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Also known by its anglicised name Cannanore, is a city and a Municipal Corporation in Kannur districtstate of KeralaIndia. It is the administrative headquarters of the Kannur District and situated 518 km north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. During British rule in India, Kannur was known as Cannanore, a name that is still in use by the Indian Railways.[2] Kannur is the largest city of North Malabar region. Kannur is one of the million-plus urban agglomerations in India with a population of 1,642,892 in 2011.

Kannur district is known as the land of Looms and Lores, because of the weaving industry functioning in the district and ritualistic folk arts held in temples. Kannur is famous for its pristine beaches, Theyyam (its native performing art), and its handloom industry.

Kannur is of great strategic military importance in India. Kannur Cantonment is one of the 62 military cantonments in the country and is the headquarters of the Defence Security Corps and Territorial Army’s 122 Infantry Battalion (part of the Madras Regiment). The Indian Naval Academy (INA) is 35 km north of Kannur City. It is Asia's largest and the world's third largest naval academy. An Indian Coast Guard Academy has received approval to be built at Kannur. This academy will be built on the banks of Valapattanam River at Irinave, east of Azhikkal.



Muzhappilangad beach

Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach  (5.5 km length)[1] is a beach in the state of Kerala in southwestern India. It is located parallel to National Highway 66(formerly National Highway 17) between Thalassery and Kannur.

This beach is the longest Drive-In Beach in India and is featured among the top 6 best beaches for driving in the world in BBC article for Autos.[2] Even though Goa has many beautiful beaches, it does not have a Drive-in beach.longest drive in beach in Asia

The beach festival is celebrated in the month of April and it is one of the important tourist attraction in the district of Kannur in Kerala. The youth also try many driving stunts in cars like drifting and wheeling in bikes as this is a paradise for driving along the shore. Just 100m from this beach you would find a private island Dharmadam island, which can be reached by walk at times of low tide.

There is an unpaved road winding through coconut groves leading to the beach. To get to this road, if you are driving from Tellicherry towards Kannur, take the left turn just before the first railway crossing you encounter after crossing the Moidu bridge. The beach is about 5 km long and curves in a wide area providing a good view of Kannur on the north. Local laws allow beachgoers to drive for a full 4 km directly on the sands of the beach. The beach is bordered by black rocks, which also protect it from the stronger currents of the ocean. These rocks provide habitat for Blue mussel, a delicious seafood. Beach attracts bird-watchers from far off places as hundreds of birds flock here during various seasons.

Kerala’s only drive-in beach, the Muzhappilangad beach which stretches across four kilometres of sand where one can drive down the entire length. The drive is ideal for sampling the famed Malabar cuisine from the many eateries in the immediate hinterland. Black rocks protect this long, clean beach from the currents of the deep, making its shallow waters a swimmer’s paradise.

Adventure sports like paragliding, parasailing and microlite flights are possible at the Muzhappilangad Beach in Thalassery. Other attractions include water sports, power boating or a simple catamaran ride.

Kannur Beach

Quiet, secluded, this beautiful stretch of sand and surf is the best locale for a relaxed evening. The Payyambalam beach is a popular picnic spot of the local people and holds much potential for development into a tourist resort.

The rest of the land - Kannur - is equally fascinating to explore. Being the cradle of ageless folk arts like Theyyam and folk music, Kannur has always remained a land of ageless charms. However, if you decide to hide away at this beach destination, your stay should be arranged in the town 2 km away. Comfortable accommodation is available.



The Arrakkal Museum is a museum dedicated to the Arakkal family, the only Muslim royal family in KeralaSouth India. The museum is actually a section of the Arakkalkettu(Arakkal Royal Palace). The durbar hall section of the palace has been converted into a museum by the Government of Kerala. It was opened in July 2005 after a Rs. 9,000,000 renovation.

Although renovated by the government, the Arakkalkettu is still owned by the Arakkal Royal Trust and does not fall under the control of the country's archaeology department, the Archaeological Survey of India. The government had taken a keen interest in preserving the heritage of the Arakkal Family, which had played a prominent role in the history of Malabar. A nominal entry fee is charged by the Arakkal Royal Trust from visitors to the museum.


Muthappan Temple, also called Parassinikadavu Muthappan temple This centre of worship and faith has in store many unique practices and rituals, and the temple architecture itself stands testimony to this aspect. Located 20 km away from Kannur, a northern district of Kerala, the Parassinikadavu Muthappan (Siva) Temple on the banks of the Valapatnam River attracts people from all sections of the society; irrespective of religion, caste and promotes the essence of "Vasudaiva Kutumbakam - The whole world is one family."

The origin of the Muthappan temple is connected to the appearance of a child who roamed the region with a string of interesting incidents and later vanished without a trace. The incidents up to the point of his disappearance later made the denizens feel the divine presence of Muthappan (Siva) who immediately erected a place of worship, which today is popularly known as the Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple.

The temple is also a popular destination for travellers and pilgrims to savour the charm of Theyyam, a ritual that is performed here on a daily basis. Men adorning masks and costumes with a riot of colours perform this temple art form and it represents conflict between good and evil, with good ultimately emerging victorious.


St. Angelo Fort, Kannur

A massive triangular laterite fort, replete with a moat and flanking bastions, the St. Angelo's Fort also called Kannur Fort was constructed by the first Portuguese Viceroy, Don Francesco de Almeida in 1505. In 1663, the Dutch captured the fort from the Portuguese and sold it to Ali Raja of Kannur. In 1790 the British who seized control over the fort, renovated and equipped it to be their most important military station in Malabar.

Today, St. Angelo's Fort is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India. The fort offers a fascinating view of the Moppila Bay and Dharmadom Island. Dharmadom Island, only 5 acres in area, is situated 100 metres away from the mainland in the Arabian Sea. The Moppila Bay is a natural fishing bay. A sea wall projecting from the fort separates the rough sea and inland water. Today, the bay has turned into a modern fishing harbour, developed under the Indo-Norwegian Pact.

The fort offers fascinating view of a natural fishing bay and a sea wall projecting from the fort separating the rough sea and inland water. 




Often collectively mentioned as Kizhunna Ezhara beach, the twin beaches of Kizhunna and Ezhara lie side by side. Kannur coastal belt has some fine beaches. At Kizhunna Ezhara, 12 Kilometers from Kannur town, crimson sands meet gentle waves to form an impressive beach strip. Crimson cliffs and black rocks have teamed up to border the ends of beach crescents. People get absorbed in the protective feel of shallow natural coves, as mild surf keeps on socking sand and rocks at the seaside.


Ezhara, the southern side, has a splendid rocky shore where you will find it hard to take eyes off the coconut grove. The tip of the cliff at the far south is Munambam. In the tip of Munambam is  a small building with tiled roof. Its green colour and old style structure blends so well with the surroundings that you may wonder what takes the place of pride in such a serene setting. It is a small mosque. On the other side of hte mosque is the entrance to Munambam. Shallow calm bay is ever tempting for a swim and bath. By all means, be tempted, sparing the few weeks of peak monsoon:)

Beaches here get some visitors in the evenings and weekends. Those who seek it from their heart are left alone to enjoy it other times.
Day time stillness gets interrupted only by the splashing of waves and the waving of coconut palms. Occasional activities of fishermen of neighbouring villages are nowhere near a distraction.

Here you find one of the North Kerala beach strips where peace is in plenty.

Beauty of the place is beyond words, especially the Ezhara part of the beach. For those who feel tempted for a few days of true bliss, there is great news. There are home stays right alongside this remote beach strip.

It is surprising that one of the best beaches in Kerala lies here almost undiscovered, visited by very few locals and even fewer numbers of overseas travelers.




The natural harbour of Mappila Bay (also Mapila bay, Mopila bay and Mappila beach) is a water inlet great for boat rides.

One of the attractions in Kannur town, it is located in a touristy spot right next to Fort of St. Angelo (Kannur fort) and Arakkal Palace. Proximity to such monuments brings in more visitors.

Although Mappila bay is a sightseeing spot in its own right, a lot need to be done to bring it at par with the best of local tourist spots. 

A high wall extends into the sea from the adjacent Kannur Fort. 

It separates rough sea and inland water, so that boats could arrive inward and anchor safely.

This wall has worked quite well for the fishing harbor and the port of Mapila bay.


Boating within the bay area is pleasant. However, if you are venturing away from the bay to inner sea, make sure the weather conditions will stay favorable.

The placid coastal waters of the region can suddenly turn violent if weather conditions deteriorate. 

In its great past, Mopila bay served as a port. For several centuries it linked Malabar to foreign countries. 

Today hectic activity of a thriving fishing harbour has taken over the coastal spot. 

After a period of decline caused by neglect Moppila bay bounced back to brisk activity as a regional fishing hub. A trade Pact signed between India and Norway opened doors to assistance. Much needed makeover thus saved the fishing harbour.

No doubt Mappila bay is a scenic area of tourism potential. Unfortunately, nowadays it is more of a fishing harbour than a sightseeing spot. 


Kerala Folklore Academy

Arts centre in Kannur


At this training academy near Chirakkal Pond Valapattanam, about 6km north of Kannur, you can see vibrantly coloured folklore costumes in the museum and sometimes catch a performance.


Loknath Weavers’ Co-operative

Workshop in Kannur


Established in 1955, this is one of the oldest cooperatives in Kannur and occupies a large building busily clicking with the sound of looms. You can stop by for a quick (free) tour and visit the small shop here that displays the fruits of the workers' labours (with the obligatory sales pitch). It’s 4km south of Kannur town.

Pythal Mala

is an enchanting hill station, situated 4,500 ft. above sea level near the Kerala - Karnataka border, is rich in flora and fauna. It is a 6 km trek to the top of the hills.

Abundant in flora and fauna, this place is now being developed as a hill resort. One has to trek 6 kms to reach the top of the hills. There is a proposal to set up a zoo at the top of the hill. 

The enchanting hill station offers a challenging trek to those inclined to stretch their legs. Trekkers are rewarded by a profusion of exotic flora and fauna and an exhilirating view from the top.

The 300 acre wide sprawling area is a safe home to numerous birds, hundreds of butterflies, rare plants and trees. Even during this sweltering summer at Paithal Mala one can relish a real cool climate. En route to the top of the hill one can see the remains of the run down palace of the tribal king called Vaithalkon.



Madayipara is a significant spot owing to its bio-diversity as well as history. In the past, Madayipara was the administrative center of the Ezhimala kings. In and around Madayipara, one can find remnants from the past. At the southern side of the hill, stand the remains of a fort called Pazhi Kotta (kotta means fort in Malayalam). Here one can also find watchtowers at the four corners of the fort. Between AD 14 and AD 18, Madayipara used to be the site for the coronation ceremony of the rulers of the princely state of the erstwhile Kolathunadu.

The hillock of Madayipara, which carries several signs of historic relevance, is also a place important from a religious point of view. Here, a pond in the shape of a hand held mirror, connected to ancient jewish setllers is another historic attraction. Similarly, a temple at this site, called Vadukunda Siva Temple and the adjoining lake, about an acre in extension form yet another attraction at Madayipara. The lake near the temple will not go dry even in hot summer months and remains a source of nourishment to life forms at Madayipara. The pooram festival of Madayi Kavu (kavu ? family temples and those in the midst of thick vegetation) held at Madayipara has been responsible for much of its fame.

With regard to the bio-diversity of Madayipara, it has been found that the region contains about 300 flowering plants, about 30 varieties of grass, and several insect-eating plant species. Madayipara is also home to several rare medicinal herbs, which are sought by people from near and far off places. Coming to avian life, Madayipara sustains about 100 species of butterflies and about 150 species of birds. Among the biggest butterflies in the world, the Atlas butterfly is a visitor to Madayipara.



Ezhimala is a hill reaching a height of 286 protruding into Arabian sea. It was the former capital of the ancient Mushika Kings, and is considered to be an important historical site. It is a conspicuous, isolated cluster of hills, forming a promontory, 38 km north of Kannur Town. A flourishing seaport, and center of trade around the beginning of the Common Era, it was also one of the major battle-fields of the Chola-Chera Wars of the 11th century. It is believed by some that Lord Buddha had visited Ezhimala.

Indian Naval Academy is located in Ezhimala. There is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman and the Mount Deli Lighthouse also located here. It is maintained by the Indian Navy and is a restricted area. The beach sand is of a different texture and the sea is bluer than in other areas. At the Ettikulam Bay, one can enjoy watching dolphins.

The topography of Ezhimala, with Mount Dilli abutting on the Arabian Sea has, since ancient times, inspired the local people to weave a number of legends. The most popular is the one connected with the Ramayana tradition. At one stage in the war between Rama and Ravana, many of Rama's forces, including his brother Lakshman, were killed. An anxious Rama consulted Jambavan, the senior most in the Vanara sena. It was decided to bring four medicinal herbs, shalya karani, vishalya karani, sandhana karani and mritha sanjivani from the Himalayas for removing the arrows, healing the wounds, stitching the cuts and finally bringing the dead to life. Hanuman was entrusted with the task of collecting these herbs and he at once set out for the Himalayas. On reaching the Himalayas, however, Hanuman realised that he was unable to recognise the ayurvedic herbs. So he did the next best thing - he plucked the entire Rishabadri Mountain itself and flew back. On his way southwards, a piece of the mountain fell down near the sea and that is Ezhimala. The local people believe that Ezhimala still possesses these rare ayurvedic herbs.

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