History

Lying on the north western coast of the State, Kasargod was famous from time immemorial. Many Arab travellers, who came to Kerala between 9th and 14th centuries A.D., visited Kasargod as it was then an important trade centre. They called this area Harkwillia. Mr.Barbose, the Portuguese traveller,who visited Kumbla near Kasargod in 1514, had recorded that rice was exported to Male Island whence coir was imported. Dr.Fracis Buccanan, who was the family doctor of Lord Wellesly, visited Kasargod in 1800. In his travelogue, he has included information on the political and communal set-up in places like Athiparamba, Kavvai, Nileshwar, Bekkal, Chandragiri and Manjeshwar.


Kasargod was part of the Kumbala Kingdom in which there were 64 Tulu and Malayalam villages.

When Vijayanagar empire attacked Kasargod, it was ruled by the Kolathiri king
who had Nileswar as his headquarters. It is said that the characters appearing in Theyyam, the ritualistic folk dance of northern Kerala, represent those who had helped king Kolathiri fight against the attack of the Vijayanagar empire.

During the decline of that empire in the 14 century, the administration of this area was vested with the Ikkeri Naikans. They continued to be the rulers till the fall of the Vijayanagar empire in 16th century. Then Vengappa Naik declared independence to Ikkeri.

In 1645 Sivappa Naik took the reins and transferred the capital to Bednoor.
Thus they came to be known as Bendoor Naiks. Chandragiri fort and Bekkal fort are considered to be part of a chain of forts constructed by Sivappa Naik for the defense of the kingdom.

In 1763 Hyder Ali of Mysore conquered Bednoor and his intention was to capture entire Kerala. But when his attempt to conquer Thalassery Fort was foiled,
Hyder Ali returned to Mysore and died there in 1782. His son, Tippu Sulthan, continued the attack and conquered Malabar. As per the Sreerangapattanam treaty of 1792, Tippu surrendered Malabar except Tulunadu (Canara) to the British.

The British got Canara only after the death of Tippu Sulthan in 1799. Kasargod was part of Bekal taluk in the South Canara district of Bombay presidency. Kasargod taluk came into being when Bekal taluk was included in the Madras presidency on April 16, 1882. Though Vengayil Kunhiraman Nayanar moved a resolution in 1913 on the floor of Madras Governor's Council demanding the merger of Kasargod taluk with the Malabar district, it had to be withdrawn because of the stiff opposition of the members from Karnataka. In 1927,a political convention held at Kozhikode, passed a resolution stressing the above demand.

In the same year, an organisation titled Malayalee Seva Sangham was constituted. Thanks to the efforts made by many eminent persons like K.P.Keshva Menon, Kasargod became part of Kerala following the reorganisation of states and formation of Kerala in November 1,1956.

District formation

NATIONAL MOVEMENT

Kasargod played a prominent role in the National Movement for the freedom of the country. Mohammed Sherul Sahib and Kandige Krishna Bhat were the frontline leaders of the independence movement. Umesh Rao, K.M.Krishnan Nambiar, Shreesankarji, Naranthatta Raman Nair, A.C.Kannan Nair, T.Gopalan Nair,
and Meloth Narayanan Nambair were prominent freedom fighters.

The agrarian struggles to end the exploitation and oppression by landlords
and chieftains were part of the National Movement. The Kadakom Sathyagraha various struggles unleashed for the uplift of the scheduled castes and tribes also supported and enlivened in National Movement.