Kannur has a refined palate. Countless delicacies like Thalassery Biriyani, 'Unnakkaya' (a sweet made of plantain), 'Neypathal' (a kind of rice pancake), 'Kalathappam' (a rice cake) etc. only begin to describe the endless list. It is also the place of 'Theyyam' (a kind of ritual art). Kannur still steadfastly follows the traditions and rituals typical of the Malabar region. Bordered on the east by the Western Ghats and on the west by the Arabian Sea, Kannur has colourful sights and leisure activities on offer, not to mention those signposts of its distinct cultural identity.
The youthful Paithalmala
Paithalmala is nature's treat for the trekkers. This nature's wonder is situated at about 65km from Kannur at Sreekandapuram. At an altitude of 4500 feet above the sea level and spread across an area of over 300 acres, it is rich in flora and fauna. One has to trek 6 km uphill to reach Paithalmala which presents many pleasant sights in the ambience of mist, gentle breeze and fluttering butterflies among other things. There is a dormitory and a tourist information centre in the nearby Kudiyanmala. Trekking is allowed between 8 am and 5pm. Phone: 0460-2219300.
The drive-in beach
Muzhappilangad Beach in Kannur is the only drive-in beach in Kerala. Vehicles can be taken close to the waves. This beach is at about 15km from the city. There is a drive-in stretch of 4km hugging the waves. A family outing in a four-wheeler along the line of waves enjoying the sea breeze will surely be a different experience. The beach has facilities for bathing and playing among the waves safely. Paragliding, parasailing etc. are also available here for those seeking bit of adventure. The beach-fest conducted during the holidays also attract plenty of tourists to Muzhappilangad beach.
The Kannur stories of yore
Much like Kasaragod, Kannur also has historically important attractions. The St.Angelo Fort and the Thalassery Fort are the main attractions that take the visitors on a historical trail. St.Angelo Fort, also known as the Kannur Fort is about 3km from the city. Constructed by the Portuguese in 1505, this Fort was an important garrison during the British regime.
The Thalassery Fort is at about 22km from the city. This fort, constructed in 1708 by the British takes the visitors back to the history of Thalassery which is also renowned for its distinct Malabar cuisine. The fort can be visited between 8 am and 6 pm free of charges. Phone: 0497-2732578.
The Dharmadam Island, at about 5km from Thalassery is a special place with rivers on three sides and the sea on the fourth. One can walk across to the island during low tide. That is the most important speciality of Dharmadam Island.
The Aralam wildlife sanctuary offers rare sights of the wild while the Arakkalkettu Museum opens the doors to the past. The Parassinikkadavu Temple, famous for 'Theyyam', is a window to the cultural heritage of Kannur. Kannur also has many other attractions like the Payyambalam Beach etc.
For more information, contact District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), phone: 0497-2706336, 2702515. Website: dtpckannur.com