Kannur is a peculiar district in the Northern region of Kerala. Part of the Madras Presidency during British rule, the land was under many foreign and native rulers. The Portuguese ruled Kannur from 1498 until the Dutch captured the land in 1663. Later it was ruled by the Arakkal family, the only Muslim sultanate in Kerala. During British rule, Kannur was used as a major military station on the Malabar coast. The land also witnessed guerrilla warfare by Pazhassi Raja against British colonialists. Hence the land is replete with historic places and monuments.

Kannur is famous for the Theyyam festival which brings to life the myths and folklore of the land. Many foreigners visit the land to enjoy and study the art form and its cultural and psychological implications. Pristine beaches of Dharmadam, Thottada, and Meenkunnu are perfect for relaxation. Ezhimala, Madayipara, Paithalmala, and so on, capture the exquisite natural beauty of Kerala. Numerous such tourist destinations make Kannur a great place to tour in Kerala.

Tourist Places in Kannur

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    St Angelo Fort

    The historic Angelo fort may be the most popular tourist destination in Kannur. Constructed in 1505 by the Portuguese with the consent of the Kolathiri king, the fort has seen many battles and sieges. It was captured by the Dutch and the British and used as their chief military station. The thick high walls, steep stairways, old cannons, oil lamp lighthouse are all curious artifacts in the monument. The view of the Arabian sea is as enthralling as the and Mappila Bay Harbour is exciting. Tourists flock to the point to enjoy the sunset, which paints crimson shades in the blue sky.

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    Payyambalam Beach

    Payyambalam beach is one of the favorite tourist attractions in Kerala. The enchanting view of the turquoise blue sea, with its unending waves lapping on the shore, is alluring. The golden sand and the lush greenery accentuate the charm of the place. One can imbibe in all these views from the top of the historic lighthouse. Many visitors enjoy beach activities like swimming, sunbathing, kiting, and beach volley. Thus the place is a center for sightseeing and exciting activities. Hence many tourists come to Payyambalam beach and spend their evenings here.

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    Parassinikadavu snake park

    Located 16 kilometers away from Kannur corporation, Parassinikadavu is one of the foremost snake parks in India. It is dedicated to the preservation of snakes, including that of some rare types. The park houses a wide variety of snakes including Spectacled Cobra, King Cobra, Krait, Russell’s viper, and so on. Through a live show arranged for the visitors, the organization also tries to obliterate the unfounded fear and myths associated with the snakes. The unique nature of the snake park attracts many tourists to it and hence it ranks high in the list of the best places to visit in Kerala.

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    Palakkayam Thattu

    Tucked away in the western ghats, Palakkayam Thattu is an exquisite hill station in Kerala. It is situated at an elevation of 1066 meters above sea level and provides an enthralling view of the high peaks. The meadows, its hue light green, run through the mist kissed hills. The place is hence one of the best locations for sightseeing. Nature lovers cannot miss the visit to the region. Those who love some activity can involve in trekking. The walk through the forest trail under the shade of the tall trees is an exciting prospect. Hence the place is adored by naturalists and adventure enthusiasts alike.

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    A charming flat-topped hillock, Madayipara is a famous tourist destination in Kannur. The rich biodiversity of the place is the greatest attraction. Researches in the area have found new varieties of plants, some of which are endemic to Madayipara. The low elevation dry grasslands change their hue from bright green in monsoon to golden in summer. The Onam season adorns the area with flowers of different colors. Madayipara is also famous for some historical monuments and shrines like the Madayi Kavu, Shiva Temple, Malik Ibn Dinar Mosque, and the remnants of a fort.

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    One of the most important places in the recorded history of Northern Malabar, Ezhimala attracts many tourists. The place finds mention even in the Sangam period literature. The Mooshaka dynasty had its headquarters in the region. As there were many altercations between the Mooshaka and Chera dynasties, the place witnessed many battles, both small and big. The turquoise blue sea lined with a golden sandy beach and green hills beckon tourists to the Ezhimala. The Indian Naval Academy, which is the largest of its kind in Asia, is also located here.

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    Nestled in the Western Ghats in the Kerala- Karnataka border rests the beautiful hill station of Paithalmala. The cloud kissed hills and the green mountains in the region are enough to excite nature lovers and photographers alike. The observatory tower located at the top of the station gives a breathtaking view of the verdant valley and the virgin forest. The terrain also offers a thrilling route for trekking. The excitement reaches its peak when one continues the trail from the observatory tower to the thick forest. The stunning grasslands and the alluring view of the Coorg forest mesmerize the travelers. Hence the place is considered one of the best tourist places to visit in Kerala.

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    Muthappan Temple

    The Parassinikadavu Muthappan temple is among the most famous Hindu shrines in Kerala. Dedicated to Muthappan, a manifestation of Lord Shiva, the temple has some curious rituals and traditions that will amuse visitors. Theyyam, which is the indigenous art form of Northern Malabar and has its roots in the Dravidian culture, is the major ritual here. The traditional dance form enacts two versions; namely, Thiruvappana and Vellattam. It is believed that the deity manifests through Theyyam and answers prayers and predicts the future of the devotees. The ancient ritual attracts tourists from wide and far and hence the Parassinikkadvu Muthappan Temple is a top tourist and pilgrim destination in Kerala.

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    Peralassery Temple

    Peralassery Subrahmania Temple, located 14 kilometers away from Kannur, is a famous pilgrim destination. Though the deity worshipped is Subrahmania, the idol in the sanctum is that of a serpent. Curiously, the traditional offering of the temple is eggs. According to legend, Lord Rama and Lakshmana visited the temple on their quest to rescue Sita. The most important attraction here is the temple pond. The massive structure, made of laterite stone, has numerous steps designed in intricate geometrical proportions. The architectural brilliance captures the hearts of everyone who visits the region. So it is not be missed while on a trip to the Northern part of Kerala.

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    Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

    The high trees reaching out to the sky, rich vegetation and diverse fauna make Aralam a top priority station for tourists visiting Kannur. Located on the western slope of the Western Ghats, the sanctuary spreads over an area of 55 square kilometers. It was established in the year 1984. The peculiarity of the reserve is the incessant winds during the south-west monsoon. Dry and strong winds blow through the deciduous forest from September to April. Several varieties of Butterflies are found in the dry stream bed which attracts nature lovers to the region.

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    Sri Mookambika Temple

    The ancient temple at Pallikunnu is one of the major attractions in Kannur. It is believed that the great Indian philosopher Adi Sankara established the shrine. The presiding deity is the manifestation of three goddesses: Mahalakshmi, Shakthi, and Saraswati. During Navarathri, which falls in the months of October and November, a great many pilgrims visit the temple. The festival of lights is of great celebration in the temple. The place is worth a visit for those who are interested in the traditions and ancient culture of the land of Kerala.

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    Ezhara Beach

    Ezhara is one of the most visited beaches in Northern Kerala. The high cliffs, rock-filled beaches, and palm trees on the fringes gives a picturesque beauty to the beach. Tourists enjoy a swim in the shallow waters or like to sunbathe lying over the golden sand. The calming effect of the foamy waves lashing endlessly on the shore is inexplicable. Hence, those who are stressed by their urban life spend hours on the beach and return feeling rejuvenated. Thus the place is a busy tourist destination year-round.

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    Moonnu Pettumma Palli

    Moonu Pettumma Palli, or popularly Kattile Palli, is a curious destination in Kannur. Located around 8 kilometers away from the town, the mosque is a holy place for people from all faiths and creeds. The “Kattile Palli Nercha”— the annual festival of the mosque — is celebrated by people across all religions. Hence the mosque is heralded as the symbol of religious pluralism of the land. Not just the myths associated with the shrine, but also its all-inclusive nature makes the mosque an alluring tourist destination for anyone amazed by the religious harmony of the people of Kerala.

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    Mridanga Saileswari Temple

    Dedicated to goddess Durga, the Mridanga Saileswari Temple is an ancient temple in Kannur. It is believed to be consecrated by Parasurama, the sixth avatar of Vishnu. The four-armed idol holds conch and discus in two hands, places the left hand on her hip, and blesses the devotees with her right hand. The anecdotes of thieves trying to steal the idol and returning it because of the scary paranormal experiences they had, made the temple more famous. Now the shrine attracts many pilgrims from all over Kerala.

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    Kavvayi Island

    Kavvayi is a group of small islands in Kannur. The exquisite charm of the place is renowned among historic travelers. Hence Kavvayi, known as Kavil Pattanam during olden times, is found mentioned in the records of Marco Polo (1293 AD), Ibn Battuta (1342 AD), and Abdul Fida (1273 AD). The azure backwater and emerald green shores make the place a paradise for tourists. The lake is also the third-largest of its kind in Kerala. Boating through the lake, enjoying the soft winds, is the favored tourism activity in the region. Kavvayi hence enjoys a respectable position in the tourism map of Kerala.

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    Theyyam is the most famous ritualistic art in the northern part of Kerala. Historians like Bridget and Alchin are of the opinion that the modern form of Theyyam contains the traits which originated during the early Neolithic and Chalcolithic period. They deduce that the art form is Dravidian and is one of the few that survived the Aryan invasion. The ritual is curious from its historical, mythical, and psychological point of view. The performer with the help of drummers recites the folk songs that describe a legend. Eventually, the performer, who is adorned with bright colored costumes, transforms into the deity or the hero in the legend. In this state of transmigration, he starts answering questions of the devotees and predicts the future for them. The ritual is found in its primitive form in Kannur. The curious artform hence attracts many travelers to the land.

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    Arakkal Museum

    Previously the Arakkal Royal Palace, the Arakkal museum holds the memory of the only Muslim royal family in Kerala. The monument houses many artifacts that were used by the King and his relatives. One cannot help but stand in awe at the great history of the lineage as they resisted the invasions of the colonizers. The swords, guns, royal mantle sticks, old manuscripts of the Quran, first-generation telephone, Arab coffee pots, and other paraphernalia are preserved in the monument with utmost care. The architecture of the palace alludes to the Persian style and its grandeur proclaims the greatness of the rulers. Hence the museum is one of the places which receives great acclaim for its historical and architectural significance.

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    Dharmadam Beach

    Dharmadam is an exotic beach located on Dharmadam island. People visit the destination to enjoy a great evening. The golden sandy beach, azure sea, and the sunset, which creates crimson shade in the sky, attract a great many tourists. The beach is laden with numerous beautiful seashells with vibrant colors. Legends say that the islands were named by the Buddhist monks who frequented the location because of its excellent charm and serene environment. The place the best for anyone who wants to unwind and relax.

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    Mappila Bay

    Mappila Bay is a natural harbor in Kerala. It has great historical significance as the place was a major port during the colonial era. Since the late 13th century, the port became the epicenter of trade between Malabar and lands far away. This trade relation culminated in the construction of the monuments one can still find around the bay. St Angelo Fort, built by the Portuguese is the best example of this. Today the harbor is a major fishing center and tourist attraction. Moreover, the Arakkulam museum and palace located near the Mappila bay adds to the tourism prospects of the land. Boating facility is available through the coastal waters and is an exciting adventure.

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    Vismaya Water Theme Park

    Located near Taliparambu in Kannur, Vismaya Water theme park is a great destination for children and adults alike. It spreads over an area of 30 acres and consists of many adventure rides. The specialty of the park is that it is completely operated by the rainwater. The water is collected by a reservoir spreading over an area of 2 acres and has a capacity of 50,000,000 liters. Children love the rides that take them to the top of excitement. Adults find the virtual waterfall and laser show quite amusing. Surely, the park will be an exciting one-day destination. Hence many tourists visiting Kannur spend a day here to get away from the stress of their hectic lives.