Things to do in Thalassery | A Complete Travel Guide

About Thalassery

Thalassery

A name synonymous with biriyani, peppers, and folk culture of Theyyam, Thalassery and its community remains an important part of Kerala’s regional history as well as an iconic site of Indian cultural heritage. The commercial city of the Kannur district, Thalassery is popular among beach lovers and offers a holistic holiday experience with sun, sand, and the sea, as well as a rich canvas of art and culture. 

With our Thalassery travel guide, you can discover this beautiful beach retreat in Kerala and experience a scenic holiday destination. 

Location

The municipality town of Thalassery sits on the Malabar Coast of Kerala and is bordered by Mahe, Calicut, Wayanad, Kasargod, and Kodagu. It is located at 25KM from Kannur town, 69KM from Calicut, and 110KM from Madikeri in Karnataka.

Weather

Thalassery experiences a typical coastal climate with hot and humid summers and cooler winters when the weather is pleasant. The monsoon period sees heavy rainfall from the southwest winds and has lower temperatures. 

History

Thalassery was historically known as Tellicherry, a name that originated from the Dravidian language, translating to Thala or head and Cheri or a low-lying area. The town served as a trade hub between Kerala and Dutch, Portuguese, British, Chinese, Jewish, and Arab merchants and was a significant hub of the spice trade between the east and west. The city’s municipality was formed in 1866 under the Madras Act of 1865 of the British Indian Empire, making it the second oldest municipality of Kerala. At that time, Thalassery was the capital of North Malabar. Under European rule, the town became a prominent center of administration owing to its geographically strategic location. 

Geography

Thalassery Geography

Thalassery enjoys a wholesome natural landscape with the Arabian Sea on one side and highlands of the Western Ghats on the other, and features palm-fringed shores, scenic coastline, rivers, canals, and hills. The interiors also boast dense mangroves but not as many lagoons as other popular locales of Kerala. 

Interesting Facts About Thalassery

  • Thalassery is known for the three Cs – Cake, Cricket, and Circus. 
  • The town enjoys pride as the site of the first bakery in Kerala established in 1880. The first cricket match of India is also said to be played here. 
  • Thalassery cuisine, a blend of Arabian, Persian, and local Malabari food is the most popular sub-cuisine of the state and is globally recognized. Thalassery biriyani, a recipe that originated here is the most popular ethnic brand and synonymous with biriyani from Kerala.
  • The peppers grown and harvested here are also a brand of pepper in itself, called the Tellicherry pepper, used across Europe and other western markets.
  • The peppers grown and harvested here are also a brand of pepper in itself, called the Tellicherry pepper, used across Europe and other western markets.
[ Also Read: Things to Do in Kannur – A Complete Travel Guide]

Things to do in Thalassery

With beaches, hills, rivers, forts, and vibrant local culture, Thalassery has a lot to offer for the ultimate adventure lovers – 

  • Taste the local flavors at Paris Restaurant or visit the oldest bakery at Mambally Royal Biscuit Factory. 
  • Explore the popular beaches and enjoy sunbathing, water sports, and more. 
  • Drive Along Muzhuppilangad Drive-In Beach, the 5KM long beach with vehicle access. 
  • Experience the religious ritual art form of Theyyam, that originated here. 
  • Plan a day trip to Mahe, the old French resort town
  • Take a tour of the fishing villages and see fishermen in action.
  • Stay at a farm resort and walk among spice plantations.

Places to visit in Thalassery

Thalassery fort

Check out these popular tourist places in Thalassery for a fun trip – 

  • Dharmadan Thuruth– An island off the shores of Thalassery, this place is known for dense coconut groves, palm trees, and green bushes. This is also a popular site for bird watching in winter.
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Thalassery Fort – The most popular tourist spot in town, this British-era fort was built in 1709 and sits on a rocky cliff. An architectural marvel, the fort boasts laterite walls and artistic carvings.
  • Entry Fee– Free
  • Muzhappilangad Beach – A beach lover’s paradise, this is the most popular and scenic shore of the town. It is known for swimming, sunbathing, and other water sports, or dining along with the beachside eateries
  • Entry Fee– Free
  • Overbury’s Folly – A seaside promenade and adventure park, this was built as an evening spot in 1879. There’s also a watch tower and open-air coffee shop on the premise.
  • Entry Fee– INR 10
  • Gundert Bungalow – The former residence of a German missionary, Dr. Herman Gundert, this colonial-style bungalow is the place where the first Malayalam paper was published
  • Entry Fee– 
  • Tellicherry Pier – A British-era pier on the sea, this raised platform also offers stunning views of the Arabian shores, best known for sunsets, or to watch fishermen at sea in the morning.
  • Entry Fee– Free
  • Wellesley’s Bungalow – Dedicated to Lord Wellesley, the First Duke of Wellington, the site of this bungalow was once the site where Wellesley taught cricket to the villagers. 
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Catholic Rosary Church – A 16th-century church, this is said to be one of the first churches built in Kerala and boasts stained glass work, brought in from London. 
  • Entry Fee– Free 
  • English Church – Also called the St. John’s Anglican Church, this is a 140-year structure and one of the first churches to be built on the Malabar Coast.
  • Entry Fee– Free
  • Odathil Mosque – A 200-year-old mosque, commissioned by the King of Travancore, this is an important shrine and religious site of the town. The structure boasts teak wood and Portuguese-style tiled works.
  • Entry Fee– Free

Places to visit near Thalassery

Coorg

Apart from your local Thalassery sightseeing, you can also visit other places nearby. Check out these equally scenic locales near Thalassery – 

  • Kannur – The district headquarters, the city of Kannur is also known as Manchester of Kerala for its textile industry. Visit St. Angelo Fort, Kannur Lighthouse, Arakkal Museum, and flower valley. 
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Mahe – An old French colonial town, Mahe still serves as a quaint retreat from the nearby cities and is known for its architectural aesthetics, scenic landscape, and postcard-like skyline.
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Calicut – The coastal town of Kozhikode is known for its ancient forts, churches, and mosques and is a major site of Portuguese history. Visit the famous Kozhikode Beach, Mother of God Church, and the Mappila mosques. 
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Coorg – known for coffee plantations, misty hills, and sparkling waterfalls, Coorg is a pristine hill station near Bangalore. Raja’s Seat, Tadiandamol Peak, Mercara Gold Estate, Abbey Falls, and Madikeri Fort, are popular sites to see. 
  • Entry Fee– NA 
  • Nagarhole National Park – A significant wildlife sanctuary of Karnataka, Nagarhole is popular for housing elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, monkeys, hornbills, ibis, eagles, and more.
  • Entry Fee– INR 150

Places to eat in Thalassery

Thalassery Biryani

Check out these popular eateries in Thalassery to sample the local flavors – 

  • Paris Restaurant 
  • Afamia Multi-Cuisine Restaurant 
  • Caravan Arabic Cuisine 
  • Lafair 
  • Embassy Hotel 
  • Jubilee Restaurant 
  • Mambally Royal Biscuit Factory 

How to Plan a trip to Thalassery

You can also plan your personalized Thalassery trip by selecting the mode of transport, the route, and more. Let us help you with the travel options to Thalassery for a better idea – 

How to reach

By Train

Thalassery railway station is well-connected to all major cities and towns in Kerala, and other important junctions in Karnataka. 

By Road

Thalassery sits strategically on NH66 that connects the north and south Kerala, south as well as the eastern interiors of the state and eastern Karnataka. There are regular state-run and private buses from Calicut, Kochi, Kannur, Mangalore, Bangalore, Mysore, Madikeri, etc. You can also book an outstation cab from any of these places and drive to Thalassery. 

By Flight

There is no airport in Thalassery. The nearest airport is in Calicut, about 94KM away. From there, you can take an airport taxi or book a local cab to reach Thalassery by road.

Best time to visit

Considering the hot and humid coastal weather pattern, the best time to visit Thalassery is between October and February. You can also visit in autumn, after the rains, between August and September, when the temperatures are conducive enough to explore the outdoors.

Hotels and Resorts in Thalassery 

Here are some of the best-rated places to stay in Thalassery – 

  • Perch by the Sea 
  • Seashell – Haris Beach Home 
  • Sadhoo Heritage Resort 
  • Chera Rock Beach Resort 
  • Sree Gokulam Fort 
  • Kanbay Beach Resort 
A quick summary
Things to do in Thalassery - A Complete Travel Guide
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Things to do in Thalassery - A Complete Travel Guide
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The ancient town of Thalassery, one of the earliest British colonies in India, is located around 21 kilometers from Kannur.
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