Thalassery Cultural Circuit: Perfect capture of the lifestyle, history, art, architecture, religions

The cultural history of Malabar began long back, but it did not get going until the 14th century.

Now, Thalassery is considered the political and cultural capital of Malabar. Travel through the destinations of the cultural circuit and explore their heritage.

The experience will be truly memorable. Our first stop is at Gundert Bunglaw located at Illikkunnu, near Thalassery, a remarkable monument in the linguistic history of Kerala.

Once home to Dr Herman Gundert, the German missionary who became erudite in the Malayalam language, this bungalow is undergoing refurbishment and is soon to be turned into a language museum.

The adjacent CSI Gundert Memorial Church, Nettoor has been a landmark in Thalassery’s Reformation. When the 180-year-old German-made church bell rings, you feel the echoes of the past.

The district of Kannur is known as the land of Theyyam, a ritualistic art form performed in most of the temples in the area.

This dance is said to have around 400 varieties.
Each temple has its own story, and the same case holds for its Theyyam performance.

Sree Chirakkakavu Bhagavathy temple, an ancient temple of Goddess Kali is renowned for the Theyyam forms of Thamburatti, Elam Karuvan Poothadi, Gondoorkottavanam and Theethara.

Visit Andalur Kavu, the temple with two sacred groves.

It is one of the most revered destinations.

Among admirers of ceremonial arts, Theyyam performed during the annual festival depicts the story of the Ramayana.

Head north, stop at Moidu Bridge which was made of steel in 1930.

Take a stroll along the waterfront. And enjoy the spectacular view of the nearby Dharmadom Island.

About 6 kilometres from Moidu bridge is Sree Orpazhachi Kavu temple, another prominent Hindu temple in the district.

Arrive close to the noon hour and watch the ceremonial oracle dance Daivathar Vellattom, performed all year round. Head east towards Sree Peralassery temple, a famous pilgrim centre in North Kerala Dedicated to snake worship.

Idols of serpents that are scattered all around the temple compound and the unique pattern of steps leading to the temple pond Add to its unique charm and glory.

Sree Makreri temple, located nearby, has its legend.

It is believed that Lord Hanuman consecrated the idol.

At Kannur, step into one of the most enduring historical monuments in Kerala.

Built-in 1508 CE, St Angelo Fort, popularly known as Kannur Fort, has majestic walls that tell many a tale of trade, colonialism and battles.

Climb up the stairs and look out for the Mapilla Bay, a fishing harbour, and faraway Dharmadom Island.

Arakkal Kettu, the palace of the erstwhile Arakkal dynasty, the only Muslim royal family in Kerala, has many independent structures within the building complex.

You can have a glimpse of its royal history.

Through the artefacts displayed at Arakkal Museum, Chirakkal Chira, one of the most extensive artificial ponds in Kerala, carries the 300-year-old heritage of the Chirakkal dynasty.

Journey deeper into Kerala’s folklore history and culture Through the Chirakkal Folklore Museum, housed in the Chirakkal Palace.

Walk into Azhikode Handloom Village And experience the rhythm of the handloom industry, and it’s glorious past.

Towards the west is Kakkulangara Masjid, an ancient mosque which has one of the first minarets in Kerala and follows Kerala temple architectural style.

This journey is all about finding the unparalleled beauty of Malabar, and about experiencing its rich repository of rituals, art forms, folklore, and traditions that shaped its culture.

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