Attractions

Malabar is a region of southern India, lying between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. The coast runs from south of Goa to Cape Comorin on India’s southern tip. The Malabar Coast features a number of historic port cities, notably Kannur, Kozhikode (Calicut), Thalasseri (Tellicherry), that have served as centers of the Indian Ocean trade for centuries. Malabar coast cities feel very cosmopolitan because of its orientation to the sea and to maritime commerce.

Theyyam

Theyyam Theyyam or Theyyattam is a popular Hindu ritual of worship in Malabar (North Kerala). As a living cult with several thousand-year old traditions, rituals and customs, it embraces almost all the sects and classes of the Hindu religion.

“There can be no doubt” say Bridget and Raymond Alchin, “that a very large part of this modern folk religion is extremely ancient and contains traits which originated during the earliest periods of Neolithic, Chalcolithic settlement and expression” (The Birth of Indian Civilization 1968 p.3039).

The theyyam dance is generally performed in front of the village Shrine. It is also performed in the houses as ancestor-worship with elaborate rites and rituals.

Such a cultural fusion or inter-action between the ‘little’ and ‘great’ cultures make Theyyam an interesting field of research for social scientists. Theyyam performance is a combination of playing of musical instruments, vocal recitations, dance, and peculiar makeup and costumes. Theyyam and its ritualistic observations make it one of the most fascinating arts of India.

Handloom

Handloom Kannur, the city is called Looms and Lores for its century old handloom industry. Also it is called ‘the Manchester of Kerala’. Handloom industry is the most important and the largest in the district. There are numerous handloom industries in and around the city of Kannur. The quality handloom products, locally known as Kaithari, are made by hand by the weavers with the help of handloom machines. The handloom cloths of Kannur have won international reputation. The main products are shirting, made-ups, jackquard, furnishing cloths, terry towels, satin cloths etc.

St. Angelo’s Fort

St. Angelo’s Fort St. Angelo’s Fort is a fort facing the Arabian Sea, situated 3 km from the town of Kannur, which is a most important historical monument of Malabar. The fort, with its massive walls, secret tunnels to the sea and intricately carved huge doors, is an imposing structure. It was built in 1505 by Dom Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy of India.

The fort changed hands several times. In 1663 the Dutch captured it and sold it to the Arakkal Royal Family in 1772. The British conquered it in 1790 and transformed it into one of their major military stations on the Malabar Coast. It is fairly well preserved as a protected monument and Archaeological Survey of India. Also, it is a major tourist attractions of Malabar where tourists are allowed enter the fort every day between 8 AM to 6 PM.

Rajarajeshwara Temple

Rajarajeshwara Rajarajeshwara Temple is a beautiful Shiva Temple located at Taliparamba in Kannur district. The temple is regarded as one of the 108 ancient Shiva temples of Kerala. It has a prominent place amongst the numerous Shiva temples in South India. Taliparamba is regarded as one of the ancient temples of South India.

The Shiva Linga here is believed to be thousands of years old. Legend has it that Shiva gave the sacred Shiva Linga to Parvati for worship and after searching all over, found Taliparamba the most sacred spot where the Shiva Linga was installed.

Rajarajeswara temple is being visited by thousands of Hindus for offering worship to Lord Shiva.

Thirunelli Temple

Thirunelli Thirunelli Temple is situated in north Wayanad about 98 km from Kannur. It is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The people belonging to the Hindu religion do their forefathers “Balikarma” in Papanasini River. Hindus believe that one who baths in this river gets relieved from all sins.

According to tradition, Lord Brahma was travelling by the Earth upon the Hamsa, when he became attracted by the beauty of the area now known as Brahmagiri Hill. Descending upon that spot, Brahma noticed and idol set in an Amla tree. Brahma recognized the idol as Lord Vishnu himself and the place as Vishnuloka. With the help of the Devas, Brahma installed the idol and called it Sahyamala Kshetra. At Brahma’s request Vishnu promised that the waters of the area would wash away all sins. (Thus, the spring and river near the temple is called Papanasini “Washes away all sins”) It is also a place of charming silent beauty which attracts tourists for a long time.

Pakshipathalam, Wayanad

(1740m above sea level)

The very name of the place refers to its large population of birds.

Pakshipathalam Wayanad, the northern hill district of Malabar (north Kerala) is covered with dense, moist deciduous forests teeming with elephants, tigers, jungle cats, civets, bison, beacocks, wood peckers and numerous other animals and birds. Here virgin forests, rivulets and steep hills together offer challenging avenues for trekking. Pakshipathalam, a cave Rishis (Saints) are believed to have used for meditation in ancient times, has become a major attraction for tourists.

Snake Park (Parassinikkadavu)

The snake park is a famous landmark of Kannur which is about 16 km away from Kannur town.

The park is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of snakes, many species of which are gradually becoming extinct. It has a large variety of snakes and other small animals, including the spectacled Cobra, King Cobra, Russell’s viper, Krait and various pit vipers. There is a large collection of non-poisonous snakes including pythons.

In a live show trained personnel play and interact with a variety of snakes, including cobras and vipers, and try to quell mythical fears and superstitions about snakes. It has also been proposed that a laboratory to extract venom from snakes for the purposes of research be set up here. The snake park is regularly visited by both foreign and domestic tourists.

Edakkal Caves

Edakkal Caves Edakkal Caves may date back over 8000 years ago. Evidence indicates that the Edakkal caves had been inhabited at several different times in history. Inside the caves there are pictorical writings believed to be from neolithic man, evidence of the presence of prehistoric civilization existing in this region. Such stone-age carvings are very rare and these are the only known examples in southern India. The carvings are of human and animal figures, as well as of tools used by humans and symbols, suggesting they were created by a highly civilized prehistoric people. Approximate time required to climb till top of the hill and down is 3-4 hours.

Edakkal Caves, the anthropological and historical site has become a popular tourist attraction of the Malabar.

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is an animal sanctuary in Wayanad, Kerala. Wild animals such as Indian Bison, elephants, deer, and tiger have been spotted. There are also quite a few wild birds in the sanctuary Peacocks and Peafowl tend to be very common in the area. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala which comes under Protect Elephant, where you can spot herd of elephants roaming in the area. Elephant rides are arranged by the Forest Department. Discovering and observing the wildlife while being atop an elephant is an enthralling and unforgettable experience.

Ranipuram

Ranipuram Ranipuram is a hill station located within Kasargod District of Kerala. There are two trekking routes available through the South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests. Part of the way the climb is assisted by cut steps. The ambiance of the forest trail is remarkable and once you reach the grass covered hilltop the view is superb. This is unexplored territory for the nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers.

Arakkal Museum

Arakkal Museum Arakkal Museum is a museum dedicated to the Arakkal family, the only Muslim Royal family in Kerala, which is located in Ayikkara, about 2-3 kilometers from Kannur Town. The museum is a section of the Arakkalkettu (Arakkal Palace). The durbar hall section of the palace has been converted into museum by the Government of Kerala. The Government had taken a keen interest in preserving the heritage of the Arakkal Family, which had played a prominent roll in the history of Malabar.

Bekal Fort

Bekal Fort is the biggest fort in Kerala, spreading over 40 acres (160,000 m2).

Bekal fort Bekal fort served an important military station of Tipu Sultan when he led the great military expedition to capture Malabar. The death of Tipu Sultan in Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799 saw the end of Mysorean control and subsequently the fort came under the British East India Company. The fort appears to have built up from the sea since almost three fourth of its exteriors drenched and the waves stroke the citadel. The zigzag entrance and the trenches around the fort show the defense strategy connected with the fort. The holes on the outer walls of the fort are specially designed to defend the fort effectively. The holes at top are meant for aiming at the farthest points; the holes below are meant for hitting when the enemy is nearer and the holes underneath facilitate attacking when the enemy is very near to the fort. This is a remarkable evidence of medieval technology in defense strategy.

Presently the protection and preservation of Bekal fort has been entrusted to the Archaeological Survey of India.

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