Kannur, the cradle of enduring ritualistic folk arts like Theyyam and folk music has always remained a land of abiding charms. It is an ancient city which served as an important trading centre of Kerala during the 12th century. Now, here are five locales in Kannur that should be on any traveller’s must-see list.
1. The Aaralam Wildlife Sanctuary
The Aaralam Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the western slope of the western Ghats covering an area of 55 sq.km.
When compared to other famous wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, Aaralam sanctuary has a number of hill ranges that have an elevation between 50m to 1145m. A trek in these hill ranges requires high stamina because of the elevation levels.The highest peak is Katti Betta having an elevation of 1145 m.
The Aaralam sanctuary is home to diverse flora and fauna and the wildlife includes animals like the Jungle Cats, Bison, Elephants, Boar, Leopards and different kinds of Squirrels. The best time to visit Aaralam is from June to October.
2. Muzhappilangad drive-in beach
This world class drive-in-beach, where you could have a fun drive almost 5 kms, is one of the top tourist attractions in Kannur.
During peak tourist times, there can be a line up of vehicles. Nevertheless, the beach stays entertaining. The rocky coastal waters have shallow pools in plenty.
Apart from the driving experience, you can also view many black rocks. Past the rocks, only mild waves reach the shore. So the beach is great to swim.
3. St. Angelo fort
The St. Angelo fort is approximately 3 kms west of Kannur, the place where history stands still.
It was built by the Portuguese in 1505 and is strikingly silhouetted against the sea. The fort is a blend of different architectural styles, a remarkable piece of architecture with its triangular design and magnificent interiors. History says that the Dutch captured the fort from the Portuguese in 1663 and sold it to Ali Raja of Kannur.
The fort offers a fascinating view of a natural fishing bay and a sea wall projecting from the fort dividing the rough sea and inland water.
The beautiful location facing the sea, the well-maintained gardens inside the fort and the peaceful ambience is an enthralling experience for the visitors.
4. Ezhimala beach
Tucked between hills and the ocean, Ezhimala beach is blessed by beauty. Mystery surrounds the carved stone pillars scattered over the slopes as well as the ancient burial chamber.
Native to the hill slopes are rare herbs, of which even ancient Indian texts describe. Otherwise a sleepy remote village, Ezhimala has become a place of strategic significance since Indian Naval Academy started one of its bases here. The Naval Academy is the largest of its kind in India and the third largest in the world.
5. Dharmadam Island
Dharmadam Island is an enchanting paradise located at Thalassery. It’s a beautifully, secluded spot with coconut trees and dense bushes extending upto 5 acres. The island is just 100 meters from the mainland of Dharmadam.
The island is surrounded by the Anjarakandy river on three sides and by the Arabian sea on the fourth side. The island is a beautiful sight from the Muzhappilangad beach.
An alternative way to reach Dharmadam is by taking a boat from the south end of Moidu Bridge which is close by on the Kannur-Thalassery highway. Since the island is privately owned, you’ll need permission to visit it.