Situated in the district of Kannur, Thalassery is a dynamic town in north Kerala. Also known as Tellicherry, this town boasts of a vibrant history and enchanting natural beauty. It is renowned as the cultural capital of Malabar for it was home to a number of literary and political movements, and it is here that the first Malayalam newspaper and novel originated.
There are many tourist attractions in this town such as the Thalassery Fort, Overbury's Folly, St. John's Anglican Church, Juma Masjid and many more. Travellers coming here can explore these attractions and learn more about the history of this place. Here is a guide to the the vibrant town of Thalassery.
The Thalassery Fort is a historical monument built in the year 1708 by the British East India Company and it played a major role in the commercial and military activities of the British during the colonial period. The Fort is built atop a cliff, on the banks of Muzhapilangad Beach and carries within it many stories of the colonial rule. The structure of the fort comprises huge walls, elaborately carved doors, and also has secret tunnels that supposedly lead to the Arabian Sea. It is preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India and has an information gallery inside with pictures of burial caves, monuments and ancient paintings that are put on display. Travellers coming here can explore the fort and learn more about the history of this place.
Steps leading to the dungeons at the fort.
Photo Courtesy: Neon
St. John's Anglican Church
The St. John's Anglican Church also known as English Church is one of the most visited tourist places in Thalassery. The history of this church dates back to over 140 years and is regarded as one of the first churches in the Malabar area. It is located very close to the Thalassery Fort and offers a picturesque view to the visitors. The architecture of the church boasts of magnificent glass-work, manufactured from London and still standing as a testimony to the erstwhile English glory.
The interior of the church
Photo Courtesy: Premnath.T.Murkoth
The Overbury's Folly is an unfinished park that is regarded as an architectural folly. It is a recreational park situated atop a hill, and derives its name from E N Overbury who started the construction of this park in 1879 but unfortunately could not complete it. It was renovated later and now serves as a major tourist attraction in Thalassery. Travellers visit this place to spend their evenings enjoying the beauty of the surrounding Arabian Sea.
Aerial view of Overbury's Folly.
Photo Courtesy: Akhil chandran
Juma Masjid is one of the popular religious attractions of the town and is located close to the Arabian Sea. This 1,000 year old mosque was constructed by Malik Ibin Dinar, an Arab trader, who arrived in Kerala to spread the teachings of Islam. It is well known for its Indo-Saracenic style of architecture that displays not just splendour but antiquity as well. Hundreds of devotees crowd the premises of this mosque during the Eid-Ul-Fitr to perform Eid prayers. The heritage and culture of Thalassery is exhibited through this century old religious spot.
Vamil Temple is a another religious spot known to attract devotees and visitors primarily due to certain special ceremonies observed here. It is best known for holding Theyyam, a ceremonial dance. It is performed daily here and travellers are allowed to visit the temple during the performance in order to get a glimpse of this exotic art form.
How to Reach Thalassery
By Air: The closest airport to Thalassery is the Calicut International Airport, located at a distance of about 93 km. Flights to all major cities and a few cities abroad are available from the airport.
By Train: Thalassery has a railway station that is well-connected to many cities within and outside of Kerala. Regular trains run from the railway station to cities such as Kannur, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Palakkad. Thalassery railway station is also connected to cities such as Mangalore, Bangalore and Chennai.
By Road: The town of Thalassery is well-connected by road to all the nearby cities. Kerala State Transport buses, as well as private buses run regular services from Kannur, Kozhikode, Mangalore, Kochi, Mysore and Thiruvananthapuram. Luxury buses are frequent to nearby metropolitans such as Chennai and Bangalore.