Kannur is a district with a multi-layered personality, balancing its colonial past with its indigenous culture, natural beauty, and evolving modern character. From its historical monuments to the tranquil beaches, vibrant Theyyam performances to lush green landscapes, Kannur offers an authentic slice of Kerala. Visiting Kannur can be a deeply enriching experience that combines relaxation, adventure, and cultural enlightenment. It's a destination that truly caters to a wide variety of interests and offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the heart of Malabar's culture.
Visitors should plan their trips keeping in mind the local weather patterns—typically, the best time to visit is from October to March when the weather is cooler and less humid. Monsoon season, which can start as early as June and last until September, is less ideal for beach activities but can be a great time to experience the lush greenery and the theyyam festivals.
When in Kannur, respect the local customs and traditions, especially when attending religious ceremonies or visiting sacred places. Engaging with local guides and tourism services not only enriches your travel experience but also contributes to the local economy.
Kannur is not just a destination it's a tapestry of experiences waiting to be discovered, offering moments that will become memories cherished for a lifetime. Whether you're an avid history buff, a nature enthusiast, a cultural connoisseur, or just looking to unwind on a quiet beach, Kannur promises to be an unforgettable destination.
Kannur, also known as Cannanore, is a coastal city in the northern part of Kerala, India, known for its rich history, culture, and pristine beaches. Kannur has been a melting pot of different cultures and traditions due to its maritime trade history and colonial past. The region is also famed for its Theyyam art, a sacred ritual dance that reflects the vibrant traditions of North Malabar. Below is a guide to some of the most notable places to visit in Kannur, along with descriptions to give you an insight into what each destination has to offer.
A serene and beautiful beach characterized by long stretches of golden sand and azure waters. It is an ideal spot for families and friends to unwind. The well-maintained garden and the massive sculpture of a mother and child by Kanayi Kunhiraman add to the beach’s allure.
Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach
Renowned as Kerala’s only drive-in beach and one of the longest in Asia. Here, you can drive along the 4 km stretch of sand, feel the breeze and enjoy the thrill of the waves touching the wheels. It’s also a great spot for birdwatchers during migratory seasons.
Kizhunna Ezhara Beach
A less crowded, twin beach bordered by beautiful red cliffs and lush greenery, offering a peaceful retreat for those looking to escape the bustle of the city.
St. Angelo Fort (Kannur Fort)
Built by the first Portuguese Viceroy of India, Don Francisco de Almeida in 1505. This laterite fort offers panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and a glimpse into the colonial struggles between the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British.
Dedicated to Arakkal family, the only Muslim royal family in Kerala. The museum showcases their rich heritage and contribution to the region’s history. It includes artifacts, furniture, and documents that belonged to the Arakkal Ali Rajas.
The lighthouse provides a picturesque view of the surrounding areas, including the Arabian Sea and the palm-fringed beaches. It’s one of the best places in Kannur to catch a sunset.
Theyyam is a ritualistic performance where dancers embody mythological and divine spirits. It’s a spectacular sight, and visitors can witness these performances in various temples and sacred groves in the region, mainly between October and May.
Handloom and Weaving Cooperatives
Kannur is known for its handloom industry. Visitors can tour the weaving cooperatives to see the skilled craftsmanship behind the making of traditional Kerala sarees and other handloom products.
Parassinikkadavu Snake Park
It’s a conservation and research center for snakes and is home to a wide variety of snakes and other reptiles. The park’s aim is to educate the public about the importance of these creatures.
Madayi Kavu Temple
The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali and is renowned for its traditional Kerala architecture and the annual Theyyam festivals.
A prominent Shiva temple in Kannur, known for its architectural beauty and historical significance. It was constructed by the renowned sage Parasurama.
Sri Rajarajeswara Temple
It’s an ancient Shiva temple associated with numerous legends and considered one of the most important Shaivite shrines in India.
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
It’s a haven for nature lovers and trekkers, with numerous species of flora and fauna. The sanctuary is set on the slopes of the Western Ghats and offers opportunities for wildlife spotting, bird watching, and trekking.
The highest peak in Kannur, Paithalmala is a trekker’s paradise. It offers a panoramic view of the Western Ghats and is a great spot for photography enthusiasts.
Anjarakandy Cinnamon Estate
Once the largest cinnamon estate in Asia, it’s now a place to see how cinnamon is grown and processed. It also narrates the story of the spice trade that was pivotal to the region's economy.
Kottiyoor Shiva Temple
Located amidst lush forests, this temple is a part of a protected forest area and known for the annual Vaisakha festival which attracts thousands of pilgrims.
Kannur City Center
It’s the perfect place for shopping and dining. With a mix of local and branded stores, the city center reflects the growing urban lifestyle in Kannur.
Cliff Walkway at Payyambalam
A recently developed tourist attraction that offers a beautiful walkway along the cliff overlooking the beach, providing visitors with a scenic pathway to enjoy the sea breeze and views.
Water Sports in Ezhimala Beach
Ezhimala Beach is becoming a hotspot for water sports enthusiasts. Activities like parasailing, jet-skiing, and banana boat rides are becoming increasingly popular.
Paragliding at Muzhappilangad Beach
For adventure seekers, paragliding facilities are available, offering an exhilarating experience with an aerial view of the long coastline and the blue waters.
Kannur's coastal location means there's an abundance of fresh seafood. Trying out the local preparations of fish curry, prawn masala, and squid fry is a must for any food lover.
Traditional Kerala Cuisine
Savor the taste of traditional Kerala meals served on a banana leaf, which include a variety of vegetarian dishes made with local spices and coconut.
Snack on Local Delicacies
Try snacks like 'Kuzhalappam', 'Unnakkaya', and 'Chatti Pathiri', which are unique to the Malabar region and reflect the confluence of different cultural influences.
Sweet lovers should try the famous Kannur Halwa, a local confection that comes in different flavors like coconut, banana, and rice.
These are not to be missed if you’re visiting during the season. The festivals occur at various temples, and the schedules are often available for tourists.
Utsavam or Annual Temple Festivals
Almost all temples in Kannur have an annual festival that includes processions, traditional music, and fireworks. These festivals are lively and colorful, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the region.
An important historical and cultural site, it also offers opportunities for ecotourism with its rich biodiversity and the naval academy at its base.
The backwaters here offer a quieter, more intimate experience compared to other parts of Kerala. You can take a boat ride through the serene waters and explore the small islands.
Kerala is a state located in the southwestern region of India. Known as "God"s Own Country," Kerala is renowned for its scenic beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diverse cuisine. The state is known for its palm-lined beaches, backwaters, and network of canals, which make it a popular destination for tourists. Kerala"s capital is Thiruvananthapuram, and its official language is Malayalam.The state"s economy is largely driven by agriculture, tourism, and remittances from Keralites working abroad. The state has a high literacy rate and is known for its progressive social policies, including the implementation of the first democratically elected communist government in the world in 1957.
Kannur is a beautiful city situated in the northern part of Kerala. Known for its beaches, forts, and temples, Kannur is a popular tourist destination in Kerala. One of the main attractions in Kannur is the St. Angelo Fort, which was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The fort offers a stunning view of the Arabian Sea and is a perfect spot to watch the sunset. Another popular attraction is the Muzhappilangad Beach, which is the only drive-in beach in Kerala. Tourists can drive on the beach and enjoy the stunning view of the sea. Kannur is also famous for its traditional art forms like Theyyam, a ritualistic dance form performed in temples.
Palakkayam Thattu is located in Kannur near the Western Ghats at an altitude of about 3350 feet above sea level. It is one of the most visited hill stations in the state of Kerala. Surrounded by dense forests and many hills, this hill station is very popular among trekking enthusiasts. Palakkayam Thattu is a natural paradise for nature lovers that offers astounding serenity. If you want to escape from the everyday hustle and bustle of your life, then this hill station is the perfect place for you.
One of the most historic sites in Kannur, the St. Angelo Fort was constructed by the first Portuguese Viceroy of India. The fort is triangular in shape and appears as a huge huge grand structure, which stands on the edge of the sea. Laterite walls made of stone serve to make it even more airy. This fort is a must visit destination for architecture students. The sea wall separating the fort from the sea provides breathtaking views of Mopila Bay.
Kannur Lighthouse, situated at a height of 75 feet, is the first lighthouse to be built in Kerala. First constructed in 1903, this place has history as well as cultural significance. This lighthouse offers splendid and awe-inspiring views of the vast expanse of the Arabian Sea, Baby Beach and the entire district of Kannur. Here tourists can take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and enjoy the water fountain show in the evening.
Situated at an altitude of 286 metres, Ezhimala hill is one of the most attractive Kannur tourist places. Ezhimala is a part of a separate group of hills and offers natural beauty from all around. This place also has cultural and historical importance. This place was a battlefield during the Chola-Chera wars. Buddhists consider this place sacred as it is believed that Lord Buddha visited Ezhimala.
Adorned with a sheet of golden sand, this beach is a major attraction of Kannur. Payyambalam Beach is one of the most popular places in India. It is one of the beautiful beaches in Kerala and has a unique aura. You can come here to relax and spend some time with nature. To reach the beach, you have to cross a small bridge which is built over a narrow canal. On the right side of the bridge you can see many important monuments of political figures. The shore side is adorned with palm trees, which not only add to the natural element here but also make it look even more pristine. You can also enjoy adventurous activities like swimming and boating at this beach. There is a one kilometer long walkway which has been built recently along this beach. You can use it to take a walk on the beach and feel the cool breeze and the sound of the waves.