two chief places to stay in Bekal and both are luxury properties from 2 of the top hotel chains in India. You could choose The Lalit Resort and Spa or The Taj Bekal Resort and Spa. My first preference given this choice would always have been the Taj, but it was sold out for our dates but I would say The Lalit didnot let me down at all.
So before I sign-off I leave you with some of the memories from this memorable trip to Bekal.
And as always, Happy Travels.