When Kerala coined the slogan “God’s own country” in the mid  90s it crafted an idea whose time had come and nature’s generosity was soon tapped to create an exponential potential of attracting sun and vacation seekers and she soon emerged to rival Hawaii, Florida, the South of France, Dubai. Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Sri Lanka, The Maldives and Mauritius as a wedding destination.

In March’20 my nephew and his beautiful bride were determined they wanted a beach wedding and had zoomed in on a beach located in Phuket to say “I do” when Covid struck Thailand a few weeks prior to the festivities. A battle cry was launched amongst the family members of both sides to work on an alternate destination while the beach wedding theme remained sacrosanct. Having promoted Tourism for almost 4 decades I qualified by default to play the role of an adviser to the hosts and it surely helped to know the resort’s owner and to have friends at the Taj group.

In the limited time available my thinking hat pronounced Taj Bekal as the numero uno choice to replace Thailand and importantly Mangalore airport was a convenient gateway. Apart from the bridegroom’s family tracing their roots to Mangalore, the location of the resort offered a plethora of options- the sounds of the surf, the salt tinged air, the picturesque backwaters of the river Kappi, the water views craved by the guests, magical sunsets, comfortable rooms, after dinner venues, an ambience where the hosts, family and friends are all on vacation together. To exchange vows with the soothing sound of the ocean waves washing the shore, a sunset background is fairy tale stuff and the resort had it all.

Bekal is a picturesque village with tales of valour, forts, meandering estuaries and sunny beaches. The Taj Bekal offers a combination of 66 superior rooms with balconies and laterite villas with plunge pools designed to replicate the Kettuvallam houseboats amidst manicured lawns, landscaped gardens, the serene Kappi river which flows through the resort, options to rejuvenate and revitalise at the pool, gym and the Jiwa spa. In the recent past a Presidential villa complex has been built for guests willing to splurge.

There are a few outdoor venues apart from the beach that can be used for the reception, mehndi and haldi ceremonies and an indoor hall for the sangeet. For my nephew’s wedding the beach was the venue for the nuptials while the reception was held on the adjoining lawns. The advantage with a buy out is that the music can blare and the band can play until the wee hours of the morning sans complaints from other hotel residents! The Haldi ceremony was held on the patio outside the coffee shop, the sangeet in the Soiree hall, the pheras on the lawns overlooking the Kappi river while the bride made her grand entrance to this venue on a boat much to the delight of the guests and photographers. The cuisine was delectable be it Kerala style seafood, the famed Malabar biryani and the amazing choice of vegetarian dishes specially the lunch served on a banana leaf post the haldi ceremony. The post dinner revelry was held every night at the bar where the closing hour coincided with the sunrise! I must say Taj Bekal didn’t disappoint and delivered services at the highest level.

For prospective hosts should the number of guests out number the room inventory at Taj Bekal there is always the option of reserving a couple of rooms at the The Lalit, located 15 minutes drive from the Taj  and is a resort preferred by the youngsters possibly because they are far away from the prying eyes of the elders!

Quote- Love rests on no foundation. It is an endless ocean with no beginning or end -Jalaluddin Rumi


Mangalore airport- is 70 kms/42 miles from the resort and it could take about 1.5 hours

Calicut airport is 190 kms/119 miles and the journey lasts about 3.5-4 hours.

Monsoon – June to September -AVOID OUTDOOR FUNCTIONS .

Best time to visit- November to February


BY THE BAY – Kerala spice route cuisine


Lobster pollichu varattiyathu

Thalasseri bamboo biryani


Lotus stem “Inji Puli”

GRILLS N MORE – Progressive homestyle north Indian cuisine


Koliwada chicken

Kheema popsicles


Vrat wale Aloo asur shatavari

“Sat gun” Paratha

BACKWATERS CAFÉ – International cuisine


Risotto with confit chicken

Syrian fish biryani


Mushroom duxelle crepe rolls


Bekal crème Brulee

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