The district is flanked by the Western Ghats in the east and Lakshadweep Sea in the west. It has a long coastline of about 152km, interspersed with many rivers, coconut-fringed lagoons and beautiful backwaters. It is rich in natural resources and has a flourishing traditional handloom industry. It is also the centre for production of cashew nut, copra, rice, tiles, electric bulb, hard board and plywood.Kannur is also an important centre of various colorful folk arts and folk music of Kerala.
This historical town was formerly a major port area and is mentioned as a “great emporia of spice trade” in Marco Polo’s travel records. Today, it is known as the “weaver city” due to the thriving handloom industry. It is also an important centre of cashew nut trading .The pleasant town with an excellent beach is dotted with many historical monuments.
Payyambalam is a local picnic spot 2km from Kannur Fort where the beach though not yet fully developed is quiet and beautiful.
It is situated 3km from Kannur town. For a touch of history, one should visit the St.Angelo’s Fort a huge triangular structure built with laterite. It has strong flanking bastions. This seafront laterite fort was constructed in 1505AD by the first Portuguese Viceroy, Don Francisco De Almeda with the contemporary of the ruling Kolathiri Raja. After changing hands from the Portuguese to the Dutch and then to the English, the fort became one of the important military centers of the British in Malabar. The fort, which is now under the Archaeological Survey of India, offers fascinating views of the Moppila bay fishing harbors.
Moppila Bay is natural fishing harbour lying near St.Angelo’s Fort. A sea wall extending to about half a furlong, projecting from the Fort separates the rough sea and inland water. Mechanized and country crafts can enter into the inland from the sea and anchor safely.
The famous 12th century mosque at Madayi, a village 25km from Kannur was built by Malik Ibn Dinar with white marble said to have been brought from Arabia. The Madayi Beach is also splendid.
About 3km from Thalassery lies the small island of Dharmadom.It is spread over 5acres.A bus ride from Thalassery will take one to the place of destination. The place was earlier known as Dharmapattanam, getting its name from the popular belief that it was a Buddhist monastery as Buddha’s images are said to have been excavated from this place, Vattakallu, Altarakunnu, Cherman Perumal’s fort near the Govt.Brunnen College, the Judge’s bungalow a Melor are some other attractions enroute Dharmadom.
This is Kerala’s only drive-in beach where you can drive the entire stretch of 4km of beach. This swimmer’s paradise is 8km north of Thalasseri.Black rocks project this long, clear beach from the deep currents. From here you can see the Dharmadom Island.
About 55km from Kannur town, at a height of 885 feet is Ezhimala, an isolated but conspicuous cluster of hills. At the foot of the hills are a cave and an old burial chamber. Further up the hills is an ancient mosque where sculptured stone pillars can be seen.Ezhimala and its surrounding areas are also known for some rare medicinal herbs used for Ayurvedic formulations. The combination of high hills and sandy beach make Ezhimala a beautiful picnic spot. The place has now been identified for a million-rupee project to house the country’s and Asia’s largest Naval Academy.
Thalassery is a small town about 20km south of Kannur from where most of India’s circus artists come. The gymnastic tradition was introduced in schools here by German missionaries.Rev.Dr.Heruman Gundert who compiled the first Malayalam Dictionary spent a lifetime around Thalassery in his educational and literary work. He also built a church on Nettur Hill in 1889.
The Thalassery Fort was built in the early 18th century by the English East India Company who established its settlement on the Malabar Coast here in 1683.
Between Thalassery and Badagara is Mahe, a small beautiful trading town on the West Coast established by the French in the 17th century. It is under the administrative control of the union territory of Pondicherry and several historical hangovers of French influence are evident.
Parassinikkadavu Sree Muthappan Temple
At Parassinikadavu on the banks of the Valapatanam River, 18km from Kannur is the Sree Muthappan Temple dedicated to Lord Muthappan, believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. This is the only temple in Kerala where Theyyam the ritual dance from the North Kerala is performed daily. The temple’s non-conformist nature is also evident in the unusual custom of offering dried fish and toddy to the deity. There is also a Kathakali Club in the temple which will arrange shows on request. The performance begin after 11pm and lasts for two- and- a – half hours. Parassinikadavu Snake Park also located near the snake park.
Parassinikkadavu Snake Park
Parassinikkadavu Snake Park signifies the great role played by snakes in keeping the ecology of nature. The park is dedicated to preservation and conservation of snakes most of which are getting extinct gradually. It has snake pits and fifteen glass cases for snakes and two big glass cases for King Cobras. There are about 150snakes including spectacled Cobras, Monosialed Cobras, Russels Viper, Pit Viper and three magnificent King Cobras. And there is also a large collection of nonpoisonous snakes and large Pythons.
This enchanting hill station, situated 4,500ft above sea level near the Kerala- Karnataka border, is rich in flora and fauna. It is a 6km trek to the top of the hills.
This place near Payyanur is famous for its unique bronze lamps and sculptures.
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
It is an easily accessible haunt for nature enthusiasts. It is 35km from Thalassery.In its 55sq.km area can be found elephants, sloth bears, sambar and mouse deer as well as fauna and reptiles.
The ten tiny islets lying between Valapattanom and Parassinikkadavu haven’t yet been explored. The boat ride to enjoy the natural beauty of this place is the greatest attraction.
The Bhagat Singh islets comprising of five tiny islets are full of coconut groves. The Samuel Aron Island has a magical well which provides pure water during all seasons in a land surrounded by saline water. The Pampuruthy and AKG islets are close by. Hardly one kilometer from here is the Kolthuruthy island.Valapattanom is just 7km from
Kannur town on the Kannur- Mangalore national Highway.
This was the residence of the former Arakkal Ali Rajas, the only royal Muslim Family of Kerala.
It was the residence of German Scholar Rev.Dr.Herman Gundert who compiled the first Malayalam dictionary. He is also credited for publishing first newspaper in Malayalam. He also built a church on Nettur Hill in 1889.