Welcome to Kasaragod


Lying on the north western coast of the State, Kasaragod was famous from time immemorial. Many Arab travellers, who came to Kerala between ninth and 14th centuries AD, visited Kasaragod as it was then an important trade centre. They called this area Harkwillia. Barbose, the Portuguese traveller, who visited Kumbla near Kasaragod in 1514, had recorded that rice was exported to Male Island whence coir was imported. Dr. Francis Buccanan, who was the family doctor of Lord Wellesly, visited Kasaragod in 1800. In his travelogue, he has included information on the political and communal set-up in places like Athipramba, Kavvai, Nileswaram, Bekal, Chandragiri and Manjeshwaram.Kasaragod was part of the Kumbala Kingdom in which there were 64 Tulu and Malayalam villages. When Vijayanagar empire attackedKasaragod, it was ruled by the Kolathiri King who had Nileshwaram as his headquarters. It is said that the characters appearing in Theyyam, the ritualistic folkdance of northern Kerala, represent those who had helped King Kolathiri in the fight against the attack of the Vijayanagar empire. During the decline of that empire in the 14th century, the administration of this area was vested with the Ikkery Naikans. They continued to be the rulers till the fall of the Vijayanagar empire in 16th century. Then Vengappa Naik declared independence to Ikkery. In 1645 Sivappa Naik took the reigns and transferred the capital to Bednoor. Thus they came to be known as Bednoor Naik. Chandragiri and Bekal forts are considered to be parts of a chain of Forts constructed by Sivappa Naik .In 1763 Hyder Ali of Mysore conquered Bednoor. His intention was to capture entire Kerala. But when his attempt to conquer Thalassery fort was foiled , Hyder Ali returned to Mysore and died there in 1782.His son, Tippu Sulthan, continued the attack and conquered Malabar. As per the Sreerangapattanam Treaty of 1792, Tippu surrendered Malabar except Thulunadu (Canara) to the British. The British got it, only after the death of Tippu Sulthan in 1799 .Kasaragod was part of Bekal taluk in the south Canara district of Bombay presidency. Kasaragod taluk came into being when Bekal taluk was included in the Madras presidency on 16th April 1882. Though Vengayil Kunhiraman Nayanar moved a resolution in 1913 on the floor of Madras Governor's Council demanding the merger of Kasaragod taluk with the Malabar district, it had to be withdrawn because of the stiff opposition of the members from Karnataka. In1927, a political convention held at Kozhikode, passed a resolution stressing the above demand. In the same year, an organisation titled Malayalee Seva Sanghom was constituted. Thanks to the efforts made by many eminent persons like K.P.Kesava Menon, Kasaragod became part of Kerala following the reorganisation of states and formation of Kerala on the first November 1956.


Adoor temple

Forty five kms. east of Kasaragod town, Adoor is noted for its ancient Siva Temple, believed to have been founded by Arjuna. The temple, which is known as Sri Mahalingeshwara temple, is situated in picturesque surroundings on the southern bank of the river Payaswini.The Makara Samkramam is a very important festival day in the temple when a Sahasra Kumbha Abhishekam with feeding of a large number of people takes place. According to tradition, the day coincides with the anniversary of the day on which a harijan spotted the Sivalingam. The annual Jatra or festival of the temple starts with Dhwaja Arohanam (hoisting of the temple flag) on the 27th of Kumbham (February, March) and concludes with the Avabhritha Snanam (holy dip) in the water of the Payaswini on the fourth of Meenam (April) every year.

Ajanur Madiyan Kulom temple

In Ajanur village is situated the famous Madiyan Kulom temple. It is about five kms. from Kanhangad. The main deity of the temple is Bhadrakali; but there are also other deities like Kshetrapalan, Bhagavathi and Bhairavan. A peculiarity of this temple is that a Brahmin priest performs pooja only in the noon, while the morning and evening poojas are performed by a sect called Maniyanis.The festivals in the temple fall during the months of Edavam (May, June) and Dhanu (December, January).

At a distance of about five kms. from Kumbla is the Ananthapuram Temple which is said to be the ‘Moolasthanam’ of the Ananthapadmanabha Swami (Sri PadmanabhaSwami Temple) of Thiruvananthapuram. Local tradition has it that Ananthapadmanabha of Thiruvananthapuram had settled down here originally.

Anantheswara temple

The fame of Manjeshwaram lies in the famous Srimad Anantheswara Temple owned by the Gowda Saraswath community. Itttracts pilgrims from all over India, particularly from the region lying between Kanyakumari and Goa. The annual car Festival of the temple is on the sixth Lunar Day of the bright half of the Margashira month, usually between the third week of November and the third week of December. It is also called the Shashti Festival as the final day celebration takes place on the Skanda Shashti day , a day sacred to Subrahmanya. In the outer round of the temple, there is a flower garden named Anantha Nandana Vana.

Bela church

About 11 kms. from Kumbla on the Kumbla-Badiadka road, is the Mother Dolorus Church of Bela. This Gothic style Roman Catholic church which is under the Mangalapuram Diocese, has celebrated its centenary recently.The Christian church at Kasaragod has also celebrated its centenary recently. The St. Thomas Church at Chittarikal is another famous one. The eastern parts of the district about in a number of small and big churches.

Kizhur Sasta temple

There is an ancient Sastha temple at Chandragiri which is known as Kizhur Sastha Temple. This is the headquarters of the Anjooru Nayanmar (five hundred Nairs). The festival which is peculiar to this temple is Pattu Utsavam. Troups of professional singers sing jointly in praise of the greatness of the deity. The dignitaries of all the Kazhakams of Saliyas from Pattuvam to Panamboor (present new Mangalapuram) known as Pathinalu Nagaram assemble here annually on the second Saturday of Vrischikam (November).

Kumbla Sri Gopala Krishna temple

Two of the four sacred temples of Kumbla Seema are located in Kumbla and its suburbs. They are the Mujankavu Sri Parthasaradhi Temple and Kanipura (Kaniyara) Sri Gopalakrishna Temple. Kumbla is also called Kanipura (Kaniyara) after the latter temple.The temple of Sri Parthasarathi of Mujankavu is situated in Ednad village, about four kms. east of Kumbla and about eight kms. north west of Madhur.The Sri Gopalakrishna Temple, is situated in the heart of the town of Kumbla at the foot of an elevated hill which rises majestically in front of it, with the Kumbla river flanking it on the left (north). The colourful festival at Kumbla temple which lasts for five days every year, commences with the Dhwajaarohanam on the Makara Sankramana day. People in thousands from all over the region attend these festivities.

Madhur temple

At Madhur, eight kms. north east of Kasaragod, is the famous Madhur Srimad Anantheswara Vinayaka temple. The imposing structure of the temple, with its turrets and gables and the copper plate roofing, rises majestically against the beautiful landscape of hills, paddy fields and gardens with the river Madhuvahini flowing leisurely in front of it.The Madhur temple is a Siva temple with Srimad Anantheswara as its presiding deity. The Sivalingam of the temple is said to have been found by a harijan woman, Madharu.A special festival associated with the Madhur temple is the Moodappa seva.The large figure of Maha Ganapathi is covered with appam. It requires enormous quantities of rice and lakhs of rupees for its conduct. The festival is conducted only periodically in view of the huge expenditure involved.It was celebrated in April 1962 after a lapse of about 160 years, and very recently in April 1992. The ceiling of the Namaskara Mantapam of the Madhur Temple has been decorated with beautiful figures of puranic heroes in wood carving. A closer examination of the wood carvings would disclose the various episodes of the Ramayana, beginning with the Putrakame-shtiyagam and ending with Seetha Swayamvaram. The Mantapam in the interior of the temple building as well as the outside façade of the second and third storeys of the main building are also profuse with attractive and exquisite wood carvings.

Malik Dinar mosque

Kasaragod acquired over the years, considerable importance as a centre of Islam on the west coast. It is the site of one of the mosques believed to have been founded by Malik Ibn Dinar. The mosque, Juma Masjid, which is one of the best kept and most attractive in the district, is located at Thalangara.It contains the grave of Malik Ibn Mohammed, one of the descendants of Malik Ibn Dinar and the place is sacred to Muslims. Another notable mosque, in Kasaragod is the Theruvath Mosque which is in the centre of the town. An important local celebration takes place every year in commemoration of the arrival of Malik Ibn Dinar. The Uroos attract pilgrims from all over India.

Narampady church

This is a Roman Catholic church on the Badiadka-Mulleria route, about 10 kms. from Badiadka. This is known as St. John Britto Church and this was established in 1939.

Nellikkunnu mosque

Uroos, celebrated in Nellikkunnu mosque, attracts people in thousands. The Nercha celebration, during the second half of November, lasts for one week.


Of the 18 temples of Muchilottu Bhagavathi, Perne is the northern most and the only one north of Payaswini Seema. It is five kms. east of Kumbla and near Ananthapuram Lake Temple, on the Kumbla-Badiadka route . The mass marriage at the time of Pooram festival in the month of Meenam, is a unique feature of this temple.

Temples of Kasaragod town

Kasaragod has a few important temples. Of these, the Mallikarjuna temple, situated near the taluk office, is the most important. The annual festival have falls in the month of March and it attracts huge crowds. One of the most important temples of the Gowda Saraswathas in Kerala is the Venkatramana temple.The Sri Arya Karthyayani temple and the Sri Panduranga temple are also famous temples of the place. Just on the eastern side of Pulikunnu by the Payaswini river, there is a temple belonging to the Thiyya community where thirty nine deities are worshipped. The main festival here, called Kaliyattam, falls in February/March. There is also the Palakunnu temple (near Malik Ibn Dinar mosque) akin to the Palakunnu Devasthanam of Udma. Bhagavathi temples, such as Theruvath Bhagawathi and Kadappuram Sri Kurumba temples, are spread all over the municipal area, worshipped by particular communities.

Thrikkaripur Sri Chakrapani temple

Sri Chakrapani temple has a hoary past with a legend about its origin in the ancient Brahmandapurana. The great sage Garga, according to the legend describer many a holy place in Bharath Varsha including Sri Chakrapani Temple to Yudhishtira, when the Pandava were dwelling in the Gandhamadana Sailya Forest during their twelve year exile. Thrikkaripur where the temple is situated, is about 40 kms. north of Kannur town. The temple has been bestowing spiritual solace and prosperity for generations.


This is a Siva temple on the sea shore, within one km. of the Bekal bridge. The place arround Pandyan Kallu, a rock rising above the sea near the temple, is an ideal spot for adventurous swimmers. Swimming in the sea is a popular sport here.Palakunnu Bhagavathi Kshetram is one km. north of Trikkannad on the Kasaragod-Kanhangad road. The annual Bharani festival attracts thousands.



Bekal, situated on the seashore of Pallikkara village, is an important place of tourist interest in the district. It lies 12 kms. south of Kasaragod town. According to Bekal Rama Nayak, a local Kannada writer, the word, Bekal is derived from the word Baliakulam, meaning Big Palace. The place is said to have been the seat of a big palace in the past. The term Baliakulam got corrupted as Bekulam and later as Bekal.It was usual in older days for every royal palace to be protected by a fort. The Bekal fort might have, therefore, existed even from early days of the Chirakkal Rajas. While giving a description of the Kolathiri Kingdom in his Kerala History, K.P. Padmanabha Menon writes; "The eldest of the male members reigned as soveriegn Kolathiri. The next in succession, the heir apparent, was the Thekkelamkur. The residence assigned to him was the Vadakara fort. The third in succession was the Vadakkelamkur in charge of Vekkolath fort. This V(B)ekkolath fort is identified by some scholars as the present Bekal".H.A. Stuart, in his Handbook of South Canara (1985), makes this observation: "….. Several forts were built by the Shivappa Nayaks of Badnore between 1650 and 1670 A.D. The two forts of Bekal and Chandragiri were originally under the Kolathiri or Chirakkal Rajas until the time of Shivappa Nayaka's invasion. Perhaps, the Bednore rulers might have rebuilt and improved it".The Bekal fort, which is of great historical and archaeological interest, is the largest and best preserved of its kind in the district and the land on which it is situated, runs into the sea with fine bay towards the south. According to the South Canara Mannual, Bekal fort fell into the hands of Haider Ali in 1763. It housed the Huzur of Canara during Tippu's time and the remains of a gallow reminiscent of the days of Mysorean occupation were seen here till a few years back. After the overthrow of Tippu Sultan in 1799, Bekal was incorporated into the dominions of the English East India Company. The erstwhile Kasaragod taluk of South Canara district was known as Bekal for more than half a century.

The Bekal fort is now under the Archeological Department of the Government of India.

There is a Travellers' Bungalow, maintained by the Public Works Department of the State Government within the Bekal fort. The natural scenery at Bekal is alluring and makes a visit to the place an exhilerating experience. There is a recently renovated temple dedicated to Hanuman, at the entrance to Bekal. An old mosque is also situated very near the fort and this is believed to have been founded by Tippu Sultan.It was in the year 1992 the central government declared Bekal Fort as a special tourism area. It was with the intention of transforming BekalFort into international tourism centre that in the year 1995 the government formed Bekal Tourism Development Corporation.It is in Chemmanad, Udma, Pallikkara and Ajanur Panchayats that of the Bekal tourism project is implemented. At present the corporation is engaged in arranging basic facilities for the project. Corporation has decided to acquire 278 hectares of land for Bekal development. Plans for bettering and increasing basic facilities will be implemented in the four panchayats where Bekal tourism project is implemented. Water supply scheme for the entire people of Pallikkara, Udma, Ajanur and Chemmanad will be implemented. In the first phase, programmes like waste incineration, road construction and installation of street lights will also be carried out.B.R.D.C. has programme to develop other tourist centres of the district as part of Bekal project. Two House boats have already started functioning at Valiyaparambu this year itself. Boats clubs will be established at Bekal and Chandragiri soon. A Bekal facility centre was established in 1998 near Bekal Fort. In the facility centre there is an information centre.


Chandragiri lies three kms. south of Kasaragod town. It has a large square situated high above the Chandragiri river on its southern bank. The fort it said to have been built in the 17th century by Sivappa Nayak of Bednore, who established his authority over the area and built a chain of forts. The Chandragiri river, on the bank of which it rises, marked the traditional boundary between Kerala and the Tuluva Kingdom. There is a beautiful bridge over the Chandragiri river at Tekkil, five miles from Chandragiri. A mosque is situated nearby and the view of the bridge with the mosque in the background is one of the most attractive sights on a drive along the NH 17 from Kannur to Kasaragod. A long railway tunnel passes through Chandragiri. A boat club has been recently started here.


Cheruvathur is an important place on the NH 17. The former Mangalore-Cheruvathur coast road starts from Mangalapuram, the headquarters of the South Canara district and runs through the coast line, till it reaches Cheruvathur.The Kunniyur family in Kuttamath Amsom near Cheruvathur has produced a number of illustrious scholars who have contributed greatly to Malayalam literature.

Edneer mutt

Situated on the Kasaragod-Puthur road, about eight kms. north east of Kasaragod town, this ancient mutt is a reputed seat of learning. It attracts devotees from all over Kerala, Karnataka and other states.

This belongs to the Thotakacharya (one of the four disciples of Sankaracharya) tradition. Vadakke mutt in Trissur was established by a disciple of Thotakacharya. The Swamiji of this mutt was the founder of Padinjare mutt in Trichambaram and Edneer mutt was established by the swami

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