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Naval Academy, Payyannur
City in India
Payyanur Railway Station
Payyanur is located in Kerala
Location in Kerala, India
Coordinates: 12°06′27″N 75°11′40″E / 12.1076100°N 75.1943590°E / 12.1076100; 75.1943590Coordinates: 12°06′27″N 75°11′40″E / 12.1076100°N 75.1943590°E / 12.1076100; 75.1943590
State Kerala
District Kannur
Taluk Payyanur
Population (2001)
 • Total 68,711
 • Density 72/km2 (190/sq mi)
 • Official Malayalam
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 670307
Telephone code +91 4985
Vehicle registration KL-13 & KL-59
Nearest cities Taliparamba, Kannur
Sex ratio M:F - 48:52 /
Literacy 99.3%
Lok Sabha constituency Kasaragod
Backwaters in Payyanur

Payyanur is a city in Kannur district of Kerala at the northern part, North Malabar region, state of Kerala, India. This municipality consists of three administrative villages: Vellur, Korom and Payyanur. Other villages are: Annur and Kokkanissery.[1] The City is situated on the banks of Perumba River.


As of 2001 India census,[2] Payyanur had a population of 68,711. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. Payyanur has an average literacy rate of 83%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 86%, and female literacy is 80%. In Payyanur, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.


The place derives its name from the renowned Sri Subrahmanya Swami Temple located here. Payyan is an appellation of Lord Subrahmanya and ooru means "the place". Thus Payyanur means the land of Lord Subrahmanya. Payyanur is also well known for astrology, Pavithra Mothiram, art forms like Theyyam and Poorakkali, and historical movements at the time of freedom struggle. It is considered as the world hub of astrology sometimes.[3]


Payyanur is located at 12°06′N 75°12′E / 12.1°N 75.2°E / 12.1; 75.2.[4] It has an average elevation of 16 metres (51 feet).


Payyanur is one of extant ancient civilized places in Kerala.[1] This northern town of Kerala claims a rich and glorious recorded history. The archeological remains excavated from Payyanur and nearby places prove the existence of a city in this area centuries ago.[1]

The earliest known mention of this town is in the Brahmanda Purana, when Garga Muni talks about this place to the Pandavas, during their exile.[5]

The famous travellers, who visited here, have described about this area with high praise. The famous traveler Ibn Bathutha visited Ezhimala in AD 1342 and wrote about the large seaport and the Chinese ships anchored here. In AD 1273, Abul Fida, and in AD 1293, the world-famous traveler, Marco Polo, and in the 15th century, the Italian traveler Nicholo Konti all visited this place, and have given good and extensive accounts of Ezhimala port, which known by the name of “Heli”. The Portuguese Scholar and traveler Barbosa had also described this place.[1]

Centuries back, Payyanur was a part of the Ezhimala/Mushika/Kolathiri Kingdom. King Nandan who ruled this Kingdom was mighty and well known as a great warrior and ruler. The books written during the Sangam period describe about this country and this King with much importance. At certain times, Ezhimala was also under the rule of the Cheras.

Evolution of Payyanur Town[edit]

Payyanur Highway

During the past the city centre was Kachil Patanam (present Kavvayi) was the main town because of the waterways through Kavvayi River and its big Seaport. It was the administrative as well as business centre during that time. According to historians ships from China and other countries used to visit this port and anchored in the nearby river Changoorichal. Kavvayi retained its position even during the rule of British East India Company also. They established the first Magistrate's court and Registrar’s Office in Kavvayi only.

Later Kokkanisseri became the city centre. The main road, which starts from Perumba, divided the town into two. The south of this road was called Payyanur village and the north Kokkanisseri village. The business centre was called Kokkanisseri Bazaar. Later the name Payyanur became common and thus the developed city of today came into existence.

Subrahmanya swamy Temple Pond

During the regime of the Kolathiri Dynasty, Payyanur was a part of Kolathu Nadu ruled by the Kolathiri Rajas based in Chirakkal near Kannur. During the British Rule, Payyanur was considered as a "farka" which in term is a part of the Chirakkal Taluk. Till the formation of the Kerala State in 1957, Payyanur remained in the Malabar District of the Madras State. The famous scholar and author Dr. Hermann Gundert, William Logan, the Malabar District collector during the British Rule who wrote Malabar Manual also visited Payyanur and did a lot of studies on the rich heritage of Payyanur.


Payyanur is part of Payyanur assembly constituency and Kasaragod Lok Sabha constituency. C. Krishnan of CPI(M) won the 2011 kerala assembly election with a vote share of 59.78%[6] from payyanur. P. Karunakaran of CPI(M) represents the Kasaragod Lok Sabha constituency. Payyanur is notorious for political violence between the communist party and the right-wing Hindu party RSS. In 2016, two persons were hacked to death inside their houses by their political enemies. [7]


Colleges in Payyanur:

  • Payyanur College, Edat. [1]
  • Gurudev Arts & Science College, Mathil
  • College of Engineering and Technology, Mathamangalam. [2]


Payyanur has groomed several social workers like Peeranki Nambeesan, community activists, extraordinary orator and freedom fighter KP Kunhirama Poduval who founded Sanjayan Smaraka Grandhalayam at Annur (Sanjayan Memorial Library), Kelappan Service Center (perhaps the only institution built in memory of Kelappaji, also known as "Kerala Gandhi") and Payyanur Co-operative Stores among a host of other social organizations. Also from Payyanur are: Subrahmanya Shenoy (communist ex-MLA),V.P Sreekandha poduval(freedom fighter and "vayider"). well known astrologers like VPK Poduval, Madhava Poduval, Narayana Poduval, Chinda poduval and young achievers like Sooraj Poduval,Chithrabhanu k poduval, architect Kunhimangalam Narayanan master and the one and only V.P.Dhananjayan, the world-renowned dancer, Appukkuttan master, and Dr E.Sreedharan, the Sanskrit scholar. The native place of legendary Kathakali master Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair isn't far from this town. Kandoth in Payyanur is famous for pottery.The Weaver's Streets of various villages around Payyanur contributes to the fame of Handlooms of Kannur.

Uliyathu kadavu is well known in history as a result of the epic salt sathyagraha in the year 1930 under the leadership of K Kelappan. Payyanur provides a relaxing place to the tourists. Gandhi park situated in the middle of the town exhibits a good piece of art as a result of the good work done by DTPC. Nearby place Kunhimangalam is famous as the land of mangoes.


Theyyam at Payyanur
Bali Theyyam

Like any other place in Kannur, 'Theyyam' and religious festivals (Kaliyattam) of various temples in and around will be attraction of Payyanur.

Sree Kappattu Kazhagam[edit]

Sree Kappattu Kazhagam is one of the most important kazhakam in payyanur where important theyyams are performed during the Kaliyattam (festival). Almost all tharavadu in Payyanur have "Palliyara" where theyyam is performed once in a year. Poorakkali is another traditional artform, every year it will be played in the kazakam during the month of May. Kappttu Kazhagam is very well known for its "Kaliyattam". Last time kaliyattam happened in 1996. After that temple has under gone renovation. Now the temple officials are planning to have "Kaliyattam" in the near future. The main families related to Kappat are, 1.Puthiyaparambath Taravadu 2.Mattummal Taravadu 3.Kunnummal Taravadu 4.Manakkat Veedu 5.Thekkadavan Padinjarveedu 6.Thekkadavan Vadakkevedu 7.Thekkadavan Kallath 8.Thekkadavan Kizhakee Veedu 9.Thekkadavan thekkeveedu 10.Kannoth house

Sree Muthappan Madappura,Keloth[edit]

Sree Muthappan Madappura is one of the oldest madappura in Payyanur Area, The Madappura has great historical connection with Sree Kappattu Kazhagam.The madappura officials has decided to celebrate the Tiruvappana Teyyam From 2016 onwards.

Kunhimangalam Sree Malliyottu Palottu kavu[edit]

Kunhimangalam Sree Malliyottu Palottu kavu is a temple situated at Kunhimangalam near Payyanur. It is about 2 km from Ezhilode on Payyanur-Kannur Road. The presiding deity is Palottu Daivam. Spanning an area of 5 acres, the kavu houses a nalukettu, sanctums of several gods and goddesses, Kailasakkallu, Kodimaram and Pattupura. There is also a Devi temple outside the Nalukettu. The priest of Palottu Daivam is Malliyodan whereas for other gods, it is Anthithiriyan. According to the historical evidences it is believed that the Palottu Daivam is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu to kill Hayagreevan, a demon. The temple is named after Malliyodan. Formerly, the temple was known as Shri Kurumba Temple. Many festivals are celebrated here which includes the five-day Vishu festival from the 1st to 5th of Malayalam month Medam (April) and the three-day Bharani festival. The annual ten-day Pooram festival from Karthika asterism to Pooram asterism in the Malayalam month of Meenam (March – April) also attracts a large number of people.

Sree Muchilot Bhagavathi Ramanthali[edit]

Ramanthali [near Payyanur]also came into the fore in January 2008 as a result of the Muchilot Bhagavathi Perumkaliyattam.Varachuvaykkal and Kalavaraniraykkal are already over. Muchilot Bhagavathi is one of the most popular deity worshipped in North Kerala. There is a practice for supplying food to thousands of devotees in connection with the Muchilot Bhagavathi. Highly decorative figure of Muchilot Bhagavathi attracts the minds of devotees and the men of esthetic sense. In Cherukunnu and Kannapuram yearly Muchilot Bhagavathi Theyyam performed. But in several other Kavus [worshipping place] Muchilot Bhagavathi Theyyam performing in a gap of 12 to several years like one at Kayyur[near Nileshwar] in Jan 2008 after a term of 47 years. Perumkaliyattam at Muyyam near Taliparamba was a great experience to the devotees in the month of December 2007.

Sree Muchilot Kavu , Korom[edit]

Korom a village in Payyanur entered into the tourism map of Kerala as a result of the proposed Perumkaliyattam - one of the popular theyyam forms- at Sree Muchilot Kavu in 2009. In 2009, Muchilot Bhagavathi Kavu Perumkaliyattam (The Big "feast" at Muchilottu goddess shrine)to be held at Korom in Payyanur and Vengara near Pazhayangadi. The perumkaliyattam consistes of several customs and rituals like Varachuvekkal (painting), kalnattu karmam (stick one's foot), upadevadha theyyattams (theyyam for sub-gods, vellattam (getting drunk) and then the thirumudi uyaral (upheaval of hairs) of Muchilot Bhagavathi (Goddess of Muchilottu). A prasadam feast is organised in a grand manner by giving food to more than a lakh devotees symbolising the marriage of Muchilottamma (Mother lordess of Muchilottu). Perumkaliyattams played a great role in the social formation of north Kerala as cited

Chenankavu, Korom[edit]

One of the most renowned Bhagavathi temples in north Kerala, Chenankavu Temple is located in Korom village. Annual festival used to feature a galore of Theyyams, like Karichamundi.

Penunthanniyuur Subramanya Swami Temple[edit]

Perunthanniyuur Subramanya Swami Temple is another historic temple in Payyanur. A Subramanya temple, which is lacking a Sarpa Pratishta, which was destroyed by Tippu Sulthan, and further by communist revolutions in North Malabar is with least facilities. The Deva Prashna carried out, defines that the Sarpa Kaave (sarpa pratishta) can play a unique role in maintaining the temple from downfall. This findings by the means of prashna that the Subramanya idol has a scar on its forehead, which was further justified by the Sri. Shankaran Namboothiri, the temple priest, sitting in the srikovil of the temple.

Kandoth Temple Entrance

Sree Rayarothidam Someswari Temple[edit]

This temple is located at Padinjarekkara, Kadannappalli West. It is one of the famous Bhagavathi temple. Currently the temple is undergoing renovation work managed by Mr.E.P.G. Nambiar(Chennai)and other members of Erankot Tharavadu. Every year during the month of January (Makaram 17) theyyam "Karimchamundi" is performed in the temple.

Sree Makeel Mundyakkavu, Kozhummal[edit]

Makeel Mundyakkavu is one of the famous and ancient 'kavu'(temple) situated at green village called Kozhummal, which is about 7 km away from Payyanur town.

Other Places of Worship[edit]

  • Thayinery Sri Kurinhi kshethram
  • Kadangottu Maakkam Bhagavathi temple,Kunhimangalam
  • Kandothidam Someshwari temple
  • Uma Maheswara Temple
  • Thuluvannur Maha Vishu Temple
  • Kaarali Bhagawathi Temple
  • Mavicheri Sree Bhagawathi Temple
  • Madathumpadi Subrahmanya Swami Temple
  • Kotty Sree Aadhi Kannangadu Temple
  • Kandangali Kanakath Kazhakam Poomala Bhagavathi Temple
  • Thalayanneri poomala bagavathi kavuh
  • Kandoth Sree Kurumba Bhagavathi Temple
  • Vellur Sree Chamakkavu Bagavathy Temple
  • Kottanachery Maha temple

The Mangrove Trail of Malabar - Payyanur[edit]

Kalikkadavu Junction

The Mangrove Trail of Malabar is a coastal Jungle trail in North Kerala located at Payyanur in Kannur district offering close-up views of aquatic, plant and bird life. The main attraction of the Mangrove trail is the Mangrove ecosystem and the breathtaking landscape dominated by tidal creeks and waterways. This inter tidal ecosystem in Kerala, loosely described as the Mangrove Trail of Malabar is inhabited by a variety of fish, shrimps, crabs, mudskippers and some of the most sought after birds in the world. An encounter with a brown-winged Kingfisher, Grey headed Lapwing, Pallas's Fish Eagle, Lesser Adjutant or maybe Mangrove Whistler is always a possibility at the Mangrove trail of Malabar. The popular sights are Myna, Quails, Kingfisher and Wildfowl’s. Migratory birds like the Siberian cranes are sighted during the rainy season in Kerala. If luck favours, one may also come across Sea Turtles & Otters. The Mangrove Trail of Malabar is also a home to Mountain Squirrels, Jackals and a variety of reptiles. With a unique ecosystem of two high tides and two low tides each day, this terrain is tough to negotiate. The muddy swamps of the Mangrove trail add ruggedness to the journey and boating in the creeks is an unforgettable experience for the discerning traveller visiting Kerala. This place is a day tripper’s paradise and a wonderland for photographers. The tour inside the trail takes about an hour and a half. This venture promotes Ecotourism in Kerala and our aim is to conserve Mangroves. The local community has been employed in the Mangrove Trail and has been roped in as guides and oarsmen who also oversee the conservation of the Mangroves. At present there is no accommodation facility in the Mangrove Trail and visits can be arranged by advance reservation through telephone or email. Malabar Ecotourism welcomes you to an experience that is the best kept secret of Kerala.

Pavithra Mothiram[edit]

Payyanur Pavithram or Pavithra Mothiram is internationally famous like" Aranmula Mirror "or "Ambalapuzha Palpayasam". Pavithram is the particular ring worn during performing vedic or holy rituals or during the "pithrubali" (ceremony performed for the well-being of the forefathers or departed souls) in the Hindu tradition. The traditional Pavitram is usually made of "dharba" grass. The formation of Payyanur Pavitram is closely related with Payyanur Sree Subrahmanya Swami Temple. According to the legends, Pavitram made of gold was recommended to avoid the inconvenience of making it many times a day for the various poojas and rituals.[8]

Payyanur Pavithra Mothiram is a uniquely crafted ring shaped like a knot and considered being a sacred ornament. Usually, Payyanur Pavithram is being made of Gold and Silver. The Pavithram is to be worn on the right ring finger by the person performing Vedic Karmas. It is believed that this ring will bring luck and grace to anyone who wears it with the deep devotion. The three lines on the top of the ring represents the three vital "nadees"(nerves) of the human body, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. The knot between these three nerves together can awake or arose the "Kundalini sakthi" (vital energy of the body) of the human body. It is believed that the Pavithram brings the "Trimoorthi Chaithanyam" ( the vigor or the effect due to the presence of the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva).The person who wear Pavithram as well as the Goldsmith who makes it has to have to impose some sort of self-control or discipline over themselves. They should be pure vegetarian and shouldn't take alcohol and should keep way from immoral activities. If worn by women, they have to remove the ring during the period of menstruation.

According to tradition, the Pavithram, before handed over to the customer, is taken to Payyanur Perumal Temple for special poojas and a part of the cost of the ring will be given to the temple as an offering. Payyanur Pavithram is being exhibited in many of the museums of India as well as abroad. It is relevant to mention the name of late C.V. Kunhambu, who was an expert in the making of Payyanur Pavithram and was also a great freedom fighter. Payyanur has a great history of national movement, prominent leaders being, KP Kunhiraman Poduval and Subrahmanya Shenoy.

See also[edit]