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The attractions and interesting sights of Kannur Distric captured in a single article with extendedd descriptions where necessary

Visitor Attractions in Kannur

Fort St. Angelo:

Typically silhouetted against the sea, the Portugues built fort looks highly impressive. It is maintained by Archaeological Survey of India. A thousand people had lived once within its ramparts. Stand on the walls to enjoy the commanding view of the sea and of Moplah Bay. more information about the fort is in separate article below

Theyyam:

This unique ritualistic folk art is North Malabar’s own. It is a blend of dance, Kalaripayattu, music and religious worship. Here some of the Hindu deities are of Mappila Muslim heroes. Theyyam is mainly performed at Kavus (sacred groves). Kannur is Kavu-crazy. Wherever moved Kavu is in sight. About 450 types of Theyyam glorifies Kavus. Almost all ancestral families have cavus. The Agni Theyyam (Fire Theyyam) performer sits on fire to the utter surprise of the spectators and comes out unscathed. DTPC publishes a guide every year showing the dates and venues of the performance.

Muthappan Temple:

The temple is at Parasinikadavu. The deity is Muthappan whose favourite food is fried fish and toddy. He is believed to be the incarnation of Maha Vishnu and the son of Siva-Parvathi. The temple is on the banks of Valapattanam river.

Parassinikadavu Snake Park:

The park is near the Muthappan temple. It had almost all types of reptiles found in the world. Sometime back the park was set ablaze, killing all the reptiles, by some unscrupulous elements. Now the Park has reborn. An impressive collection of snakes attracts many. Treatments for snake-bite undertaken here. see separate article

Pazhassi Dam: Located 37 km from Kannur, Pazhassi Dam set amidst picturesque ambience, is a tourists’ hangout. Boating entertainment is open here.

Thodeekulam Shiva Temple: This temple is located 34 km southeast of Kannur. The 2000 years old shrine associated with Pazhassi Raja is rich in mural paintings.

Pythalmala: Pythalmala is located 65 km from Kannur on Karnataka-Kerala border. This lovely hill station placed 4500 ft height is abundant in flora and fauna. The scenic beauty is its treasure.

Payyambalam Beach: This beach is located just 2 km from Kannur town. Payyambalam Beach, the largest in Kannur district, is a craze for the visitors. Its flat laterite cliffs jut into the sea, a novel sight. A garden with a massive sculpture of mother and child adds glamour to the beach.

Paralassery: Paralassery is located 14 km from Kannur. Paralassery jumped into fame because of the Subramanya temple here where Rama and Laxmana, en-route to Sri Lanka, was halted for rest. This largely attended temple has copper and bronze idols of snakes, apart from Rama’s and Laxmana’s, scattered in many places. The neatly stepped temple pond is kept in utmost clean.

Valapattanam : This small town is located 7 km away from Kannur. Its importance is stemmed from Valapatanam River. The lengthiest in Malabar, this river originated from Western Ghats is the lengthiest in Malabar. Near the town it embraces Arabian Sea. Like Beypore in Kozhikode, Valapattanm’s main vocation is the manufacture of Urus and Dhows. Boat cruise on the river is an exciting experience.The banks of the river are eminently picturesque and steal the hearts.

Trichambaram Temple: Trichambaram temple at Thaliparambu is located 25 km north of Kannur. The 9th century temple attracts large number of devotes. Its carvings and murals are worth studying. A 14-day festival in March is a great event in Thaliparambu.

Arakkal Kettu: Arakkal Kettu, the residence of erstwhile Arakkal Ali Rajas, the rulers, is located 3 km from Kannur town. The ASI maintained Arakkal Kettu is a hertitage monument. Two mosques close to the monument are architectural beauties.

Madayipara: This place is located 25 km from Kannur. Vadakunnu temple and Madayikavu temple of Madayipara, visited by many, are exemplary of Kerala’s own architecture style. Malik bin Dinar built 12th century mosque located here attracts many for its architectural, heritage and prayer value. A Fort built by Tipu Sulthan, though dilapilated, is worth visiting.

Thiravangad: Thiravangad located 23 km from Kannur shot into fame due to Sree Ramaswami temple here. Large number of devotees congregates here. The 400 years old carvings in the temple are thought provoking.

Kizhunna Beach: This beach is located 11 km from Kannur town. The long stretched white sanded beautiful beach is ideal for hay-walk and idling.

Ezhimala: Ezhimla is located 55 km from Kannur. A beautiful Beach with hillock is Ezhimala’s own. An ancient burial chamber and carved stone pillars at the foot of the hill are of archaeological value. Medicinal herbs and plants scarce in other places are ample in this hill. A Naval Academy in a vast area will soon become operational here.

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary: Aralam is located 35 km away from Thalassery. In the 55 km Sanctuary different species of animals such as elephants, sambars, mouse deer, sloth bears etc can be seen.

Payyannur: Payyannur town is located 21 km from Kannur. Payyannur’s main attraction is a Subramanya temple. Pavithra modiram (pious ring) given from this temple is considered god-blessed. It is made of gold and darbha grass which is used for the rituals.

Beypore & Uru: Beypore is home to Urus (big wooden cargo boats) and dhows. Both gave way to ships years ago. A spirited craftsman in Beypore has embarked upon the making of an Uru to keep the tradition alive. The work is nearing completion and is about to be water-born.

Beach: Payyamkulam and Meenkunnu beaches are crowd-pullers. Ideal for strolling.

Thalassery:

22 km from Kannur. This town by the sea has remarkable facet. The British sport, cricket, was first( in India) played here. Equally, the British comfort food, the cake, was first baked here. The Indian circus originated here. It was legendary Keeleri Kunhikannan who trained the circus artists a hundred and odd years ago. Read more in separate article below

Thalassery Fort: The Fort was built by British in 1708. This fort was instrumental in crushing rebellions by Pazhassi Raja. There was an underground tunnel leading to a big circular drawing room though presently impossible to locate it as the fort is in bad shape due to negligence. The fort is in a strategic location as easier to guard the Thalassery Port. The ramparts of the fort provide picturesque view around.

Kadinoor:

Kadiroor, located 5 km from Thalassery, shot into stardom because of the 13th century old Subramanya temple here. The idol was consecrated by Sri Rama. T H Baber’s army had on orders from Baber prayed here before venturing to annex Coorg. The army won the battle and Baber was so pleased he renovated the temple which was damaged by Tipu Sulthan’s army.

Gundert’s Bunglow: Gundert Bungalow is located at Illikunnu, near Thalassery town. Dr Herman Gundert, a celebrated German missionary, lived for 20 years from 1839. He is the author of first Malayalam dictionary. The first Malayalam newspaper, Paschimodayam, was published by him. Gundert Bungalow is a prestigious structure with wide doors, wide verandahs and deep eaves – a heritage show-piece.

Anjarakandy: Anjarakandy is the place where Asia’s biggest and Kerala’s and India’s first Cinnamon plantation is located. It was established by British East India Company in 1798. A visit to this aroma filled plantation un-taps a new experience.

Thodikalam: This place is situated 24 km from Thalassery. The Shiva temple at close-by Kottiyur is famous. A legendary shrouds this shrine. Pleased by the honesty of king Harischandra, Shiva gave him a Linga. When the king holding Linga was wandering for a right spot to install the Linga idol he noticed Shiva dancing in a cremation ground. The king decided the cremation ground is the right place to install the idol and did so. The cremation ground known as chutalakalm in local parlance came to be known as Thodikalam later.

Meenkunnu Beach:

Meenkunnu Beach, situated 12 km from Kannur, is quiet and beautiful. The golden sanded beach is idle for hay-walk and leisure-spend.

Kunhimangalam Kunhimangalam, located in Payyannur, is lovely place where bronze sculptures and lamps of unique nature are available.

Muzhapilangad Beach:

A long stretched beach, the longest in Kerala with drive-in facilities. Projecting black rocks protect the sea off the beach from the currents of deeper ocean, making the water silent. see separate article below

Rajarajeswara Temple:

Located at Taliparambu. Over 1000 years tradition to its credit. An unusual system prevailes here. Women allowed to worship only after 8 pm. During this time Lord Shiva is with Parvathi, it is believed, prompting Shiva to grant women wishes.

Mahasivarathri in Feburary/March is the main festival.

Mahatma Nature Cure Centre:

Situated at Taliparambu. Among various therapies, mud and water therapy gain more marks. Ayurveda massage at marginal cost of Rs 80 to 100 is added attraction.

Mahe:

Mahe borders south end of Kannur.Mahe is part of Union Territory of Pondichery under the direct rule of a Central government (government of India). The area of Mahe is just 9 sq km. It is located on the south bank of Moolakadavu river and bi-sided by Mahi river. Mahe was once a trading centre of French East India Company. A fort built by the traders is in a dilapidated condition.

Mahe has a fine water front and a palm fringed white sandy beach( which is not safe for swimming). Seeing worth things in Mahe are on the locations. Government Guest House, built in French style is rewarding to see. The stunning waterfront walkways lined with well kept gardens are great to catch a glimpse of the boat traffic. There are dolhphin spotting boating trips (daily 9am-6pm) operated from the Government run water Complex. A statue of Marienne crowns Togou park in the beach.

St Theresa’s church in Mahe is well-known all over Malabar region. People of all religions gather in the church for 2-week long fete (October 5-22).

The crumbling remains of St George Fort at Cherukallu is an ideal spot to have a panoramic view of Mahe. Enroute you can also visit, Malayala Kalagramam (0490-2232961) a renowned school of traditional performing arts where you can watch classes in dance, music, sculpture, yoga and mural painting with prior permission from the director M.V Devan -himself a nationally famous artist and critic.