Kannur is a city in the Indian state of Kerala. Known as Land of Looms and Lores, a land that has a rich past and flourishes in legends and myths. Kannur is the fourth largest urban city in Kerala after Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. Kannur is famous for its pristine beaches, its native performing art Theyyam, and its handloom industry. According to a recent survey, Kannur has been said to be one of ten best cities to live in India. , Kannur is a small and a beautiful city. Far away from the bustling city life, nestled away in the northern most corner of Kerala, is this enchanting city of Kerala. If you want to experience the beauty of India in Kerala, traveling to Kannur would be the best option. The tourism in Kannur is fast catching up, as it is one of the most preferred destinations in Kerala. Check out our related sections that tell you more about the attractions of Kannur.
History of Kannur is marked by foreign invasions and the activities of colonial powers. Kannur was for many centuries the capital of the Kolathiri Rajas, the rivals of the Zamorins of Kozhikode. Marco Polo noted its importance as a spice trading port. From the 15th century various colonial powers, including the Portuguese, Dutch and British, exerted their influence over this rich Malabar Coast region. In the 15th century, the Portuguese arrived in Kannur to establish one of their earliest settlements. A reminder of this is the St. Angelos Fort built in 1505 AD by the first Portuguese Viceroy. The Dutch captured the Portuguese factory built by Cabral, in 1633. In 1708, the British built a fort at Thalasseri (Tellicherry), just outside Kannur. The French developed the nearby town of Mahe as a trading centre inthe 18th century. Around 1792, after the Mysore Wars, the British took over Kannur.
Prime Tourist Attractions In and Around Kannur
St. Angelos Fort : Now, a protected monument under Archaeological Survey of India, the Fort St. Angelos is in the west of Kannur town.Built in 1505 by the first Portuguese Viceroy with the permission of the Kolathiris, it is still a landmark in Kannur. Also known as Kannur Fort, this fort proclaims the strength and beauty of Portuguese architecture. The Dutch captured the fort in 1663 and soldit to the Ali Raja of Kannur before it came into the possession of the British. Though parts of the fort have collapsed, a few ancient cannons are on display inside the fort. The Arabian Sea, the dense coconut trees, the fishing boats and natural harbor Moppila bay are the unforgettable sights; one can have from this fort. Arakkal kettu of historical importance can also be seen from this fort.
Aaralam Wildlife Sanctuary : A tranquil little sanctuary on the slopes of the Western Ghats, Aaralam Wildlife Sanctuary is rich in wildlife, avifauna and reptiles. Covered with tropical and semi evergreen forests, a variety of flora and fauna endemic to the Western Ghats is found here. Herds of deer, elephants, boar and bison are quite common. Leopards, Jungle Cats and various types of Squirrels have also been sighted in this sanctuary.
Muzhpilangad Beach (15 km)- Its shallow waters make it a swimmer’s paradise. Perhaps this is Kerala’s only drive-in beach where you can drive down the entire length of 4 km. Gundert Bungalow (20 km from Kannur, near Thalasseri town, on the National Highway at Illikunnu): Dr. Herman Gundert, the revered German missionary, scholar and lexicographer lived in this Bungalow for 20 years from 1839.
Sree Ramaswami Temple, Thiruvangad (23 km)- The temple dedicated to Sri Rama is one of the most important temples in Malabar. The exquisite carvings in the temple are said to have been carried out nearly 400 years ago.
Payyambalam Beach: a very famous Kannur beach with an unbroken coastline of a few kilometres. From the beach, one can see ships in transit along the Malabar coast. The well laid out garden and the massive landscaped sculpture of Mother and Child erected by noted sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman makes it extremely captivating.
Dharmadam Island : is situated adjacent to Muzhappilangad Beach at a distance of about 100 m away from the shoreline, encircled by alluring waters. It was known as Dharmapattanam in ancient times. The site displays a harmonious combination of beaches and islands. This wondrous small island consists of zillion coconut palms and green bushes, which add to its already fabulous beauty.
Moppila Bay: is a well-known natural fishing harbor, located close to St. Angelo’s Fort. Today, this bay has been modernized and advanced under the assistance and development of the Indo-Norwegian Pact. Previously, the bay was more popular as a commercial harbor during the reign of Kolathiris. Moppila Bay is a distinct and great fascinating site to explore in Kannur.
The famous Jagannatha Temple of Kannur is situated at Madathiparambu, near Thalassery. The temple captivates you immensely with its astonishing architecture. It celebrates a colorful and enchanting Jagannatha festival every year which continues for up to eight days. It is organized in the Malayalam month of Kumbham (February/March).
Gundert’s Bungalow : 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.Home of Dr. Hermann Gundert (1814-1893), a scholar of the German Basel Mission, who compiled the first Malayalam English dictionary. The revered German priest and lexicographer lived in the bungalow for 20 years from 1839.
Pazhassi dam and Gardens : It is the only reservoir with gardens in Kannur district. The reservoir is mainly used for irrigation purposes. The gardens really worth a visit if you are interested is boating. The District Tourism Promotion Council boats are available to navigate through the river enjoying the silent beauty of Pazhassi dam.The garden is a good attraction with childrens park and sculptures.
Ezhimala Beach: Situated 55 km from Kannur, Ezhimala has a beautiful beach with a hillock nearby (286 m high). Carved stone pillars and an ancient burial chamber can be seen at the foot of the hillock. The Ezhimala hills are noted for rare medicinal herbs with mythological significance. The beach sand is of a different texture and the sea is bluer than in other areas. At the Ettikulam bay one could enjoy watching dolphins. A Naval Academy is being developed here. Permission is required for entry.
Thodeekulam Shiva Temple : Located 32 km from Kannur on the Thalassery-Mananthavady road, this temple is famous for its mural paintings. It is believed to have been constructed 2,000 years ago and was closely connected with the Pazhassi Raja family of Kottayam
Pythal Mala – Perched at an altitude of 1,372 mtrs above sea level and rich in flora and fauna, Pythal Mala, the enchanting hill station, is an ideal place for trekking. Now being developed as a hill resort, one has to trek 6 Km to reach the top of the hills.
MadayiPara (25 km)- The Madayi Kavu Temple, the Vadukunnu Temple and the 12th century mosque built by Malik bin Dinar with white marble imported from Arabia, are the major attractions here. There is also a dilapidated fort at Madayi, which is supposed to have been built by Tipu Sultan of Mysore. The view from the fort is fascinating.
Snake Park at Parassinikadavu: This park is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of snakes that are facing extinction. Situated 18 km away from Kannur town, it is home to a large collection of poisonous and non-poisonous snakes. Snake demonstrations conducted here every hour draw large crowds of tourists.
Thalassery Fort : The region of Thalassery has been one of prime importance from the point of view of commerce right from the olden days. It was here that the British East India Company set up their first base in 1683. It was in the year 1708 that the Tellichery Fort was built over here. Thalassery is also well known for having been the first location to have a training center for gymnasts.
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..
Madayi Mosque : This impeccable mosque was originally constructed by Malic Iben Dinar, a Muslim preacher in 1124 AD. It is an astounding ancient shrine which amuses its visitors. History suggests that this Muslim preacher visited India to spread the word of the prophet. Besides, it was he who brought the magnificent white block of marble from Mecca that has been placed in the mosque and today, is a major attraction of the mosque for tourists.
Shopping in Kannur
Kannur is renowned for its high quality handloom products like house linen, bedcovers, table linen and fine cotton saris. The prices of these products are within a reasonable limit so you do not really need to bargain hard (as you would in many other parts of country). One of the best place to buy Kannur handloom products is the Handveer, which is operated by the government.
Apart from handloom, other product worth a buy in Kannur include brass and bell metal lamps. These are available in all shapes and sizes. Kannur City Centre Mall is the largest and the busiest shopping place in the city.
From economy class hotels and deluxe hotels to luxury hotels, private beach houses and resorts, Kannur has a wide array of options for a tourist. The budget traveler can opt for places that are priced anywhere from Rs 400 to Rs 600.Deluxe housing and some beach side resorts offer accommodation for anywhere from Rs.1200- Rs.2000.Luxury hotels can cost anywhere starting from Rs4500 and upwards. Kannur like other places in Kerala offers a good number of Ayurveda resorts that provide a comfortable stay with Ayurvedic massages and therapies aimed at recharging your senses.
How To Reach Kannur
By Air : Kannur is easily reachable by air as the nearest airport is the Kozhikode Airport, which is located at a distance of 93 kilometers from Kannur to the south.
By Train : Kannur has its own railway station and is an important junction in Kerala. Trains from many neighboring states also pass through this town to reach other places. Thus, it is well connected by rail to Kerala and other nearby states.
By Road : Kannur is well linked by a wide network of roads and can be reached from anywhere in Kerala.