- All ears for the lingering folklores and all eyes for the vibrant art forms
Kannur district derived its name from the location of its headquarters
at Kannur town. The old name Cannanore is the anglicised form of the
Malayalam word Kannur. According to one opinion, Kannur is a derivation
from Kanathur, an ancient village, the name of which survives even today
in one of the wards of Kannur Municipality. Another version is that
Kannur might have assumed its name from one of the, deities of the Hindu
pantheon, a compound of two words, Kannan (Lord Krishna) and Ur (place)
making it the place of Lord Krishna. In this context, it is worth
mentioning that the deity of the Katalayi Sreekrishna temple was
originally installed in a shrine at Katalayi Kotta in the south eastern
part of the present Kannur town.
- Tourism Attractions
Fort St. Angelo :
Conjuring up the images of bygone years stands Fort St. Angelo at a distance of three kilometers from Kannur town. The structure is as hyped for its structural prominence as it is for its historical significance erected in 1505 the fort is the living example of Portuguese architecture in an alien land. Built in the headland that project into Laskhadweep Sea, the fort takes in a triangular layout with adjoining citadels and a trench. The original grandeur as it was during the possession of British is still preserved, although parts of it have fallen prey for the test of the time. Standing at the heights of St. Angelo, freeze the scenic brilliance as you fall in love with it.
Thalassery Fort :
Enter the huge gateway at Thalassery Fort (Kannur Fort) and you will soon be lost somewhere in the early 18th century when colonial imperialism was at its peak. Once a military cantonment of the British in Kerala, the fort stands testimony to the glorious past of Kannur Pitched atop a hill with a view of Thalassery beach, the fort takes in excellent form and shape that have stood the transition of time and weather. With massive walls, a secret tunnel that leads to the sea, and an upright lighthouse, the structure is as magnificent and imposing it can be a walk along the empty corridors here, listening to the enigmatic notes of waves, is in itself a refreshing experience.
Arakkal Palace :
With the vibes of Thalassery Fort (Kannur Fort) lingering in you drive down the street and stop by Arakkal Palace. So rich in historical significance, Arakkal Palace bears a regal connotation of being the abode of the only Muslim family of royal origin in Kerala. Take a tour inside the palace to get a closer view on the lifestyle of Ali Rajah, the male rulers and Arakkal Beevis, their female counterparts.
Madayi Mosque :
A 12th century structure, Madayi Mosque in Kannur is a historically important location. The mosque with its enormous white marble said to have brought from Mecca is magnetic in attracting tourists. Within easy access to the mosque is a fort built by the Muslim ruler Tipu Sultan. Though a major portion of it has been ruined, the fort is worth stopping by as the view there is simply fascinating.
Mosque at Thalassery :
A structure dating back to 7th century, Thalassery Mosque is of great eminence. One of the oldest, it talks about a history of thousand years and has underwent renovation to display Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.
Gundert Bungalow :
Closely linked to the history of the State, Gundert Bungalow is where the German Missionary Dr. Herman Gundert once lived. Located 20 km from Kannur within the premises of Thalassery Town, the bungalow is also significant - one of the first Malayalam dictionaries and newspaper took shape here
Snake Park at Parassinikadavu :
Do you fancy the exotic? Snake Park at Parassinikadavu is the abode of the creepy reptiles, rare animals and bird species etc. Get engaged in the hair rising episodes of both poisonous and non-poisonous snakes on display, most of which are nearing extinction Endangered species like Simhavalan Monkeys (Lion Tailed Macaque) and Crocodiles of some rare variety too are preserved here. However it is the snake show that attracts tourists the park is open from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. everyday.
Kannur Beaches :
As many as the myths and legends the land is known for, there equals a number of beaches, spreading an air of serenity and delight
Payyambalam beach :
Payyambalam beach, located 2 km from Kannur, is the much preferred spot for evening outs and weekend getaways by locals. The strange yet captivating sculpture of mother & child is sure to leave one amazed.
Moppila Bay :
Situated at close proximity to St. Angelos Fort is Moppila Bay, which now hosts an advanced fishing harbor. The beach here is natural with a climate that is seldom hostile.
Ezhimala Beach :
Ezhimala beach and the cluster of hillocks are to explore and move ahead. The sight here is truly kaleidoscopic as surprises unfold at every other step you take Exuding beach with its elegantly carved stone pillars, centuries old mosque, and an ancient burial chamber, are sure to hold your interest intact. The hills here are said to contain some rare medicinal herbs that has takers all round the globe. However as the rule says make sure that your tour operator has taken prior permission to enter Ezhimala Beach.
Kizhunna Ezhara Beach :
Housed at a distance of 11km from Kannur is Kizhunna Ezhara Beach, the beauty of which one can vouch on being one of most secluded of Kerala beaches this is much preferred among honeymooners. And when the evening breaks the sound and vibrancy of Kathakali fills the air, when the performers set the stage on fire
- Things To Do
Drive in Beach :
Perhaps the only drive-in beach in India Muzhapilangad beach enjoys solid preference among tourists and hence has activities galore. Take a drive along the tranquil shoreline that stretches for about 4 km, feeling the golden sand and the saline water on you. The beach is with boulders that defend the destructive currents. The water here is shallow and is perfect for swimmers to plunge in. The truth might take you by surprise; the beach is a less explored one that ensures the privacy you demand.
Beach Surfing :
Top the trip with little adventure; one of the best surf breaks in Kerala, Meenkunnu Beach is hardly a few kilometers from Kannur Town. The golden sand and the surf here are much talked about among tourists.
Bird Watching and Trekking at Aralam :
The treasure trove of rare species of birds, wildlife and vegetation, Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary expands over 55 sq.km. The park is often flocked by nature lovers and travelers with an urge for adventure; take a slow pan from bird watching to wildlife viewing, while you trek along the ups and downs.
Trekking at Pythal Mala :
An emerging hill resort at Kannur, Pythal Mala offers mind-blowing vistas of flora and fauna. Apart from the scenic brilliance, the place is known for its trekking tracks; 6 km trek is what it takes to reach the top of the hill, which in fact worth trying for. The view from atop the hill is rather exhilarating in the company of cold breeze and fogy environment.
Leisure at Pazhassi Gardens & Dam :
Team up exotic beauty and a delightful leisure at Pazhashi Gardens & Dam. One can try boating in the huge reservoir and there are facilities for accommodation too.
Every trip has to have its share kept aside for shopping. Though Kannur
is not one of those busiest shopping hubs in Kerala there are a few but
interesting outlets that one cannot afford to miss. When in leisure
stroll along the Fort Road that lies near to St. Angelos Fort, Super
Bazaar and Fortlight Complex here have shops where you can grab the
knick-knacks. States one of the best handloom outlets, Kannur puts on
show attractive handloom clothes, fine cotton sarees, table linen,
bedspreads etc. And mind you the shops here sell things at reasonable
price, which rules out the scope for bargaining. Try your hands on the
mesmerizing brass statues, small and large, as also bell metal lamps, if
you bear a fancy for antique pieces. Last, but worth mentioning, is
Kannur City Centre Mall, where you can pick up a few branded stuff to
fit your wardrobe.
- Moving Around
Within Kannur local buses serve as the best means of transportation;
apart from being affordable the service is also acceptable. But a more
preferable pick with tourists are autorikshaws, so are local taxis
owing to the space they allow and the running commentary from drivers
about the place, which is indeed worth the taxi fare you pay.
Often there is yet another section that opts for private car rentals with drivers, or for a change self-driving too.
- Best Time To Visit
November through February is the recommended season for visiting the place; this is when heat settles and the weather becomes rather agreeable. With October end the place enlivens to the multihued aura of the vibrant art forms, especially that of Theyyam (a ritualistic art form), which is the best a traveler can seize.
- How to Reach
By Flight :
The nearest International Airport to reach here is at Karipur, Kozhikode located 93 km to the south of Kannur. The Mangalore airport forms the next option, situated 170 km to the north.
By Rail :
Kannur forms an important railhead in Southern Railways and Back hence has trains arriving and departing from/to almost all major towns in the State as well as the country.
By Road :
Regular road transport facilities are available that connects Kannur with the rest of the destinations in Kerala, as well as in South India.