|Talukas||Kannur, previously known as Chirakkal Taluk|
|• Municipality Chairperson||Roshini Khalid|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||0497, +91|
|Vehicle registration||KL-13 KL-58 KL-59|
Kannur (IPA: [kaɳɳuːr] ( listen)), formerly known as Cannanore, is a city and a Municipal Corporation in the Kannur district, state of Kerala, India. It is the administrative headquarters of the Kannur District and 518 km north of state capital Thiruvananthapuram. During British rule in India, Kannur was known by its former name Cannanore (Land of lord Krishna), which is used now only by the Indian Railways. It is the 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, 6th Largest in Kerala and 27th in India  Kannur is known as the land of Looms and Lore, 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. One of the 62 military cantonments in the country is located in the Kannur Cantonment, and is the current headquarters of the Defence Security Corps and Territorial Army’s 122 Infantry Battalion (under Madras Regiment). Ezhimala Naval Academy(INS) is situated 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 Coast Guard Academy will be built on the banks of Valapattanam River at Irinave, east of Azhikkal. Kannur Cantonment is also 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 Srikrishna 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.
Kannur is sometimes identified with Naura in Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. In the Middle Ages, Kannur was the important port town, on the Laccadive Sea, called Kolathunadu, which was ruled by the Kolathiris. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries there was trade with Persia and Arabia. It also served as the British military headquarters on India's west coast until 1887. In conjunction with her sister city, Tellicherry, it was the third largest city on the western coast of British India in the eighteenth century after Bombay and Karachi.
St. Angelo Fort was built in 1505 by Dom Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy of India. It is situated by the Laccadive Sea about 3 km from Kannur town. In 1507, the fort was besieged by the local ruler; the Portuguese rule over Cananor (as they spelt it) would last 158 years and then replaced by the Dutch. The ownership of the fort has changed hands several times. In 1663, the Dutch captured it. They subsequently gave the fort its present appearance. The Dutch sold the fort to the Arakkal royal family in 1772. During this time, the Arakkal sultanate began issuing coins. The British conquered it in 1790 and used it as one of their major military stations on the Malabar Coast. It is fairly well preserved as a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India. A painting of this fort and the fishing ferry as a background is on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Kunjali Marakkar's head was removed from his body and exhibited in the fort after his assassination.
During the 17th century, Kannur was the capital city of the only Muslim sultanate in India, known as Arakkal. 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.
New strains of thought developed as capitalist transformation laid the foundation for the commencement of social reform movements in various sections of society. At the all India level Vivekananda and others put forward such thoughts. Against this background social reform movements started by Sree Narayana Guru, Ayyankali and others in southern parts of Kerala and by Vagbhatananda and others in northern parts got developed into movements against superstition and bad customs. These evoked a big stirring among the people. An attitude against untouchability and casteism and interest in acquiring modern education were evident among all sections. Pressures for the same started developing in the society. 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. all these became factors helpful to accelerate changes in Kerala society during a short span of time. Movements for liberation from the colonial rule of British imperialism and struggles launched by these movements grew along with them.
It was during this period when social renaissance movements and independence movement were growing that 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.
Two: Changing Horizon
During this period against the background of sufferings inflicted by landlordism and imperialism struggles and organizations of peasants and workers against them started emerging slowly. The practice of collective bargaining by working people also started. The peasant rebellion known as Malabar Rebellion of 1921 and consequent political changes highly influenced the independence movement of Kerala.
A number of Kerala youth were jailed during this period for participating in ‘violation of law’ movement as part of independence movement. At this time Kiran Chandra Das (brother of Jithendra Das), Kamal Nath Thivari, Sen Gupta, T.N. Chandravarthi and Sarath Chandra Acharya were in a Kannur jail and Jayadev Kapur in a Vellore jail. Malayalee youngsters got an opportunity at that time to get acquainted with them, be suggested books to read and discuss issues. They came to know of many new aspects of political work. This gave them a new sense of direction. E.M.S writes about this:
"It will not be a big exaggeration to say that seeds of left, Congress and Congress Socialist movements were sown at Kannur jail and that too by Thivari."
Three: Awakening People
It was youth dissatisfied by the Congress policy which was afraid of people’s advance who were attracted to the socialist idea. At that time there was an atmosphere in Kerala which gave strength to such thoughts.
People were suffering a lot due to persecution by landlords. Against this resistance and organizations were cropping up here and there. In 1935 July a meeting of peasants were held in the Bharatheeya building in Naniyoor in Kolachery Amsom of old Chirakkal Taluk. Kolachery Karshaka Sangham was formed with Vishnu Bharatheeyan as President and K.A. Keraleeyan as Secretary. By September 1935, Karivelloor Karshaka Sangham was formed which represented round Karivelloor, Velloor, Peralam and Kotakkad. With the formation of All India Kisan Sabha in 1936 a new front of struggle was opened in agrarian sector. The Hunger March led by AKG in 1936 July raising the demands of peasants imparted a new vigour to this sector. Following this a number of Karshaka Sangham were formed in Malabar. In 1936 November the first Karshaka Conference of Chirakkal Taluk was held at Parassinikkadavu. In 1937 All Malabar conference of Karshaka Sangham was held in Kozhikode. This awakening among peasants prepared the ground for the advent of a new political movement.
During this period trade unions also started to be formed and strengthened. Global economic crisis of 1929 started creating serious consequences in Indian economy as well. First Travancore Labour Association came into being. Such organizations later became militant TUs. Strikes were organized in Kozhikkode, Kannur, Pappinisseri, Thalassery and other centres which further strengthed TUs. In 1935 May the first Kerala Workers’ conference was held at Kozhikode. This initiative to bring up working class as an independent class force prepared the ground for propagating Communist ideas. During this period coir workers in Travancore got organized and achieved strength. In Kochi organizations like Cochin Sterling Workers’ Union were being formed. Labour brotherhood and TUs of Alagappa Textiles and Sitaram Mills were formed. In 1937 second All Kerala Workers’ Conference was held at Thrissur. This organizational consciousness developed among workers prepared the ground for a new politics.
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.
Kannur has been referred to as a stranglehold of the left parties and has a strong presence of trade unions as well as left leaning organizations. However, various other parties also have some influence in certain small pocekts.
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 percent of which is received in July.
|Climate data for Kannur (1978–2000)|
|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)|
According to the 2011 census of India, Kannur has a population of 1,642,892. Males constitute 48% of the population and females, 52%. 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. Malayalam is the most widely spoken languages.
See Main Article: List of educational institutions in Kannur District
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 soon. A bypass for Kannur city is also proposed under the NH widening project. Kannur is connected to Kodagu, Mysore and Bangalore in Karnataka through the Thalassery–Coorg–Mysore interstate highway.
Kannur has several private and KSRTC buses plying places inside and outside Kannur district. Kannur is well-connected to its suburbs through several city buses. Kannur city has four bus terminals namely Kannur Central Bus Terminal at Thavakkara which is Kerala's biggest bus terminal, Old Bus Stand near to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, City Bus Stand near to the District HQ Hospital and the KSRTC bus stand at Caltex Junction (on NH-66). Being the busiest junctions in Kannur, the authorities have installed 3 traffic signal light systems at Caltex, Thana, Melechovva junctions. The busiest section of the national highway is between the towns of Puthiyatheru and Thazhe chovva (about 10.5 km )on the outskirts of Kannur.
Kannur Railway Station is one of the major railway stations of the Southern Railway, under the jurisdiction of the Palakkad Division. 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 is a major terminal stations of Southern Railways, trains starting from Kannur are :
Kannur South, Chirakkal, Valapattanam and Pappinisseri are some minor railway stations near Kannur where only passenger trains stop. A survey for a railway line from Kannur South to Kannur International Airport in Mattannur is announced in the 2011–2012 Union Railway Budget.
Two airports—one at Mangaluru, Karnataka, in the north about 173 kilometer away and one at Calicut International Airport in the south—about 125 kilometres away from Kannur town, provide air services to the city.
A new international airport is under construction at Moorkhanparamba near Mattanur in Kannur district. Kannur International Airport's foundation stone was laid by V. S. Achuthanandan, Chief Minister of Kerala, on 17 December 2010. The airport is proposed to be completed by May 2016.
Kannur is an ancient sea port. The nearest all-weather sea port is Mangaluru in Karnataka state. Azhikkal port in Kannur has been included for developing coastal shipping by the Government of India under the National Maritime Development Programme (NMDP). A Detailed Project Report (DPR) has been prepared by ICICI-KINFRA for the development of Azhikkal port.
Malayalam movie actors Sreenivasan, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Dhyan Sreenivasan, Vineeth, Vineeth Kumar, Samvrutha Sunil, TV Chandran, Manju Warrier, Archana Kavi, Kavya Madhavan, Sanusha and Sanoop, (Sanusha's Brother) are from Kannur District, as 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, 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 megahertz. Private FM radio stations in Kannur include: Radio Mango 91.9 (Malayala Manorama Co Ltd), Club FM 94.3 (Mathrubhumi Printing And Publishing Co Ltd), Red FM 93.5 (Sun Network), and Best FM 95.0 (Asianet Communications Ltd).
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.
The place got the name as the Land of Krishna (Kannande uuru) because of the Kadalai Shri Krishnaswami Temple, Shri Rajarajeshwaram, Parassinikadavu Sree Muthappan Temple and Annapurneshwari Temple and Madayikavu are the famed temples of the region.
Other temples are
Kottiyoor Vysakha Mahotsavam is a huge religious pilgrimage attracting thousands of pilgrims. It is a festival commemorating the Daksha yaga. The festival is in June–July period of Malayalam calendar for 27 days.
Kannur International Airport
Thavakkara Bus Terminal Kannur
Indian Naval Academy
Defense Security Corps
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