Kerala, Gods own country is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. Kannur is a district in the northern part of Kerala having its district headquarters in the city by the same name. There are many popular places to visit in Kannur which may need you to plan at least a few days of stay.
Kannur is popularly called as the Land of Looms and Lores because of the many loom industries found in the area and Lores due to the folklores and rituals that are practiced in the temples. The city has the Western Ghats on the east, the Kasaragod district on the North, Kozhikode district in South and Wayanad district to the Southeast as its borders. You can easily find many high-standard hotels in Kannur in different price ranges for you to select the one appropriate to your budget.
Popular places to visit in Kannur:
Tourists from all over the globe make it a point to visit Kannur. Other than quality hotels, there are several resorts in Kannur for you to stay, that adds to the fun and pleasure of vacationing. There are many restaurants out there for you to try out delicious food. Kannur is an ideal weekend gateway destination for the locals.
How to reach Kannur:
Kannur is easily accessible by various modes of transport. You can reach it by air by flying to Mangalore or Calicut which are about 173kms and 125 km away respectively. You can also travel by train, sea or road without many hassles. It is one of the prominent sightseeing places in Kerala which you must include in your itinerary when covering northern Kerala.
A prominent commercial town on the Malabar coast in Kannur district, Thalassery has been a trading center for cardamom and pepper. The town is on the banks of river Eranjoli and is encircled by the Arabian Sea. It is also popularly called “Land of seven hills” which are the Chettam Kunnu, Morak Kunnu, Dharmadam Kunnu, Koduvalli Kunnu, Illikunnu, Mailam Kunnu and Vayalalam Kunnu. Thalassery is one of the important places to see in Kerala. Do not miss the following attractions during your stay at Thalassery.
Overbury’s Folly: A recreational park, named after its builder E.N. Overbury, is a perfect spot to view the sunset. The place is about 22 km away from Kannur.
Tellicherry Fort: Also, popularly known as Thalassery fort, the fort is erected on a rocky cliff was a defense center for the British and is supposed to have a secret escape route into the sea when under attack.
There are many temples, churches, and mosques in Thalassery such as Catholic Rosary Church, English Church, Jama Masjid, Sri Jagannath Temple, Sree Ramaswami Temple, Vamil Temple, Odathil Palli, Fisherfolk temple, Nibumbram Muthappan Madappura Temple etc. that have historical and religious importance. You could also spend some time at the Sea View Park, Tagore park and visit the Wellesley’s bungalow and Government House.
The only drive-in beach in Kerala, Muzhappilangad beach allows you to drive through on the complete four km stretch. Every year the beach festival is held here in the month of April where you can have an experience of adventure sports such as parasailing, paragliding, power boating, water sports, catamaran rides and much more. It is one of the important sightseeing places in Kannur. There are several black rocks that act as a shield to the clean and neat beach from the strong currents of the water allowing swimmers to have a gala time in the shallow waters.
About 100 to 200 meters away from the beach is the Dharamadam Island. It is a popular private island also called in Malayalam as Pacha Thuruthu which means Green Island in English. You can easily walk across from the beach to the island provided the tides are not high. You require prior permission to enter the 5-acre island that is covered with dense bushes and coconut palms. The island is about 8 km away from the town of Thalassery.
St. Angelo Fort:
A historical fort built by a Portuguese Don Francisco De Almeida in the year 1505 was taken over by the Dutch and later was an important military center for the British on the Malabar coast. The Dutch built bastions like Frieslandia, Zeelandia, Hollandia and was later revamped and rebuilt by the British. It is one of the must-see places in Kannur. It is triangular, has a gravestone belonging to the family of a Dutch commander. The fort faces the Arabian Sea and is now under the management of the Archeological Survey of India.
A museum dedicated to the Royal Muslim family Arakkal who played a pivotal role in the history of Malabar. The museum which was earlier the residence of the royal family is a 200-year-old monument being managed and maintained by the Archaeological and tourism department. The museum depicts the life that the male rulers (Arakkal Rajas) and Arakkal Queens (Beevis) lived and features furniture, weapons, antiques, portraits, silver and more. The museum charges a nominal entry fee. It is open from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary:
Spread over 55 square kilometers of dense forest highlands in Valayamchal, the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the interesting tourist spots in Kannur, Kerala. It shares its boundary with the Coorg district of Karnataka on one side. It was previously under the management of the Wayanad forest department but has been given an autonomous status two decades ago with Iritty as its headquarters. There is a nominal entry fee to be paid. There are plenty of huge Eucalyptus and Teak trees in the thick evergreen forests which itself may take an entire day to visit. Have a view of a variety of vegetation and shrubs along the hills. You will find species of wild animals including tigers, elephants, wild boars, penguins, porcupines, wild mongoose, otter, langurs and more. The wildlife sanctuary is well-known for the highest peak called Katti Betta which rises to a height of about 1145m above the sea level.
Situated about 2 km away from the Kannur city is the Payyambalam beach. Isolated and secluded, this stretch of surf and golden sand with sparkling blue water along the dotted coconut plantations is an ideal escapade for adventure and recreation. The beach occupies a prominent place in the Kannur tourist map as it is rated amongst the cleanest and most breathtaking beaches in the country.
The Payyambalam beach has the mortal remains of several famous personalities of the state. It also portrays a very beautiful sculpture of a mother and child by the well-known sculptor Kanayi Kunjiraman. You can a wonderful trip with the mind-boggling view of the sea along the coastline. Enjoy surfing, scuba diving, diving, parasailing, fishing and more activities during your visit. It is an ultimate place of respite to revitalize your body and mind away from your daily hectic life.
One fast developing destination of the Kannur tourism is the Kanjirakolly waterfalls which are about 54 km away from the Kannur town. The Kanjirakolly village is about 67 km away from Kannur district headquarters Iritty. Tourists can have a one-day thrilling rock tour from Aniyanparathattu to Hanumanpara covering the circular jungle path of Kaimuttippara, Maandappara, Naagafanappara, Kandaamrugappara, Sugreevanpara, Maalikappara, Amruthappara and back to Kaimuttippara. From there on an uphill trip covering Oonjaalpara, Gopurappara, Nettanpara, Udumpanpara, Maramthaangippara, Visranthi plain, Velippara and culminating at Hanumanpara, the topmost peak on that side of the hill.
About 37 km away from the Kannur town is the Pazhassi dam which will enchant you with its scenic beauty. The dam makes an ideal retreat point for picnics and you can find decent accommodation there in case you wish to stay overnight. It is the only reservoir that has a colorful garden in the entire Kannur district. There is also a children’s park, Buddha’s mountain, the sculpture of Pazhassi Raja for you to view and you can enjoy a boat ride if you are keen on boating.
It is a natural harbor in the coastal village of Ayikkara in the Kannur district. St. Angelo fort is on one side of the bay and has the Arakkal Museum on the other side. The bay was a prominent commercial harbor during the Kolathiri regime linking Kolathunadu with Lakshadweep and other foreign lands.
There is still plenty more of tourist places in Kerala Kannur that you can visit. But you must not try to rush through your visit. It is highly recommended you split your Kerala tour into small leisurely trips and have a memorable and enjoyable holiday. Do not forget to carry back souvenirs for your family and friends and have wonderful memories of your holiday.