Kannur , formerly known as Cannanore, is a city and a Municipal Corporation in Kannur district, state of Kerala, India. It is the administrative headquarters of the Kannur District and situated 518 km north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. During British rule in India, Kannur was known as Cannanore, which is used now only by the Indian Railways. It is largest city of the North Malabar region.
Kannur district is known as the land of Looms and Lores. Kannur is famous for its pristine beaches, Theyyam, its native performing art, and its handloom industry. Kannur is of great strategic military importance in India. Kannur Cantonment is the headquarters of the Defence Security Corps and Territorial Army’s 122 Infantry Battalion (under Madras Regiment). Ezhimala Naval Academy (INS) is 35 km north of Kannur City. It is Asia’s largest and the world’s third largest naval academy. An Indian Coast Guard Academy is approved to be built at Kannur. This academy will be built on the banks of Valapattanam River at Irinave, east of Azhikkal. Kannur Cantonment is one of the important cantonments in India.
The original city of Kannur was under Kerala’s only Muslim Royal dynasty called the Arakkal Sultanate and it was their capital. This area is still known as Kannur City. The border town of Kannur district named Mahe is still called French Mahe, because it was ruled by French and is under Pondicherry not under Kerala Government. The Portuguese built their first fort in Kannur, possibly because Kannur was their main target in India. Since Kannur was the biggest town in the western Indian Subcontinent, up to 200 years back, the city must have been well known outside India and become a target for the European traders. Kannur and its twin sister town Thalassery are well known for their distinct food dishes, which display an elegant combination of food styles from the native territory, as well as from the territories that traded with them.
St. Angelo Fort was built in 1505 by Dom Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy of India. The British conquered it in 1790 and used it as one of their major military stations on the Malabar Coast. During the 17th century, Kannur was the capital city of the only Muslim Sultanate in India, known as Arakkal. During the British Raj, Kannur was part of the Madras province in the North Malabar District.
The guerrilla war by Pazhassi Raja, the ruler of Kottayam province, against the British had a huge impact in the history of Kannur. Changes in the socio-economic and political sectors in Kerala during the initial decades of 20th century created conditions congenial for the growth of the Communist Party. Extension of English education initiated by Christian missionaries in 1906 and later carried forward by government, rebellion for wearing a cloth to cover upper parts of body, installing an idol at Aruvippuram in 1888, Malayali Memorial in 1891, establishment of SNDP Yogam in 1903, activities, struggles etc. became factors helpful to accelerate changes in Kerala society during a short time. Movements for liberation from the colonial rule of British imperialism and struggles launched by these movements grew with them.
Very soon, ideas about socialism and Soviet Revolution reached Kerala. Such ideas got propagated in Kerala through the works of Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pillai, Sahodaran Ayyappan, P. Kesavadev and others.By the beginning of the 1930s some other useful developments were taking place. Important among them was Nivarthana Agitation in Travancore. That was the demand of people suppressed so far as untouchables and weaker sections for participation in government. This brought to the forefront struggles like proportional representation in government and reservation of jobs. This imparted a new enthusiasm among oppressed masses.
- District: Kannur
- Governing Body: Kannur Municipal Corporation
- Taluk/Tehsil: Kannur
- Block: Kannur
- Assembly Constituency: Kannur
- Parliament Constituency: Kannur
- Police Station: Kannur
- Post Office: 670001
- Telephone Exchange: Kannur 0497
- Railway Station: Cannanore Railway Station (CAN)
According to the 2011 census of India, Kannur city has a population of 56,823. Males constitute 46.2% of the population and females 53.8%. Kannur has an average literacy rate of 96.23%, higher than the national average of 74.04%. Male literacy is 98% and female literacy is 94%. In Kannur, 12% of the population is under six years of age.
- St. Angelo Fort was built in 1505 by the first Portuguese Viceroy of India, Dom Francisco de Almeida.
- Payyambalam Beach is a famous Kannur beach with an unbroken coastline of a few kilometres. From the beach, one can see ships in transit along the Malabar Coast, from beyond Kozhikode moving towards Mangalore, Goa and Bombay (Mumbai). It contains a well laid out garden and the massive landscaped sculpture of mother and child erected by noted sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman. But it now lies vandalized by miscreants.
- Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach (4 km length) is in the state of Kerala in southwestern India. It is parallel to National Highway 66 (formerly National Highway 17) between Kannur and Thalassery.
- Arakkal Museum, in Ayikkara, is a museum dedicated to the Arakkal family, the only Muslim royal family in Kerala, South India. The museum is a section of the Arakkal Kettu (Arakkal Palace). The Durbar Hall section of the palace has been converted into a museum by the Government of Kerala. It was opened in July 2005 after a massive renovation and is managed by the Arakkal Family Trust.
- Baby Beach is so called because it is smaller than its larger neighbour, Payyambalam Beach. St. Angelo Fort is adjacent to it. The baby beach is part of the Kannur Cantonment and access may be restricted at times.
- Meenkunnu Beach is at Azhikode, just a few kilometres from the town.
- Mappila Bay in Ayikkara, near St. Angelo fort, is a major fishing harbor overlooking the Laccadive Sea.
- The Azhikkal Ferry operates near Azhikode, about 10 km from Kannur town, where the Valapattanam river joins the Laccadive Sea. The Azhikkal ferry gives a magnificent view of the sunset. There is a granite pathway here which stretches 2 km into the sea. Frequent passenger boats are available to Mattool, Parassinikkadavu and Valapattanam from here.
- Parassinikkadavu snake park-famous unique snake farm dedicated for the preservation and conservation of snakes is in Kannur.
- Aralam wildlife sanctuary is famous for elephant, sloth bear, mouse deer etc.
Kannur is assumed to have got the name, the Land of Krishna (Kannande uuru) because of Kadalai Shri Krishna Temple. Sri Rajarajeshwara temple, Parassinikadavu Sree Muthappan Temple and Annapurneshwari Temple, Payyannur Sree Subrahmanya swami temple, Trichambaram Temple and Madayi Kavu temple, are the famed temples of the region. The Sri Rajarajeshwara temple is a very important temple in South India, considering the fact, that the devaprasnam ritual, to astrologically determine the problems of most of the important South Indian temples is conducted here. Other temples:
- Kottiyoor Vadakkeshwaram Temple
- Kalarivathukkal Bhagavathy Temple
- Tiruvarkadu Bhagavathy Temple (a.k.a Madayi Kavu)
IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER
- Kannur is know as “Land of Loom and Lores ”
- It is called as ” The Land of Theyyam”
- It was formed on 1st January ,1957.
- The district having longest coastal area in Kerala is Kannur.
- Ezhimala Naval Academy Is located in Kannur.
- Pariyaram Medical College is in Kannur which is the first Co- operative Medical College in Kerala.
- Arakkal Dynasty was the only Muslim Dynasty of Kerala, which was ruled in Kannur.
- Thalassery in Kannur is know as the land of three C’S (ie Cricket , Cake , Circus).
- Aralam wildlife sanctuary in Kannur.
- Kelleri Kunji Kannan Master know as ‘the father of Kerala Circus’, who was the native of Thalassery.
- Payyambalam Beach is a famous burial ground in Kannur.
- Muzhappilangad Beach is located in Kannur. It is the only driving beach (4 km) in Kerala.
- Parassini Kadavu and Kottiyur are the important Hindu Pilgrim Centers of Kannur.
- Kottiyur is known as ‘the Dakshina Varanasi ‘
- Valapattanam River flowing through Kannur, which is the largest river in Kannur.
- Pazhassi Dam is located in Kannur.
- Kunchimangalam is know as ‘the Paradise of Brass Utensils’ .
- Central State Farm located in Aralam ,Where the seeds are producing in large scale.