Great Emporia of Spice Trade
Kannur, the headquarters of this district, is one of the most important sea coast towns of Kerala. Kannur, is mentioned in Macro Polo's travels as " a great emporia of spice trade". Kannur is today a pleasant town with an excellent beach and many historic monuments. The town also boasts of a thriving handloom industry.
With the Western Ghats in the east (Coorg District of Karnataka State), Kozhikode and Wayanad Districts in the south, Lakshadweep sea in the west and Kasergod in the north, Kannur district is bounded by a wealth of natural beauty.
The district itself, which shares much of this natural splendor, has been a key contributor to the cultural, religious, political and industrial heritage of the State. In addition, Kannur enjoys the credit of having been the cradle of many a colorful folk art and folk music of Kerala.
Dr. Herman Gundert, the revered German missionary, played an important role in the history of Thalassery. He was born in Stuttgart on 1814 February 14 and came to India as a Christian missionary.
He studied history and religion from Tubin University and got doctorate from Switzerland. In 1834 he become a member of Basal Mission. Basal Mission Society was his motivation for coming to India. He studied Hindi, Bengali and Tamil in early day itself. He started staying at Thirunalveli.
At the age of 24 Gundert married Yuliya de Bova. From 27th February 1839 he started staying at Illikkunnu , a place near Thalassery- Ancharakkandy road. Now also Gundert Bungalow is tourist attraction.
It is a beautiful building with tiled roof. He was a master in 18 languages. In 1939 he started a school in the Bungalow. He was the first school inspector for Malabar and South Karnataka. In 1847 first Malayalam news paper 'Rajyasamacharam' started from Thalassery.
After that another publication named 'Paschimodayam' was also started. Articles published by Gundert in German, English, Malayalam and Tamil languages spanned to various subjects such as history, grammar, language science, general knowledge etc.
Out of 50+ books published by him, most famous one is English-Malayalam dictionary. This dictionary was published at Mangalore in 1872. Although the dictionary was published at Mangalore, he verified the content from Kalwa of Germany since he left India on April 11 1859 itself.
'Keralolppathi' published in 1843 and 'Keralapazhama' published in 1868 are also well known. Dr. Herman Gundert died on April 25 1893.
St Angelo Fort
The first Portuguese Viceroy, Don Francisco De Almeda with the consent of the ruling Kolathiri Raja, constructed this seafront laterite fort in 1505 AD. After changing hands from the Portuguese to the Dutch and then to the English, the fort became one of the important military centres of the British in Malabar.
The fort, which is now under the Archaeological Survey of India, offers fascinating views of the Mappila bay fishing harbour.
The fort constructed in 1708 was the military centre of the British. It is now a historical monument. The SAI Gymnastic Centre, an old Muslim mosque, the Jagannatha Temple and Thiruvangad Sree Rama Swami Temple are other attractions nearby.
The church of Nettur Hill built in 1889 by a German Scholar, the fine beach and camp Bazaar are worth visiting.
Once a tiny French enclave on the West Coast, Mahe is now under the administrative control of thje union territory of Pondicherry. Mahe is famous for its sea-skirting roads and distinct French flavour.
Parassinikadavu Snake Park
Snake Park is the only one of kind the in the State and perhaps the whole of India. There are three snake pits, fifteen glass cases for snakes and two large glass houses for King Cobras in the park. Snake demonstrations conducted every hour draw large crowds of visitors. (Open 0900-1730 hrs everyday). There are frequent bus services from Kannur to Parassinikadavu.
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
The Aralam Sanctuary is spread over 55 sq kms of undulating forested highlands on the slopes of the Western Ghats. The highest peak here - Katti Betta - rises to a majestic 1145 m above sea level.
Covered with tropical and semi evergreen forests, the Aralam Sanctuary is home to a vast variety of flora and fauna endemic to the Western Ghats. Herds of deer, elephant, sloth bear, sambar, mouse-deer, boar and bison are common sights. Leopards, jungle cats and various types of squirrels are also seen here.
Aralam, a village in Thalasserry, is also noted for the Central State Farm, a 3060 hectare farm started in 1971 by the Government of India. This is one of the main production centres of hybrid coconut seeds in the country.