Kannur is a picturesque city located in the southern state of Kerala, one of its northernmost districts. Earlier it was known as ‘Cannanore’ and some believe that its name actually refers to as the place of Lord Krishna as ‘Kannan’ in Malayalam refers to the Lord. It was a port town during the British regime and a hub of exports. Because of its rich historic heritage and many myths surrounding it, it is also known as the ‘crown of Kerala’. Kannur is a must-visit for there are many tourist destinations it has to offer including serene and lovely beaches, forts, monuments, churches, temples, museums and more. Below is a list of 5 places in Kannur that should be on any traveller’s must-see list.
1. Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach
It is one of the rare and best drive-in-beaches of not just India but the world. Located on the south side of Kannur, it is the only drive-in-beach in Kerala and there are no other beaches in the entire state with the distinction. You can enjoy a memorable drive in the beach as a stretch of 14 km is open to driving. Just hop into your car or bike, and enjoy a beautiful journey along one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Apart from the driving experience, you can also view many black rocks at the Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach.
It is a beautiful sight to watch the waves hit the rocks splashing water all around. With mild waves and shallow pools, it is also a fun beach to go for a swim. Walk, drive, swim or just lie on the rocks for a quiet time, the Muzhappilangad Drive-in beach is a place that serenades you with its beauty. The beach is good enough to visit any time of the year but October to May is the best time to visit.
2. Fort St. Angelos
If you visit Kannur and leave behind the historic Fort St. Angelos, then your visit is really incomplete. A gigantic fort located 3 km from Kannur, in triangular shape and built of laterite, Fort St. Angelos is also known as the Kannur Fort and was built by the Portuguese in 1505. The credit of building the fort goes to the first Portuguese Viceroy of India, Dom Francisco De Almeida.
The fort has seen many seizures and rules over the years. First, the Dutch captured it from the Portuguese rulers, then sold to the local ruler of Kannur, but later the British gained control over the fort and turned into one of their military stops in south India. Even today, it stands as a pride fort not showing any signs of its earlier conquests.
It is a protected monument today owing to its historical significance and the Archaeological Survey of India has taken over the fort for its conservation. From the fort, you can get a great view of the surrounding fishing bay and the sea.
3. Parassinikkadavu Snake Park
Situated 2 km from NH 17 and 16 km from Kannur, the Parassinikkadavu snake park is a must-visit destination for any tourist because of the several distinctions the park holds.
First, it is one of the rare parks in India that houses only snakes. You will find both poisonous and non-poisonous varieties here and was set up to preserve and conserve different species of snakes, many of which are listed under endangered species. Though called as a snake park, you will also find other reptiles and even birds here. The snakes are kept in glass cases and you will be able to have a close look. You can spot almost all varieties of snakes here, be it python, King Cobra, viper, krait and others.
You can also witness live shows on snakes at the Park. The park can be visited on all days from 9 am to 5.30 pm.
4. Arakkal Museum
The Arakkal dynasty was one of the rulers of the region, perhaps the only Muslim rulers ever to have ruled the region. The Arakkal museum, thus, is dedicated to the Arakkal dynasty and is present in the premises of the Arakkal Palace.
The Museum, opened to the public in 2005, is housed in the Durbar Hall of the palace. There are many exhibits here that will give you a glimpse into the spice trade and maritime actiivities of the earlier period.
There are also several items that are a tribute to the Arakkal family including the family seat of the dynasty, a storage chamber in the form of a storage bed, which was used to store food grains and known as pathayam, a wooden box used to store documents and so on. Swords, daggers and other weapons used by the Arakkals including an old type of telephone, along with copies of Quran are also exhibited.
5. Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
Situated on the western side of the Western Ghats and near the north border of Kerala, the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is spread around 55 sq km and consists of dense forests and has many evergreen and deciduous trees.
It also has many plantations of cashew nut, eucalyptus and others. Earlier, the region belonged to many private owners but it was taken over by the state government in 1984 to set up the Wildlife Sanctuary to protect the exotic flora and fauna of the region.
The Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is home to many wildlife species, including 23 species of mammals, 22 species of reptiles, 188 species of birds and more. You can also spot elephants, gaur, sambar, deer, and many other animals. Tigers are also present but a sighting may not be that easy.