Kannur ( Kerala , South India)
Kannur is about 87 kms from Kozhikode. Tucked far away from the bustle and noise of crowded cities, lies Kannur, originally known as Cannanore, one of the most enchanting coastal places in Northern Kerala. It is a well known port and Marco Polo has referred to it as a great emporium of spice trade. It was the Portuguese who gave it much of its importance. This is a famous sea side port, having the remains of an old St. Agnes fort built by the Portuguese in 1505. It has some monuments of historical interest such as the palace of Kolathivi Raja, at Chirakkal, 6 kms, away. There is also an ancient mosque at Madazi, about 22 kms away. With the Arabian Sea washing the sands on the beaches, laced with endless rows of coconut palms swaying to the breeze, the scene is enchanting.
Kannur is the seat of martial art, Kalari Payattu,forerunner of Karate and Kumphu. There are many gymnasiums, called Kalaris, spread all over the district. Thalassery was a centre to train circus artistes from the ancient days. There are a few institutions to train youngsters in Theyam, a folk art. Poorakali is another folk dance which is popular here.
Culturally vibrant and colourful Kannur has many touristic attractions which add enchanting charm to Kerala.
Beypore: Bypore is an old village of fishermen who have specialized in building country boats from wood and is 11 kms from Kannur.
Kottiyur: The Shiva temple of antiquity in the interior forests of Kottiyur has become famous as Sabarimala Ayyappan temple. Kottiyur is 16 kms away from Thalassery. During the annual festival, lasting for 28 days during May June, it attracts large number of devotees to this temple, acclaimed as the Varanasi of the South India. This temple too like Sabarimala, is kept open only for a few days during the season. There are two temples-one in either side of the Vavali river. Devotees walk on foot from the forest point up to the shrine in the interior and worship the deity.
Thiruvengad: Thiruvengad, a village 20 away from Thalassery, has an ancient temple dedicated to Ramaswamy. Though a Vishnu temple of hoary antiquity, it is popularly called as Thiruvengada Perumal. The idol of the shrine is that of Chaturbhuja Vishnu,four armed Vishnu. The striking characteristics of Vishnu can be easily seen by the attributes which include mace, disc and conch. Yet Krishna is adored here as Sri Rama. Although the idols of Lakshmana and Sita are not in the shrine, there is a small idol representing Hanuman. This unique temple is worth visiting.
Sandy beaches: The 82 kms of coastline of Kannur is dotted with spots of heavenly beauty in many beaches.
Muzhamppaliangad Beach: About 6 kms north of Thalassery lies this beach, one of the finest in Kerala. Secluded and surrounded by rock formations, the 4 kms long drive of inspiring beauty offers as an ideal sea bathing resort. Set against coconut groves, it is a drive-in beach.
Meenkunnu Beach: Near the village of Azhitkode is this pristine beach which is tourists' paradise with golden sand and clear water.
Dharmadhan Island: Between the two towns, hundred metres off shore lies Dharmadhan, an island surrounded by rivers and the sea. During low tide one can walk through the beach. Being an ancient Buddhist stronghold, it was earlier known as Dharmapattanam. This strategic island changed hands several times between Kalathri, Kottayam and the Ali Rajas of Kannur until it was occupied by the British in 1734. The beach is a wonderful place here only knee deep water.
Payambalam Beach: Nearer to Kannur and often visited by the local people is this beach. Clean and linked to Fort Angelo through a pathway, it ends in laterite cliffs jutting into the sea. This is being developed as a tourist resort by erecting some sculptures on the rocks. This is an excellent place to watch the Sunset.
Ezhimala: One of the naval bases about 40 kms from Kannur town, it is situated between the seven hills. Known earlier as Mount Deli, it served as a landmark to the ancient mariners. Blessed with a beach at Ettikulam, large natural outcrops of rocks and a fine light house, Ezhimula presents a glorious natural scenery. Visitors are allowed to climb to the top of the light house for a breathtaking view of the seven hills and the township of Kannur.
Fort St. Angelo: Adjacent to the beach and hardly 2 kms from Kannur town is the old fort built by the first Portuguese Viceroy of Indies, Don Francisco de Almeyda in 1503. It was subsequently held by the Dutch and by the British. It is in a remarkably good state of preservation with all the canons intact.
Odathic Pall: In the heart of the town stands the five hundred year old mosque built by the Portuguese. The word Odathic is a Portuguese term to mean a garden and the structure is believed to have been constructed in a garden.
St. Rosario Church: This is one of the oldest Churches below the fort. Though it is now abandoned, it retains its architectural beauty. In its cemetery, rest the European officials of the East India Company. Laid to eternal rest here is also Edward Brennen the founder of the college at Kannur, which bears his name now.
Parisinni Temple: This is a typical Kerala temple set amidst beautiful natural surroundings, 35 kms from Kannu. It is dedicated to Muttappan, the god of the forests. The temple is situated right on the banks of an estuary and a boat cruise along the river will be an unforgettable experience. The various types of dance performance at this temple adorned with huge headgear and special costumes and painted faces are intended to be blessed with divine powers.
How to reach Kannur
Kannur is connected by rail and by road with most of the major cities in the country. Bus services are available from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states also. There are very good lodgings in the town and a few rest houses also. Most of the interior places have good lodging facilities. Taxis can be hired to visit interior places.