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The northern most district in the south western state of Kerala is the Kannur district. It is surrounded by Western Ghats on the east as well as Lakshadweep Sea in the west. The tourism potential of the district is quite high as it comes with natural beauty like unspoiled beaches, rivers, hill stations, religious centres and historical monuments. Let us see here some of the tourist attractions of Kannur:
Tourist Attractions near Kannur
Although there is a lot to see and visit in Kannur, the following are some of the major tourist destinations in the area.
St Angelo Fort
St Angelo Fort, also called as
Kannur Fort, is situated 3 Km away from the Kannur city and faces the
Arabian Sea. The fort is also called as Kannur Kotta. This fort was
built in 1505 by the then Portuguese Viceroy of India Dom
Francisco de Almeida. Within the first two years of its construction,
this fort was attacked by Zamorin as well as Kolathiri during the siege
of Cannanore. In 1509, Almeida refused to accept Alfonso de
Albuquerque as the new Portuguese governor and arrested him. After six
months of confinement, he was released and became the governor.
In 1663, the fort came under
the Dutch rule and they modernized the fort as well as constructed
bastions Zeelandia, Frieslandia and Hollandia which constituted the
major features of today’s fort. Dutch also destroyed the original fort
built by the Portuguese. The painting of the old fort along with the
fishing ferry behind the fort could be seen in the Rijksmuseum in
Amsterdam. Later, the Dutch sold this fort to Ali Raja of Arakkal in 1772. Since 1790 the British seized this fort, renovated it and
used it as chief military station in the Malabar region until the Independence of India in 1947.
The fort is in Cannanore Cantonment
area and provides calm and serene ambience. The fort is made out of red
laterite stone and built on a cliff. The fort is also surrounded by a well maintained and beautiful
garden. Apart from that, the fort also comes with huge chapels, stables,
storehouse of ammunition, prison, cannons, etc that face the sea. The
fort also offers magnificent view of the beaches, bay and the Arabian
Sea that surrounds it.
Though the St Angelo Fort underwent
several renovations, yet it retained the original Portuguese
architecture. It is also a fusion of different European architectural
styles. The Fort also comes with an interesting feature worth mentioning
i.e. a wall that protrudes from the fort separates the Arabian Sea and
the inland water.
Some of the tourist attractions
surrounding the fort are Moppilla Bay, Arakkal mosque, Thalassery Fort,
Payyambalam beach and baby beach.
Today, the St Angelo fort is well
preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India. The fort is not only an
important historical monument but also a prominent tourist attraction.
The fort is also guarded by six tourism policeman who are on protection
duty of this exquisite fort.
Ideal time to visit the fort is from
October to June.
How to Reach St Angelo Fort in Kannur
The nearest railway station is
situated 3 Km away from the Fort and the tourists can hire vehicle from
the railway station to visit the fort. The nearest airport is the
Karipur International Airport, Kozhikode, located 93 Kms away from the
fort. From there, the tourists can travel to any part of the national as
well as international destinations.
The British arrived in Thalassery in 1683. They erected a goods shed here and also transferred the commercial capital from Kozhikode to Thalassery since they faced obstruction from the Dutch. In the year 1700, they built the Thalassery Fort on the small hill of Tiruvellapadkunnu. The fort was further strengthened in 1708 by increasing the height. The fort is square structure built of laterite and differentiated by massive ventilated wall as well as bastions. In the Thalassery fort the Raider captain was imprisoned and also comes with the famous Angelican church at the back of the fort.
Muzhapilangad Drive-in Beach
Muzhappilangad beach is the only drive-in beach in Kerala that stretches over four kilometers of sand and the local law permits tourists to drive along the entire length of the beach. It is also Asia’s largest drive-in beach.
The beach is 1 kilometre from the NH 17 towards the western side of Thalassery as well as Kannur. The entire length of the beach is 7 Km in length and 100 metre in width and during low tides the width increases beyond 200 metres. The shore of the beach is like a semicircle and the tourists can have beautiful view of the other end. The pine trees found on the shore of the beach provides it with a green border which is a feast to your eyes. Other than this, the black rocks not only surround the beach but also safeguard it against the stronger currents of the sea.
When the tourists drive along the beach, they will find many eating joints that serve famous and delicious Malabar cuisines. The beach is also ideal for adventure sports such as parasailing, paragliding, microlite flights, water sports, power boating and ride in the catamaran. The beach is also ideal for sun bathe and the tourists can also sit idle along the beach. The beach is maintained well and the shallow waters of the beach make it a swimmer’s paradise.
There is a private island situated 100-200m south of the beach known as Dharmadam Island or Green Island. The tourists can have magnificent view of this island from the beach. At times of low tide, the tourists can just walk to this island. The beach along with the island is an amazing combination and lies across the River Anjarakkandy.
The beach festival which is celebrated during the month of April attracts the tourists from far and wide. Most of the youth try some driving stunts and they can also drive along the beach.
From 1990, the beach has attracted a large number of European tourists who travel here during winter. Though this beach has attracted the domestic travelers as well as international travelers, but the tourists are not fully aware of the potential of this beautiful beach. It is a must see destination for both Indian as well as the international travelers. Recently, a facelift of the beach was done and the facilities available to travelers such as resorts, roads, etc have been improved.
Some of the nearby attractions are Dharmadam Island, Thalasserry Fort, Andalur Kaavu, Arakkal Museum, Sri Koormba temple, Meenkunnu Beach, Kannur Fort, Payyambalam beach, Sea View Park, Kottiyoor temple and Snake Park.
How to reach Muzhappilangad Beach in Kannur
The nearest airport to the Muzhappilangad beach is the Karipur International Airport, Kozhikode. Through this airport, both domestic as well as international travelers can reach the beach very easily. As they also have the option of driving along the coast, the tourists can hire a taxi or cab to enjoy the scenic beauty of the beach. The beach is also well connected by road.
This beach is situated very near to Kannur town. This beach is considered as one of the beautiful beaches found in this state. Whatever be the season, one can spend the evenings at this lovely beach. The mortal remains of A K Gopalan, Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pilla, K P Gopalan, K G Marar and Pamban Madhavan were laid to rest near this beach.
This beach is called as baby beach because it lies near the Payyambalam beach which is quite big. The famous Angelo Fort is situated adjacent to this beach.
Yet, another beautiful beach that is located in Azhikode and is few kilometers away from this place.
Mappila Bay is the natural fishing harbor that is found near Fort St Angelos. A wall that is erected at the sea separates it from the rough sea as well as inland water. During the reign of Kolathiris, this beach was very famous and served as a commercial harbor which linked Kolathunadu with Lakshadweep and other foreign countries. Today, Mappila Bay has been made into a modern fishing harbor under the Indo-Norwegian pact.
It was the capital of the Mooshika Kings and also treated as ancient historical site. It is the isolated cluster of hills which forms promontory of 38 Kms to the north of Kannur. This place was also a flourishing sea port and an ancient trade centre of Kerala. It also served as a major battle field during Chola and Chera war of the II century. It is believed that Lord Buddha visited this place. The old mosque situated here is believed to contain the remains of reformist Shaikh Abdul Latif. This hill is also quite famous for rare medicinal herbs. This place is surrounded by sea on all three sides and also occupies prominent place in the naval history of the country.
Snake Park at Parassinikkadavu
The snake park is situated 18 Kms away from the Kannur town. It is one of the renowned snake parks in the country. The snake park consists of a large number of poisonous as well as non-poisonous snakes. This park is run with the main aim of preserving as well as conserving the snakes which are gradually becoming extinct.
This dam is situated 29 Km away from Kannur and a great retreat for the tourists. The dam is also renowned for its exquisite beauty. In the reservoir, the tourists can go for boating that is provided by the DTPC. Accommodation is also available in the project inspection bungalow and in the dormitories.
The Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
wildlife sanctuary was established in 1984 and is the northernmost
wildlife sanctuary of Kerala. It is spread over 55 sq Km and found on
the western slope of Western Ghats. It is also the most protected part
located in the south east part of the Kannur district. It lies in the
north latitude of 11o54 and 11o59 and east longitude of 75o47 and 75o57. Earlier, it was a private forest.
The sanctuary falls in Kelakam,
Kottiyoor and Aralam revenue villages and is located in the northwest
slopes of Western Ghats contiguous to Coorg forests which lie in
Karnataka state. The sanctuary has 490 hectares of teak and eucalyptus
plantations. The temperature here varies from 21oC to 40oC and as it goes higher it reaches 8oC to 25oC.
The rainfall of the region varies from 3700 mm to 5000 mm. Katti Betta,
the highest peak rises 1145m above the sea level. The area is
completely covered by semi evergreen and tropical forests and is also
home to a wide range of flora as well as fauna endemic to the Western
Ghats. The terrain inside the sanctuary comes with hillocks in many
places and also provides an opportunity for trekking.
The sanctuary is said to have 23
species of mammals, 188 species of birds, 22 species of reptiles, 16
species of amphibians and 39 species of fishes. Some of the animals
found here are deer, boar, elephant, bison, leopards, wide variety of
squirrels and jungle cats. Some of the trees found in evergreen forests
are Vellapine (Vateria indica), Mechilus macrantha, Messua ferrea,
Calophyllum elatum, Magnifera indica, Cullenia Rosayroona, Toona
cillata, Euphorbia Longana, Myristica Species and Strobilanthes. The
semievergreen trees like Mallotus, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, Largestroemia
lanceolata, Phlippinensis and Xyliaxylocarpa.
Aralam village is located in
Thalasserry and is also renowned for Central State Farm spread across
3060 hectare farm and was started in 1971 and is also the important
production centre of hybrid coconut seeds in India. The ideal time to
visit the sanctuary is between October and May. Some of the nearby
attractions found are Kottiyoor Temple, Bekal Fort and Pazhassi Project.
Contact Address: The Wildlife Warden, Aralam wildlife Division, Iritty PO
How to reach Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary is situated 35 Km from
Thalasserry and is 60 Km from Kannur town and the nearest city is
Paravoor. The nearest town is Iritty which is 5 Km away and has regular
bus service from other parts of the state. The tourists can reach the
wildlife sanctuary by road from Thalasserry as well as Kannur. The
nearest railway station is the Thalasserry railway station situated 35
Km away. From Kannur railway station it takes 70 Km to reach the
sanctuary. The nearest airport is the Karipur international airport in
Kozhikode and is away from Thalasserry town by 70 Kms.
It is situated 100 metres from the mainland Dharmadam. This small 5-acre island is full of coconut palms and of dense bushes which provides a beautiful sight from the Muzhappilangad beach. People can walk to this island during low tides and is surrounded by beautiful rivers and sea. However, one needs to take the required permission to enter into this beach. Dharmadam which was earlier known as Dharmapattinam was a Buddhist stronghold.
For all those travelling to Kannur can take the help of the tourism office in Kannur and the contact details are:
District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) Near Civil Station, Kannur Tel: +91 497 2706336 Email: Info@Dtpc.com Website: www.dtpckannur.com
Kizhunna Ezhara beach
Kizhunna Ezhara beach is a twin beach
of Ezhara and Kizhunna that lies side by side. This beach is 11 Km away
from Kannur city and comes with a golden sand which meets gentle waves
and forms a picturesque beach strip. The beach is bordered by Crimson
cliffs as well as black rocks which borders the end of beach crescents.
The Kizhunna Ezhara beach is one of the secluded beaches of Kannur and
it provides the visitors a perfect retreat from the cacophony of the
city. This exquisite beach is the favourite picnic spot for both the
locals as well as travelers to Kannur.
Ezhara is situated on the southern
side and has spectacular rocky shore which is accompanied by the coconut
grove. On the tip of the cliff, the tourists will find a small building
with tiled roof called as Munambam. The building is in green colour and
designed on old style structure which very well blends with the
surroundings. It is actually a mosque. The bay here is very shallow and
ideal place for swimming or a bath. But it is not advisable to swim or
bathe during monsoon season.
During day time the stillness of the
place gets interrupted by splashing of the waves and the waving coconut
palms. Though the fishermen from the surrounding villages
indulge in some work, but it will not disturb the visitors. The ambience
here is calm and serene. The sight of the twin beaches is breathtaking
especially along the Ezhara beach. For those who get caught by the charm
of the beaches can stay at the home stays situated along the beach
Some of the home stays found near the Kizhunna Ezhara beach are
Ezhara Beach House
Ezhara Kadappuram, Near Ezhara Moppilla School, House No: V11/347, Kuttikkagam PO, Kannur – 6
KK Heritage Homestay
C/o K P Sreeranj, Kottayamkandy, Thottada, Kannur 670 007
Tel: 91-497-2742025/ 497-2835240, +91-9447486020
Hotel Malabar Beach Homestays
PO Thottada, Kannur
Mob: +91 9895251630
Near Adikadalayi Temple, Thottada, Kannur – 670 007
However, no major resorts are found
near the beaches. It is also quite surprising that this beautiful beach
is not visited by majority of the locals as well as international
Though the Kizhunna Ezhara beach is
appealing to many the tourists can indulge in limited number of
activities. This beach is ideal for swimming, beach and village strolls
and general relaxing. In the evening, Kathakali performance enlivens the
place. One should not forget that this beach is the most charming place
found in the entire subcontinent. It is also part of Kerala’s leading
tourist spot and this place remains unperturbed by the changes around
the world. It is a perfect weekend getaway where the travelers will get
pampered by the nature. The beach provides utmost relaxation and
rejuvenation through its tranquility. The best time to visit this beach
is between October and May. The beach also has multiple entrances. But
it is ideal to enter through the Ezhara down cliff. From the top, the
tourists can have a mesmerizing view of the surroundings and then it is
ideal to drive to the entry point in Ezhara.
The tourists can also visit the nearby
attractions like Thalasseri Fort, Payyambalam beach, Arakkal Museum,
beaches of Kadalai, Dharmadam Island, Mopilla bay, Andalur Kaavu,
Parassinikkadavu, Sea View Park and Kannur town.
How to Reach Kizhunna Ezhara Beach
The twin beaches are well connected by
road and the nearest bus station is Kannur bus station. The nearest
railway station is Kannur railway station located at 11 Kms and the
nearest airport is Kozhikode International airport. It is ideal to hire a
cab or taxi to visit this place. As the tourists will not find many
vehicles for their return to Kannur town from this beach, it is ideal to
engage for their both way travel.
Paithal Mala near Kannur
Paithal Mala is a beautiful hill
station located on the Kerala-Karnataka border and is 65 Km away from
Kannur. The hill station is 4,500 ft above the sea level.
reach the top of the hill, the tourists have to trek for 6 Km. The
hills of Paithal Mala are a safer place for trekking especially for
those who are new to trekking. The hill station is spread across 300
acres and is quite rich in flora and fauna. The tourists on their way to
the top can also find a wide variety of birds, butterflies, rare trees
and plants. Other than that, the hill station also comes with springs of
cold natural water, waterfalls and wildlife. At the foothills of
Paithal Mala, there is a reception centre and on top of the hill there
is a watchtower. The government authorities are planning to set up a zoo
here. From the top of the hill the tourists can have a clear view of
the Vaithalkon Palace who was a tribal king.
Paithal Mala has two trekking seasons one falling in monsoon and
the other during summer. If you are travelling during monsoon
(June-October) to Paithal Mala, the tourists will be delighted to see
the greenery of hills and forest. However, trekking during monsoon
season is difficult due to the extreme climate. The tourists also need
to be careful about leeches as well as elephants. After monsoon, the
grass in the mountain grows for seven feet which makes it difficult to
find the way. The ideal time for the tourists to visit Paithal Mala is
during January to March.
The tourists will find an observatory tower through which they can
have breathtaking views of the Kannur district. From the observatory
tower when the tourists moves ahead, they will find the end of Kappimala
and they can also enjoy the stunning scenery of both Coorg forest on
the right and the Paithal valley on the left. The best time for the
tourists to go on trek is early morning after the breakfast. However,
the tourists need to carry the lunch, water, snacks and should return by
the evening. Due to the limited reachability, the nature here is not
affected by the invasion of humans.
The tourists will also find two villages namely Kappimala and
Kudiyanmala in the Pythal Mala valley. Kappimala is situated 2 Km away
from the Pythal Mala and Kudiyanmala is 6 Km from the Paithal Mala. Both
the villages are agricultural village and a wide range of crops like
cocoa, rubber, vanilla, etc are grown here. Government has also taken
several initiatives to promote tourism in this region.
The climate of the hill station is quite pleasant and even during
peak summer season the tourists can enjoy the coolness of the place.
This place is ideal for photographers, trekkers, enthusiasts,
honeymooners and leisure travelers. The hill station could be reached
through two different directions one at pottenplave near Kudiyanmala and
the other through Kappimala near Alakkodu. But it is ideal to take the
route via pottenplave as the roads here are all-weather motorable. Some
of the nearby attractions are Anjarakandy, Ezhimala, Gymnastic centre,
Kottiyoor, Madayi Para and Valappattanam.
How to Reach Paithal Mala in Kannur
The nearest bus station to the Paithal Mala is Pottenplave and
KSRTC is running many buses from Kannur and Payyanur to this place. Even
jeep services are available. The nearest railway station is Kannur as
well as Payyanur railway station. From there, people can hire cabs and
taxis. The tourists can reach here by air via Calicut international
airport or through Mangalore international airport. Then they have to
travel by bus or taxi. But to reach on top, they have to go on trekking.