Today I will share my experience on the top things to do in Kannur, situated in the state of Kerala, India.
My first trip to Kannur was from Mysore and it remains a memorable one. The nearly six-hour journey by bus through the picturesque landscapes of Mysore-Hunsur-Gonikoppal-Kannur was totally enjoyable.
Kannur is a historically and mythologically important district in Kerala. Roaming around the places, one of the factors that caught my attention was the relaxed rhythm of lifestyle in the region which may have a lot to do with the landscape, nature and less technological intervention. At the same time, you can hardly not notice the affection and hospitality of the people in the district.
Since I had planned only for a two-day trip, my friends were kind enough to jam-pack my schedule to take me to as many places as possible.
It is a small village situated nearly 15 km away from Kannur town. The place is famous for Sri Muthappan Temple on the banks of the Valapattanam River. Visiting Parassinikkadavu is one of the best things to do in Kannur.
Luckily for me, we reached just on time to witness the day’s Theyyam performance. I came to know this was the only Hindu Temple in Kerala where a Theyyam performance is a daily ritual offering.
Just a couple of kilometers from there and you can visit the Parassinikkadavu Snake Park. It is the conservation and preservation center for many varieties of snakes that are endangered. Along with the venomous and non-venomous snakes, the park also houses different species of birds and small animals in different enclosures.
In about 90 minutes you can cover both these spots.
If you are someone excited by the sea and beaches, you are at the best place. Strolling around the magnificent beach sides is one of the exotic things to do in Kannur.
Almost an hour’s drive from the city and you will hit the sands of the mesmerizing beach of Choottad in Pazhayangadi. Located beautifully by the sides of Ezhimala, the beach offers a revitalizing experience. With the children’s park and boating facilities on offer, the long stretch of beach is a worth visiting location.
The Muzhappilangad Beach is the only drive-in beach in Kerala. The serene atmosphere and clear waters attract many swimmers to the beach. The coastline of the beach is home to mussels thanks to the black rock formations. The beach is also famous for different species of birds that flock in during different seasons.
Payyambalam beach is certainly a worth visiting place as a family thanks to the activities offered there like water skiing, parasailing, and boat rides. It could also be crowded for the same reason.
In about 30 minutes’ drive from the town, you can reach Thottada Beach. If you are not bored by beaches keep travelling to The Meenkunnu Beach, The Kizhunna Ezhara Beach, and Dharmadam Island, also known as the Green Island.
Flora and fauna
Paithalmala and lesser-known Palakkayam Thattu are not very far from each other. Both these hilltops will delight nature lovers. The scenic view enveloped in fog can give memories of Munnar or Ooty. Besides that, both these places are known to grow several rare herbs and are homes to many species of birds and animals. It is better to hike the hill in the wee hours. Hiking and Trekking along the hilly trails are considered as one of the challenging things to do in Kannur.
Nearly 90 minutes’ drive from the city center and you can reach the Aaralam Wildlife Sanctuary. With the necessary permit and assistance from the forest department, you can drive or trek through the jungle which is home to diverse flora and fauna including bison, sambar deer, elephants, boar, and different kinds of monkeys, birds, squirrels, and butterflies.
Ever enjoyed getting socked in a waterfall? The best things to do in Kannur involve visiting the spectacular waterfalls. The most popular in the district are Ezharakund, Kudiyanmala, Palchuram and Alakapuri Waterfall. Get set to get wet but with safety measures.
Forts and museums
St. Angelo Fort is a majestic monument from the history book of AD1500. It was built by the Portuguese, and later occupied by the Dutch and finally by the English. It was later sold to Ali Raja of Kannur. The Fort continues to be the center of attraction in Kannur town. Walking past the fort walls and admiring its beauty is one of the popular things to do in Kannur.
From the Fort, you can move to Arakkal Museum which is not very far away. The museum unravels the history of the only Muslim royal family of Kerala from the pre-independent era. The centuries-old palace has been renovated and converted into a heritage museum now where you can see swords, pottery, paintings, olden telescope, etc. from the ancient days.
A forty-five minutes’ drive will take you to Thalassery Fort. In 1703, the British East India Company built the formidable monument with secret tunnels and massive bastions. However, most of the tunnels are now closed to the public for safety reasons.
Thalassery Pier popularly known as Kadalpalam is located in Thalassery town. Built by the British in 1910 for transporting commodities to and from ships, the bridge extends out into the Arabian Sea. Despite the wear and tear, it still is a stable and popular spot for visitors and photographers.
Kannur Light House Museum is only the second of its kind in the state of Kerala. It is an edifying experience to climb the steps to the top of the lighthouse.
Best time to visit Kannur
With monsoon comes refreshing green looks everywhere and full-flowing waterfalls. From July to December you would enjoy travelling across the district.
How to reach Kannur?
The international airport is situated almost forty-five minutes’ drive away from the city. Mangalore and Kozhikode airports are also other options.
Kannur is well connected to all the major cities of India by railway. Even by road, you can visit Kannur from all major cities of the country.
Read more about Kerala in our Travel and Living Section
A Travel enthusiast and Foodie, craving to explore the intricate beauty of nature and its gift of delectable treats. Pens down his thoughts and experiences to present a delightful journey for his readers