Friday, June 8, 2012



Aralam wildlife sanctuary is the northernmost protected area of Kerala state, situated in the southeast part of Kannur District. The sanctuary area falls in Aralam, Kelakam and Kottiyoor revenue villages and is located in the Northwest slopes of Western Ghats contiguous with the forests of Coorg (Kodagu) district of Karnataka state. Aralam is a contiguous block of forests stretching to the adjacent Wayanad-Brahmagiri and Wayanad northern slopes. The forests are also contiguous with the protected areas of the Karnataka state namely the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and also with the forests of Coorg and assume much importance in meta population management especially with regard to the case of larger mammals such as Gaur, Elephant, Tiger and endemic primates such as Lion-tailed macaque, and Nilgiri Langur. The Cheenkannipuzha, a major tributary to the Valapattanam River originates from the forests of Aralam and this river is very crucial in controlling the Agro-Economy and Fishery- Economy of Kannur District. Perennial nature of the river is very much depended on the watershed services provided by the Aralam forests. It is the only protected stretch of forests in the district and since man-wildlife conflict is a mounting problem in the region, due to the presence of larger fauna, Aralam wildlife sanctuary has tremendous scope in the field of Conservation, Education, Research and creating environmental awareness. Aralam sanctuary forms a vital link in the network of protected areas stretching from north to south along the Western Ghats. Aralam forests with its local specialized ecological niche support a variety of endemic species, which are in the verge of extinction.



Madayipara is a significant spot owing to its bio-diversity as well as history. In the past, Madayipara was the administrative center of the Ezhimala kings. In and around Madayipara, one can find remnants from the past. At the southern side of the hill, stand the remains of a fort called Pazhi Kotta (kotta means fort in Malayalam). Here one can also find watchtowers at the four corners of the fort. Between AD 14 and AD 18, Madayipara used to be the site for the coronation ceremony of the rulers of the princely state of the erstwhile Kolathunadu.
The hillock of Madayipara, which carries several signs of historic relevance, is also a place important from a religious point of view. Here, a pond in the shape of a hand held mirror, connected to ancient jewish setllers is another historic attraction. Similarly, a temple at this site, called Vadukunda Siva Temple and the adjoining lake, about an acre in extension form yet another attraction at Madayipara. The lake near the temple will not go dry even in hot summer months and remains a source of nourishment to life forms at Madayipara. The pooram festival of Madayi Kavu (kavu – family temples and those in the midst of thick vegetation) held at Madayipara has been responsible for much of its fame.



The quiet, secluded Payyambalam beach is a popular local picnic spot and a beautiful beach resort. Payyambalam beach is a major tourist spot in Kannur and is situated around 2 km from Kannur town. A long clean beach, its enchanting ambiance invites you to play in water , sunbathe or just lounge around with your near and dear ones . At one end of the beach is a flat laterite cliffs just into the sea. Picturesque and incredibly beautiful. The well laid out gardens and the massive landscaped sculpture of mother & child greet the visitor to Payyambalam. The magnificient landscaped sculpture of mother & child adds to Payyambalam’s beauty. Kanayi Kunhiraman, a noted sculptor erected this sculpture.
One of the most beautiful beaches of Kerala, Payyambalam beach of Kannur is a vast stretch of golden sands dotted with coconut trees. This secluded beach is an ideal getaway for you if you want to spend a relaxed and laidback evening amidst calm surroundings. One can enjoy the panoramic views of the Sunrise and Sunset in Payyambalam beach. Aside from its clean and secluded location, the well laid out garden also pulls many tourists to the beach. Payyambalam is also an ideal picnic spot where one can have a leisure time while enjoying the slice of nature. The best time to visit this beach is during October to May. The Payyambalam beach of Kannur is a vast stretch of golden sands dotted with coconut trees. The adjacent Baby Beach through the Burnassery Cantonment is delightfully quiet.

Thursday, June 7, 2012



Arakkal Palace holds the credit of being the one and only royal residence of the Arakkal Royal Family in Kerala. Arakkal Palace and Kannur Fort stand in close proximity to each other, singing the lore of the ancient and medieval times. In 2005, the palace was converted into a museum. Now, it is preserved by the Department of Archaeology and Kerala Tourism. The fort stands till now as the witness of the glorious years which have been a part of the rich history of Kerala. Arakkal Palace belonged to the Arakkal Royal family, the only Muslim royal family in Kerala. In 1663, Arakkal ruler also purchased St. Angelo Fort from the Dutch. The Arakkal rulers had control over the northern coastal region of Kerala and Lakshadweep. The Arakkal family used to accept the eldest member of the family, irrespective of gender, as the ruler of the province. ‘Ali Rajah’ was the name given to the male rulers of the Arakkal family, while their female counterparts were called ‘Arakkal Beevis’. By 1870, the British seized the fort and built their military base on the Malabar Coast. They also carried the construction of a tunnel connecting the Fort, with Thalassery Fort, located at a distance of 21 km from Kannur Fort. This tunnel used to come in handy at the time when the enemies used to attack. The major residents were transported to another location through this tunnel.
Arakkal Palace is constructed in the traditional Keralite manner. It holds resemblance with other monuments in Kerala. The upper floor of the palace has large halls, with neat wooden floors. The windows are double shuttered with colored glass panes. The palace still owned by the Arakkal family Trust, but it is preserved and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. The durbar hall section of the palace houses an elaborate museum. Dedicated to the Arakkal family, it exhibits various credible belongings and artifacts of the royal family.



22km from the land of the exotic art form of theyyam-the northern district of Kannur is the small town of Thalassery. In this town stands an imposing historical monument the Thalassery Fort.
The East India Company which had established its settlement on the Malabar Coast in 1683 built the monument as a testimonial of their colonial imperialism in 1703. The fort was once the nucleus of Thalassery’s development. The imposing square fort has massive walls, huge, intricately carved doors and secret tunnels to the sea all in all, the perfect setting for you to get an authentic taste of some local history and heritage! Thalassery fort which was once the nucleus of Thalassery’s development. It is now a historical monument.
The British arrived in Thalassery in 1683 and erected a goods shed there. They shifted their commercial capital to Thalassery from Kozhikode, following obstruction from the Dutch.


Bekal Fort is one of the largest preserved forts in Kasargod district of Kerala. The fort gets its uniqueness quotient from its exotic structure, which is shaped in the form of a keyhole. It was exclusively meant for the purpose of providing defense to the territory. Bekal Fort is prominent, because unlike most of the Indian forts, this monument does not have a palace or a mansion. For that matter, even the remains of any such structure cannot be found in Bekal Fort. The holes which are made on the outer walls of the structure are specially designed, so that the fort could be defended in case of a war. The holes on top are designed to aim at the farthest enemy, while the holes which are lower on the wall are for striking when the enemy is approaching. This shows how much time and hard work was spent in forming the design of the Fort.
During Kolathiri kingdom’s reign, Vekkolath Fort was identified by a number of scholars as the Bekal Fort. It is supposed that later the Bednore rulers rebuilt the fort and heavy renovations were done to improve it. Bekal Fort has supposedly served the Nayakas in establishing their dominance in the then called Malabar region. Later, the Nayakas found out the economic importance of the port and hence, they fortified the Bekal Fort subsequently.


A massive triangular laterite fort, replete with a moat and flanking bastions  St. Angelo’s Fort was built in 1505 by Dom Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy of India and is on the Arabian sea about 1 km from Kannur town. It was attacked in vain by the local Indian ruler in the Siege of Cannanore (1507). The fort changed hands several times. In 1663, the Dutch captured the fort from the Portuguese and sold it to Ali Raja of Kannur. In 1790 the British who seized control over the fort, renovated and equipped it to be their most important military station in Malabar. It is fairly well preserved as a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India. A painting of this fort and the fishing ferry behind it can be seen in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The Dutch captured the fort from the Portuguese in 1663, then later sold the fort to king Ali Raja of Arakkal. In 1790 British seized it and transformed it into their chief military station in Malabar. The fort is in Cannanore cantonment area. St Angelo’s fort is a most important historical monument and a good tourist center. Here Kerala Police have posted few Tourism Policemen for the protection and guidance to the tourists.