If you’ve read our previous travel stories, you would have understood that we are not the type of travelers seeking an action-packed holiday. We love to slow down a bit from the busy life, roam around the place no matter the weather being rainy or shiny, eat the local food, commute like the locals of the town, watch the sun rise and set , walk along the less traveled trail and do other non-touristy things. We choose places where we get the time and freedom for this kind of a vacay. And,Kannur we feature this time.
Situated in the northern part of the Malabar coast, this town is reachable via trains and cars from Chennai/Bangalore/Trivandrum. An overnight train journey took us to Kannur . What once used to be a busy port city ,flourishing in spice trade that invited dynasties from Europe is now a sleepy town. Well, we are not going to irk you with the history lessons. Over to the travel story.
An auto rickshaw chetan , who charged very reasonable dropped us at the Mascot beach resort. Situated in the Cantonment area, on one of the sea side cliffs,the resort is an option for a medium-budget stay. As we stepped in the sea-view room we had pre-booked, we heard the waves splashing the rocky cliff and a fascinating view of the Arabian sea awaited us. One kind of a place where you could just sit for long hours,watch the waves and the fishing boats sail by.
Having spent an hour at the sit out clicking photos and a sumptuous breakfast, we were all set to explore the town. Google maps role played our guide. Walking half-a-kilometer along the cantonment road, we reached a junction to hire an auto and our first stop was Arakkal Museum. Yes, when you are allured by history, that’s where you will head to first!
Located 2-3 kms from the main town, this museum is dedicated to the Royal Muslim family of the Arakkals. Entry is permitted with a nominal charge for yourself and your camera.
The museum is a small part of the Arakkal Palace and there are sketches, maps, portraits, furniture and antiques used by the Royals laid out neatly. The wooden ceilings,stairs and the rooms with windows facing the sea gives a look into the culture and the lifestyle of the Arakkals who followed the matriarchal system.
Stop 2 Fort St. Aneglo. Our guide @ Google maps suggested that the fort is barely 2 kms from the museum and we started . As we were half way to the fort, there was a staunch fishy smell and we asked the locals to know that’s the Mapilla fishing bay and there’s a fish market around . We walked a little further and we saw the remnants of the colonial masters standing gloriously in front of us.
Fort St. Angelo built by the Portuguese in the 15th century was captured by the Dutch, and later handed over to the Arakkal dynasty and finally controlled by the British till 1947. The fort walls have witnessed dynasties change,wars waged and prisoners thrown away in the dungeon.
It’s a triangular shaped fort facing the Arabian sea. What once served as a site of defense strategy is now a spot for wedding photography due to it scenic location. We hopped around every nook and corner of the fort, quietly listening to the walls that whisper history and war tales. We suggest that you visit this fort around 3-5 in the evening to soak totally in the beauty of the sky playing with hues of crimson and pink as the fishing boats anchor at the Mapilla bay.
Two hours of exploring the old fort left our tummies growl and we decided to head back to the town for a quick lunch. For seafood lovers, Kannur has a lot to offer. Vegetarians , get on to your toes, speak to the locals, use your maps and app to spot a restaurant serving veggie food! Ain’t that easy. We finally located one near the railway station after inquiring an auto driver. A small place named ‘Welcome restaurant’ serving nothing but only veg pulav was the savior that afternoon.
A wholesome lunch and all that we wanted was an hour rest. Relaxing on the sea facing sit-out area, plans were quickly made for the evening schedule. Thalaserry, a small town situated approximately 25 kms from Kannur along the Malabar coast was next in our itinerary .While debating on whether to take the local train or an auto we noticed the sky turn grey all of a sudden and the tides took an intensified pattern. We consulted our tour guide @ Google app for the weather forecast. Mr. Guide updated us about the 80% chances of rain. ugghhh!!!
Now,did we make it to Thalaserry that evening.? Was our tour guide accurate with his forecast ? Watch out for our next post.
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