Travel to Thalassery – Kerala's beautiful historic town

Thalassery is an attractive and lively historic town in Kerala, which is gaining importance as a major tourist destination in Kerala. This article is about the brief history, culture, cuisine and various tourist attractions in the beautiful town. Thalassery is a must see tourist destination

About Thalassery

Thalassery, also known as Tellicherry, is a beautiful town in the northern Part of Kerala India. Thalassery is gaining importance as one of the most visited tourist destinations in Kerala. Thalassery is a potpourri of beautiful beaches, orange colored cliffs, lovely parks, back water lagoons and various monuments of religious, architectural and historic importance. The Government of Kerala has declared Thalassery a heritage city.


Thalassery is located in the northern part of Kerala it has a total area of 23.96 Square KM, Thalassery borders with Kannur Town which has the district head quarters, to the North and Mahe, the union territory which is a part of Pondicherry to the south. It borders with Karnataka's Coorg district, to the East and Arabian Sea, to the West.

Accommodation at Thalassery

As for accommodation, various options are available ranging from budget hotels to exquisite hotels, resorts and home stays which have an array of facilities like sightseeing, Ayurvedic massages and so on at reasonable prices.

A brief note on history and culture

Every aspect of Thalassery is vibrant and diverse, let it be culture, architecture or history the town sanctified with natural beauty attracts millions of national and international tourists alike. Its prime location attracted the British towards Thalassery, it is one of the oldest British settlements in India and they constructed the influential Thalassery pier and the Thalassery fort. The invasion of Tipu Sultan resulted in heavy migration of natives towards south, forced conversions to Islam, mass murders and devastation. The invasion changed every aspect of Thalassery forever. Kerala Verma Pazhassi Raja also influenced the history of Thalassery he was one of the prominent leaders who fought against the British. He is called the lion of Kerala.

Cuisine of Thalassery

Thalassery cuisine has a bit of Arabian influence in it. It utilizes fresh sea food, aromatic spices, and coconuts. Thalassery biryani is renowned for its heavenly flavour and taste. You can also enjoy wide variety of unique and mouth-watering desserts and snacks at the number of eateries and restaurants spread around the town.
Read: Schools in Thalassery, Kerala

Places of interest in Thalassery

Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach
Muzhappilangad beach is the biggest Drive-in Beach in Asia and the only drive in beach in India. This beautiful beach is 4 KM long and one among the most significant tourist attraction in Kerala. Since the beach is made of compressed sand you can drive the entire length of the beach in your own vehicle, the experience of driving through the beach amid the breaking waves is breathtaking. It is also ideal for swimming as the big rocks protect the shallow waters from the deep sea currents and other dangers. A Beach festival is organised every year in April,it attracts millions of tourists around the world, Helicopter rides, various exhibitions cum sale and a series of entertainment and informative programs involving Political and film stars are a part of the beach fest.

How to reach and facilities
The beach is situated on national highway NH17 which connects Thalassery to Kannur, hence if you rent a car in Kannur and driving from Thalassery to Kannur, take the first left turn before the Moidu Bridge, to enter an unpaved, village road, meandering through coconut trees which brings you to the beach. The beach is a must-see destination for tourists. Tourism is under development at the beach, facilities like resorts, restaurants or rest houses are yet to develop within the beach but that does not hinder you from enjoying the beach.

Dharmadam Island
Dharmadam Island is a small, secluded and beautiful island which is just 100 meters away from the Muzhappilangad beach. This 5 acre property with plenty of coconut trees, dense green vegetation, and rare flora and fauna is a beautiful sight from the beach. You can walk through the sea to the island from the beach when the tide is low. The island was a private property, its ownership was under dispute for sometime but in 1998, the Government of Kerala acquired the island for tourism development.
Guidelines for visiting the island
Dharmadam Island attracts millions of tourists every year. If you plan to visit the island, you must hire a local guide or someone who is well aware of the island pathways and has an idea about the best time to visit. With the change of tide water tends to rise very fast and someone has to guide you through the thick shrubs and over grown vegetation.

Overbury's Folly and Gundert's Bungalow
Overbury's Folly
Overbury's Folly is an unfinished construction in Thalassery it is located on a splendid orange tinged cliff near the Thalassery District Court, Overbury's folly extends from the sub-collector's bungalow to the cliffs below and is named after its builder, E. N. Overbury, who wanted to construct a garden and picnic spot on the cliff but could not complete it, the Folly is now restored and has become a major tourist attraction. It is visited by local people and tourists alike. At a small entry fee, It is an excellent get away in the evenings. If you are an avid nature lover, the place captivates your mind and soul as it is very beautiful to watch the sea and sunset from the folly. the folly is connected with another park called the Sea view park which is good to walk around as well as sit and relax in the evening. Overbury's folly also has an open-air coffee shop. You can sip a cup of coffee and enjoy the sunset at Overbury's Folly.
Gundert's Bungalow
Gundert 's Bungalow is a popular heritage building which is an architectural wonder, built in Victorian style and a major tourist attraction. The scenic bungalow is built on a beautiful hill named Illikkunnu and a lagoon flows beneath the hill adding to the beauty of the bungalow. This bungalow was the residence of renowned German missionary and scholar, Rev. Dr. Herman Gundert who is attributed with the publication of Rajyasamacharam the first Malayalam Newspaper and various other works of art, a Church and a cemetery are located close to the bungalow.

The Thalassery Fort
Thalassery Fort is a historical monument built in 1708 by the British East India Company. British controlled the administrative and military activities from the fort. The fort was actually built as a warehouse for storing cargos of spices until they were shipped, but later fortified for military use. The fort saw major bloodshed during the freedom struggle, when many were thrown off or jumped to their deaths from the top of the fort to escape torture under the hands of British.
Description of the fort
The mystifying fort is constructed on a high cliff overlooking the sea. The square fort with huge, rusty red Laterite stone walls is very attractive. Beautiful murals adorn the fort entrance, which is through the top of a massive wall. It is believed that a mixture of quicklime, egg white and sugar were used as cementing material in the construction of the fort. The fort has everything from huge carved doors to mysterious secret tunnels leading to the sea and a short lighthouse. The tunnels are now in a disintegrated state and are very dangerous. Many have lost their lives, trying to explore the tunnels hence the entry into the tunnels are either blocked or closed. The lighthouse next to the fort is also old. The steps leading to the top of the light house have disintegrated. Two huge underground vaults are also attached to the fort, the use of these vaults are speculated as warehouse to store spices.
Guidelines to visit the fort
Thalassery fort is one among the few historic monuments, conserved by the Archaeological Survey of India. There is an information gallery inside the fort which displays pictures of burial caves, monuments and ancient paintings. Since the fort is situated in the heart of the town, it is easily accessible. you are free to visit the fort on week days from 8.00 AM – 6.00 PM

The Thalassery pier
The old pier or Kadal palam is an old dock spans few meters above the sea. It was the part of the glorious Thalassery port. The pier with huge cranes at its end and rail tracks on both sides, was constructed by the British in 1910, for easy transport of goods from the warehouses to the waiting ships, the arrival of a new port in Mangalore and several other factors led to the extinction of Thalassery port and now all that remains is the old pier which attracts both locals and tourists alike. It is a great experience to walk on this good old pier.

Best time to visit Thalassery

The town has a humid climate. Hot summer is from March to May, while pleasant winter is from October to February. Monsoons are from June to September, the place experiences very heavy rainfall during this time. Hence October to February is the best time to visit Thalassery.

Nearest railway station: Thalassery
Nearest bus station: Thalassery
Nearest Airports: Kozhikode (88 KM), Mangalore (146 KM)

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Guest Author: Divya Menon09 Jan 2014

You best try to reach Thalassery, Kannur and have their Chicken biriyani....There a saying like, "if you want to eat the best biriyani in the world, you have to visit Thalassery". Find thalassery biriyani here:

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