15 Things To Do In Kannur

Things To Do In Kannur

Nestled along the picturesque coast of North Kerala, Kannur is a gem that boasts a compelling blend of cultural richness, historical depth, and natural beauty. Known for its pristine beaches, colonial architecture, and vibrant traditions, this city offers a plethora of experiences that attract tourists from all over the world. If you’re planning a trip and wondering about the best “Things To Do In Kannur,” you’ve come to the right place. From relaxing on golden beaches and exploring ancient forts to witnessing the spectacular Theyyam rituals and venturing through lush green landscapes, Kannur invites you to immerse yourself in its enchanting atmosphere. Let’s dive into a curated list of activities that showcase the essence of this beautiful city.

Things To Do In Kannur

  1. Visit St. Angelo Fort

Built in 1505 by the first Portuguese Viceroy of India, St. Angelo Fort offers a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea and a glimpse into the colonial history of Kerala. The fort’s massive laterite walls and the well-preserved architecture reflect the struggles and victories of the past, making it a fascinating visit for history enthusiasts. Stroll along the ramparts at sunset for breathtaking views of the Moppila Bay and Dharmadam Island. The fort also houses a small museum that showcases artifacts from the colonial era, which provides deeper insight into the region’s historical significance.

  1. Relax at Payyambalam Beach

Payyambalam Beach is one of the most beautiful and serene beaches in Kerala, known for its long stretch of golden sand and pristine waters. It’s the perfect spot for families and solo travelers looking to unwind and enjoy the tranquility of nature. The beach is well-maintained, offering ample facilities like clean changing rooms, benches, and small eateries serving local snacks. The beautifully landscaped garden and the massive sculpture of a mother and child by the shore add to its charm, making it an ideal location for evening walks and capturing stunning sunsets.

  1. Explore the Theyyam Rituals

Theyyam is a traditional ritual dance of North Kerala, and witnessing this divine performance is a truly unique experience. Theyyam involves elaborate costumes, intense drumming, and highly energetic dance moves that represent a host of gods, goddesses, and heroes. The ritual is usually performed in small temples or at community spaces from October to May. Watching Theyyam up close allows visitors to connect with the local culture and spirituality in a profound way. Each performance tells a story, often highlighting moral values and tales of valor which resonate deeply with the spectators.

  1. Visit the Arakkal Museum

The Arakkal Museum is dedicated to the Arakkal family, the only Muslim royal family in Kerala. The museum is housed in the Durbar Hall of the Arakkal Palace, showcasing artifacts that highlight the family’s significant contribution to the history of Kerala. Visitors can explore exhibits that include royal furniture, armory, and the intricate woodwork of the palace itself. The museum also provides insightful details about the maritime activities of the Arakkal rulers, including their trade relations and naval engagements. A visit to the Arakkal Museum is a great way to understand the multicultural aspects of Kannur’s history.

  1. Experience Kannur’s Lighthouse and Cliff Walk

The Kannur Lighthouse is one of the city’s iconic landmarks, offering spectacular views of the Arabian Sea and the surrounding landscape. Visitors can climb to the top to enjoy a bird’s eye view of Kannur’s coastline. Adjacent to the lighthouse is a well-paved pathway leading to the Cliff Walk, a scenic trail along the edge of rocky cliffs. The walk is safe, with guardrails and several viewing points where visitors can stop to take in the vistas. The combination of the lighthouse and the scenic cliff path offers a perfect blend of adventure and tranquility, making it a must-visit for every tourist.

  1. Explore the Kannur Cantonment Area

Kannur Cantonment is one of the few remaining cantonments in Kerala, reflecting the region’s deep-rooted military history. The area boasts well-preserved British-era bungalows and churches that exude a quaint, colonial charm. Walking through the cantonment, you’ll encounter the St. John’s Anglican Church—a 19th-century architectural marvel with intricate woodwork and stained-glass windows. The quiet, tree-lined streets are perfect for leisurely walks, allowing visitors to step back in time and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of a bygone era.

  1. Attend the Kannur Beach Festival

The Kannur Beach Festival, held annually at the Payyambalam Beach, is a vibrant celebration of local art, music, and cuisine. The festival showcases live performances from traditional Theyyam artists to contemporary musicians and dancers. Local artisans display their crafts, and food stalls offer a taste of Kannur’s culinary delights, from spicy seafood to sweet treats. The festival’s lively atmosphere, combined with the stunning beach backdrop, makes it a must-visit for those looking to experience Kannur’s dynamic cultural scene.

  1. Visit the Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach

Muzhappilangad Beach is famed for being Asia’s longest drive-in beach, where you can drive along 4 kilometers of sandy shoreline. This unique experience allows visitors to enjoy the beach from the comfort of their vehicle or to stop and soak up the sun and surf. The beach is bordered by black rocks, which protect it from strong ocean currents, making the waters ideal for swimming. Adventure enthusiasts can also try their hand at various water sports available here, including parasailing and jet-skiing. The drive-in beach is a fun and exhilarating way to experience Kannur’s beautiful coastline.

  1. Trek to Paithalmala

Paithalmala is the highest geographic peak in Kannur and offers a challenging yet rewarding trekking experience. The trek leads through dense forests and offers stunning views of the Western Ghats. At the peak, trekkers are rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and hills. The area is also a popular spot for bird watching and photography, especially during the monsoon when the landscape turns lush green. The trek to Paithalmala is an excellent opportunity for nature lovers to immerse themselves in the tranquil beauty of Kannur’s highlands.

  1. Discover the Anjarakandy Cinnamon Estate

As one of the oldest and largest cinnamon estates in Asia, Anjarakandy offers a fascinating insight into the cultivation and processing of cinnamon. Visitors can take a guided tour of the plantation to learn about the history of cinnamon production, which dates back to the British colonial era. The tour includes visits to the cinnamon fields, processing units, and even offers cinnamon tasting sessions. The lush greenery and the aroma of cinnamon make this experience not only educational but also sensory.

  1. Visit the Snake Park at Parassinikkadavu

The Parassinikkadavu Snake Park is a must-visit for wildlife enthusiasts. This park, one of the major attractions in Kannur, is dedicated to the preservation and study of snakes and other reptiles. Home to a wide variety of snakes, including the King Cobra, Russell’s viper, and the Indian Python, the park provides a safe environment to observe these fascinating creatures. The park also conducts awareness programs about snake conservation and the importance of snakes in the ecosystem, making it an educational visit for all ages.

  1. Explore the Tellicherry Fort

Built in the early 18th century by the British East India Company, the Tellicherry Fort is an impressive historical landmark with high walls and strong bastions overlooking the Arabian Sea. The fort’s architecture is exemplary of the colonial era, and it played a pivotal role in the military and trading history of the Malabar region. The fort now houses a small museum that exhibits artifacts from its eventful past, including cannons and ancient documents, providing a glimpse into the life during colonial times.

  1. Visit the Madayi Para

Madayi Para is a flat-topped hill that offers stunning views of the Kavvayi Backwaters and the Arabian Sea. Known for its rich biodiversity and archaeological significance, the area is dotted with ancient ruins, including a 12th-century mosque built with white marble imported from Mecca. The hill is also famous for its unique laterite rock formations, which turn bright red during the sunset, creating a mesmerizing landscape. This scenic spot is perfect for picnics, photography, and simply enjoying the tranquility of nature.

  1. Take a Backwaters Cruise

A backwaters cruise in Kannur offers a unique way to explore the serene backwaters of the region. You can rent a traditional houseboat or a smaller country boat to navigate through the network of rivers, lagoons, and canals. The cruise typically passes through lush green landscapes, rural villages, and rice paddies, offering a glimpse into the daily lives of the local people. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to spot wildlife, especially birds like kingfishers, herons, and cormorants. This peaceful experience is a wonderful way to relax and take in the natural beauty of Kannur.

  1. Attend a Kalaripayattu Show

Kalaripayattu, an ancient martial art form of Kerala, is something not to be missed while in Kannur. There are several local schools that offer performances for visitors, where skilled practitioners display their agility and combat techniques. These shows often include weapons skills, hand-to-hand combat, and healing techniques, providing an insight into this traditional art form. Attending a Kalaripayattu show is not just about watching an athletic display; it’s about experiencing a part of Kerala’s cultural heritage.


Kannur is a city that never ceases to amaze. With its rich tapestry of history, culture, and nature, it offers something for every type of traveler. Whether you’re a history enthusiast keen on exploring centuries-old forts, a nature lover eager to tread through verdant landscapes, or a culture seeker looking to immerse yourself in traditional performances, Kannur has it all. The “Things To Do In Kannur” span from thrilling martial arts shows to tranquil backwater cruises, ensuring that your visit is packed with unforgettable experiences. So, pack your bags and set off for this incredible destination, where every corner tells a story and every moment becomes a cherished memory. Explore Kannur, and let it captivate your heart with its timeless charm.

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