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Kannur

Known for its Handloom and Beedi industries, Kannur a coastal Districts of Kerala is of great historical importance. It was the capital of North Kolathery Rajas for many centuries. Marco Polo once referred to Kannur as great emporia of spice trade. In the 15th century with the arrival of Portuguese, Kannur came into the political limelight. The St. Angelo Fort built by the first Portuguese Viceroy is an important landmark.

Bounded by the Western Ghats in the East, Arabian Sea in the West, Kasargod in the North, Pondicherry in the South, Kannur is endowed with sufficient number of rivers which are navigable. It has extensive forest areas which are classified as reserve forest and vested forests.

Kannur, the capital of Kolathery Rajas, the rivals of Zamurians of Kozhikode was a premier port of Kerala. The Portuguese factory built by Cabral in1501was captured by the Dutch in 1663. Around 1792 the British took over Kannur after the Mysore wars.

Payyambalam Beach - 2 km from Kannur.
This beach is a local picnic spot. 

Arakkal Kettu - 3km from Kannur.
 
This was the residence of the former Arakkal Ali Rajas, the only Muslim royal family of Kerala. 
 
St. Angelo Fort - 3km from Kaanur.
 
This seafront laterite fort was constructed in 1505 AD by the first Portuguese Viceroy, Don Francisco De Almeda with the consent 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 centres of the British in Malabar. The fort, which is now under the Archaeological Survey of India, offers fascinating views of the Mappila bay fishing harbour. 

Valapattanam - 7km from Kannur.
 
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 Plywoods Limited, the largest wood-based industry in the country and also one of the largest of its kind in South East Asia, is a major industrial concern here. 

Kizhunna Ezhara Beach - 11 km from Kannur.
 

This beautiful stretch of sand is one of the most secluded beaches in Kerala. 

Meenkunnu Beach - 12 km from Kannur.
 
Un crowded, the beach is a tourists' paradise, with golden sand and surf . 

Parassinikadavu - 16 km from kannur town.
 
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 the whole of India. There are three snake pits, fifteen glass cases for snakes and two large glass houses for King Cobras in the park. Snake demonstrations conducted every hour draw large crowds of visitors. (Open 0900 - 1730 hrs everyday) There are frequent bus services from Kannur to Parassinikadavu. 

Dharmadam Island - 100 meters away from the mainland at Dharmadam.
 
The small 5 acre island covered with coconut palms and dense bushes is a beautiful sight from the beach. Permission is required to enter this privately owned island. 
 
Muzhapilangad Beach - 15 km. from Kannur and 8 km from Thalasseri.
 
Black rocks protect this long, clean beach from the currents of the deep, making its shallow waters a swimmer's paradise. Perhaps this is Kerala's only drive-in beach where you can drive down the entire length of 4 km. 

Gundert Bungalow - 20 km from Kannur near Thalasseri town, on the National Highway at Illikunnu.
  
Dr. Herman Gundert, the revered German missionary, scholar and lexicographer lived in this bungalow for 20 years from 1839. It was here that one of the first Malayalam dictionaries and the first Malayalam Newspaper ­Paschimodayam - took shape. 
 
Trichambaram Temple - 20 km from Kannur; near Taliparambu town on the National Highway.
 
A sacred place of the Vaishnava cult, the deity of the temple is Sree Krishna. The sculptures on the walls of the sanctum sanctorum are in a class by themselves. The annual temple festival, usually held in March, is a colourful event.
 
Thalasseri Fort - 22 km from Kannur.
 
The fort constructed in 1708 was the military centre of the British. It is now a historical monument. The SAI Gymnastic Centre, an old Muslim mosque, the Jagannatha Temple and Thiruvangad Sree Rama Swami Temple are other attractions nearby. 
 
Sree Ramaswami Temple, Thiruvangad - 23km from Kannur.
 
This temple dedicated to Sri Rama is one of the most important temples in Malabar. The exquisite carvings in the temple are said to have been done nearly 400 years ago. 
 
Madayi Para - 25km.from Kannur.
 
The Madayi Kavu Temple, the Vadukunnu Temple and the 12th century mosque built by Malik bin Dinar with white marble imported from Arabia, are the major attractions here. There is also a dilapidated fort at Madayi which is supposed to have been built by Tipu Sultan of Mysore. The view from the fort is fascinating. 
 
Malayala Kalagramam - 29 kms from Kannur.
 
This renowned centre for arts and culture at New Mahe, conducts courses in painting, sculpture, music, dance and pottery. 
 
Thodeekulam Siva Temple - 34 km southeast of Kannur.
 
Located 2 km from Kannavam on the Thalasseri-Mananthavady road, this temple is famous for its mural paintings. It is believed to have been constructed 2,000 years ago and was closely connected with the Pazhassi Raja family of Kottayam (Thalasseri taluk). 
 
Pazhazzi Dam - 37 km east of Kannur. 
 
An ideal retreat for tourists, the damsite is famous for its scenic beauty. The DTPC provides pleasure boating facilities at the reservoir. Accommodation is available at the Project Inspection Bungalow and its dormitories. 

Ezhimala - 55 km from Kannur.
 
The beautiful beach here has a hillock nearby (286 m high). Carved stone pillars and an ancient burial chamber can be seen at the foot of the hills. The hills are noted for rare medicinal herbs. A Naval Academy is being developed here. Permission is required for entry. 

Pythal Mala - 65 km from Kannur town.
 
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 6 km trek to the top of the hills. 
 
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary - 35 km from Thalassery.
 
Elephants, sloth bears, sambars, mouse deer etc. can be found in the 55 sq. km sanctuary. 
 
Cherukunnu
 
Famous for its Anna Poorneswari Temple, the week long annual festival falls in April. There is a Kathakali-Panchavadya school called Asthikalalaya near the temple. 
 
Kottiyoor
 
There is a Siva Temple here on the banks of the Bavali River. Thousands of devotees attend the annual 27 day festival during May - June. 

Kunhimangalam
 
This place in Payyanur is famous for its unique bronze lamps and sculptures.