Kannur is a land with a resonantpast. Myths and legends abound. The ships of Solomon, they say anchored along our coasts to collect timber for building the ‘Temple of the Lord’. Kannur finds mention as NAURA in the ‘Periplus of the Erithrean Sea’ a Greek work of great antiquity.
Kannur is a major railway station on Shornur - Mangalore line. By road Kannur is 155 KMs south of Mangalore and 535 KMs north of Thiruvananthapuram. The nearest Airport is at Calicut which is 110 KMs south and Mangalore Airport is 170KMs north.
Kannur district derived its name from location of its headquarters at Kannur town. The old name Cannanore is the anglicized form of Malayalam word Kannur. According to one opinion, 'Kannur' is a derivation of Kanathur, an ancient village, the name of which survives even today in one of the wards of Kannur municipality. Another version is that Kannur might have assumed its name from one of the deities of the Hindu pantheon, a compound of two words, Kannan (Lord Krishna) and Ur (Place) making it the place of Lord Krishna. In this context, it is well worth mentioning that the deity of Kadalayi Sri Krishna temple was originally installed in a shrine at Kadalayikkota in south eastern part of present Kannur town.
Kannur district derived its name from the location of its headquarters at Kannur town.The old name 'Cannanore' is the anglicised form of the Malayalam word Kannur. According to one opinion, 'Kannur' is a derivation from Kanathur, an ancient village, the name of which survives even today in one of the wards of Kannur Municipality.
Anotherversion is that Kannur might have assumed its name from one of the , deities of the Hindu pantheon, a compound of two words, Kannan (Lord Krishna) and Ur (place)making it the placeof Lord Krishna. In this context, it is worth mentioning that the deity of the Katalayi Sreekrishna temple was originally installed in a shrine at Katalayi Kotta in the south eastern part of the present Kannur town.
There is no evidence of the Paleolithic man having lived in this region. Nevertheless, rock-cut caves and megalithic burial sites of the Neolithic age have come to light in certain parts of the district. The Thaliparamba-Kannur- Thalassery area abounds in rock-cut caves, dolments, burial stone circles and menhirs, all of megalithic burial order. It can be assumed that the first batch of Aryan immigrants into the State entered the district through the Tuluva region.
Mooshaka Kings and Kolathiris
Early in the 9th century A.D., the Cheras re-established their political supremacy in Kerala under Kulasekhara Varman. This second line of Chera emperors ruled till 1102 A.D with their capital at Mahodayapuram. The bulk of the area, comprising of the present Kannurdistrict, seems to have been included in this empire. A separate line of rulers known as the Mooshaka kings held sway over Chirakkal and Kasaragod areas (Kolathunad) with their capital near Mount Eli. It is not clear whether this line of rulers were attached to Mahodayapura fi or whether they ruled as an independant line of kings in their own right. By the 14th century A.D., the old Mooshaka kingdom had come to be knownas Kolathunad and the rulers known as Kolathiris and had come into prominence in north Kerala.
The Kolathiris were a power to reckon with at the time of the arrival of the portuguese towards the end of the 15th century .They were political and commercial rivals of the Zamorins of Kozhikkode.
During the medieval age, several Arab scholars visited the west coast. Baliapatam, Srikantapuram, Dhharrnadom, Bekal and Mount Eli (Ezhimala) are s ome of the places. which figure prominently in their travelogues.
Vasco Da Gama
Though Vasco Da Gamma, the famous portuguese navigator, did not visit Kannur on his way to Kozhikkode in May 1498, he established contacts with the Kolathiri ruler. His ships which had left Kozhikkode on August 29, 1498 were contacted by the boats sent by the Kolathiri and Gama was invited to visit the palace. The aim of the Kolathiri was to gain wealth and power with the help of the Portuguese, the same way the Zamorin had acquired with the help of the Arabs. In winning the alliance of the Kolathiri, Vasco Da Gamma, in turn, had successfully exploited the jealousies of the native princes and won for the Portuguese ;a virtual monopoly of the pepper trade.
Francisco De Almedia was sent from Portugal with specific instructions to erect forts at stratetgic points. He started constructing the Kannur Fort in 1505 and it was named St. Angelo.
On March 16, 1506, the Portuguese effectively intercepted an armada of Turks and Arabs, whom the Zamorin had launched against Kannur. The Portuguese navy under Lorenzo Almedia engaged the Zamorin's fleet in battle and the Portuguese ships won a decisive victory . This naval victory resulted in the establishment of Portuguese naval supremacy in the Indian seas.
An important political development which took place at this juncture was the alliance between the Kolathiri and the Zamorin who were till then sworn enemies. The Zamorin was able to convince the Kolathiri of the real motives of the Portuguese in India and the perils inherent in his policy of befriending them.
The Portuguese followed a policy of religious persecution and forcible conversion. They therefore clashed with most of the native princes and chieftains. In 1558, the Kolathiri came openly into the field against the Portuguese by providing active support to the Kunjali Marrikkars of Kozhikkode. The Kolathiri and the Zamorin fought a common war against the Portuguese and they besieged the fort of St.Angelo at Kannur, in 1564. But the portuguese continued to maintain a precarious foothold at Kannur till 1663 when the fort was captured by the Dutch in February that year .
Arrival of the English East India company
The English East lndia Company got its first foothold in the district towards the closing years of the 17th century , when it acquired a site at Thalassery for the erection of a fort and a factory .
The distemgration of the Kolathiri’s dominion started in the latter half of the 17th and the beginnng of the 18th century following dissensions in the royal family by the extensive surrender of territory to consorts of the ruling members.
In spite of the many difflculties it had to face in the initial stages, the trade of the English East India Company prospered during the latter part of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century, by their liberal trade policies. Further, unlike the portuguese, they refused to interfere in the religious and caste affairs of the local population.
In 1725, the French captured Mayyazhi and renamed it as Mahe in honour of the French captain Francois Mahe De Labourdonnais.
The most important episode in the political history of north Kerala in the second half of the 18th century is the conquest of Mysore by the two muslim rulers, Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan. Haidar Ali conquered Malabar in 1773.
In January 1788, Tippu Sultan descended on Kerala with a large army and founded a new capital at Feroke for his Malabar province.
The treaties of Seringapatanam, signed on February 22 and March 18, 1792, formally ceded Malabar to the British.
The British entered into agreements with the rajas of Chirakkal, ~ ; Kottayam and Kadathanand and all of them acknowledged the full I sovereignty of the Company over their respective territories.
The British Government divided the province of Malabar into two administrative divisions -the Northern and Southern, presided over by a superintendent each at Thalassery and Cherpulasseri, under the general control of the supervisor and chief magistrate of the province of Malabar who had his headquarters at Kozhikkode.
Kannur District has played an emportent rol in all the political movements of recent times. The Indian National Congress, which was founded in 1885, captured the attention of the people of this district from Kannur district has played an important role in all the political movements its very inception. A district committee came into existence in Malabar in 1908. A branch of the All India Home Rule League, founded by Dr.Annie Beasant, functioned in Thalassery during this period and among its active workers was V .K. Krishna Menon.
The decision of the Nag pur Congress to give up constitutional methods of agitation and resort to Non- Violent Non Co-operation as a means of achieving Swaraj, led to widespread boycott of foreign goods, courts of law and educational institutions in Kannur .
Mahatma Ghandhi and Maulana Shaukat Ali toured the district to carry the message of the Non-Co-operation and Khilaphat Movements. The Khilaphat movement coincided with the famous Malabar Rebellion of 1921 which was put down by the British with an iron hand.
The tourism potential for Kannur district is high. The St. Angelos Fort in the Kannur Cantonment, which was constructed in 1505, is a symbol of Portuguese architecture and attracts plenty of tourists. The Thalassery Fort is an important tourist centre. Kannur beach and Ezhimala are known for scenic beauty. Places of historic importance, like the house of
Gulldert, who composed the first Malayalm- English Dictionary and the mosque at Madayi
constructed in 1124, using marble brought from Mecca attract many tourists.
Fort St. Angelos
Fort St. Angelos 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, on a promontory jutting into the Lakshadweep sea. The Dutch captured the fort in 1663 and sold it to the Ali Raja of Kannur in 1772 and in 1790 it came into the possession of the British. The British rebuilt it and made it their most important station in Malabar . This fort is in a fairly good state of preservation, though parts of it have collapsed. A few obsolete guns areseeh at the place. The fort is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India.
The British arrived in Thalassery in 1683 and errected a goods shed there. They shifted their ommercial capital to Thalassery from Kozhikkode, following obstruction from the Dutch. In 1700, the British built the Thalassery Fort on a small hill called Tiruvellapadkunnu and in 1708, it was strengthened by increasing its height and with bastions. The fort is square structure built of laterite and is distinguished by its massiv ventilated walls and strong flanking bastions. It was here that Raider' captain was imprisoned.The famous St. John's Anglican church is behind this fort.
(15.K.M from Kannur and 8 K.M from Thalasseri)
Black rocks protect this long ,clean beach from the currents of the deep, making it shallows waters a swimmer's paradise.Perhaps this is Keralas only drive- in beach. Where you can drive entire length of 4 K.m .
Payyambalam Beach Resort
The Payyambalam beach is one of the beautiful beaches in this State and is an ideal place to spend evenings, irrespepcti ve of seasons. It is very near Kannur town. ,The mortal remains or' Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pilla, A.K. Gopalan, K.P. Gopalan, Pamban Madhavan and K.G. Marar are laid to rest near this resort.
Ezhimala, the capital of the ancient Mooshika kings, is considered to be an ancient historical site. It is a onspicuous,isolated cluster of hills, forming a promontory, 38 kms. north of Kannur.
A flouriIshing sea port and centre of trade in ancient Kerala, it was one of the major battle fields of the Chola-Chera war of the II th century .I It is believed that Lord Budha had visited Ezhimala. An old mosque, believed to contain the mortal remains of Shaikh Abdul Latif, a Muslim retormlst, is also located here. The hill is noted for rare medicinal herbs. Bordered by sea on three sides, Ezhimala is set to occupy a prominent place in the naval history of the country, consequent to the proposal for ommissioning the N.aval Academy here.
(29 K.M from Kannur) : This renowned centre for arts and culture at New Mahe conduct courses in painting, sclpture,music, dance and pottery.
(37K.M. east of kannur ) : An ideal retreat for rourists ,the damsite is famous for its scenic beauty. The D.T.P.C provides pleasure boating faciliaties at the reservoir. Accommodation is available at the Project Inspection Bungalow and its dormitories.
( 65 km from Kannur Town ): This enchanting hill station ,situated 4,500 ft. above sea level near the Kerala - Karnataka border ,is rich in flora and fauna. It is a 6 km trek to the top of the hills.
(20.K.M.from Kannur, near Thalasseri twon on the national high way at Illikunnu):Dr; Herman Gundert ,the revered German Missionary, scholar,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 Rajyasamacharam took shape.
Snake Park at Parassinikkadavu
The Snake Park at Parassinikkadavu is situated 18 kms. Away from Kannur town. It Is one of the known snake parks in the country . The park is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of snakes, most of which are becoming extinct gradually. There is a large collection of poisonous and non-poisonous snakes.
Moppila Bay is a natural fishing harbour, lying near Fort St. Angelos. A sea wall projecting from the fort separates the rough sea and inland water. The bay was famous during the Kolathiris' regime as a commercial harbour that linked Kolathunadu with Lakshadweep and foreign countriea, in imports. Today , Mopilla bay has turned into a modernised fishing harbour, developed under the Indo-Norwegian Pact.
Kannur district lies between latitudes 11° 40' to 12° 48' North and longitudes 74° 52' to 76° 07' East. The district is bound by the Western Ghats in the East (Coorg district of Karnataka State), Kozhikkode and Wayanad districts, in the South, Lakshadeep sea in the West and Kasaragod, the northern most district of Kerala, in the North.The district can be divided into three geographical regions - highlands, midlands and lowlands.The highland region comprises mainly of mountains. This is the area of major plantations like coffee, rubber, tea, cardamom and other spices. Timber trees like teak, veetty, etc are grown in plenty in this region.The midland region, lying between the mountains and the low lands, is made up ofundulating hills and valleys. This is an area of intense agricultural activity.The lowland is comparatively narrow and comprises of rivers, deltas and seashore. This is a region of coconut and paddy cultivation.
The district has a humid climate with an oppressive hot season from March to the end of May. This is followed by the South-West monsoon which, continues till the end of September. October and November formflthe post-monsoon or retreating monsoon season. The North East monsoon which follows, extends upto the end of February, although the rain generally ceases after December.During the months of April and May, the mean daily maximum temperature is about 35° celsius. Temperature is low in December and January -about 200 celsius. On certain days the night temperature may go down to 16° celsius.The annual average rainfall is 3438 mm and more than 80 percent of it occurs during the period of South -West monsoon. The rainfall during July is very heavy and the district receives 68 per cent of the annual rainfall during this season.
Kannur district is very rich in vegetation. Natural vegetation, I except in some coasta1.regions, consists of different types offorests. But, I' in spite of generally favourable climatic conditions, vegetation is not , j uniform. In restricted regions, with their own micro climate or special , ( I' edaphic features, plant formations assume different characters. Thus, I plant communities, ranging from psammophytes and mangroves to r evergreen forests are seen in this district The coastal region is a comparatively narrow zone, characterised by secondary soil which is rather loose and sandy. The serile sandy tract supports only a poor vegetation of the psammophyte type. Plants are few and mostly prostrate. Erect species are small and short. Owing to very poor water holding capacity of the soil, these plants are provided with special xerophytic adaptations. Another conspicuous feature of this area is the mangrove vegetation, found at the estuaries of rivers and backwaters, and often extending to the interior along their banks. Human interference has much changed the vegetation of the coastal region. Major part of the district comes under midland region with numerous hills and dales and it presents an undulating surface gradually ascending and merging into the slopes of Western Ghats. Soil is secondary and lateritic with underlying rock of laterite or disintegrated greiss. T.epical flora of this area is a most deciduous forest consisting of a mixture of evergreen and deciduous trees. Undergrowth consists of a variety of annuals and perennials. The mountains are a continuation of the midland region, gradually ascending to the main ridge of the Western Ghats. Soil in the western slopes is a ferrugenous red, sandy loam. Vegetation over the whole area is of the forest type. Irregular distribution of teak, localised areas of bamboo dominanace, change of good quality forest into open grass lands, etc are characteristic.
The geological formations in the district are of Archean and recent age. Archean formations comprise of greisses and charrockiates. ! Recent formations are alluvium and laterite. Archeans occupy the midland and highland regions of the district having rock types of basic charrockiates and hornblende-biotite greiss. The remaining portions in the coastal area are covered by laterite, alluvium, lime-sheUs, lignified woods, etc. Archean formations like foliated horn-blende-biotite greiss (gray or white in colour) is one of the main rock types in the northern portion of the district. Recent formations like laterite is developed on a limited scale along the coastal areas.
Mangalore To Kannur ................ 155kms
Kozhikode To Kannur ................ 92kms
Mysore To Kannur ................... 185kms
Cochin To Kannur ................... 310kms
Bangalore To Kannur ................ 324kms
Thiruvananthapuram To Kannur ....... 535kms
Mumbai To Kannur .................. 1215kms
ASST. COMMISSIONER .............. 0497-2706695 0484-2204019
KANNUR I RANGE .................. 0497-2707974 0497-2741029
KANNUR II RANGE ................. 0497-2707974 0497-2704477
KANNUR III RANGE ................ 0497-2707974 0497-2705939
BALIAPATTOM RANGE ............... 0497-2707974 0497-2708380
WIP RANGE ....................... 0497-2707972 0497-2708380
TELLICHERRY RANGE ............... 0490-2321398 0495-2390925
KANHANGAD RANGE ................. 0499-2704775 0481-2596307
TALIPARAMBA RANGE ............... 0490-2203044 0497-2787027
MANJESWAR RANGE ................. 0499-2872003 0497-2835699
KASARGOD RANGE .................. 0499-2430948 0496-2522801
District Collector &
District Magistrate ............. 04972700243
Dy. Collector (General) &
Addl. Dist. Magistrate .......... 04972700577
Finance Officer ................. 04972700592
Revenue Divisional Officer ...... 04902343500
Deputy Collector(RR) ............ 04972700645
Deputy Collector(LR) ............ 04972700225
Deputy Collector(LA) ............ 04972700225
Deputy Collector(Election) ...... 04972709140
Tehsildar, Thaliparamba Taluk ... 04602203142
Tehsildar, Kannur Taluk ......... 04972704969
Tehsildar, Thalassery Taluk ..... 04902343813
Railway Station ................. 04972701160 04972705555
Railway Station Payyannur ....... 04985203078
Railway Station Thalassery ...... 04902322250
KSRTC Kannur .................... 04972705960
KSRTC Payyannur ................. 04985203062