The fort was built by Shivappa Nayaka of Bednore in 1650 CE to better protect the port town of Bekal in Kasaragod district of Kerala. After that, its maritime importance increased under each new rule. After the defeat of the Nayakas by Haider Ali, Bekal Fort came under the Mysore kings. It went on to become an important military station of Tipu Sultan during his Malabar expedition.
Currently in the care of the Archaeological Survey of India, the fort is being promoted as a tourist spot. Its water tank up a flight of steps is a favorite with visitors. Its winding road, which was made to deter approaching enemy troops is now pleasant winding walk. Bekal Fort also has underground passages and hideaways inside its 40-acre area.