This sea coast town in the northern Malabar area was for many centuries the capital of the Kolathiri Rajas, the rivals of the Zamorins of Kozhikode. Its importance as a premier port of ancient Kerala was known to the Arabs and the Persians. Marco Polo is supposed to have referred to Cannannore as a great emporium of spices. In the 15the century the
Portuguese's arrived in Cannannore (known as Kannur in Malayalam) to establish one of their earliest settlements. A reminder of this is the St. Angelo's Fort built in 1505 by the first Portuguese Viceroy. It is still a landmark of Kannur. Kannur's history abounds with the activities of colonial powers. The
Portuguese's factory built by Cabral in 1501 was captured by the Dutch in 1663. In 1708 the British built a fort at
Tellichery, just outside Kannur.
The nearby town of Mahe was developed as a trading centre by the French in the 18the century. Around 1792, after the Mysore wars, the British took over Kannur. Today Kannur is known for its handloom and beedi industries. Some of Keral's finest weavers come from this district, though these days their skills are not in as much demand as before. For a free show of enchanting theyyam, the traditional ritual dance of north Kerala, head for the Parassinikadavu Temple, where every evening there are performances. More importantly, entry into the temple for the teyyam shows is allowed for non-Hindus too. This is unlike other temples in Kerala.
Places to visit
Parassini Kadavu Temple & Snake Park:
Sri. Muthappan Temple stands on the banks of the Valapattanam River. This pilgrim centre is famous for the Muthappan Theyyam performed every morning and evening. The DTPC provides pleasure boating on the river near the temple. Accommodation is available nearby. The Snake Park is the only one of its kind in the state and perhaps, in the whole of India. There are three snakes pits, fifteen glass cases for snakes and two large glass houses for King Cobras in the park. Snake demonstrations conducted every hour draw large number of visitors.
St. Angelo's Fort: This massive triangular structure, with a ditch and strong flanking bastions was built by the first Portuguese Viceroy in 1505. It later become the major military base of the British in
Malabar. the fort is today the main landmark of Kannur.
This village near Kannur is famous for its 12th Century mosque and beach. Built by Malik Iban
Dinar, the white marble used in the mosque is said to have been brought from Arabia.
This enchanting hill station situated 4,500 ft. above sea level near the Kerala - Karnataka border, is rich in flora and fauna. It is a six Km trek to the top of the hills.
The small 5 acre island covered with coconut palms and green bushes is a beautiful sight from the beach. Permission is required to enter this privately owned island.
Kizhunna Ezhara Beach:
This beautiful stretch of sand is one of the most secluded beaches in Kerala.
Sree Ramaswami Temple, Thiruvangadi:
The temple dedicated to Sree Rama is one of the most prominent temples in
Malabar. The exquisite carvings in the temple are said to have been done nearly 400 years ago.
An ideal retreat for tourists, the dam site is favours for its scenic beauty. The DTPC provides pleasure boating facilities at the reservoir. Accommodation is available at the Project Inspection Bungalow and its dormitories.
There is a famous Siva Temple here, on the banks of the Bavail river. Lakhs of devotees attend the annual 27 day long festival during May - June.
Near Thalasseri, Dr. Herman Gundert, the revered German priest and research scholar lived in the bungalow for 20 years from 1839. It was here that one of the first Malayalam Dictionaries and the first Malayalam News Paper - Paschimodayam - took shape.
The small town on the Valapattanam river is well known for its wood-based industries and timber trade. the port of Azhikkal and Azhikkal beach are located nearby. Western India Plywood Limited, the largest wood-based industry in the country and also one of the biggest of its kind in South East Asia, is a major industrial concern here.
The beautiful beach here has a hillock nearby (286 M high). A Naval Academy is being developed here.