Kannur: The Crown of Kerala

Kannur Airport Directory (CNN)
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Kannur, also referred to by its old English name Cannanore, is an excellent testimony of early human habitation due to the presence of megalithic burial sites of the Neolithic age and rock-cut caves. It holds a strategic and essential place in the Indian military, with Kannur Cantonment among the 62 military cantonments in India, being the headquarters for the Defence Security Corps and Territorial Army's 122 Infantry Battalion. As you get deeper into the history of Kannur, you will be amazed. This beach town was a part of the Chera kingdom that ruled the central part of Kerala and later became Kolattiri Rajas' capital. Moreover, famous for its natural treasures, loom industries and folk art called Theyyam, the place is a hub for rich traditions and culture that are quite attractive and worth exploring.

Best time to visit Kannur

October through February is the ideal time to visit Kannur. During this time the weather is pleasant and the temperature is low, ideal for outdoor exploration. 

How to reach Kannur

  • By air: You can book flights to Kannur at the Kannur International Airport which is located about 25 km east of the city. IndiGo now offers direct connectivity between Kannur and Hyderabad, Chennai, Hubli, Goa, and Bengaluru, along with other key destinations.
  • By train: Kannur railway station is the central station in the city, connecting it to all major cities in the country through regular trains, including Nizamuddin Express, Mangalore Express, amongst others.
  • By bus: Kannur is well-connected to almost all parts of India through regular buses.

Getting around Kannur

Government and private buses, mini-buses, auto-rickshaws, taxis and a range of rented cars are all available in Kannur.

Most spoken languages in Kannur

  • Malayalam
  • Hindi
  • Tamil
  • English
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Places to visit in Kannur

  • St. Angelo Fort or Kannur Fort: Built in 1505 by the first Portuguese Viceroy of India - Dom Francisco de Almeida, it is located about 3 km from Kannur town. The fort has been under several hands, from Portuguese to Dutch to the British to the Arakkal dynasty. Presently, it is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India and is well-preserved.
  • Arakkal Museum: The Arrakkal Museum is a part of Arakkal Palace and is dedicated to the only Muslim royal family in Kerala, the Arakkal family. Managed by the Arakkal Family Trust, the Durbar Hall of the palace is converted into a museum by the Government of Kerala.
  • Munderi Bird Sanctuary: Experience birdwatching at Munderi Bird Sanctuary which is close to Varam. Numerous intriguing winged creatures can be spotted at Madayippara close to Pashayangadi.
  • Payyambalam Beach: Payyambalam Beach is a popular and well-maintained tourist spot in Kannur. It's perfect to relax and enjoy a peaceful environment, an ideal picnic spot, and an adventure spot to enjoy swimming and surfing. Don't forget to take pictures with your near and dear ones on the Kannur Eye, a massive 360 degree rotatable photo frame.
  • Paithalmala: Also known as Vaithmala, this beautiful hill station lies in the Western Ghats. The stunning natural beauty of this place attracts many tourists and locals. The best way to explore Paithmala is by trekking, which takes you through the dense forest and finally opens up to a vast stretch leading to Paithalmala peak.
  • Ezhimala: Combining the best of both worlds, Ezhimala is a picturesque hill station surrounded by a beach. It is an ideal place for beach lovers as well as mountain enthusiasts. The path leading to the hilltop is breathtaking and home to various herbs of medicinal importance.
  • Parassinikkadavu: Famous for Parassinikkadavu Snake Park and Muthappan Temple, Parassinikkadavu lies 16 km away from Kannur. Dedicated to Sree Muthappan, it is the only Hindu temple in the state that witnesses theyyam performance regularly. And the snake park is home to numerous varieties of snakes such as Pit Viper, King Cobra, etc.

Places to eat in Kannur

Hotel Odhen's
Hotel Odhen's

This place is very popular and it is usually full during lunchtime. Their specialty includes Malabar cuisine like tasty seafood and banana-leaf thalis.


An excellent place for seafood lovers with reasonably priced food in great portion. The exciting part is you can select your choice of fish and order to make it as per your preference.

MVK Restaurant
MVK Restaurant

The place is famous for teaming up delicious food with the right ambience. Their open kitchen adds excitement among the visitors and thus attracting lots of them. The restaurant makes sure that you leave with a smile and keep coming back for fresh and delectable dishes.


This restaurant known in Kannur for their Tandoori and Chinese dishes. Price moderately, the quality of food is superb. Their sister concern, Sheen Bakery and Baker Boys are among the favourite eateries in the city.

Cabane Bambou
Cabane Bambou

If you are looking for a place that fills your stomach and heart then this is it. This restaurant is among the oldest and best Chinese eateries in town. Do try their scampi, Kerala chicken dry and chicken fried rice.


Shopping in Kannur

Shopping in Kannur is as enticing as touring this beautiful place. Look for sarees, handloom products, local handicrafts, earthenware products, and local spice. Wooden kathakali face masks are the speciality of this place.

  • Capitol Mall
  • Kannur City Centre
  • G Mall
  • Kannur Mall
  • Thana Square
  • Royal Oak

Where to stay in Kannur


Manshore Bay Guest House Each room boast of sea view and free WiFi along with essential amenities like private bathroom and air-conditioning. Preferred majorly by couples, it is also a value for money stay.


Club 7 Beach Resort Featuring accommodation with a private beach and a garden, Club 7 Beach resort is the other name for a luxurious stay in Kannur. All the rooms have a balcony and considered ideal for couples.


Kannur Beach Nest All units in Kannur Beach Nest, equipped with air-conditioning, TV and also feature a terrace. The hotel also has a fitness room and an outdoor swimming room so that the guest can relax and enjoy within the hotel premises only.


Ocean Green Kerala Located close to the major tourist attraction, this property boasts a private beach area, garden, and a shared kitchen. The place and its surroundings also offer an array of fun-filled activities like cycling.

Nightlife in Kannur

  • Sky Palace Bar
  • Pool Nile
  • Savoy

More reasons to visit Kannur

  • Theyyam Rituals: Kannur is the best place to see theyyam, a ritual where it is believed that the gods come down. If you are in Kannur between November and April, you will notice theyyam ritual at village temples on most of the nights.
  • Mangrove Kayaking: Kannur comprises more mangroves as compared to any other district in Kerala. If you want to witness the mangroves, rivers, and seas of Kannur, you can go kayaking through the city and take some awesome pictures.
  • Muzhappilangad Beach: Visiting Muzhappilangad Beach is perhaps the most interesting thing to do in Kannur as it is the only drive-in beach in Kerala. Here a 4 km stretch of sand eagerly awaits for you to dive in and get immersed in the view of the stunning Malabar Coast. If you don't want to drive a car, get on a quad bike and enjoy the beauty of the beach. While driving, get some delicious authentic cuisines to munch on from the number of shacks present along the way. You can also indulge in adventure sports such as parasailing, paragliding, catamaran ride, microlight flights, and several other water sports.
  • Mappila Bay: It is a natural harbour at Ayikkara Kannur town with St. Angelo Fort on one side and Arakkal Palace on the other. Also known as Moppila Bay, it was a famous commercial harbour during the Kolathiri's regime.
  • Peralassery: Located 15 km from Kannur is Peralassery, famous for Peralassery Subrahmanya Temple. According to the legends, Lord Rama and Lord Laxman stopped at this temple on the way to Lanka to set Goddess Sita free. If you are in the town of Peralassery, do visit this spiritual site.

Places to visit near Kannur

  • Coorg: Just 3 hours' drive away from Kannur, Coorg is nestled amidst stunning mountains in Karnataka. The place is famous for an exotic landscape filled with lush green hills and its culture and people.
  • Kasargode: Kasargode, the beautiful district of Kerala, is of great historical and archaeological importance. It derives its name from a combination of two words, 'kasaara', which means lake in Sanskrit and 'kroda', which implies a secured place for treasure. The breathtaking landscape of Kasargode is outlined by coconut and palm trees with water flowing through the hills into the sea. Some of the popular tourist attractions here include Govinda Pai Memorial, Madiyan Kulam Temple and Malik Deenar Mosque. It is located at a distance of about 91km from Kannur.
  • Bekal: Bekal is a small town nestled on the coastline of the Arabian Sea in a quaint village called Pallikare. The distance from Kannur to Bekal is about 78 km. This little town is popular among the tourists for its picturesque landscapes and also for its warm hospitality.

Festivals in Kannur

  • Kottiyoor Vaishaka Mahotsavam: A 28-day long festival in the heart of a dense forest and in front of a roaring river, is an experience only Kerala can provide. The hills of Kannur play host to the Kottiyoor Vysakha Mahotsavam, a festival hosted by two temples, Akkara Kottiyoor, and Ikkara Kottiyoor. Nestled on the banks of the river Baveli, it is among the most popular festivals of Northern Kerala.

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