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Kannur Tourism and Travel Guide

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Freedom Movement

History of Kannur

There is no evidence of the Paleolithic man having lived in this region. Nevertheless, rock-cut caves and megalithic burial sites of theKannur Neolithic age have come to light in certain parts of the district.

The Thaliparamba-Kannur- Thalassery area abounds in rock-cut caves, dolments, burial stone circles and menhirs, all of megalithic burial order.

It can be assumed that the first batch of Aryan immigrants into the State entered the district through the Tuluva region.

Mooshaka Kings and Kolathiris

Early in the 9th century A.D., the Cheras re-established their political supremacy in Kerala under Kulasekhara Varman. This second line of Chera emperors ruled till 1102 A.D with their capital at Mahodayapuram. The bulk of the area, comprising of the present Kannurdistrict, seems to have been included in this empire. A separate line of rulers known as the Mooshaka kings held sway over Chirakkal and Kasaragod areas (Kolathunad) with their capital near Mount Eli. It is not clear whether this line of rulers were attached to Mahodayapura fi or whether they ruled as an independant line of kings in their own right. By the 14th century A.D., the old Mooshaka kingdom had come to be knownas Kolathunad and the rulers known as Kolathiris and had come into prominence in north Kerala.

The Kolathiris were a power to reckon with at the time of the arrival of the portuguese towards the end of the 15th century .They were political and commercial rivals of the Zamorins of Kozhikkode.

During the medieval age, several Arab scholars visited the west coast. Baliapatam, Srikantapuram, Dhharrnadom, Bekal and Mount Eli (Ezhimala) are s ome of the places. which figure prominently in their travelogues.

Vasco Da Gama

Though Vasco Da Gamma, the famous portuguese navigator, did not visit Kannur on his way to Kozhikkode in May 1498, he established contacts with the Kolathiri ruler. His ships which had left Kozhikkode on August 29, 1498 were contacted by the boats sent by the Kolathiri and Gama was invited to visit the palace. The aim of the Kolathiri was to gain wealth and power with the help of the Portuguese, the same way the Zamorin had acquired with the help of the Arabs. In winning the alliance of the Kolathiri, Vasco Da Gamma, in turn, had successfully exploited the jealousies of the native princes and won for the Portuguese ;a virtual monopoly of the pepper trade.

Francisco De Almedia was sent from Portugal with specific instructions to erect forts at stratetgic points. He started constructing the Kannur Fort in 1505 and it was named St. Angelo.

On March 16, 1506, the Portuguese effectively intercepted an armada of Turks and Arabs, whom the Zamorin had launched against Kannur. The Portuguese navy under Lorenzo Almedia engaged the Zamorin's fleet in battle and the Portuguese ships won a decisive victory . This naval victory resulted in the establishment of Portuguese naval supremacy in the Indian seas.

Portuguese Ascendency
An important political development which took place at this juncture Kannurwas the alliance between the Kolathiri and the Zamorin who were till then sworn enemies. The Zamorin was able to convince the Kolathiri of the real motives of the Portuguese in India and the perils inherent in his policy of befriending them.

The Portuguese followed a policy of religious persecution and forcible conversion. They therefore clashed with most of the native princes and chieftains. In 1558, the Kolathiri came openly into the field against the Portuguese by providing active support to the Kunjali Marrikkars of Kozhikkode. The Kolathiri and the Zamorin fought a common war against the Portuguese and they besieged the fort of St.Angelo at Kannur, in 1564. But the portuguese continued to maintain a precarious foothold at Kannur till 1663 when the fort was captured by the Dutch in February that year.

The English East lndia Company got its first foothold in the district towards the closing years of the 17th century, when it acquired a site at Thalassery for the erection of a fort and a factory.

The distemgration of the Kolathiri’s dominion started in the latter half of the 17th and the beginnng of the 18th century following dissensions in the royal family by the extensive surrender of territory to consorts of the ruling members.

In spite of the many difflculties it had to face in the initial stages, the trade of the English East India Company prospered during the latter part of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century, by their liberal trade policies. Further, unlike the portuguese, they refused to interfere in the religious and caste affairs of the local population.

Mysorean Conquest
In 1725, the French captured Mayyazhi and renamed it as Mahe in honour of the French captain Francois Mahe De Labourdonnais.

The most important episode in the political history of north Kerala in the second half of the 18th century is the conquest of Mysore by the two muslim rulers, Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan. Haidar Ali conquered Malabar in 1773.

In January 1788, Tippu Sultan descended on Kerala with a large army and founded a new capital at Feroke for his Malabar province.

The treaties of Seringapatanam, signed on February 22 and March 18, 1792, formally ceded Malabar to the British.

The British entered into agreements with the rajas of Chirakkal, Kottayam and Kadathanand and all of them acknowledged the full I sovereignty of the Company over their respective territories.

The British Government divided the province of Malabar into two administrative divisions -the Northern and Southern, presided over by a superintendent each at Thalassery and Cherpulasseri, under the general control of the supervisor and chief magistrate of the province of Malabar who had his headquarters at Kozhikkode.

Pazhassi Revolt
While the British were busy with the political settlement of the district, a serious revolt was headed by Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja of the ~ Padinjare Kovilakom of the Kottayam family. The potent cause of the t revolt was the unpopular revenue policy followed by the East India Company in Malabar. He stopped all collections of revenue in Kottayam. The Raja further threatened to cut down all the pepper vines if the Company's officers persisted in revenue collection.

In April 1796, a determined effort was made by the British to capture the Raja in his own palace at Pazhassi. This was in vain.

On December 18, the British Commissioner issued a proclamation forbidding the people to assemble or to assist the Pazhassi Raja and warning them that if they did so, they would be considered as irreconcilable enemies of the Company and that their property would be confiscated.

On December 30, a futile attempt was made to reconcile the differences between the Raja and the Company.

On 8thJanuary 1797, PazhassiRaja'smen launched daring attack on the havildar's guard stationed at Pazhassi and the whole party except one man was killed. In the battles fought on three successive days, -9th, lOth and II th March 1797, the detachment made by the Company forces was overpowered by the swords, spears, bows and arrows of Pazhassi Raja's men. As the situation was full of perils, a reconciliation with the i Pazhassi Raja became a matter of political expediency.

While South Canara and other parts of South India were being Seringapatnam (1799), Pazhassi Raja raised the standard of revolt a second time and; shook for a while the very foundations of British power.

Colonel Stevenson's efforts early in 1801 cut off the pazhassi Raja from his adherents in South Malabar and by May the British troops had made much headway and with every port both above and below the ghats in British hands and the whole country disarmed, the Pazhassi Raja became a wanderer in the jungesaccnmpanied by his wife and immedia attendants.

On May 24, 1804, Colonel Macleod issued a proclamation waming the people that they would be treated as rebels if they failed to fumish information about rebel movements and if they helped the Pazhassi troops with arms, ammunition or provisions. Finally the pr9clamation ofJune 16 offered rewards for the apprehension of Pazhassi - Raja, tWO Other members of his family and his principal lieutenants and declared their estates and properties confiscated.from that date.

On 1 st November, Baber took direct charge of the operations and on November 30, 1805 he surrounded and shot the Ra.,a dead in an operation on the banks of a nullah. The Raja's body was cremated with "customary honours". With the death of Pazhassi Raja, the resistance movement in north Kerala came to an end.

How To Reach

By Air: Kannur is easily reachable by air as the nearest airport is the Kozhikode Airport, which is located at a distance of 93 kilometers from Kannur to the south.

By Rail/ Train: Kannur has its own railway station and is an important junction in Kerala. Trains from many neighboring states also pass through this town to reach other places. Thus, it is well connected by rail to Kerala and other nearby states.

By Road: Kannur is well linked by a wide network of roads and can be reached from anywhere in Kerala.

Shopping in Kannur
Your visit to Kannur will not be complete unless you do some shopping there. Though there are not many shopping places in Kannur, there are some places that are worth checking out. While you are wondering what to buy in Kannur, the best option would be to buy something that reminds you of this place. Read on further for more information on where to shop in Kannur.

The busiest shopping center of Kannur is the Fort Road. The road leads to the St. Angelo's fort and so is called Fort road. It is the main business center of Kannur. The road has all major hotels and banks lined up one after the other. One can find many shopping outlets like Super Bazaar, Fortlight Complex and SupplyCo among other small shops selling knick-knacks. The largest shopping mall of Kannur, known as the Kannur city center is also located over here.

Hotels in Kannur

Malabar Residency
Royal Omars
Mascot Beach Resort
Hotel Omar’s inn
Perumal Tourist Home
K.K. Tourist Home
Hotel Paris Presidency
Kamala International Tourist hotel
Hotel Highway Inn
Yathri Nivas
N.V. Malabar Avenue