Kannur is a city of looms and lores in Kerala. This is because the Theyyam, a ritual and art form that speaks of the religious folklore of India, are often held in this district. And, the loom industry in its district is lively and is one of the major producers of export quality products.
In terms of its tourism industry, Kannur, sometimes referred to as Cannore, is not yet as developed as the other district. It’s not touristy at all which is good. We were able to appreciate the natural vibe and beauty of each destination in its district.
Way back before the arrival of colonists, Kannur was one of the major trading ports on the coast of India. During the British colonial period, the Kannur was overtaken by the Madras and Cochin as a major trading port.
Located in the northern part of Kerala, Kannur is popular for significant Hindu Temples. Because of this, Kannur derived its name from the phrase Kannande uuru, which means Land of Krishna in English.
We were given the chance to explore the beaches and water adventures in the area. In this article, I’d like to share with you how to get there, what are the things to do and some of our personal experiences in Kannur.
Places to see in Kannur
Kayaking at Dharmadam
We had the option to just chill on the beach today or go kayaking. After having done the houseboats in Allepey, The tea plantations in Munnar and the adventure filled day in Wayanad, some of us opted to just chill by the beach near our home.
Knowing my adventurous spirit, of course, I chose to go kayaking.
This is relatively new for Kannur. The kayaking is 2 hours traversing the Anjarakandy River. The jump-off point is at the Dharmadam Beach Park to Pinarayi Panchayat Park.
The Dharmadam Beach is surrounded by the Anjarakandy river on its north, east and south side and Arabian sea on its west side.
They had single kayaks and doubles. We were told we were going to be out for at least 2 hours so it was best that I get in the double— you know, at least to have help. Plus, it makes for an awesome conversation. Greta and I teamed up. We made a pretty good team I believe.
In the middle of it, the guide gave us snacks and bananas just to have more energy. We saw amazing mangroves and forest areas to kayak through. We had also had a lot of picture opportunities.
We were out in the water for at least 2 hours, yes, I’ve said that but just to reiterate we were in the sun for 2 hours so its best to at wear light clothes, sunblock and a bottle of water and sunglasses. I should have brought a cap but I had forgotten mine. This would probably help protect you as well. Life jackets will be provided.
Quad biking on Muzhapppilangad Beach
Also another relatively new activity in Kunnar is quad biking or driving ATV on Muzhapppilangad Beach. Just within a few minutes away from Dharmadam Beach is the Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach. The Muzhapppilangad Beach is known to be the longest driving beach in Asia.
The beach area of the Muzhappilangad stretches through more or less 4 km. Because of its firm sand and shallow waters, it is visited by drivers with cars and vehicles of different sizes as well as motorbikes to pull off stunts along the beach.
Riding the ATV was so much fun, I tried to reach both ends of the beach—technically you could but given the time constraint we had to give others a turn. But I believe this would be a good activity to do with your family. Just make sure not to hit people who are strolling the beach.—- Who am I kidding? It’s not a crowded area so you have all the space to enjoy.
Visit St. Angelo Fort
The St. Angelo Fort is one of the most significant landmarks in Kannur. It was built by the first Portuguese viceroy in India or the high official who represents the king of the Portuguese in India. After a hundred years, the Dutch assumed control over the fort and made improvements like building large bastions. Then, after a few years, the British took over the fort and added more weaponry and a lighthouse.
Aside from the lighthouse, canons, and bastions, you also can see the chapel, barracks, and tombstones. It is a good place to walk around.
Generally, the fort is made from laterite stones. It is well maintained and has even undergone some restoration in a few areas. There are tourism policemen assigned in the St. Angelo Fort, Kannur in order to protect and maintain the place as well as to assist the tourists.
You can even see from here the calming view of the Mappila Bay and Dharamadam Island. The fort is open from 8 AM until 6 PM.
Stop at Payyambalam Beach for Group photo at Kannur Eye
Near the St. Angelo Fort is the Payyambalam Beach. It is one of the five main beaches in the Kannur. The other beaches are Meenkunnu Beach, Adikadalayi Beach, Baby Beach, and Thayyil Beach.
Activities you can do here are surfing, swimming, water skiing, parasailing, horse riding, or just strolling. Among the five main beaches of Kannur, the Payyambalam Beach has a bit milder waves and is the most accessible beach from town proper.
We took a picture by a picture place that the city called Kannur Eye. It’s a yellow frame that spins— so we turned it to see which view is better. I could imagine, this would look good if it were an Instagram frame.
Sargaalaya, the Kerala Arts and Crafts Village
Just one and a half hours away from the Payyambalam Beach then you’ll find the Sargaalaya, the Kerala Arts and Crafts Village. Although it is already outside Kannur district, the Sargaalaya Arts and Crafts Village is a place worthwhile to visit in Kozhikode district.
The Sargaalaya, the Kerala Arts and Crafts Village is a nice coop run by the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala. It showcases their local handicrafts through exhibits, tour around the workshop, do-it-yourself activity, and the actual store. I bought bags and hats made out of coconut and earnings and what not at affordable prices.
It became my fashion statement around Kerala. I really loved it. Even their jewelry was perfect. Definitely stop by here if you get the chance.
More Places to Visit in Kannur
I didn’t get the chance to see these places as we had no time— But I would have wanted to .
Parassinkkadavu Snake Park
This snake park is not only a home to different snakes but to some animals as well, like crocodiles, monkeys, peacock, and other birds. Inside the park is a treatment and research center for snake bites.
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
This is one of the finest wildlife Sanctuary in the whole state of Kerala. For at least beginners, it has a trekking route which leads to Meenmutty waterfalls. Those for up for tough trek, another route will lead to the highest peak of Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary which they called Katti Betta.
It is a section of the Arakkalkettu or Arakkal Palace which was converted into a museum. They showcase interesting antique items and furniture used by Arakkal family, the only Muslim royal family that ruled the Malabar coast, particularly Kunnar, at a certain period.
Sadhoo Merry Kingdom
For kids and kids at heart, the Sadhoo Merry Kingdom is a popular amusement park with exciting rides and slides.
Kannur is a home to numerous Hindu Temples with Rajarajeshwara Temple being the most significant. Devotees turn to this temple to resolve problems in any of the temples in South India. Other popular temples are Thiruvangad Sree Ramaswami Temple, Kottiyoor Temple, Sree Sundareswara Temple, and many more.
V-Pra Kaayal Floating Park
Floating on the Vayalapra kaayal Rivers, it is a theme park with water adventure activities as the main attractions. It also has a floating kids park with arcade games and different forms of playgrounds.
How to get to Kannur
Kannur International Airport is still under construction. It is expected to be fully operated by the September 2018. At the moment, the nearest airports to the district of Kannur are the Mangaluru International Airport which is in its north and Calicut International Airport, which is in its south. Both are around four hours away by car from the main city of Kannur.
By train is the most popular mode of transportation when traveling to Kannur. The travel time by a train going to Kannur from Kochi may only be more or less five hours. Fare cost more or less INR 96 (Php 74.74).
Kannur has two major railway stations. And, thus, it is well connected with major cities in India.
If you’re coming from Kochi, travel time, via bus, taxi or car rental, going to Kannur is approximately 7 hours. Bus fare going to Kannur starts at INR 250 to 470 (Php 194.62 to Php 365.89). Average taxi or car rental fare cost from Kochi to Kannur is INR 7,000 (Php 5,449.45).