Tourism in Kannur

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 in Kannur

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.

Thalassery Fort

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.

Payyambalam Beach

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.

Baby 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.

Meenkunnu beach

Yet, another beautiful beach that is located in Azhikode and is few kilometers away from this place.

Mappila Bay

Mapilla Bay in KannurMappila 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.

Ezhimala

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.

Pazhassi Dam

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

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary KannurAralam 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
Tel: 0490-2493160
Mobile: 9447979101
Email: ww-aralam@forest.kerala.gov.in

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.

Dharmadam Island

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.

Kizhunna Ezhara Beach in 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 strip.

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
Tel: 0091-497-2835022
Mob: 0091-9846819941/0091-9846424723
Website: www.ezharabeachhouse.com

KK Heritage Homestay
C/o K P Sreeranj, Kottayamkandy, Thottada, Kannur 670 007
Tel: 91-497-2742025/ 497-2835240, +91-9447486020
Website: http://www.kkheritage.com

Hotel Malabar Beach Homestays
PO Thottada, Kannur
Tel: +91-497-2629393
Mob: +91 9895251630
Website: http://www.themalabarbeach.com

Costa Malabari
Near Adikadalayi Temple, Thottada, Kannur – 670 007
Website: http://touristdesk.in/costamalabari.htm

Pranav Beach Resort
Beach Road, Palliyanmoola, Alavil, Kannur – 670 008
Tel: +91-497-3207926, 2741148, 2938113, +91-9387478285
Website: http://www.pranavbeachresort.in

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 travelers.

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.

Paithal Mala in KannurTo 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.


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