Cricket, Communism, Cakes

Kannur fortMarco Polo called it a great spice emporium. Many believe it is the ancient port of Naura from where King Solomon collected timber to build the great Temple of Jerusalem. In more recent times Kannur became the cradle of four Cs: Communism, Cakes, Circus and Cricket!. Kerala’s Communist Party which created history in 1957 by becoming the first to come to power democratically in the country, was born in the politically conscious Kannur. Thanks to the English who made it its military headquarters in the Indian west coast in the 18th century, Kannur learnt from Brits many things including playing cricket and baking cakes. Kannur was among the first places in India where the English played cricket (FormerEnglish captain Colin Cowdrey had his first cricketing lessons in Kannur). Colonel Arthur Wellesley of the Waterloo fame is credited to have started playing cricket in Thalassery town after he was posted here as the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces of Malabar and Kanara districts. Even today the best cakes in Kerala are made by the descendents of the early bakers of Kanpur who had learnt the art from the colonial masters. The best circus artistes of India too had their origins in this coastal port town dating back to the 19th century.

Kerala’s only Muslim royal family – Arakkal Raja – too had its home in Kannur. Marks of such rich and varied tradition like forts, martyr columns, temples, churches continue to attract global travelers to Kannur.Kannur is home for many other splendid Kerala traditions too; theyyam, the spectacular folk dance, Kaithari, traditional handloom fabrics and Kalaripayat, the celebrated martial arts.Sandwiched by Western Ghats in the east and Arabian sea in the west,Kannur is one of nature’s most blessed regions too with serene beaches,uninhabited islands, forest ranges and hills.

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