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Situated 518 Km north of Thiruvananthapuram, this ‘Land of Krishna’ is North Malabar’s largest city. In terms of population, the 1.65 million people earn it the title of 27th most populous Indian city. Kannur’s fame is attributed to the flourishing loom industry, mesmerizing folk arts performed in temples, and unsullied beaches. Historically, this city was a stronghold of imperial British army which converted it to a military cantonment. The place serves as the headquarters of Madras Regiment Territorial army’s 122nd Infantry battalion and Defence Security Corps. World’s 3rd largest naval academy Ezhimala Naval Academy is mere 35 Km away from main city.

Kannur had trading relations with Arabia and Persia during the 12th century. Till 1887, it was the most important British cantonment on the western coast and was colonial India’s 3rd largest city. The city finds mention in ancient Greek work of ‘Periplus of the Eritrean Naura’ which is a testimony of the city’s existence eons ago. King Soloman’s ship was anchored here for collection of wood to make Lord’s temple.

Kerala’s sole Muslim regal dynasty ‘Arakkal Sultanate’ ruled over the area and Kannur was its capital. Earlier, Kolathiri kings had ruled over the area. During British rule, Kannur was administered from Madras State’s Chirakkal Taluk. When the Portugese army sailed to conquer India, Kannur was their first target. Incidentally, first Portugese fort in india was built over here and not Goa. Kannur’s cuisine is the gourmet blend of several cultures made rich by the advent of foreigners from time immemorial. Kannur is replete with places of tourist interest. Tourists get to come across a number of fascinating places which would leave them spellbound and awestruck.

Fort St. Angelos

Located on a promontory projecting out in the Lakshadweep Sea on the western part of the town, the fort was constructed in 1505 by India’s first Portuguese Viceroy, Don Francisco De Almeida with the approval of Kolathiris Raja. In 1663, the fort was captured by the Dutch who subsequently handed it over to Kannur’s Ali Raja in 1772. The British took control of it in 1790. They got it fortified further and started using it as a strategic vantage point for militarily dominating the Malabar area. The fort has not suffered the same fate of disrepair and dilapidation as other contemporary ones. Guns used by British can also be viewed through the crenulations.

Thalassery Fort

In 1683, British trading company’s members first set their foot in this region and got goods shed constructed over here. As the confrontations with the Dutch army became more hostile, the British migrated from Kozhikode to Thalassery to pursue commercial interests. Tiruvellapadkunnu hill was chosen as the site for Thalassery Fort and the construction was completed by 1700 AD. The reinforcement of the fort with more bastions was done in 1708. The square fort is constructed of red laterite. Distinguishing characteristics are large ventilated walls and strengthened bastions. Beside the fort, you can also visit St. John's Anglican Church which is in the fort’s vicinity.

Muzhappilangad Beach

If you a swimming aficionado, this beach with black rocks forming the coastline is perfect for you. Situated 15 Km from Kannur, the shore water of this clean beach is shallow. The beach spans for about 4 Km and the idyllic beauty can be savoured by driving along the coast. This beach has the reputation of being Kerala’s sole drive-in beach.

Payyambalam Beach Resort

This perennial beach offers unmatched natural splendour which can be relished all year long. The beauty of this beach is unparalleled. The resort is hospitable to stay. In close proximity to the beach, the cremation grounds of great freedom fighters like A.K. Gopalan, K.P. Gopalan, Ramakrishna Pilla, and Pamban Madhavan are situated.


Located 38 Km from Kannur on the northern side, the place once served as the capital of Mooshika kings and has high historic significance. The place is basically hill cluster forming a promontory. In ancient times, Ezhimala was a busy sea port that facilitated trade with Persia, Arabia and other European countries. The famous battle between the Chola and Chera kingdoms was fought here in 2nd Century AD. Buddha had also paid a visit to this place. The famed Muslim reformist, Sheikh Abdul Latif’s was buried in the Ezhimala mosque. The hill plays host to rare medicinal herbs. Ezhimala’s strategic importance as a naval base is underpinned by its unique location with sea bordering its three sides. Indian Naval Academy is soon going to come up in this place.


Some 30 Km from Kannur, this village has been developed as a prominent centre for promotion of arts and culture. Various courses pertaining to dance, sculptures, music, painting, artefacts etc. are offered for enthusiastic learners.

Pazhassi Dam

The dam is located to the east of Kannue some 37 Km away. The imposing natural beauty will awe you. You can enjoy boating at the reservoir. The sunrise and sunset scenes are simply captivating. You can savour them by booking a stay at Project Inspection Bungalow. Pythal Mala The scenic hill station is 65 Km away from main town and perches above 4500 feet from mean sea level. It is close to Karnataka border and is the site of a fascinating range of flora and fauna. Excursion lovers would enjoy to trek along the 6 km trail to the top of the hill.

Gundert Bungalow

This bungalow once served as the house of Dr. Herman Gundert who is credited with the scripting of the first Malyalam to English dictionary. Herman was a German missionary, a learned scholar and lexicographer. Rajyasamacharam, first newspaper to be published in Malyalam language, was conceptualized here. The bungalow, built around 1839 AD, is situated some 20 Km from Kannur town on the national highway.

Parassinikkadavu Snake Park

The famed snake park, located some 18 Km from the main town, is one of the India’s leading reptile parks. The park serves to conserve diverse array of the poisonous and non-poisonous slithering snakes which are on the brink of extinction. Just the sight of the venomous beings will let a chill run down your spines.

Moppila Bay

Lying in close proximity to Fort St. Angelos, the natural advantage offered by it as a fishing harbour is capitalized for undertaking fishing in full-fledged commercial scale. The commercial harbour has been developed as a joint venture between India and Norway. The choppy sea is separated from the inland water by a sea wall jutting out from the fort. During the reign of Kolathiris kings, the bay served to connect Kolathunadu with Lakshadweep along with other nations.

Baby Beach

This beach next to St. Angelo Fort is adjacent to Payyambalam Beach and plays a second fiddle to it. The beach constitutes a part of Kannur cantonment and access to visit the same may be withheld occasionally.

Azhikkal Ferry service

If you want to savour the spellbinding view of sunset, you need to ride the Azhikkal Ferry. The ferry commands excellent views of the sunset across the Lakshadweep Sea. From Azhikode, situated 10 Km from Kannur, you can board the ferry. Further, the views at the confluence of Lakshadweep Sea and Valapattanam river at Azhikode is simply divine. You can promenade on the granite pathway that protrudes about 2 Km in the sea.


Kannur is famous for grand temples that are epitomes of exquisite workmanship and eclectic architecture. Kannur derives its name from Kadalai Shri Krishnaswami Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. Other famous temples in the region are Parassinikadavu Sree Muthappan Temple, Shri Rajarajeshwaram temple, Madayikavu temple and Annapurneshwari temple.

Dharmadam Island

Situated at just 100 m from Kannur shore, this island once served as a strategic trade centre. Crammed with coconut trees, the island is devoid of any human settlement. The exotic island is a tourist’s paradise.

Kottiyoor Utsavam site

Pilgrims throng the place during June and July when the 27 days long Kottiyoor Vysakha Mahotsavam takes place to commemorate the mythological Daksha Yajna.

Parassinikkadavu Temple

The presiding deity is Lord Muthappan. Even non-Hindus are allowed to visit this place of worship. The site of the temple is a picturesque river bank which is sublimely beautiful. Boating can be done to explore the natural waters. South India’s famed Theyyam art form can be witnessed in the temple throughout the year. There is no dearth of places of tourist interest in and around the historic city of Kannur. Visit the place and be inspired by the rich offerings Kannur present for tourists.

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