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Kannur (Cannanore)
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Introducing Kannur (Cannanore)

The main draw in this part of coastal Kerala are the undeveloped beaches and the enthralling theyyam possession rituals. Under the Kolathiri rajas, Kannur (Cannanore) was a major port bristling with international trade – explorer Marco Polo christened it a ‘great emporium of spice trade’. Since then, the usual colonial suspects, including the Portuguese, Dutch and British, have had a go at exerting their influence on the region. Today it is an unexciting, though agreeable, town known mostly for its weaving industry and cashew trade.

Beaches to the south and north of Kannur – some of the nicest in Kerala – and the growing number of family homestays are the big attraction. Bear in mind you can’t swim during the monsoon season because of rough seas. This is a predominantly Muslim area, so local sensibilities should be kept in mind: wear a sarong over your bikini on the beach.