Kannur district derived its name from the location of its headquarters at Kannur town. Kannur was known by its Portuguese name of Cannanore which is still in fairly common usage. Kannur is popularly known as the city of Looms and Lores. It is also the land of the famous performance art THEYYAM. Kannur is famous for its pristine beaches and hand loom industry.
Bekal Fort is the biggest fort in Kerala spreading over forty acres. The unique Bekal Fort stands amidst the roaming but heartening music of the seas along with the eternal note of the unending waves, carrying the thrilling memories of a bygone era. This foremost souvenir of the 'Gods own Country' remains undeterred over the ages as a silent witness to centuries of eventful yester years. The Bekal Fort has been a source of attraction for historians, tourists and nature - lovers for centuries since it embodies memories of a glorious past.
The Fort appears to have been built up from the seas since almost three fourth of its exterior is drenched and the waves do stroke the citadel. The Hanuman temple and the ancient Muslim Mosque nearly hold testimony to the age-old religious harmony that prevailed in the area. The zigzag entrance and the trenches around the fort show the defence strategy connected with the fort.
Bekal Fort happens to be the biggest fort of Kerala spreading over forty acres. The important features of this fort are the tank with its flight of steps, the opening of the tunnel towards the South, the magazine for keeping ammunition and the broad and wide steps leading to the Observation Tower is a rarity. From there one has ample view of all the important places in the vicinity like Kanhangad, Pallikare, Bekal, Kottikulam Uduma etc. This observation centre has strategic significance in finding out even the smallest movements of the enemy and ascertaining the safety of the Fort.
Houseboat ride is one of the prime attractions in Bekal, Neeleswaram. Tourists can enjoy a cruise along the palm fringed backwaters in the Malabar region, while enjoying a peaceful sojourn in these exceptionally comfortable houseboats. These houseboat are not only apt for a family or honeymoon vacation, but are built with state-of-the-art technologies making it ideal for business purposes as well.
Paithalmala, a stunning hillstation, is 4,500 ft. above sea level, stands close to the Karnataka border and is very rich in flora and fauna. Paithalmala is ideal for trekking and adventure tourism. It has been fast emerged as ecotourism destination.
It is the highest peak in Kannur, located about 65 kms north-east of Kannur city and 35 kms east of Thaliparambu. North of Paithalmala is the Kudaku forest. It is part of the Western Ghats, spread over 500 acres of land provide panoramic views of the surrounding hills and dense forests . From one corner of the hill one could even see the Arabian Sea far away.
Kudiyanmala is the starting pint of trekking and one has to trek 6kms to reach the pailthalmala summit. An agricultural village that is found at the valley of Paithalmala is the Kappimala which is at a distance of 2 kms from it. Crops such as rubber, cocoa, vanilla etc are grown here in plenty and it is beautiful to watch these plantations. One can access Paithalmala from Kappimala, take a jeep ride of two kilometers through the "muttatham-vayal" mountain till the forest border at "Manja-pullu". A two km trekking through the forest will then take you to the Pailthal mala hill top. Meadows on the hilltop and small patches of Shola forests present a panoramic view. You can take a bath at Ezharakundu waterfalls at Pottanplavu.
This hill station is emerging as the finest health care and holiday destination in Kerala. Kerala Government has taken initiatives to develop it as a eco tourism destination. The tourist complex, has been built as part of the Paithalmala Ecotourism Project. At the base of the mountain at Kudiyanmala, a tourist information center to provide details of trekking routes and view points, camping areas, facilities to provide camping equipment and dormitory have been constructed .
This centre of worship and faith has in store many unique practices and rituals, and the temple architecture itself stands testimony to this aspect. Located 20 km away from Kannur, a northern district of Kerala, the Parassinikadavu Muthappan (Siva) Temple on the banks of the Valapatnam River attracts people from all sections of the society; irrespective of religion, caste and promotes the essence of "Vasudaiva Kutumbakam - The whole world is one family."
The origin of the Muthappan temple is connected to the appearance of a child who roamed the region with a string of interesting incidents and later vanished without a trace. The incidents up to the point of his disappearance later made the denizens feel the divine presence of Muthappan (Siva) who immediately erected a place of worship, which today is popularly known as the Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple.
The temple is also a popular destination for travellers and pilgrims to savour the charm of Theyyam, a ritual that is performed here on a daily basis. Men adorning masks and costumes with a riot of colours perform this temple art form and it represents conflict between good and evil, with good ultimately emerging victorious.
Payyambalam Beach - One of the most beautiful beaches in the state of Kerala is at a distance of 2 km from Kannur town. This beautiful stretch of sand and surf is the best place for a relaxing holiday.
It is well known for the well constructed and laid out gardens and a gigantic sculpture of the mother and the child by Kanayi Kunhiraman that was erected here. It is also famous due to the fact that the remains of Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pillai,A.K Gopalan, Pamban Mandavan and K.G Marar are laid to rest near this place.
The essential plus points about the Payyambalam Beach are its cleanliness, its distance from the town and the beauty of its gardens. Payyambalam beach is a favourite picnic spot for the local residents.
Location : Payyambalam, 2 kms from Kannur.
Nearest Railway Station: Kannur
Nearest Bus Station: Kannur
Nearest Airports: Mangalore(120 kms), Kozhikode (120 kms)
St. Angelo's Fort (also known as Kannur Fort or Kannur Kotta), is a fort facing the Arabian Sea, situated 3 km from the town of Kannur.
St. Angelo's Fort was built in 1505 by Dom Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy of India and is on the Arabian sea about 3 km from Kannur town. It was attacked in vain by the local Indian ruler in the Siege of Cannanore (1507).
On August 1509 Almeida, refusing to recognize Afonso de Albuquerque's as the new portuguese governor to supersede himself, arrested him in this fortress after having fought the naval Battle of Diu. Afonso de Albuquerque was released after three months' confinement, and become governor on the arrival of the grand-marshal of Portugal with a large fleet, in October 1509.
The Mappila Bay Harbor and Arakkal Mosque are near the fort. The fort is now renovated and well-maintained under the supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India. Tourists are allowed entry to the fort every day of the week between 8 AM to 6 PM.
The Arakkal Museum is a museum dedicated to the Arakkal family, the only Muslim royal family in Kerala, south India. The museum is actually a section of the Arakkalkettu (Arakkal Palace). The durbar hall section of the palace has been converted into a museum by the Government of Kerala.
Arakkal family is the royal family which ruled Kannur for several centuries. They had family relationship with Kolathiris, the rulers of the neighboring Chirakkal kingdom. Arakkal family had trade relationship with Arabs and later with Europeans. The islands of Lakshadweep and Maldives were ruled by Arakkal family. The king of Arakkal kingdom was known as Arakkal Raja and the Queen was known as Arakkal Beevi.
Although renovated by the government, the Arakkalkettu is still owned by the Arakkal Family Trust and does not fall under the control of the country's archaeology department, the Archaeological Survey of India. The government had taken a keen interest in preserving the heritage of the Arakkal Family, which had played a prominent role in the history of Malabar. A nominal entry fee is charged by the Arakkal Family Trust from visitors to the museum.
Location: 3 kms from Kannur
Nearest Railway Station: Kannur
Nearest Bus Station: Kannur
Nearest Airport: Kozhikode (120 kms).
Muzhappilangad Beach is a drive-in beach in the state of Kerala in southwestern India. It is located parallel to National Highway 17 between Kannur and Thalassery.
Muzhappilangad beach There is an unpaved road winding through coconut groves leading to the beach. To get to this road, if you are driving from Tellicherry towards Kannur, take the left turn just before the first railway crossing you encounter after crossing the Moidu bridge. The beach is about 5 km long and curves in a wide area providing a good view of Kannur on the north. Local laws allow beachgoers to drive for a full 4 km directly on the sands of the beach. The beach is bordered by black rocks, which also protect it from the stronger currents of the ocean.
Approximately 100-200 m south of the beach there is a private island called Dharmadam Island (Pacha Thuruthu in Malayalam, which translates to Green Island in English). It is possible to walk to the island during low tide. Since the late 90's, the beach has seen a steady influx of European tourists during winter.
The miniscule portion of the heaven has fallen down in the saliferous Arabian Sea. The salutary Dharmadam Thuruth really rejuvenates the human nerves.
Every one who immigrates to Thalassery will be captivated by the fascinating Dharmadam Thuruth. The island, in the dappling blue waves of Arabian Sea, a five acre land with dense under growth covered with coconut palms and green bushes is a beautiful sight from the beach. The group of migrating birds from far away makes it a sojourn point in their itinerary.
Thalaserry fort, located at a distance of 22 kms from Kannur constructed in 1708 AD was the military centre of the British. When the British East India Company established its settlement on the Malabar Coast, they built the Thalaserry Fort, as a testimonial to their colonial imperialism. In 1700, the British built the Thalassery Fort on a small hill called Tiruvellapadkunnu and in 1708, it was strengthened by increasing its height and with bastions.
The fort is a square structure built of laterite and is distinguished by its massive ventilated walls and strong flanking bastions. The fort has secret tunnels to the sea and intricately carved huge doors. It was here that Haider's captain was imprisoned.
The fort has a cemetery and the collector's mansion nearby. Many British officials have been laid to rest in this cemetery that is named after Sir Edward Brennen. The famous St.John's Anglican church is behind this fort. The fort was once the nucleus of Thalassemia's development.
Location: Thalassery, 21 kms south of Kannur.
Nearest Railway Station: Thalassery
Nearest Bus Station: Thalassery
Nearest Airports: Mangalore(140 kms), Kozhikode (100 kms)
The Aralam Sanctuary is spread over 55 sq km of undulating forested highlands on the slopes of the Western Ghats. The highest peak here - Katti Betta - rises to a majestic 1145 m above sea level.
Covered with tropical and semi evergreen forests, the Aralam Sanctuary is home to a vast variety of flora and fauna endemic to the Western Ghats. Elephant, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, Nilgiri langur, Hanuman langur, Malabar giant squirrel, etc can be seen here.
Aralam, a village in Thalasserry, is also noted for the Central State Farm, a 3060 hectare farm started in 1971 by the Government of India. This is one of the main production centres of hybrid coconut seeds in the country.
The Saint Theresa Church serves the Roman Catholic people of this town. This church holds a special place in the hearts of the people. This is a simple church built a couple of decades ago. There are writings on the walls of the church which are noticeable. A majority of tourists are attracted between the 5th and 22nd of October when the annual religious festival is held here.
Wayanad, fondly called the 'green paradise' is tucked away in the mountains of the Western Ghats. Only a short distance from some of the popular tourist destinations in South India like Ooty, Mysore and Coorg, Wayanad is an easily accessible and important tourist destination in Kerala. The name Wayanad literally translates into the land of forests and even today, it has large tracts of virgin forest lands, wild life and blissful nature trails that will awaken your senses.
Wayanad is a rich treasure trove of some of the relics of the New Stone Age civilizations in the forms of engravings and pictures in the caves of Edakkal and Ampukuthimala, which offer clues about the past civilizations.
Wayanad sight seeing includes various attractions like the Chembra Peak, Edakkal Cave, Kuruva Island and Lakkidi, which is the highest point in Wayanad. No trip to Wayanad can be complete without a trip to Muthanga wild life sanctuary and Pakshipatahalam, which represent the wilderness and the wild life of this part of Kerala at its best. In case you are looking for some adventure sporting activities, you can set out on jungle trails or trekking and hiking expeditions.