In the 15th century, the Portuguese arrived in Kannur to establish one of their earliest settlements. This is evident in the St. Angelo's Fort built in 1505 AD by the first Portuguese Viceroy. Kannur's history is marked by foreign invasions and the activities of colonial powers.
Kannur district is endowed with sufficient number of rivers. Valapattanam river which originates from Western Ghats is the longest river in the district. Most of the rivers are navigable. Anjarakany, Kuppam, Mahe and Thalassery are the other rivers. Kannur district has extensive forest areas which may be classified under two heads namely reserve forests and vested forests.
Air : The nearest airport is at Karipur, Kozhikode, about 93 km south.
Rail : Kannur railway station is well linked to major towns up country as well as within the State.
Road : Kannur is accessible by road.
Places of Interest :
Mananthavady : Mananthavady lies on the Western Ghats of Kerala, South East of Cannanore, at a height of about 500 mt. It is was the last resting-place of Pazhassi Raja thus a historically important place. He was cremated here with full military honours. The tomb of Pazhassi Raja and the park built in his memory are reminders of this great ruler.
Sree Muthappan Temple : Sree Muthappan Temple dedicated to Lord Muthappan, believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. This is the only temple in Kerala where Theyyam, the ritual dance form of North Kerala is performed daily. The temple's non-conformist nature is also evident in the unusual custom of offering dried fish and toddy to the deity.
There is also a Kathakali club in the temple which will arrange shows on request. The performance begins after 11 pm and lasts 4½ hours. Also near the temple is the Parassinikadavu Snake Park.
Payyambalam Beach : The Payyambalam beach is one of the beautiful beaches in this State and is an ideal place to visit. Quiet, secluded, this beautiful stretch of sand and surf is the best locale for a relaxed evening irrespective of seasons. It is 2 km from Kannur town.
St. Angelo's Fort : The Fort of St.Angelo's is now a protected monument under Archaeological Survey of India, the Fort St.Angelo's is in the west of Kannur town. It was built in 1505 by the first Portuguese Viceroy, Don Francisco De Almeida, with the permission of the Kolathiris.
Madayi Mosque : The Madiya Mosque was built in 1124 AD by Malik Ibn Dinar, a Muslim preacher. A block of white marble in the mosque is believed to have been brought from Mecca by its founder, who came to India to spread the word of Muhammad, the Prophet.
Dharmadam Island : Dharmadam Island is a beautiful beach, located 17 km from Kannur. 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. It is 100 mt away from the mainland at Dharmadam.
Thalassery Fort : Constructed in 1708 AD, the Thalaserry Fort was the military centre of the British, located at a distance of 22 km from Kannur.
In 1708 AD, when the British East India Company established its settlement on the Malabar Coast, they built the Thalaserry Fort, as a testimonial to their colonial imperialism.
The square fort, with its massive walls, secret tunnels to the sea and intricately carved huge doors, is an imposing structure. The fort was once the nucleus of Thalaserry's development.
Gundert Bungalow : 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. It is located at distance of 20 km from Kannur, near Thalasseri town, on the National Highway at Illikunnu.
Ezhimala : The beautiful beach here has a hillock nearby (286 mt 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. Situated at a distance of 55 km from Kannur.
Valapattanam : 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.
Valapattanam is also a famous fishing harbour as well as the main source of the irrigation project in the district. It is a fascinating experience to watch the traditional mode of timber transportation - by tying long pieces of timber together and allowing them to float down the stream. Situated at a distance of 7 km from Kannur.
Muzhapilangad Beach : Located at a distance of 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. The palm groves fringing the beach is a cool hideaway from the tropical sun. Perhaps this is Kerala's only drive-in beach where you can drive down the entire length of 4 km.
Trichambaram Temple : 20 km from Kannur, near Taliparamba town on the National Highway is 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.
Parassinikadavu : 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.