Thalassery/ Tellicherry, in Kannur District is a town on the Malabar Coast of Kerala. Being a coastal town, Thalassery was a major commercial centre during the colonial period. The British anglicized the Malayalam Thalassery into Tellicherry.
The British exported pepper and cardamom from Tellicherry. In 1708, the British built the Thalassery Fort on the beach, to protect and control the spice trade from the town. The square fort, with its massive walls, secret tunnels to the sea and intricately carved huge doors, is an imposing structure. The fort was once the nucleus of Thalassery's development. It is now a historical monument.
Thalassery is called the city of cakes cricket and circuses. It is considered to be the birth place of the Indian circus. Keeleri Kunhikannan a legend in the history of the circus in Kerala was a native of this town. The circus artistes and coaches from Thalassery are very much in demand.
The massive walls of st.Joseph's Fort (daily 8am to 6pm) presides over the fishing port and beach on the far western edge of town. Visitors can wander around the lighthouse inside and clamber over the ramparts for view of the jetty below. In the old British cemetry, stands the grave of Edward Brennan, an English man who was swept ashore after a shipwreck in the nineteenth century, who fell in love with the town so much that he decided to make it his permanent home.
Thalassery is home to Brennen College, one of the oldest and the foremost educational institutions in the region. The college evolved from a school established by English philanthropist Edward Brennen, who had made Thalassery his home. This college, which is more than 100 years old, is one of the premier educational institutions in Kerala.
Thalassery's other expatriate was the German missionary, Dr Herman Gundert (1814-93) credited with compiling the first ever English- Malayalam dictionary and the publisher of Kerala's first newspaper. A small park, next to the Muncipal Stadium behind the fort has a statue of the scholar, less known these days for his linguistic achievements than for being the grandfather of nobel prize winning novelist Herman Hesse.
It is 21 Km from Kannur which is its headquarter and well connected to the major towns in Kerala by rail and road.
The nearest airport Kozhikode International Airport is about 93 Km from here.