Built in 1708, on a headland facing the sea, the Thalassery Fort has massive laterite walls, turrets and bastions on the flanks. Secret tunnels that lead to the sea are now blocked and the small lighthouse on the flank also lies disused. Old cellars, in which pepper was once stored, hark back to the times when Thalassery was the hub of a lucrative pepper trade.
This lush, palm-fringed island covers five acres and is locally called pasha thuruth (green island). It sits beyond the confluence of the Anjanakandi and Thalassery rivers, just 100 m from the sandy beach of Dharmapattanam, itself cut off from the mainland by rivers on three sides and the sea to the west.
Situated 8 km north of Thalassery, this drive-through beach – nearly 4 km of tightly packed wet sand – allows vehicles to whiz by. Black rocks strewn across the palm-fringed shore offer protection against the currents and shallow waters make it ideal for swimming.
The rulers donated a piece of land in the heart of Thalassery, just half a kilometre from where the fort stands today, to a rich Arab merchant who built a mosque on the site. This shrine is nearly 500 years old and displays a mix of Hindu and Islamic architecture.
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