Posted 25 August 2022

Kannur, An intangible beauty - Explore things to do on your next trip to Kannur

Kannur is a beautiful city in the Indian state of Kerala. It is known for its beaches, natural treasures, folk art, and loom industries. During the 12th century, Kannur was a significant trading centre with dynamic business connections with Arabia and Persia. Till 1887, Kannur served as the British military headquarters on India's west coast. The city was known as Cannanore during the British era. 

The Chera dynasty ruled most of the parts of Kerala in the past and Kannur was also a part of the kingdom. Additionally, Kannur is also a must-visit place for many enthralling spots of interest including Muzhuppilangadi beach and Payyambalam.

1. A perfect blend of cultural and historical tour of Kannur

Kannur is famous for its beaches, lush green forests, and temples. The place is often termed as one of the perfect places for a vacation. Also, Kannur is known for its culture and history.

Kannur has a historical significance as it was the part of Chera dynasty that ruled Kerala. Visitors can also get a glimpse of the famous Malabar culture in Kannur as it has an abundance of temples. Religious festivals and rituals are being organised at these temples on a regular basis. 

Take some time off from your busy schedule and immerse yourself in the rich culture and heritage of Kannur. 

2. Tourist attractions in Kannur

  • Payyambalam Beach: If you want a serene ambiance to unwind and relax, head to Payyambalam Beach. The beach is an ideal place to enjoy a peaceful environment. It is also a perfect picnic spot. 
  • Angelo Fort or Kannur Fort: The fort was built by Dom Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy of India, in 1505. Situated just 3 km from Kannur, the fort is preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India.
  • Arakkal Museum: The museum is dedicated to the Arakkal family, the only Muslim royal family in Kerala. The museum is a division of Arakkal Palace which is managed by the Arakkal Family Trust. 
  • Munderi Bird Sanctuary: This bird sanctuary is located 8 km from Kannur. You can experience birdwatching here and spot several fascinating birds. 
  • Parassinikkadavu: Parassinikkadavu is a Hindu temple dedicated to Sree Muthappan. It is located 16 km from Kannur town. It is popular for Muthappan Temple and Parassinikkadavu Snake Park. 
  • Muzhappilangad drive-in Beach: The Muzhapillangad beach is the only longest drive-in beach in India and Asia. Being a drive-in beach, it can be easily accessible by road. It is located between Kannur and Thalassery. Visitors can rest and loosen up at the benches available on the beach. It is a 4km stretch and probably one of the interesting things to do in Kannur. There are shacks available at the beach where one can enjoy Kannur’s authentic street foods. 
  • Some of the water adventure and water sports activities available at the beach are parasailing, catamaran rides, paragliding, and microlight flights.

3. Kannur gastronomical affair

Kannur has always been ranked number one on the list of Kerala’s top destinations for a culinary experience. The cuisine of Kerala offers a host of both non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes. However, the staple food of Kerala includes rice, coconut, tapioca, and spices like cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and ginger.

Kannur, being in Kerala, is also popular for seafood like fish, mussels, prawns, lobsters, and crabs.

Some of the food items one must try in Kannur are: 

  • Thalassery chicken biryani: This biryani is one of the most loved food items in Kannur and is regarded as the king of all biryanis. Visitors in Kannur should try the Thalassery chicken biryani. 
  • Unnakkaya: Unnakkaya is a snack available at almost every tea shop in Kannur. It is an authentic Malabar dessert. Mainly, the dessert is served during festivals, weddings, and other festivities. The main ingredient of this dessert is banana. 
  • Kallumakkaya Nirachathu: This dish is a delight for non-vegetarians. It is a variety of seafood with shells. The stuffed mussel dish is famous for Malabar 
  • Chatti pathiri: It is a layered pastry famous in Kannur and other regions of Kerala. The dish is similar to the Italian dish Lasagna. The main ingredients of this dish are egg, refined flour or wheat flour, oil, and water. It is not necessarily a dessert always and is available in a savoury variation also.
  • Mutton Korma: While one can relish mutton korma in other parts of the country too, the dish tastes different in Kannur. It is a delight for non-vegetarians. In Kannur, the dish has a coconut gravy base. One can have it with chapatis, appams, and rice. 

Some of the places where visitors can satisfy their taste buds with authentic Malabari cuisine in Kannur are Raandhal, MVK restaurant, Wheat House, and Hotel Odhens among others. There are also several restaurants for visitors looking for Chinese and tandoori food items like Chifonets and Cabane Bambou.

4. Festivals in Kannur

  • Theyyam rituals: Theyyam rituals are a form of dance worship celebrated in Kerala and Karnataka. Through the dance form, the performers bring life to the stories of Kerala. Theyyam ritual promotes the principles of the ancient tribesthat worshipped the heroes and spirits of their ancestors.The rituals include traditions and customs that are almost 1000 yr One can witness these rituals in Kannur temples between December to April.
  • Kottiyoor Vaishaka Mahotsavam: The festival is celebrated in the hills of Kannur and has two most popular temples, Ikkara Kottiyoor and Akkara Kottiyoor. Kottiyoor Vaishaka Mahotsavam is a 28 day long festival celebrated in front of the Baveli river in Kannur. The festival is one of the famous festivals of Kerala.
  • Trichambaram Temple Festival: Trichambaram Temple is a temple located in Kannur dedicated to Lord Krishna. Trichambaram temple festival is an annual festival celebrated for 15 days every year. The festival normally starts in March with hoisting a religious flag at the temple. The colourful event ends with Koodipiriyal. Between the start and end of the festival, performances like a dance with Krishna and his older brother Balrama are organisedat Pookot Nada which is around a kilometre from the Trichambaram temple.

Read more about: Witness the popular festivals celebrated in Kannur

5. Shopping places in Kannur

Other than beaches, temples, and lush green forests, Kannur is also famous for being one of the shopping hubs for tourists. Some of the items to bring back home from Kannur are banana chips, cashew nuts, coffee, aroma oils, and tea. The city is also known for its gold shops everywhere so make sure to buy some while visiting this beautiful place.

Shopping in Kannur is as tempting as visiting its beautiful tourist places. Silk sarees and handloom products are a rage among women tourists. Also, look for local handicrafts, local spices, and earthenware products. While these items are easily available around Kannur, wooden kathakali face masks are a speciality of this city.

Some of the places where one can buy these items are Fortlight complex and Kannur City Centre. Fort Road is the busiest shopping centre in Kannur.

Tourists can also do luxury shopping at Capitol Mall, G Mall, Kannur Mall, Thana Square, and Royal Oak.

How to reach Kannur?

  • By air: Kannur International Airport serves the city. Situated 25 km from the city centre, the airport is conveniently connected to major cities of the state and the country. IndiGo offers several direct and connecting flights to Kannur also from major cities of the country every day.
  • By rail: Kannur has an integrated rail system that connects the city with neighbouring cities. Kannur railway station connects Kannur to all the major destinations of India. The regular trains at the railway station are Mangalore Express and Nizamuddin Express. 
  • By road: With regular government and private buses, Kannur is well-connected to the neighbouring states. Buses are available regularly at short intervals. It is one of the cheapest modes of transportations. 

Travel tips for Kannur

  • As Kannur is in South India, the climate of this city is different from North India. It is better to check out the temperatures before visiting it. 
  • Kannur is a shoppers’ paradise. Keep some empty space in your luggage for bringing back some of its specialities.
  • Muzhappilangad drive-in beach should be in your itinerary as the beach is the only longest drive-in beach in Asia. 
  • Auto-rickshaws and buses are the common modes of transportation in Kannur. 

Climate/ Temperature in Kannur

Being a coastal city, Kannur enjoys a tropical climate. Summers are super-hot in Kannur with temperatures rising above 40°C. Summer months are ideally not the best time to visit Kannur. The days are hot and humid and you would not want to spend your day outside during the summer months.

Best time to visit Kannur

The most appropriate time to visit Kannur district in Kerala is between October and February. The winter months are ideal for planning a vacation in Kannur. Visitors and tourists mainly favour the winter months for a stay or vacation in Kannur. 

Kannur also receives heavy rainfall in the months of June, July, August, and September, and thus, tourists avoid these months. 

Conclusion

One needs to explore the city to witness its rich traditions and culture. Take some time off from your busy schedule and immerse yourself in the rich culture and heritage of Kannur. For getting around in Kannur, locals prefer mini-buses, taxis, and auto-rickshaws. Rented cars are also available in Kannur if you want to get around the city in your vehicle. 

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