Mahindra XUV 500: Surf N' Turf

Picking up the car from Mangalore, we drove south to the Kasaragod district in Kerala. The first sign that we had entered the state were the extensive coconut plantations that surround you. Sure, you’ll find those in most of south India, but it’s Kerala where the trees get really dense. Kasaragod is a small coastal town with a great sense of religious harmony, as you encounter temples as well as mosques in the same vicinity. The most prominent structure here is the Bekal fort, which is built from the sea up and offers a great view of the adjoining beach and town. The fort was constructed in 1650 and used as a massive defence structure, and it stands tall to this day, spread over a 40-acre plot.

A lot of the fort has been converted into tourist-friendly gardens, but there’s plenty of secluded spots to explore if you plan to  venture off the picnic trail. Still, after a point, there’s little else to interest the casual tourist. But with a car like the XUV 500 at our disposal, and an evening to spare, we decided on drive off the highway and into the nearby villages. The XUV’s quick acceleration and soft ride made it fun on the dirt roads. It was the best way to get closer to the streams passing through the town.