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"Cannanore" redirects here. For other uses, see Cannanore (disambiguation).
This article is about the city in Kerala, India. For the former city state, see Kolathunadu. For the district, see Kannur district. For the town in Karnataka, see Kannur, Dakshina Kannada.
Clockwise from top: Gandhi Circle (formerly Caltex), St. Angelo's Fort, Thavakara Bus Terminal, Sea Pathway, Payyambalam Beach
Clockwise from top: Gandhi Circle (formerly Caltex), St. Angelo's Fort, Thavakara Bus Terminal, Sea Pathway, Payyambalam Beach
Kannur is located in Kerala
Coordinates: 11°52′08″N 75°21′20″E / 11.8689°N 75.3555°E / 11.8689; 75.3555Coordinates: 11°52′08″N 75°21′20″E / 11.8689°N 75.3555°E / 11.8689; 75.3555
Country  India
State Kerala
District Kannur
Talukas Kannur, previously known as Chirakkal Taluk
 • Type Municipal Corporation
 • Body Kannur Municipal Corporation
 • Mayor E.P.Latha (CPIM)
 • Deputy Mayor C Sameer (IUML)
Population (2011)[1]
 • City 232,634
 • Metro 1,642,892
 • Official Malayalam, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 670 xxx
Telephone code 0497
Vehicle registration KL-13
Website www.kannur.nic.in
Town and bay of Kannur by Thomas Cussans

Kannur (IPA: [kaɳɳuːr]), formerly known as Cannanore,[1] is a city and a Municipal Corporation in the Kannur district, state of Kerala, India. It is the administrative headquarters of the Kannur District and 518 km north of state capital Thiruvananthapuram. During British rule in India, Kannur was known as Cannanore (Land of lord Krishna[2]), which is used now only by the Indian Railways.[3] It is the largest city of the North Malabar region.

Kannur is one of the million-plus urban agglomerations in India with a population of 1,642,892 in 2011, the 6th largest in Kerala and 27th in India.[4]

Kannur is known as the land of Looms and Lore, because of the loom industries functioning in the district and ritualistic folk arts held in temples. Kannur is famous for its pristine beaches, Theyyam, its native performing art, and its handloom industry.

Kannur is of great strategic military importance. One of the 62 military cantonments in the country is in the Kannur Cantonment and 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.[citation needed]


The name Kannur may have been derived from Kanathur, an ancient village. Another opinion holds that Kannur was originally a portmanteau derived from two Malayalam words: Kannan (Krishna), a Hindu deity, and Ur (place)—making it "the place of Lord Krishna." One support for this theory is that the deity of the Kadalayi Sriracha Temple was originally installed in a shrine at Kadalayi Kotta in the southeastern part of the present Kannur town. During the British Raj, the city was known as Cannanore, the anglicised form of the Malayalam word Kannur.[5]


Main article: History of Kannur

Kannur was an important trading center in the 12th century with active business connections with Persia and Arabia. It served as the British military headquarters on India's west coast until 1887. In conjunction with her sister city, Tellicherry, it was the third largest city on the western coast of British India in the 18th century after Bombay and Karachi. 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.[6] During the British Raj, Kannur was part of the Madras province in the North Malabar District.

City of Cannanore, 1572

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.[7]


Kannur Fort on the Arabian Sea
  • District: Kannur
  • Taluk/Tehsil: Kannur
  • Block: Kannur
  • Assembly Constituency: Kannur
  • Parliament Constituency: Kannur
  • Police Station: Kannur
  • Post Office: 670001
  • Telephone Exchange: Kannur 0497
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kannur


Kannur has been referred to[8] as a stranglehold[9] of the left parties and has a strong presence of trade unions as well as left-leaning organizations.[10][11][12] However, other parties have some influence in certain small pockets.[13]

Geography and climate[edit]

Kannur has an elevation of 1.02 metres (2.98 ft) along the coast of the Laccadive Sea, with a sandy coastal area. The town has an 8 km-long seashore and a 3 km-long beach at Payyambalam.

Kannur experiences a rare humid tropical monsoon climate under the Köppen climate classification (Am). In April and May, the average daily maximum temperature is about 35 °C (95 °F). Temperatures are low in December and January: about 20 °C (68 °F). Like other areas on the Malabar Coast, this town receives heavy rainfall during the Southwest monsoon. The annual average rainfall is 3438 mm, around 68% of which is received in July.[14]

Climate data for Kannur (1978–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.8
Average high °C (°F) 32.7
Average low °C (°F) 21.5
Record low °C (°F) 16.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 3.9
Average rainy days 0.2 0.0 0.5 2.5 7.9 24.2 25.0 21.6 11.2 10.5 5.2 1.3 110.0
Source: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010)[15][16]


According to the 2011 census of India,[17] 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.

Muslims form the majority of the population with 32026 members forming 56.3% of the population.[17] There are 21557 Hindus forming 37.9% of the population.[17] Christians form 5% of the population with 2892 members.[17] Malayalam is the most widely spoken languages.

Kannur Taluk has 34 villages.

  • Anjarakandi,Koodali, Azhikode North, Azhikode South and Chelora
  • Chembilode, Cherukkunnu, Cheruthazham and Chirakkal
  • Edakkad, Elayavoor, Ezhome, Iriveri, Kadambur and Kadannappally
  • Kalliasseri, Kanhirod, Kannadiparamba, Kannapuram
  • Kunhimangalam, Madayi, Makrery, Mattool, Mavilayi and Munderi
  • Muzhappilangad, Narath, Pallikkunnu and Panapuzha
  • Pappinisseri, Puzhathi, Valapattanam and Valiyannur
Kannur Fort


  • St. Angelo Fort was built in 1505 by the first Portuguese Viceroy of India, Dom Francisco de Almeida. In 1663, the Dutch captured it and then in 1772, they sold the fort to the Arakkal King. In 1790, the British captured it, and it was under the British until 1947.
  • 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 Arakkalkettu (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.
  • Mapila 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.


Temple festival at Chalad

Kannur got the name as the Land of Krishna (Kannande uuru) because of the Kadalai Shri Krishnaswami Temple, Shri Rajarajeshwaram, Parassinikadavu Sree Muthappan Temple and Annapurneshwari Temple and Madayikavu, the famed temples of the region.

Other temples:

Kottiyoor Utsavam[edit]

Kottiyoor Vysakha Mahotsavam is a huge religious pilgrimage attracting thousands of pilgrims. It is a festival commemorating the Daksha yaga. It is in June–July period of Malayalam calendar for 27 days.

Skyline of seashore apartments, Payyambalam, Kannur
Growing skyline of Kannur Payyambalam seashore


See Main Article: List of educational institutions in Kannur District

Sir Syed College, Taliparamba

In the 14th and 15th centuries, during the regime of the Kolathiri Rajas, Taliparamba was renowned in Kerala as a seat of learning, enlightenment and culture. The beginning of western education in the district may be traced back to the middle of the 16th century. The first English school, known as the Basel German Mission English School, was started on 1 March 1856 at Thalassery. The Brennen School at Thalassery, the nucleus of the present Government Brennen College, was started in 1862 with a generous donation made by Mr. Brennen, master attendant at Thalassery. Govt College of Engineering Kannur is also a renowned engineering college in Kerala situated in Mangattuparamba.

Major Government Institutes[edit]



Thavakkara Bus Station has very green surroundings

Kannur is on National Highway 66 or NH 66 (formerly National Highway 17) between Kozhikode and Mangalore. This highway is scheduled to be expanded to four lanes. A bypass for Kannur city is proposed under the NH widening project. Kannur is connected to Kodagu, Mysore and Bangalore in Karnataka through the ThalasseryCoorgMysore interstate highway.

Kannur has several private and KSRTC buses plying places inside and outside Kannur district. Kannur is well-connected to its suburbs through several city buses. Kannur city has four bus terminals — Kannur Central Bus Terminal at Thavakkara which is Kerala's biggest bus terminal, Old Bus Stand near to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, City Bus Stand near to the District HQ Hospital and the KSRTC bus stand at Caltex Junction (on NH-66). The busiest section of the national highway is between the towns of Puthiyatheru and Thazhe chovva (about 10.5 km )on the outskirts of Kannur.


Kannur Railway Station is one of the major stations of the Southern Railway, under the jurisdiction of the Palakkad Division. All trains including the Thiruvananthapuram Rajdhani Express and Kochuveli Garib Rath stop at Kannur. Six daily trains and around 15 weekly or bi-weekly trains connect Kannur to the capital Thiruvananthapuram.

Trains starting from Kannur are:

  • Kannur - Thiruvananthapuram Jan Shatabdi Express[19]
  • Kannur - Yeshwantpur Express (via Palghat and Salem)
  • Kannur - Bengaluru City Express (via Mangalore, Mysore)
  • Kannur - Ernakulam (Executive Express Thursday, Saturday only)
  • Kannur - Alappuzha (Executive Express except Thursday, Saturday)
  • Kannur - Ernakulam (Intercity Express)

Passenger trains

  • Kannur - Coimbatore
  • Kannur - Mangalore
  • Kannur - Calicut
  • Kannur - Shoranur
  • Trichur - Kannur
  • Kannur - Cheruvathur
  • Kannur - Byndoor via Mangalore junction

Kannur South, Chirakkal, Valapattanam and Pappinisseri are minor railway stations near Kannur where only passenger trains stop. A survey for a railway line from Kannur South to Kannur International Airport in Mattannur was announced in the 2011–2012 Union Railway Budget.


Kannur International Airport is an upcoming international airport on 'Build, Own and Operate' (BOO) basis in Mattanur in Kannur District, Kerala, India. It is the fourth and largest international airport in Kerala. The airport will have a 3,400m runway and state of the art passenger terminal as well other amenities. It will be well connected by a comprehensive network of roads and a proposal for railway line has also been mooted.

Kannur International Airport's foundation stone was laid by V. S. Achuthanandan, chief minister of Kerala, on 17 December 2010.[20][21] The airport is proposed to operationalize by 2017.


Kannur is an ancient seaport. The nearest all-weather seaport is Mangaluru in Karnataka state. Azhikkal port in Kannur has been included for developing coastal shipping by the Government of India under the National Maritime Development Programme (NMDP). A detailed project report (DPR) has been prepared by ICICI-KINFRA for the development of Azhikkal port.


Statue of Albert Einstein at the Science Park, Kannur

Malayalam movie actors Sreenivasan, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Dhyan Sreenivasan, Vineeth, Vineeth Kumar, Samvrutha Sunil, TV Chandran, Manju Warrier, Sreekala Sasidharan, Anju Aravind, Archana Kavi, Kavya Madhavan, Sanusha, Saleem Ahmed, Geethu Mohandas and Sruthi Lakshmi are from Kannur District. So are music composers Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri, K. Raghavan, Kannur Rajan, Ramesh Narayanan, Sathyan Edakkad, dancer Shamna Kasim, baby serial actor Niranjana G - Manjurukum kalam fame and singers Ramachandran Cherukunnu Erancholi Moosa, Kannur Shareef and Sayanora.

Many local cable television channels are available in Kannur. The most popular cable channels are City Channel, City Gold, City Juke, Network Channel(s), Zeal Network, Kannur Vision, World Vision, Worldvision Music, Chakkarakkal, and Gramika channel Koothuparamba.

All India Radio is broadcast in Kannur at 101.5 MHz. Private FM radio stations in Kannur include:

  • Radio Mango 91.9 (Malayala Manorama Co Ltd)
  • Club FM 94.3 (Mathrubhumi Printing And Publishing Co Ltd)
  • Red FM 93.5 (Sun Network)
  • Best FM 95.0 (Asianet Communications Ltd)

A number of newspapers are published from Kannur, including the Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Madhyamam, Deshabhimani, Deepika, Chandrika, Kerala Kaumudi, News First, Janmabhumi, Veekshanam, Thejas, and Siraj.

Image gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Cannanore". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  2. ^ "Kairali Heritage -- A River Side Resort :: Kannur – The Land of Looms & Lores [ Amazing Kannur ]". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "indianrailways.info". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 million and above
  5. ^ "The Official Website of Kannur District". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  6. ^ Arakkal royal family
  7. ^ "Pazhassi Raja Museum and Art Gallery, Kozhikode - Kerala Tourism". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  8. ^ "Dread and Belonging in Kerala’s Party Villages". OPEN Magazine. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "Conduct Of A Perfect Murder". The Caravan - A Journal of Politics and Culture. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "In CPM bastion Kannur, political violence takes a turn for the worse". timesofindia-economictimes. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) - Nation - Long wait to decode Kannur poll riddle". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "News Archives: The Hindu". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "India Together: Winds of change in killing fields: Nileena M.S. - 14 March 2013". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  14. ^ Climate: Kannur (Cannanore) CalicutNet.com
  15. ^ "Kannur Climatological Table Period: 1971–2000". India Meteorological Department. Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Ever recorded Maximum and minimum temperatures up to 2010" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c d http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011census/C-01/DDW32C-01%20MDDS.XLS
  18. ^ Administrator. "Welcome". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  19. ^ "Bansal announces 19 new trains". New Delhi: The Hindu. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  20. ^ Special Correspondent. "VS lays foundation stone for Kannur international airport". The Hindu. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  21. ^ NK. "Online News, Information & Entertainment - newkerala.com, India". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 

External links[edit]