Kavvayi Backwaters

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Kavvayi boat jetty
Kavvayi boat jetty
Kavvayi is located in Kerala
Kavvayi is located in India
Location in Kerala, India
Coordinates: 12°05′N 75°11′E / 12.09°N 75.18°E / 12.09; 75.18Coordinates: 12°05′N 75°11′E / 12.09°N 75.18°E / 12.09; 75.18
Country India
State Kerala

Kavvayi is a small island, near Payyannur in the Kannur district of Kerala state in India. The island is connected to Payyannur by a small bridge on the Kavvayi River. The population is mainly Muslim.


Kavvayi has been mentioned by name by significant global travelers, including Marco Polo 1293AD, Ibn Battuta 1342AD and Abdul Fida 1273AD.

The island of Kavvayi was originally named Kavvil Pattanam, but renamed by Sir William Hogan, the then district collector of the area. Kavvayi was the headquarters for an area of 125 square miles (320 km2) which housed a large port and the magistrate court, including during British East India Company rule. It declined after the headquarters were moved to other parts of Malabar.

This island is famous for having a history of zamindars.


The people of Kavvayi are mostly conservative Muslims. Men work in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and women are not allowed to work outside their homes. The island also has a small fishermen community belonging to Hindu religion.


There is no bus facility to the village because of very high number of private cars owned by the villagers. The financial affluence has ruled out the viability of public transportation. The national highway passes through Perumba junction. Goa and Mumbai can be accessed on the northern side and Cochin and Thiruvananthapuram can be accessed on the southern side. The road to the east of Iritty connects to Mysore and Bangalore. The nearest railway station is Payyanur on Mangalore-Palakkad line. Trains are available to almost all parts of India subject to advance booking over the internet. There are airports at Kannur, Mangalore and Calicut. All of them are international airports but direct flights are available only to Middle Eastern countries.


Kavvayi is surrounded by small islands called Kadappuram, which directly face the Arabian sea. Access to these small islands is only by small boats or traditional thonis. These islands are becoming smaller in size, and inhabitants have been moving to cities.[1]

The Backwaters[edit]

Kavvayi backwaters
Kavvayi Backwater
Location Kerala
Primary inflows Kavvayi River
Basin countries India
Surface area 37 km²
Islands Valiyaparamba, Kavvayi

The Kavvayi Backwater, located near Payyannur, is the third largest backwaters in Kerala and the largest one in north Kerala. Locally called as Kavvayi Kayal or the backwaters of Kavvayi, this lesser known lake of northern Kerala is fed by five rivers viz. River Kavvayi and its tributary streams Kankol, Vannathichal, Kuppithodu, and Kuniyan.[2] Kavvayi backwaters is named after the Kavvayi island close to Payyannur. Kavvayi used to be an inland port and a major administrative center during the past centuries and during British East India Company rule.

The Kavvayi lake is dotted with several small and big islands, Valiyaparamba island is the biggest among them and it stretches over 16 km2. The northern portion of Kavvayi lake is also known as Valiyaparamba backwaters. This Island has a population of 10000. The island's main source of income come from agriculture and fishing. A secluded beach named Valiparamba beach runs parallel to the backwaters on its western side.

From an ecological point of view the backwater of Kavvayi and its surrounding region is considered to be of significance. The Kavvayi backwater is the biggest wetland ecosystem in north Kerala with an area of 37 km2. The backwater and the wetlands are home to a variety of fauna and flora.it is used for watership man training by Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala[3] Valiyaparamba is a small island in the Arabian Sea in the Kasaragod district of Kerala state, south India. It is one of the main tourist spots of the district and also a fishing centre.

Valiyaparamba Island[edit]

Valiyaparamba is located 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south west of Cheruvathur separated from the mainland by Kavvayi Backwater and about 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Bekal, Kasaragod, north Kerala. The island is approximately 16 km2 (6 sq mi) in size with a population of 10,000. The island's main source of income come from agriculture and fishing. The Island has 13 wards ruling by each ward member to leading the Valiyaparamba Panchayathu.

Valiyaparamba is fed by four rivers and dotted with numerous little islands, Valiyaparamba is fast turning into a much favoured backwater resort that offers enchanting boat cruises. Valiyaparamba, a hinterland separated from the mainland, is a noted fishing centre in the district and is just an hour drive from Bekal - one of the most enchanting beaches of Kerala. The Bekal fort which stands on a headland that runs into the sea offers a spectacular view of the surroundings. The National Water Way passes through this beautiful Island and foreign tourist halt here for few hours on the way to Bekal in house boat.

The island has 7 Primary Schools, 1 High School and 1 Higher Secondary School. The Mangrove Trail of Malabar is a day trippers visiting place about 20 km (12 mi) from Valiaparamba. It is a coastal Jungle trail offering hiking, birding & boating. visit www.malabarecotourism.com for more details.

Getting there[edit]

Collapsed suspension bridge to Valiyaparamba from Madakkal island.

This Island is separated from the main land, You Can either use Transport Boat Service/ another Water Transportation or crossing the Mavila Kadappuram Bridge to reach in main land

  • Nearest railway station: Cheruvathur, on the Kozhikode-Mangalore route, about 5 km (3 mi) from Valiyaparamba, Nileshwar.
  • National Highway (NH 17) is also passing through Cheruvthur. You will get hotel rooms at Nileshwar or Payyanur.
  • Nearest airports: Mangalore in Karnataka State, about 100 km (62 mi); Karipur international airport Kozhikode, about 150 km (93 mi) from Valiyaparamba.

See also[edit]