On March 10, 1995 Mani Ratnam's movie 'Bombay' hit the screens. The movie, starring Aravind Swamy and Manisha Koirala, was centered on the riots in Bombay following the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya. It was Mani Ratnam's second movie in the trilogy of films that showed human relationships set against the backdrop of issues affecting Indian politics of the time. And like the other two – Roja and Dil Se – Bombay, too, was a chartbuster.
The movie was dubbed in Hindi and Telugu. The music by A.R. Rahman and the cinematography by Rajiv Menon gave the songs a special charm. And one song, which became a hit was 'Tu Hi Re', which was shot at Bekal Fort in Kerala.
A rain drenched landscape of lush green, the sea and the soulful melody made it a popular song.
The Bekal Fort, which is more than 300 years old, is also one of the biggest forts in Kerala - and one which is maintained well too.
According to some books, it was Shivappa Nayaka of Bednore who built the fort, but some say that it existed even before.
The camera pans in from the choppy seas to the observation tower constructed during Tipu Sultan's reign. It is towards the centre of the fort.
Bekal Fort was built to serve a purpose – defending the land against attack from the seas. Those gaps you see were originally built for guns. The ones on the top were for long range attack and the ones in the lower levels were for ships that got closer.
Bekal Fort was an important military station for Tipu Sultan after his father Hyder Ali defeated the Nayaks.
After the death of Tipu Sultan in the fourth Anglo Mysore war, the fort came under the British East India Company.
Now, it is under the Archaeological Survey of India. The recent development activity aimed at making it a popular tourist destination is being undertaken by Bekal Resorts Development Corporation (BRDC)