Kasaragod district

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Kasaragod district
Location in Kerala, India
Location in Kerala, India
Coordinates: 12°30′N 75°00′E / 12.5°N 75.0°E / 12.5; 75.0Coordinates: 12°30′N 75°00′E / 12.5°N 75.0°E / 12.5; 75.0
Country  India
State Kerala
District Kasaragod
Headquarters Kasargod
 • Total 1,992 km2 (769 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,307,375
 • Density 660/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
 • Official Malayalam,kannada,
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Website kasargod.nic.in

Kasargod District is one of the 14 districts in the state of Kerala, India. Kasaragod became part of Kannur district, Kerala following the reorganisation of states and formation of Kerala in November 1, 1956.[1] Kasaragod was declared as a district on 24 May 1984. Now Kasargod is the northernmost and also the last (14th) district in the State; comprising Kasaragod and Hosdurg taluks.

Kasaragod is world-renowned for its coir and hand-loom industries. It is a region where three 'dream-lands' 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-Kottencheri belt. The district is filled with rivers, hillocks, beaches, shrines and forts. Kasaragod District is unique for its Linguistic Culture is also known as "Sapthabhasha Sangamabhoomi" as seven major languages are spoken here.

Kasaragod has also been fatally affected by indiscriminate use of the pesticide Endosulphan.[citation needed] See Endosulfan#Reproductive and developmental effects.[why?]


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, Trikaripur, Perla and . It has three municipalities (Nileshwar Kasaragod, and Kanhangad ] and thirty-eight grama panchayats.[2] 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.


Chandragiri bridge which connects Kasargod town to Chemnad Panchayath.

Kasargod was known to the Arabs by the name Harkwillia.[3][dead link] 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.[3]

Kasargod was part of the kumbala Kingdom in which there were 64 Tulu and Malayalam villages.[3] When the Vijayanagara empire attacked Kasargod, it was still under the Kolathiri Raja who had Nileshwaram as one of his capitals. During the decline of the Vijayanagara empire, the administration of this area was vested with Ikkeri Nayakas.[3] At the onset of collapse of the Vijayanagara empire, Venkappa Nayaka declared independence to Ikkery. Kumbla, Chandragiri and Bekal are considered to be the chain of forts constructed or renovated by Shivappa Nayaka.[3]

Francis Buccanan, the family doctor of Arthur Wellesley, visited Kasargod in 1800.[3] In his travelogue, he recorded information on places like Athiraparambu, Kavvai, Nileshwaram, Bekal, Chandragiri and Manjeshwaram.[3] In 1763, Hyder Ali conquered Bedanoor (Bidnur), the capital of the Ikkery Naiks. His son Tippu Sultan conquered much of Malabar. As per the Sreerangapattanam Treaty of 1792, Tippu surrendered Malabar, except Tulunadu (Canara) to the British. The British got Tulunadu only after the death of Tippu Sultan.[3] it is said that 'KINAVOOR MOLOM' (SREE DHARMA SHASHTHA TEMPLE)is belonging to KARINTHALAM (one among 64 BRAHMIN VILLAGES in old Kerala)


The district is the northernmost district of the State of Kerala. Kasaragod is located at 12°30′N 75°00′E / 12.5°N 75.0°E / 12.5; 75.0.[4] It has an average elevation of 19  metres (62  feet).

The landscape is dominated by the characteristic coconut palms accompanying rolling hills and streams flowing into the sea. The landscape is dotted with tiled-roof buildings, topped with the famous Kasaragod tiles made with the local hard red clay and typically walled with laterite blocks. Older houses are commonly found with elaborate woodwork. .


Climate data for Kasaragod
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 33.1
Average low °C (°F) 21.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 0.8
Source: Meo Weather


Religions in Kasaragod District
Religion Percent
Distribution of religions
Source: 2011 Census.
Kasaragod District Map

According to the 2011 census Kasaragod district has a population of 1,307,375,[5] roughly equal to the nation of Mauritius[6] or the US state of New Hampshire.[7] This gives it a ranking of 375th in India (out of a total of 640).[5] The district has a population density of 654 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,690/sq mi) .[5] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 8.18%.[5] Kasaragod has a sex ratio of 1079 females for every 1000 males,[5] and a literacy rate of 89.85%.[5]


The National Highway 66(formerly NH17) enters Kerala in Kunjathur of Kasargod district, through which major towns in the district like Kasaragod-Kanhagad-Nileshwaris connected to Mangalore. The highway form a backbone of the road network for the district from Talapady, covering major towns like Kasaragod, Bandiyod, Kanhangad, Nileshwar, Cheruvathur and Trikaripur. The NH exits the district in Kalikadavu (Pilicode) which ends at Edappally.

Other Major Roads: Kasargod-Sullia,Bandiyod-Badoor, Kasargod-Puttur,Uppala-Bayar, Kanhangad-Panathur,Kanhangad-Konnakkad,Nileshwar-Konnakkad,Nileshwar-Edathode,Nileshwar-Madikkai, Kasargod-Bekal-Kanhangad, Nileshwar-Chittarikkal,Trikaripur-Padanna, Hosangadi-Anekal and the proposed hillhighway of Cherupuzha-Malom-Bandadukka-Nanarapadavu.[citation needed]

Major Railway Stations: Kasargod,Kanhangad, Kumbala,Uppala, Trikaripur,Manjeshwar, Nileshwar,Cheruvathur.[citation needed]


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.[8]

The principal and recognized administrative language here is Malayalam and Kannada.The dilect is Kasaragod 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.[8][9] The Malayalam spoken here has influences from Kannada and Tulu. Like wise, the Tulu and Kannada spoken here, are also influenced by Malayalam.[10][11]


Institution Government Aided Unaided Total
Lower Primary School 141 115 7 263
Upper Primary School 73 72 4 149
High School 43 19 8 70
Higher Secondary School 31 14 0 45
Arts & Science College 4 2 9 14
Engineering College 2 1 3[12]
Agriculture College 1 0 0 1
Pharmacy College 0 2 0 2
Teacher Training School 2 1 0 3
Special Schools for the blind/deaf 1 1 0 2
Industrial Training Institute 2 0 1 3
Industrial Training Centres 2 0 2 4
Polytechnic 2 1 0 3
Kendriya Vidyalaya 0 0 0 3
Navodaya Vidyalaya 0 0 0 1
B.Ed Centre 1 0 0 1 Central University 1 0 0 1

Tourist attractions[edit]

Bekal Fort Beach
See also: Kasaragod Town

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.
  • Chandragiri Fort located 8 km frm town is famous for the breathtaking birds eye view of Thalangara Arabian seaChandragiri River and Kasaragod port.
  • Kasargod Fort, a stone throw away distance from the kasaragod railway station. though the Fort is under private hands and dilapidated it offers a panoramic view of kasargod landscape.
  • Ananthapura Lake Temple, an ancient and attractive-looking temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
  • Mallikarjuna Temple is another temple in the heart of Kasargod Town and is dedicated to Sri Shiva.
  • Ranipuram - A conglomerate of grassy hills near Panathady Town and linked to Kanhangad by Kanhangad-Panathur state highway.
  • Kottancheri Hills - Located near Malom and lies parallel to talacavery which is the starting point of the Kaveri river. It is 36  km from Kanhangad Town.
  • Valiyaparamba Backwaters.

Other tourist attractions are Chandragiri Fort, Anandashramam, Nithyanandashramam, and Kareem forest park - the only man made forest in the Kerala. The forest park is located in Parappa near Nileshwar. The Kerala State Government is planning to set up an IT park in Kasaragod. It will be constructed in 100 acres (0.40 km2) of revenue land in Cheemeni which is estimated to generate around 50,000 IT jobs.

  • Adhur, one of the natural spot in Kasaragod with large diversity of Flaura and fauna. Located on the shore of Payaswini River.

Pilgrim centres[edit]

  • Mallik Deenar Mosque, One of the first masjid in the entire Indian subcontinent (includes present day Pakistan and Afghanistan) and Far East Asia built during the period of Muhammad by his direct desciple( Sahaba in Arabic) 'Malik-ibn-Deenar', is located approximately 0.5 km from kasaragod railway station in the shore of Arabia Sea. Hundreds of people visit this place every day.
  • Ananthapura Lake Temple an ancient and attractive-looking temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
  • Kumaramangala Subrahmanyaswamy Temple., Bela.
  • Srimadananteshwara temple Manjeswara, important pilgrimage place for Konkanies.
  • Bela Church, also known as Our Lady of Sorrows Church, is a Roman Catholic church located 14 km north of Kasaragod and 50 km south of Mangalore. It was built in 1890 and is thus the oldest extant church in the district. This Gothic Revival Roman Catholic church, which is under the Mangalore Diocese, recently celebrated its centenary when it was also renovated. Bela Catholic Parish is also one of the oldest existing parishes of the Diocese of Mangalore. The mother tongue of the Catholics is Konkani.
  • Trikkannad Shiva Temple is located on the shore of the Arabian Sea. It is situated at a radius of 1 kilometer from the renowned Bekal Bridge. The location of this temple is unique and it provides the worshippers an opportunity to make their appeal to God. It is said that all the appeals are granted here by the Almighty. As per the legends once a Pandyan ruler tried to attack the Shiva temple and the reigning deity of this temple set fire to his ship and turned him into a rock. In this rock the famous Trikkannad Siva Temple is located. This temple is also known as Dakshina Kashi.
  • Madhur Ganapathy Temple is an architecturally impressive structure.
  • Thalayangadi mosques is famous for its traditional looks and its history dates backs to early periods of Islamic history in India and located inside the city.
  • Mallikarjuna Temple is another temple in the heart of Kasargod Town and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • Palakunnu Bhagavathi temple.
  • Mallam Temple.
  • Kammadam Bhagavathi temple is most famous for Theyyam Kaliyattam in Dhanu and attract hundreds of people in "Samkramam" day of every month to visit and pray in sacred grove. The Temple is dedicated to Kammadath Bhagavathi and Chamundi (Raktheshwari). This temple is located 25 km east from Nileshwaram town and 5 km East from Chittarikkal Kunnumkai.

Fauna and Flora[edit]

Another look at the Bekal Fort

Kasaragod district surrounded by three forest districts – in the north by Dakshina Kannada (one NP and 2 wildlife sanctuaries), in the east by Kodagu (one NP and two wildlife sancturaies), and in the south by Kannur (one wildlife sanctuary and one elephant corridor). Even then, the forest officials of this district have not sent any proposal to the state forest department or the Central Government for setting up a sanctuary here, although shola, evergreen and mangrove forests exist in abundance.

Kasaragod district is very rich in vegetation. Natural vegetation, except in some coastal regions, consists of different types of forests. But in spite of generally favourable climatic conditions, vegetation is not uniform. In restricted regions, with their own micro climate or special edaphic features, plant formations assume different characters. Thus, plant communities, ranging from psammophytes and mangroves to evergreen forests are seen here.

Ranipuram Wildlife sanctaury (50 km2, proposed)

Ranipuram Top View

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 wild life 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.

Most of these highly endangered animals are killed by people due to lack of conversational awareness or to protect their crops. Ranipuram wild life sanctuary will be in contiguous to Talacauvery Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka. If it is declared as a wild life sanctuary, it will enhance the tourism industry of this district along with Ranipuram hill station/Biodiversity park. Declaring it as a wildlife sanctuary is the only way to protect this Westernghat biodiversity hotspot and permanent solution for Encroachment, Poaching, hunting in night, mining, Illegal tree felling which are main threats for this park.

The proposed Munnamkadavu Dam may very useful to create a fresh water and wetland ecosystem and sanctuary for wild crocodile, otter, endangered fish and water birds. Afforestation around the catchment area of dam reservoir will help to create another new wildlife sanctuary here in future and recreate lost wild elephant corridor.

Malom Wildlife Sanctuary (5 km2) Malom Wildlife Sanctuary of the Kanhagad 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.. Tourists can even spot snakes like king cobra and python. It is 35 km away east of Kanhangad in Balal-Kallar panchayaths and 5 km away from malom town center. Flora': Evergreen monsoon forest, shola, orchids, medicinal plants, grass lands etc. Mammals: about 24 species mainly Elephants, wild bison, Leopard, wild dogs, mongoose, pangolin, Jungle cats, Malabar giant squirrels, Flying squirrels, fox, porcupine, bonnet macaques, Langur, Leopard cats, Deer, wild boar, slender loris, hares, squirrels, bats etc. Birds: About 200 species mainly Great Indian horn bill, Paradise flying catcher, green barbet, peacock, trogon, wood pigeon, malabar grey horn bill, white bellied tree pie, heart spotted wood pecker etc.. Reptiles: King cobra, kraits, viper, rat snakes, Indian cobras, green whip snakes, monitor lizards etc. Amphibians: About 19 species, Thousands of insects and spiders About 100 species of butterflies including sword tail, forest nymph, and malabar bird wing.

Adoor wildlife sanctuary (2 km2)

A Fragmented, Adoor reserve forest which spreads about 2  km2 in Kasaragod district is the home for endangered animals like jungle cat, slender loris, wild pig, porcupine, turtles, peacock, Malabar horn bill, butterflies, medicinal plants and wet evergreen forest. Illicit tree felling, hunting, encroachment are main threats for this sanctuary. It is about 35 km east of Kasaragod town in Adoor-Kuttikol panchayath.

Parappa wildlife sanctuary (2 km2)

A fragmented RF, Parappa reserve forest of Kanhangad range are home for jungle cats, slender loris, wild pig, porcupine, turtles, peacock, Malabar horn bill, butterflies, medicinal plants and wet evergreen forest. Illicit tree felling, hunting, encroachment are main threats for this sanctuary. It is about 22 km East of Nileshwar town

Kammadam sacred grove wildlife sanctuary (50 acres)

Kammadam kavu, related with Bhagavathi temple, is the biggest sacred grove of Kerala and rich in wildlife, evergreen forest, orchids, medicinal plants and shrubs. Wild animals like Jungle cat, monitor lizard, civets, fox, bats, snakes, various species of birds and butterflies seen. It is 25 km east of Nileshwaram town.

Kareem's Forest park (32 acres)

India's first private sanctuary which spreads across 32 acres (130,000 m2) and rich in diverse species of trees, medicinal plants, birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, small wild animals, microorganisms and so on. People from different walks of life environmentalists, scientists, University and Ayurveda students, and laymen, all over the country visit his forest park for practical experience and study purpose. He is also multiplying and distributing the seeds and saplings of forest trees and medicinal plants and help mother earth and help the nation to convert waste lands into thick forests by replicating his efforts without involving additional coasts.

The park is situated at Puliyamkulam, near Parappa. It is 23 km away east of Nileshwar town. Frequent bus service available.

Demand for a separate Tulunadu state[edit]

The Tuluvas of Southern India are a separate culture from the Kannadigas within India. From India's independence and following the reorganization of states, the Tuluvas had been demanding official language status for Tulu and a separate state for themselves comprising the Udupi and South Canara Districts of Karnataka State and Kasargod District of Kerala State. This demand has grown weakened in recent years. Several organizations like the Tulu Rajya Horata Samiti have taken up the cause of the Tuluvas.[13][14][15][16]

National Movement[edit]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kasargod - After District Formation". Kasargod District. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  2. ^ There are 38 Grama Panchayats in Kasargod District (kasargod.nic.in).
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Kasaragod History". Government of Kerala. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  4. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Kasaragod
  5. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  6. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. Mauritius 1,303,717 July 2011 est. 
  7. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. New Hampshire 1,316,470 
  8. ^ a b Kumar Suresh Singh (1998). India's communities 6. Anthropological Survey of India. p. 1549. 
  9. ^ "Kasaragod". 
  10. ^ A Sreedhara Menon (1 January 2007). A Survey Of Kerala History. DC Books. pp. 14–15. ISBN 978-81-264-1578-6. 
  11. ^ "Introduction to Kasaragod district". 
  12. ^ http://www.kerala-colleges.com/Kerala-Districts-India/Kasaragod-Colleges.asp#Engineering
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ "Tulu organisations to meet soon". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2008-03-06. 
  16. ^ http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=68774

External links[edit]