» Location : North Malabar Area (Kerala)
» Main Attractions : Fort St. Angelos, Arakkal Palace
» Known As : Cannanore
» Best Season : August to March
The Coastal Town
Kannur, the sea coast town in the northern Malabar area was for many centuries the capital of the Kolathiri Rajas, the rivals of the Zamorins of Kozhikode. Formerly a major port area, Kannur is now a city known for its handloom and beedi industries.
Some of Kerala’s finest weavers come from this district. Kannur is also the headquarters of the country’s largest and best-run beedi cooperative. Marco Polo is supposed to have referred to Kannur as a great emporium of spices.
In the 15th century, the Portuguese arrived in Kannur to establish one of their earliest settlements. A reminder of this is the St. Angelo’s Fort built in 1505 AD by the first Portuguese Viceroy. Kannur’s history is marked by foreign invasions and the activities of colonial powers.
The Portuguese factory built by Cabral in 1501 AD, was captured by the Dutch in 1633. In 1708, the British built a fort at Thalasseri (Tellicherry), just outside Kannur. The nearby town of Mahe was developed as a trading centre by the French in the 18th century. Around 1792, after the Mysore Wars, the British took over Kannur.
Prime Attractions of Kannur
» Forts & Palaces
§ St. Angelo’s Fort : Now, a protected monument under Archaeological Survey of India, the Fort St.Angelo’s is in the west of Kannur town. It was built in 1505 by the first Portuguese Viceroy, Don Francisco De Almeida, with the permission of the Kolathiris.
It is still a landmark in Kannur. Though parts of the fort have collapsed, it is still in a fairly good state of preservation. A few ancient cannons are on display inside the fort.
§ Arakkal Palace : The palace, which is about 2 kms. from Kannur Town, was the palace of Beebi (Queen) of Arakkal. Having deep historic connotations, it belongs to Kerala’s only Muslim Royal family that controlled parts of the coast and even Lakshadweep.
§ Madayi Mosque : Originally built in 1124 AD by Malic Iben Dinar, a Muslim preacher, it is a beautiful ancient mosque. A block of white marble in the mosque is believed to have been brought from Mecca by its founder, who came to India to spread the word of the prophet.
Near by is the dilapidated fort, which is supposedly built by Tipu Sultan – the ruler of Mysore.
§ Ezhimala Beach : The Ezhimala Mountain and Beach lie at the northern boundary of Kannur. Rare medical herbs (Ramayana) with mythological significance grow on Ezhimala, the strange seven-peaked range.
Around 50 Kms from here, is the Mount Deli Lighthouse, an old tower of great antiquity. It’s maintained by the Navy and is a restricted area. The beach sand is of a different texture and the sea is bluer that in other areas. At the Ettikulam bay one could enjoy watching dolphins.
§ Payyambalam Beach : 2kms from Kannur. Payyambalam, the long, lovely beach is a local picnic spot. Flat lateric cliffs jut into the sea at one end. Picturesque and incredibly beautiful, the beach is only walking distance from Fort St. Angelo. The Naura Cafeteria and well laid out gardens greet the visitor to Payyambalam.
§ Kizhunna Beach : 11 Kms From Kannur. This beautiful stretch of sand is one of the most secluded beaches in Kerala.
§ Dharmadam Island : A Buddhist stronghold, Dharmadam Island is located beside the Muzhappilangad beach, 100 metres offshore surrounded by rivers and sea. A conjunction of beach & island, it was earlier known as Dharmapattanam.
Excursions of Kannur
» Hill Stations
§ Pythal Mala : 65 kms north of Kannur, this hill is located on the Kerala-Karnataka border. Perched at an altitude of 1,372 metres above sea level, this place is ideal for trekking. A base reception centre and a watchtower atop the cliff function should not be missed.
§ Aaralam Wildlife Sanctuary : Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is a tranquil little sanctuary on the slopes of the Western Ghats. The highest peak of Katti Betta, covered with tropical and semi- evergreen forests rises to a majestic height of 1145 m above sea level.
§ Muzhappilangad Beach : Muzhappilangad Beach, one of the longest beaches in Kerala is located 15 kms south of Kannur. The long beach is the only drive-in beach in India.
» Forts & Palaces
§ Thalassery Fort : Thalaserry fort, located at a distance of 22 kms from Kannur constructed in 1708 AD was the military centre of the British.
§ Pazhassi Gardens & Dam : 37 kms. East of Kannur near Mattannur, the Pazhassi dam & reservoir offer panoramic view of the place. The added attractions of the place are the gardens and amusement park that have been recently. The Buddha’s mountain at Pazhassi and the sculpture of Pazhassi King are visual delights.
§ Pappinisserry : 16 kms from Kannur town, the snake park here houses about 150 varieties of snakes including the Spectacled Cobra, King Cobra, Russel Viper, Krait and Pit Viper. There is also a large collection of non-poisonous snakes including Pythons.
A research laboratory to extract venom from snakes is proposed to be set up here. The park is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of snakes, many species of which are getting extinct gradually.
§ Moppila Bay : Moppila bay, the famous fishing harbour is situated near the St.Angelo’s Fort. The beach is a natural and now a modernised fishing harbour built with assistance under the Indo Norwegian pact.
§ Gundert Bunglow : Located 20 kms from Kannur, at Nettur, Gundert’s Bungalow is on the out skirts of Thalaserry. It is a historically significant place for all lovers of Malayalam Language.
Fairs & Festivals of Kannur
» Jagannatha Festival
» Palotukavu Festival
» Parassinikkadavu Festival
Places to stay in Kannur
» Choice Sea Side Hotel, Cantonment.
» Centaur Tourist Home, M A Road.
» Kamala International, S M Road.
» Kavitha Tourish Home, S N Park.
» Motel Aram, Kalliassery.
» Omars Inn, Station Road.
» Yatri Nivas (KTDC), Near Police Club.
Nearby Cities of Kannur
» Kasargod (66 km)
» Kozhikode (Calicut) (181 km)
» Kochi (130 km)
» Palakkad (209 km)
How to Get There
Air : The nearest airport is at Karipur, Kozhikode, about 93kms south.
Rail : Kannur railway station is an important rail head of the Southern Railway and is well linked to major towns up country as well as within the State.
Road : Kannur is accessible by road.
General Information about Kannur
» Area: 2997 sq.km.
» Population: 2,251,727.
» Altitude: Sea level.
» Temperature: Mean Max: 32.6 °C. Mean Min: 21.4°C.
» Rainfall (annual): 344 cm.
» Clothing: Tropical cottons.