Thalangara caps - a feather in the cap of Kasaragod’s artisans

Thalangara caps
Thalangara caps is known as Omani cap. Photo: Getty Images

Thalangara: The handmade traditional skull cap of Thalangara put Kasaragod on the world map. The Thalangara caps are known for its embroidery work and they have a huge market in the Middle Eastern countries.

For ages, making of these caps was a prominent source of livelihood for the Muslim families in the district. However, like in every other business, the arrival of Chinese caps with a comparatively lower price tag has affected the sales of Thalangara caps.

Since the cap is primarily made by hand, the efforts required to make it and the drop in profits have made many of the artisans give up the profession.

Today, one person drives the making of these caps in the district - Abdul Rahim of Thalangara Kunnil House.

His family had been making caps for the past four generations and he is bend on to keep alive his ancestral profession. Abdul Rahim directly supervises the making process. Cotton and cotton threads needed for making these caps are brought from Bengaluru and Kannur respectively.

Thalangara cap
Abdul Raheem at his shop. Photo: Chuttuvattom

The cap-making process involves five stages. Abdul Rahim, who has several other businesses in various fields, devotes two hours every day for the cap making.

He is assisted by 25 other families who carry out most of the production processes. However, Rahim himself gives the finishing touches to the caps.

A cap requires at least 15 to 20 days of work. The caps sell the most during Ramzan. The price of a cap ranges from Rs150 to Rs200.

Thalangara cap has found mention in the books written by Ibn Battuta, the greatest explorer of all times, who visited India during the 14th century.

Thalangara caps used to have a huge market in the foreign countries and fetch a good price. In fact, those days cap-making resembled the bidi production that is seen today.

Thalangara caps is also known as Omani caps in the Middle East as it was first sold there.

Getting there

Nearest Bus Terminal: Thalangara is a peninsula 3 km away from Kasaragod KSRTC bus station. The boarder district of Kerala is well connected by road with Kannur, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.

Thalangara, Kasaragod

Nearest railway station: Kasaragod Railway Staion is under 2km from here and it is situated on the Kozhikode-Mangaluru-Mumbai route.

Nearest Airport: Nearest airports: Mangaluru (61.7 km), Calicut International Airport, Kozhikode (207 km)

Must see places nearby

Kasaba beach (3km)

Malik Deenar Mosque (750m)

Bekal Fort (17km) 

Malik Deenar Mosque
Malik bin Deenar is the one who brought Islam to India. Photo: Onmanorama

Ranipuram – Kasaragod's Ooty (57km) 

Jothlag Waterfalls beckons (57km)

Trek through Possadigumpe (30km) 

Things to do

Boating – Kerala Tourism offers a river cruise to explore north Malabar in Kasaragod and Kannur. If you are game and a good seaman, talk to your tour operator and workout a day on the fishing boat.

Cultural tour – Kasaragod has a number of historical mosques, temples, and churches.

Trekking – Ranipuram National Park, Pushpagiri Reserve have enough to offer to satiate the adventure junkie in you.

Visit to the forts – Bekal Fort, the biggest fort in Kerala was built in the 17th century by the rulers of Kadampa dynasty, Chandragiri fort is also 17th century fort and it was built by Shivappa Nayak, Hosdurg Fort near Kanhangad was built by Somashekara Nayak of Ikkeri Dynasty.

Must eat

Cuisines made of Mussels, locally known as Kallumakkaya, is a must try when you are visiting northern regions of Kerala.

Malabar Cuisine

Try at home - Recipes: Stuffed mussels, Mussels biryani

Vegetable, fish and meat cooked in Malabari style, using Malabar tamarind, is too hot to miss. Tomato curry

Halwa - Banana halwa recipe

Kakkarotti - Rice dumplings in saucy meat curry  

Pazhamnirachathu - Stuffed Banana recipe

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.