Kasaragod is world-renowned for its coir and hand-loom industries. It is a region where three ‘dreamlands’ Kerala, Tulunadu and Coorg meet. The district has a coastline of around 29.3 kilometers and a very vast midland. It also consists of high mountain ranges like the Ranipuram-Kottancheri belt. The district is filled with rivers, hillocks, beaches, shrines and forts. Kasaragod District is unique for its linguistic culture is also known as “Sapta Bhasha Sangam Bhoomi” as seven major languages are spoken here.
Kasaragod has also been fatally affected by indiscriminate use of the pesticide Endosulfan. It’s a challenge of this district.
To its south lies Kannur District, to the South east is Kodagu district(Coorg) and to the north Dakshina Kannada district. All along its east it is walled by the Western Ghats while along the west the Laccadive Sea borders it.
The district, covering an area of around 1992 km2, has a population (2011 census) of 1,307,375 and has four taluks, namely,Kasaragod and Hosdurg (Kanhangad), Vellarikundu and Manjeshwaram Taluk. Major towns in Kasaragod district are Nileshwar,Kanhangad, Kasaragod, Uppala, Kumbla, cheruvathur and Trikaripur. It has three municipalities (Nileshwar Kasaragod, and Kanhangad and thirty-eight grama panchayats. The district is further sub-divided into six administrative segments called development blocks, namely, Manjeshwaram, Kasaragod, Kanhangad, and Nileshwaram, Parappa, Karadka. Like other districts of Kerala, Kasaragod district too has a high literacy rate, around 85.17% according to the 2001 census.
Kasaragod was known to the Arabs by the name Harkwillia. Many Arab travelers who visited Kerala between the 9th and the 14th centuries visited Kasaragod, which was an important trade centre then. Duarte Borbosa, the Portuguese traveler who visited Kumbla, near Kasaragod in 1514, recorded rice being exported for coir to Maldives.
Kasargod district is one of the rare districts in India which houses as many as 7 different languages (excluding dialects and tribal languages), with each spoken by a substantial number of people.
The principal and recognized administrative language here is Malayalam, Kannada and Tulu. The predominant language in Kasaragod is Malayalam. Tulu, Beary, Konkani and Kannada languages are also widely spoken here. Besides these, Marathi, Hindi and Urdu are also spoken by minorities. Kasaragod also has a sizable population of Havyaka Brahmins. The Malayalam spoken here has influences from Kannada and Tulu. Likewise, the Tulu and Kannada spoken here, are also influenced by Malayalam.
Kasaragod is often named as land of Lords and Forts and one of the most beautiful districts in Kerala state endowed with 9 rivers (out of a total of the 44 rivers that flow in Kerala), hills, beaches, backwaters, as well as temples, churches, mosques and forts.
- Bekal Fort – It is the biggest fort in Kerala today and is 14 km from Kanhangad and 15 km from Kasaragod town. The nearest railway station is Pallikere railway station, which is now called the Bekal Fort Railway Station, and the nearest airport is Mangalore Airport.
- Ananthapura Lake Temple, an ancient and attractive-looking temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
- Adhur, one of the natural spot in Kasaragod with large diversity of flora and fauna. Located on the shore of Payaswini River.
Ranipuram Wildlife sanctaury (50 km2, proposed)
In Panathady RF, the proposed Ranipuram Wildlife sanctuary / National park of Kanhangad forest range consists of various flora and fauna which are endemic to the Western Ghats and a yet to studied biodiversity hotspot. It merges with the Talacauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. Ranipuram hill station which falls in Panathady reserve forest is an ideal area to notify as a wildlife sanctuary/National park. Shola forest seen only here in this district. Elephants, leopards, deer, wild dogs, wild boars, macaques, jungle cats, leopard cats slender loris, porcupines, malabar giant squirrels, malabar civet cat, many species of birds, rare butterflies and medicinal plants are found in these forest.
Malom Wildlife Sanctuary
Malom Wildlife Sanctuary of the Vellarikundu region is popular among tourists for its tropical rainforest and many wild animals. The sanctuary is home to animals like wild pig, slender loris, rhesus monkey, flying squirrel and porcupine. The Malabar hornbill, peacock and grey-hornbill can also be seen in the sanctuary. Many animals like flying squirrel, bats, jungle cat, butterflies are living here. Encroachment, hunting in night, rampant tree felling and granite mining are the main threats.
Kasaragod played a prominent role in the National Movement for the freedom of the country. Mohammed Sherul Sahib and Kandige Krishna Bhat were the frontline leaders of the independence movement. Umesh Rao, kallige Mahbala Bhandari, Kayyara kinchanna Rai, Kumble Devappa Alva,. M. Krishnan Nambiar, Shreesankarji, Naranthatta Raman Nair, A. C. Kannan Nair, T. Gopalan Nair and Meloth Narayanan Nambiar were prominent freedom fighters.
The agrarian struggle to end the exploitation and oppression by landlords and chieftains were part of the National Movement. The Kadakom Sathyagraha was started following the arrest of Gandhiji in 1932. The Palayi Harvest Agitation (1941), Cheemeni Estate Struggle (1942), Kayyur Agrarian Riot (1944), Eleri Estate Agitation (1946), Karinthalam Paddy Seizure Revolt (1948) and many other struggles waged by the peasant organisations accelerated the tempo of the freedom movement. Besides the agitation of the peasants, the various struggles unleashed for the uplift of the scheduled castes and tribes also supported and enlivened the National Movement.
- Kanhangad (SC)
IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER
- The Northernmost district of Kerala.
- The second smallest district in Kerala.
- Lastly formed district in Kerala , was formed on 24th may 1984.
- Yakshaganam , a traditional artform of Kerala prevailed in Kasargod.
- It is know as the land of gods.
- It has most numbers of rivers in kerala.
- Chandragiri river is the largest river in kasaragod.
- Chandragiri Fort is located on the river side of the Chandragiri River it is built by Shivappa Naik.
- Neeleswaram is considered as the cultural Center of Kasaragod.
- Endosulfan pesticide largely infected on Kasaragod.
- It is the only district which produce Tobacco in Kerala.
- CPCRI (Central Plantation Crops Research Institute) situated Kumbala in Kasaragod It is founded in 1970 .
- Mayippadi Palace located in Kasaragod which was the Headquarters of Kumbala Rulers.
- Ananthapuram Water Temple is in Kasaragod.
- Malik Dinar Mosque is the famous worshiping place of Muslims in Kasaragod.
- Bekal fort is in Kasaragod is one of the largest fort in Kerala It has more than 300 years old, which is built by Shivappa Naik.
- Kanchangad Fort is in Kasaragod which is Built by Somasekhara Nayiker.
- The smallest river in Kerala Manjeswaram Puzha flows through Kasaragod
- The second open jail in Kerala at Chemeni.