"Cannanore" redirects here. For other uses, see Cannanore (disambiguation).
This article is about the city in Kerala, India. For the former city state, see Kolathunadu. For the district, see Kannur district. For the town in Karnataka, see Kannur, Dakshina Kannada.

Clockwise from top: Gandhi Circle (formerly Caltex), St. Angelo's Fort, Thavakara Bus Terminal, Sea Pathway, Payyambalam Beach
Nickname(s): Land of looms and lores
Coordinates: 11°52′08″N 75°21′20″E / 11.8689°N 75.3555°E / 11.8689; 75.3555Coordinates: 11°52′08″N 75°21′20″E / 11.8689°N 75.3555°E / 11.8689; 75.3555
Country  India
State Kerala
District Kannur
Talukas Kannur, previously known as Chirakkal Taluk
  Type Municipal Corporation
  Body Kannur Municipal Corporation
  Mayor Smt. E. P. Latha
  Deputy Mayor Sri. P. K. Ragesh
  District Collector Sri. Mir Mohammed Ali IAS
  District Police Chief Sri. Kori Sanjaykumar Gurudin IPS
  Inspector General of Police (Kannur Range) Sri. Dinendra Kashyap IPS
Population (2011)
  City 232,634
  Metro 1,642,892
  Official Malayalam, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 670 xxx
Telephone code 0497
ISO 3166 code IN-KL
Vehicle registration KL-13 KL-58 KL-59


Town and bay of Kannur by Thomas Cussans
Anti War protest in Kannur

Kannur (Malayalam: കണ്ണൂർ), also known by its English name Cannanore,[1] is a city and a Municipal Corporation in Kannur district, state of Kerala, India. It is the administrative headquarters of the Kannur District and situated 518 km north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. During British rule in India, Kannur was known as Cannanore, which is used now only by the Indian Railways.[2] It is largest city of the North Malabar region.Kannur is one of the million-plus urban agglomerations in India with a population of 1,642,892 in 2011,Kannur on the other hand is the 4th largest city after Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.[3]

Kannur district is known as the land of Looms and Lores, because of the loom industries functioning in the district and ritualistic folk arts held in temples. Kannur is famous for its pristine beaches, Theyyam, its native performing art, and its handloom industry. Kannur is of great strategic military importance in India. Kannur Cantonment is one of the 62 military cantonments in the country and is the headquarters of the Defence Security Corps and Territorial Army’s 122 Infantry Battalion (under Madras Regiment). Indian Naval Academy (INA) is 35 km north of Kannur City. It is Asia's largest and the world's third largest naval academy. An Indian Coast Guard Academy is approved to be built at Kannur. This academy will be built on the banks of Valapattanam River at Irinave, east of Azhikkal. Kannur Cantonment is one of the important cantonments in India.


The name Kannur may have been derived from Kanathur, an ancient village. Another opinion holds that Kannur was originally a portmanteau derived from two Malayalam words: Kannan (Krishna), a Hindu deity, and Ur (place)—making it "the place of Lord Krishna." One support for this theory is that the deity of the Kadalayi Sriracha Temple was originally installed in a shrine at Kadalayi Kotta in the southeastern part of the present Kannur town. During the British Raj, the city was known as Cannanore, the anglicised form of the Malayalam word Kannur.[4]

Gandhi Memorial
New Bus Stand
Mappila Bay


Main article: History of Kannur

Kannur was an important trading center in the 12th century, with active business connections with Persia and Arabia. It served as the British military headquarters on India's west coast until 1887. In conjunction with its sister city, Tellicherry, it was the third largest city on the western coast of British India in the 18th century after Bombay and Karachi.

Kannur is a very ancient city which used to be one of the three important cities of the whole western Indian sub continent 200 years ago; competing with Bombay and Karachi. It is said to be that the Loud Sage – the ship of King Solomon had anchored off the coast of Kannur to gather wood for the construction of the Temple of the Lord. Kannur's name has mentions in the Periplus of the Eritrean Naura and sea, a work of the great Greek antiquity.

The original city of Kannur was under Kerala's only Muslim Royal dynasty called the Arakkal Sultanate and it was their capital. This area is still known as Kannur City. The modern town is referred as Kannur Town. Kannur, as a district and surrounding areas were mostly ruled by the famous Kolathiri rajas (kings). When the state of Kerala was formed the district took the name Kannur, since the administrative offices were established here. Before that, Kannur was under the Chirakkal Taluk of Madras state under British rule. When the British dominated this part of the world, they preferred Madras and Cochin as their major stations and Kannur started to lose its old glory. The people of Kannur are still waiting for their old glory to get back and they feel they are being sidelined because the state administration is located exactly opposite side of the state.

Kannur was known to the Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Hebrews and Arabs thousands of years back and it was used to be the trading hub for mainly spices, timbers, etc. It was the only place in entire India (!!!) which was targeted by Portuguese, Dutch, French, British and Germans and used for trading by Arabs, Hebrews, Persians, etc. for reasons unknown and no clear history to go back and verify. The border town of Kannur district named Mahe is still called French Mahe, because it was ruled by French and is under Pondicherry not under Kerala Government. The Portuguese built their first fort in Kannur, possibly because Kannur was their main target in India. Since Kannur was the biggest town in the western Indian Sub Continent, up to 200 years back, the city must have been well known outside India and become a target for the European traders. Kannur and its twin sister town Thalassery are well known for their distinct food dishes, which display an elegant combination of food styles from the native territory, as well as from the territories that traded with them.

St. Angelo Fort was built in 1505 by Dom Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy of India. The British conquered it in 1790 and used it as one of their major military stations on the Malabar Coast. During the 17th century, Kannur was the capital city of the only Muslim Sultanate in India, known as Arakkal.[5] During the British Raj, Kannur was part of the Madras province in the North Malabar District.

The guerrilla war by Pazhassi Raja, the ruler of Kottayam province, against the British had a huge impact in the history of Kannur. Changes in the socio-economic and political sectors in Kerala during the initial decades of 20th century created conditions congenial for the growth of the Communist Party. Extension of English education initiated by Christian missionaries in 1906 and later carried forward by government, rebellion for wearing a cloth to cover upper parts of body, installing an idol at Aruvippuram in 1888, Malayali Memorial in 1891, establishment of SNDP Yogam in 1903, activities, struggles etc. became factors helpful to accelerate changes in Kerala society during a short time. Movements for liberation from the colonial rule of British imperialism and struggles launched by these movements grew with them.

Very soon, ideas about socialism and Soviet Revolution reached Kerala. Such ideas got propagated in Kerala through the works of Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pillai, Sahodaran Ayyappan, P. Kesavadev and others.By the beginning of the 1930s some other useful developments were taking place. Important among them was Nivarthana Agitation in Travancore. That was the demand of people suppressed so far as untouchables and weaker sections for participation in government. This brought to the forefront struggles like proportional representation in government and reservation of jobs. This imparted a new enthusiasm among oppressed masses.[6]



Kannur, particularly the rural areas, has been referred to[7] as a stranglehold[8] of the left parties – locally known as 'party gramam'. Gramam means 'village' and usually denote local allegiance to only one party. Kannur has a strong presence of trade unions as well as left-leaning organizations.[9][10][11] However, other parties also have strong influence.[12]

Kannur is the most politically volatile district in Kerala. Though Kannur is home to highly talented political leaders in the past including very talented two chief ministers Mr. K. Karunakaran and Mr. E. K Nayanar, central ministers E. Ahmed, C. M. Ebrahim, Venugopal, etc., the benefits of development was very slow to reach the place.

5 ministers out of 20 in the present government are from Kannur including the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan from Pinarayi village represents Dharmadam Constituency in Kannur. Since formation of the state, roughly half who occupied the Chief Minister's office had some sort of connection to the district.

Geography and climate

Kannur has an elevation of 1.02 metres (2.98 ft) along the coast of the Laccadive Sea, with a sandy coastal area. The town has an 8 km-long seashore and a 3 km-long beach at Payyambalam.

Kannur experiences a rare humid tropical monsoon climate under the Köppen climate classification (Am). In April and May, the average daily maximum temperature is about 35 °C (95 °F). Temperatures are low in December and January: about 20 °C (68 °F). Like other areas on the Malabar Coast, this town receives heavy rainfall during the Southwest monsoon. The annual average rainfall is 3438 mm, around 68% of which is received in July.[13]

Climate data for Kannur (1978–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.8
Average high °C (°F) 32.7
Average low °C (°F) 21.5
Record low °C (°F) 16.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 3.9
Average rainy days 0.2 0.0 0.5 2.5 7.9 24.2 25.0 21.6 11.2 10.5 5.2 1.3 110.0
Source: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010)[14][15]


Fruit vendor near railway station

According to the 2011 census of India,[16] Kannur city has a population of 56,823. Males constitute 46.2% of the population and females 53.8%. Kannur has an average literacy rate of 96.23%, higher than the national average of 74.04%. Male literacy is 98% and female literacy is 94%. In Kannur, 12% of the population is under six years of age.

Hindus form the majority of the population with 32,026 members forming 56.3% of the population.[16] There are 21,557 Muslims forming 37.9% of the population.[16] Christians form 5% of the population with 2,892 members.[16] The Anglo-Indian community in Kannur live mainly in the Kannur Cantonment of Burnacherry and it's surrounding areas of Thillery, No.3 Bazaar and Camp Bazaar. Malayalam is the administrative and local language.

Constituent villages

Kannur Taluk has 34 villages.


St.Angelo's Fort

St. Angelo Fort was built in 1505 by the first Portuguese Viceroy of India, Dom Francisco de Almeida. In 1663, the Dutch captured it and then in 1772, they sold the fort to the Arakkal King. In 1790, the British captured it, and it was under the British until 1947.

Hindu Temples

Kannur is assumed to have got the name, the Land of Krishna (Kannande uuru) because of Kadalai Shri Krishna Temple. Shri Rajarajeshwara temple, Parassinikadavu Sree Muthappan Temple and Annapurneshwari Temple, Payyanur Sree Subrahmanya swami temple, Trichambaram Temple and Madayikavu temple, are the famed temples of the region. The Shri Rajarajeshwara temple is a very important temple in South India, considering the fact, that the devaprasna ritual, to astrologically determine the problems of most of the important South Indian temples is conducted here. Other temples:


Sir Syed College, Taliparamba
Chalil Beach, Kannur
Caltex Junction, Kannur


Kannur has a good road network connecting to Mangalore, Bangalore and Cochin. The railway station is also well connected to all parts of India. The nearest airports are at Calicut and Mangalore while the new airport coming up in Kannur is expected to begin commercial operations in mid-2017. Kannur is on National Highway 66 or NH 66 (formerly National Highway 17) between Kozhikode and Mangalore. This highway is scheduled to be expanded to four lanes. A bypass for Kannur city is proposed under the NH widening project. Kannur is connected to Kodagu, Mysore and Bangalore in Karnataka by the ThalasseryCoorgMysore interstate highway.

Kannur railway station is one of the major stations of the Southern Railway zone, under the jurisdiction of the Palakkad. All trains including the Thiruvananthapuram Rajdhani Express and Kochuveli Garib Rath stop at Kannur. Six daily trains and around 15 weekly or bi-weekly trains connect Kannur to the capital Thiruvananthapuram.

Kannur International Airport is being constructed at Mattanur in Kannur District, Kerala, India. It is the fourth international airport in Kerala. The airport will have a 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) runway (the longest in the State) and state of the art passenger terminal as well other amenities. It will be well connected by a comprehensive network of roads and a proposal for railway line has also been mooted. In the 2016–17 Union Railway budget, 400 crore (US$59 million) were dedicated for under Extra Budgetary Resource (EBR) in which a part of the bill will be borne by the State Government towards the railway line.


Statue of Albert Einstein at the Science Park, Kannur

Malayalam movie actors Sreenivasan, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Dhyan Sreenivasan, Vineeth, Vineeth Kumar, Samvrutha Sunil, Raghavan, Jishnu, TV Chandran, Santhosh Keezhattoor, Manju Warrier, Sreekala Sasidharan, Anju Aravind, Archana Kavi, Kavya Madhavan, Sanusha, Saleem Ahmed, Geethu Mohandas and Sruthi Lakshmi are from Kannur District. So are music composers Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri, K. Raghavan, Kannur Rajan, Ramesh Narayanan, Sathyan Edakkad, dancer Shamna Kasim, baby serial actor Niranjana G – Manjurukum kalam fame and singers Ramachandran Cherukunnu Erancholi Moosa, Kannur Shareef and Sayanora.

Many local cable television channels are available in Kannur. The most popular cable channels are City Channel, City Gold, City Juke, Network Channel(s), Zeal Network, Kannur Vision, World Vision, Worldvision Music, Chakkarakkal, and Gramika channel Koothuparamba.

All India Radio is broadcast in Kannur at 101.5 MHz. Private FM radio stations in Kannur include:

A number of newspapers are published from Kannur, including the Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Madhyamam, Deshabhimani, Deepika, Chandrika, Kerala Kaumudi, News First, Janmabhumi, Veekshanam, Thejas, and Siraj.


See also


  1.  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Cannanore". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  2. "indianrailways.info". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  3. Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 million and above
  4. "The Official Website of Kannur District". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  5. Arakkal royal family
  6. "Pazhassi Raja Museum and Art Gallery, Kozhikode – Kerala Tourism". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  7. "Dread and Belonging in Kerala's Party Villages". OPEN Magazine. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  8. "Conduct Of A Perfect Murder". The Caravan – A Journal of Politics and Culture. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  9. "In CPM bastion Kannur, political violence takes a turn for the worse". timesofindia-economictimes. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  10. "The Telegraph – Calcutta (Kolkata) – Nation – Long wait to decode Kannur poll riddle". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  11. "News Archives: The Hindu". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  12. "India Together: Winds of change in killing fields: Nileena M.S. – 14 March 2013". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  13. Climate: Kannur (Cannanore) CalicutNet.com
  14. "Kannur Climatological Table Period: 1971–2000". India Meteorological Department. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  15. "Ever recorded Maximum and minimum temperatures up to 2010". India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original on 21 May 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  16. 1 2 3 4 http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011census/C-01/DDW32C-01%20MDDS.XLS
  17. Administrator. "Welcome". Retrieved 5 April 2015.

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