Land of Beaches, Toddy Shops
To the north of Malabar Coast lies the beautiful, yet undiscovered city of Kannur, a destination known for its clean beaches. The numerous homestays and resorts located in the region promise a relaxing vacation that isn’t too hard on your wallet.
A comforting sense of calm engulfs you as you pass by a zillion coconut trees that line the city roads. It is better to arrange your own means of transportation, as the city shuts down early. It might be hard to find an ATM or a petrol station unless you are in one of the few busy streets of the area. The Parassinikadavu Snake Park houses a variety of poisonous and non-poisonous snakes, an unusual number of crocodiles, porcupines, birds and other animals. The main attraction of the park is a majestic King Cobra housed in a large cage, slithering amidst small plants and an artificial stream.
The Muthappan Temple, located on the banks of Valapattanam River, is known for its folk deity Sree Muthappan, usually associated with Shiva or Vishnu. Devotees dip their feet in the river before entering the shrine, and a quick ride on a motorboat around the river is also available upon request.
With a coastline of three kilometres, Payyambalam Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Kannur, while the drive-in beach at Muzhappilangad is said to be the largest in Asia. Treat yourself to some tangy pacha manga with chili powder or pickled gooseberries from the vendors, as you admire the sunset at the beach.
St Angelo’s Fort, constructed by the Portuguese, and the Arakkal Museum, dedicated to the only Muslim royal family in the state, are not to be missed. Summer is probably not the best time to visit Kannur.
However, respite can be found after multiple pegs of kallu (also called toddy or palm wine) that will cool you down and give you the much-needed ‘kick’. Petty shops in the region sell a beverage called jeera soda that quenches your thirst after an exhausting day of sightseeing. Seafood lovers should visit the coastal city just to dig into the fish fry available here, while the chicken biryani is also quite famous. A trip to the quiet city in God’s Own Country might be all you need to take your mind off things.