Only a travel freak like me knows what it is not to travel for an entire month. Such was the month of September 2018. Come October and my road trip plan was ready. This time Rajat and I were visiting the beach city of Kannur in Kerala. It was on my mind from quite sometime but for a road trip to Kannur, you need to have a three day long weekend.
We hustled and left Bengaluru in the wee hours just they way we do on every road trip. The roads were empty, the birds were probably asleep and we zip zap zoomed through the buttery highways of Karnataka to reach Kannur only by afternoon. It was quite a scenic drive through the stunning landscape of the country side of South India. The pit stops we took were only for satiating the hunger pangs at the restaurants or food courts which are throughout the way to Kannur.
Payyambalam Beach, Kannur
After a drive of over 300kms, we didn’t mind a power nap upon reaching our hotel. For a sunset sucker that I am, I was up and ready to check out the Payyambalam Beach and of course hoped for a glorious sunset. The beach was a few kms from our hotel but in that sweltery weather, we preferred driving to the beach.
Upon parking the car, we saw a pathway with the name Payyambalam beach written but when we entered, we found a children’s park which was crowded as hell. We walked further to cross a small bridge sort of pathway to reach the beach. Ofcourse, it was a long weekend and the beach was flooded with people, not only the tourists but the locals too. A log lying at the beach was so inviting to our tired feet that we decided to make ourselves comfortable at the log and watch the spectacular show put up by sun, clouds and ocean.
Having watched innumerable sunsets over sea, I still fall for those hues which lit up the dark sky after the sunset. The drama actually unfolds only after sunset and I hold my breath and stare at the stupendous view around until the it gets all dark. This time too, I enjoyed my time at the beach till I could see the remains of hue.
The next morning we started really early and drove to Thalassery fort in Thalassery which is a little more than 20 kms from Kannur. Observing locals on the way doing their things in morning, we drove through the streets of Kannur and reached Thalassery fort.
While reading about the fort, I got to know that Britishers built the fort on a small hill when they shifted their commercial capital in Thalassery from Kozhikode. Upon reaching the entrance, I was glad to find the designated parking and a board mentioning a scan code to be able to read about the for in detail. From the first look, the fort made in laterite stone looked absolutely instagram worthy. We walked up the stairs and entered the main area of the fort. The walls of the fort looked very well ventilated. The vibe of the place was ancient but well preserved. It was a small fort with not many levels but the landscaping around the rooms inside the fort was quite commendable.
We drove back from Thalassery and decided to explore the cafes of Kannur. Also, the heat gets to me every time I am travelling in sweltery weather. So, it was time to hit some cafe, munch on some food and spend some time lounging in our hotel. The sun was over our head and shining quite bright, so we preferred to stay indoors and head out again in evening for sunset of course.
Drive in beach (Muzhappilangad Beach), Kannur
With a plethora of beaches in Kannur, why would anybody look for any other place than a beach to enjoy sunset. Actually this beach famously called as Drive in beach was one of my main reasons to come to Kannur. We got ready and left in time to relish some surreal views of the drive in beach before the sunset. Although we had to drive half the same route we drove in morning to reach Muzhappilangad beach also known as Drive in Beach, yet we didn’t mind the drive because we got to drive at the beach for the first time ever. I was indeed pretty pumped up about it.
As we reached the drive in beach, we met with all sorts of driving enthusiasts. Few of them were probably driving a sports car, few actually thought that the car might be able to swim in the water and few parked their cars in the centre of the walking strip. And here was Rajat, who was driving less than 5km/hr, closest to the sequenced trees and also parked the car farthest from the water. I had to plead him to give me few minutes with the car and the water. That’s how I managed my instagrammable pictures.
All in all, it’s absolutely thrilling to drive alongside water and have a little picnic by the beach. The sun started setting and I was all ready with my gear set up and eyes wide open to capture all what I was going to see. I feel there are days when God just treats me as his most special child and probably that was one such day. I was immersed in the hues of the setting sun when Rajat asked me turn around and I saw a rainbow. And then two rainbows! Woaah, I hadn’t seen a rainbow in the longest time. I was obviously jumping with excitement. On one side, it was a mesmerizing sunset and on the other rainbows. What a day it was!
Fort St. Angelos, Kannur
Next morning, we decided to check out another very popular fort of Kannur called Fort St. Angelos. We were there very early and had the entire fort to ourselves. Just imagine! The entire fort to us.
The entire fort was covered in moss and looked every bit fascinating. Upon reaching the board mentioning about the fort, I got to know that the fort has seen a change of many hands over the years. Built by Portuguese, captured by Dutch, purchased by Mughals and then occupied by British. Britishers took the effort of rebuilding it and due to its strategic location, made it their most important station in Malabar. That was a lot of information, precisely why I love reading those boards outside forts.
We walked through the lanes of the fort and imagined what the structures would be in goneby times on our way up. It looked to be quite a well maintained fort. The canons were kept alongside the wall of the fort pointing towards the sea. So, interestingly the fort is surrounded by sea from 3 sides. The stable and the light house can also been spotted within the fort.
We had planned to leave for Bangalore that day itself, so we left fort and headed on our way to Bangalore.
Other places to see in Kannur
I wanted the trip to Kannur to be a relaxed and didn’t want to rush through the places. Hence, couldn’t see a lot of places like Arakkal Museum, various temples and the popular danceform called Theyyam.
Food in Kannur
There’s a huge variety of seafood to try in Kannur. But with limited number of days at hand, we could try only so much. My favorite finds in Kannur have to be a cafe called Moroccan cafe which serves really amazing Moroccan teas and yum sandwiches and another popular restaurant where we could only find a place to sit after almost an hour. The restaurant is called Raandhal restaurant which has quite a unique name, traditional vibes to the interiors and extremely delicious food.
If you haven’t planned anything for your upcoming long weekends, Kannur definitely is a compelling option.