Facts About Cannanore (Kannur)
2966 sq km
(Annual): 344 cm
Season: August to March
to get there:
Air: The nearest airport is at Karipur,
Calicut, about 93 km south. Further south is the cochin airport
317 km away.
railway station is an important railhead of the Southern Railway
and is well linked to major towns upcountry as well as within the
Road: Cannanore is also accessible by road.
Handlooms and History
Mahe, a major town of Kannur, is a boozer's paradise. Not
only is the town chock-full of bars and wine shops, liquor is much
cheaper here, thanks to low or no excise duties. But don't think
you can carry away boot loads of cheap booze-Kerala's excise officers
are on the prowl!
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 Calicut. 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 emporia of spices.
the 15the century the Portugueses arrived in Cannanore (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 Cannanore.
abounds with the activities of colonial powers. The portugueses
factory built by Cabral in 1501 was captured by the Dutch in 1663.
In 1708 the British built a fort at Tellichrey, just outside Cannanore.
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 Cannanore.
Cannanore 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.
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.
For a touch of history, one should visit the St.
Angelo's Fort, a huge triangular structure built
with laterite with a ditch and strong flanking bastions. The Dutch
captured the fort from the Portuguese in 1663 and sold it to Ali
Raja of Cannonore in 1772. The British in turn captured it in 1790.
They rebuilt it and made it the most important military base in
Malabar for their soldiers during the British colonial rule.
Chirakkal, 6 km from
Cannanore, is where the kolathiri Raja lived. The famous 12the century
mosque at Madayi, a village
22 km from Cannanore, was built by Malik Ibn Dinar with white marble
said to have been brought from Arabia. The
Madayi beach is also splendid.
About 55 km from Cannanore town, at a height of
885 feet, is Ezhimala, an
isolated but conspicuous cluster of hills. At the foot of the hills
is a cave and an old burial chamber. Farther 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 in Ayurvedic formulations.
time you visit a circus, think of Tellicherry,
a small town around 20 km south of Cannanore. For it is from
here that most of India's circus artists come. The gymnastic tradition
was introduced in schools here by German missionaries.
One of them Rev. Dr. Herman Gundert, spent a lifetime around
Tellicherry in his educational and literary work and compiled the
first Malayala dictionary. He also built a church on Nettur Hill
English East India Company established its settlement on the Malabar
coast here in 1683. The Tellicherry Fort
was built in the early 18the century.
Between Tellicherry and Badagara is Mahe,
a small and beautiful trading town on the west coast established
by the French in the 17the century. It is under the administrative
control of the union territory of Pondicherry and several historical
hangovers of French influence are evident.
At Parassinikadavu, on
the banks of the Valapatanam river, 18 km from Cannanore, is the
Sri Muthappan temple, dedicated
to Lord Muthappan, believed to be the incarnation of Lord Siva.
This is the only temple in Kerala where theyyam,
the ritual dance form of North Kerala, is performed daily.
The temples nonconformist nature is also evident in the unusual
custom of offering dried fish and toddy to the deity.
is also a kathakali club in
the temple which will arrange shows on request for a fee (aroung
Rs 1000). The performance begins after 11 p.m. and lasts for two-and-a-half
hours also near the temple is the Parassinikadavu
an example of medieval temple architecture, visit the Truchabaram
Vishnu Temple at Taliparambu. Said
to date back to the 10th century, this temple offers sights of stone
walls, murals and woodcraft work.
easily accessible haunt for nature enthusiasts is the Aralam
wildlife sanctury, 35 km from Tellicherry. Accommodation
is available at lritty, near the sanctuary.