Kannur

Image of Muzhappilangad BeachIdentified as the ancient port town of Naura, which was known even to the early Greeks and Romans, Kannur, in northern Malabar, has been famous for its exports to the outside world from very early times. Over time, it also came to be known for its quality timber.Today, the town’s rich history lives on through its ancient forts, old shrines and many venerable institutions.

While spices,coit,wood and sandalwood were exported from Kannur,traders from places as far flung as Sumatra and Arabia brought to the town varied merchandise – sugar,opoum,dry fruits,silk,camphor,and even horses.Indeed,the celebrated Venetian,traveler,Marco Polo, referred to the town as a great emporium of spice trade.

Kannur has some beautiful sandy beaches, the longest of which is the Payyambalam.This beach is quiet and peaceful, perhaps because there is a Hindu burial ground nearby, where the remains of people such as E K Nayanar and A K Gopalan, the famous Communist party leaders of Kerala, are interred. The Kannur cantonment, established in 1938, is the only one in the Kerala and one of the major attraction of Kerala tourism.

The Trichambaram Vishnu Temple at Taliparambu, 20 km from town, is a fine example of medieval temple architecture. Kannur is also known for its handloom, beedi, fisheries and plywood industries.

For details of Kannur District , see the web page http://halokerala.com/picnic-spots/kannur/

SIGHTS

Fort St Angelo

In 1505, Dom Francesco de Almeida,the first Portuguese viceroy of India, built a fort here on a cliff overlooking the sea, with permission from the Raja. The fort was named ‘St Angelo’. This triangular structure is surrounded on all three sides by the sea and has a moat running all along its landward side.

A row of cannons still stand, positioned seawards through portholes cut into the massive laterite walls. Ammunition dumps, stables, underground jails, secret tunnels to the sea, and an old, dilapidated chapel can also be seen.

Payyambalam Beach

Just a stone’ throw away from Fort St Angelo, is this long beach. At one end, laterite cliffs jut out into the sea with the Mascot Hotel perched atop. Close by is the beach park, with the unusual name of Baby Beach, beautifully landscaped and adorned with sculpture.

Meenkunnu Beach

Meenkunnu BeachJust a few kilometers to the north, at Azhikode, is Meenkunnu Beach. Although few visitors come here, this palm – fringed expanse of clean, golden sands and white surf, thanks to the absence of laterite cliffs, offers rather unique ambience.

Just a few kilometers to the north, at Azhikode, is Meenkunnu Beach. Although few visitors come here, this palm – fringed expanse of clean, golden sands and white surf, thanks to the absence of laterite cliffs, offers rather unique ambience.

Meenkunnu beach, an extension of the famous Payyambalam beach at Azhikode in Kannur district is a place with slow pace. About 10 km away from Payyambalam, this solitary and untouched beach is an ideal place for those who find the Payyambalam beach touristy and crowded.

You may not find much people other than fishermen here.As the name suggests, Meenkunnu,which is a combination of two Malayalam words Meen (Fish) and Kunnu (hill) gives an insight of the fishing tradition of the place and life style of the fishermen community who have made it their habitat. Strolling on the sandy, coconut tree fringed beach, one can see fishermen preparing their fishnet, going into the sea in boats for a catch, their arrival and so on.

The best part of the Meenkunnu beach is the view it offers from the cliff attached to the beach. The peak of the cliff, which is the vantage point of the Meenkunnu beach, will give a panoramic, magnificent view of the beach and the village. One can reach Meenkunnu by rail and road. It will take nearly 25 minutes from Kannur town. Though it is a scenic place, it is better to avoid going there during late evenings. Because isolation can sometimes lead to destruction. Meenkunnu Beach House is a secluded boutique resort resting on a cliff face in a rustic surrounding on the Malabar Coast of Kerala at an altitude of 4500 feet.

Parassini Kadavu Temple

Built on the banks of the Vallapattanam River and situated 18 km northeast of Kannur, the Parassini Kadavu Temple is one of the most important shrines in the region. This three – tiered temple, painted a brilliant white, is locally known as ‘Parassini Madapura’.It is an important centre of muthappan cult and the theyyam.Performances start early in the morning on all days, except when there is no moon or there is a dark moon. This celebrated shrine follows the unusual custom of offering dried fish and toddy to the deity. It is open to people of all religions.

Rajarajeshwara Temple

This Shiva temple is one of the holiest in these parts and the linga is believed to be thousands of years old. The temple follows an unusual custom – women are allowed inside only after eight in the evening as it is believed that Shiva is with Parvati at that time and will grant women devotees all that they desire.

Kerala Folklore Academy

Six kilometers north of Kannur, just off NH 17, is Chirakkal, the one time capital of the Kolathiri rajas and an erstwhile centre of folk art and culture.

Kerala is home to many lesser known are forms, such as the dance forms,marathukali and poorakali,ballads such as vadakkenpaattu and vedanpaattu,and folk plays such as godaveri.There are also the mural paintings or todikkalam.In an effort to preserve this rich heritage, the 130 year old abode of the Chirakkal family, the Chirakkal Kovilakom,was converted into a museum. Each dance or art form has a separate room devoted to it, where costumes, headgear, photographs and other such trappings are displayed. The Muslim dance forms, oppana and arabana, also find a place here. The library attached to the academy contains books on these subjects.

Kanhirode Weaving Co - operative

This is a co – operative where around 400 workers create high quality furnishing fabrics. Apart from producing exquisite bed lines, upholstery and curtain material, weavers working on huge looms produce fine shirts, colourful lungis and saris.Visitos can buy these from the attached retail outlet. The annual Onam fair at the Kannur police grounds is the best place for looking at and buying these handlooms.

Kottiyoor Shiva Temple

This shrine at Kottiyoor, also known as the Varanasi of the South, is an important pilgrim centre. There are actually tow temples here – the Akkara and Ikkara Kottiyoor – located in a forested area on the banks of a river. During May – June every year, a 28 days festival that begins with the neyyattam and ends with the thirukulasathu, draws devotees from fat and wide.

During the neyyattam,a sword with deep religious significance, kept in Muthirikavu in Tavinal village, is brought to the Ikkara Kottiyoor to mark the beginning of the celebrations. Ghee is poured in the sword as a mark of devotion. Another ritual performed during the festival is elaneerattam, the pouring of tender coconut water.

Kanjirakolly

Kanjirakolly is an emerging tourism centre in Malabar, Kerala.Endowed with the bounteous splendor of nature, the village of Kanjirakolly is located 60 km from the district headquarters of Kannur. Pythal Mala is a hot trekking spot near Kanjirakolly.

Getting There

By Air : The nearest is Calicut (Kozhikode) International Airport,Karipur,114 km away.

By Rail : Kannur railway station is well connected to all major cities in Kerala and other important  cities in India.

By Road : NH 17 connects Kannur to Kozhikode (86 Km),Mangalore (138 Km),and Kasaragod (89 Km).Regular buses ply from Kannur’s KSRTC bus stand.

Where to stay

For details of hotels and resorts in Kannur,see accommodation listing on http://halokerala.com/hotels/kannur/

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