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About Kannur


Sree Venkataramana Temple is located at Thayyil, a seashore colony of gsbs, in Kannur or Cannanore town. Kannur district lies next to the northern most district Kasargod of Kerala state and considered to be the commercial town of Malabar area. The Temple is less than half a km from both the Railway station and the Bus stand. The temple is believed to be about 350 years old. The temple and prathista are facing the east.

<< The Kannur temple - an old pic

The deities in Sreekovil

On a three tiered Simhasana are installed the following  deities:

  • On the top tier is Lord Venkataramana with Laxidevi on the left and Bhoomidevi on the right sides.
  • On the second and third tier also there are idols of Lord Venkatramana and Laxmi-Bhoo-devi along with idols of Lord Narasimha.
  • There are also idols of Santhanagopala, Laxinarayan and Krishna in the srikovil.

The srikovil
The srikovil

Lord Venkataramana with alankaram (decoration)
Lord Venkataramana

The deities in srikovil are made of panchaloha. The shila idols of Hanuman and Garuda are installed outside the srikovil at the south-east and north-east sides respectively.


An image of Mahamaya (without a Vigraha prathista) is installed and worshipped in a shrine located at the southern Agrasala. Navarathri festival is celebrated in a grand scale with Kalasha Sthapana for nine days. On all the nine days Bhoomi Bhojana is also performed. On the Mahanavami night, a full size artistic picture of Goddess Mahakali is drawn on the floor and prayers offered.

goddess MahamayaIt is believed that persons with Pretha Badha can get relief  with the grace of Mahamaya. A devaprashnam had revealed that Goddess Mahalakshmi had occupied the place long before construction of the present temple. It is believed that in the old days Gandharva Kanyas used to come for Jalakreeda in the holy tank adjacent to the temple. The old temple tank is now submerged and the shrine of Goddess Mahamaya is built on it. The original idol of Mahalakshmi is believed to be buried in the tank with a lot of wealth and hence no pratishta is done here. Water in the temple well is believed to have medicinal value.


In the 18th century, Kannur was part of the kingdom of Arakkal Raja. The actions of Muslim pirates inhabiting the Kannur coast brought about a situation where the people of Kannur had to die of starvation. The Raja requested Sri Babani Shenoy from Goa who was having extensive rice trade with Tellicherry and plying his rice-loaded country crafts in the seas of Kannur. Thereupon, Shenoy opened pandikasalas or warehouses and started business in Kannur. The Raja gave 5 acres of freehold land as gift to Shenoy with a condition that he will distribute it among his business friends free to build up residential colony. During this period in the 17th century, Sri Venkatesh Bhat, who has been working as Archak at the Mangalore Venkatramana temple came to Kannur and settled there. He also brought a Venkatramana idol from there and installed at his house and worshipped. Since there was no common place of worship for the community members, Sri Venkatesh Bhat constructed a larger Bhajan cum Worship Hall near his house and shifted the Venkatramana idol to the Mutt for public worship. This place was later known as Venkatesh Bhat Mutt.

The mutt later developed into a temple for the gsb community. The temple authorities constructed a  Marriage hall (Sukrithindra Kala mandir) in 1971 near the temple.

External interference in Governance

The temple has been managed by a democratically elected trust. In 1983, a non-GSB  also was nominated by the Asst. Commissioner, HR&CE, Tellicherry. The agitated community formed an action committee and appealed to the Commissioner against the nomination. The petition was accepted and after hearing the nomination was cancelled. The nominated person then took up the matter with Government where also the rights of the GSB was upheld. It was then challenged in High court of Kerala which was quashed and the rights and privileges of the GSB community was upheld by the court in its judgement in December 1986.

Devaprashna and Kumbhabhishekham

The temple had been witnessing unfortunate incidents like theft in the temple, entry of a snake in the srikovil and the external interference in management of temple etc. The community became anxious and wanted to know the cause and find out the remedies.

kanlalkis.jpg (5977 bytes) Accordingly, a Deva Prashna  was arranged at the temple premises on 23-6-1983. It was revealed that the temple at its current location is at a most sacred place, where Goddess Mahalakshmi had occupied the place long before. During Devaprashna it was also learned that Pretha Badha at this temple is causing troubles to the temple and to the devotees which has to be cleared by a Thila Homa.

It was indicated that the lost glory of the temple can be restored only by performing a Sahasra Kumbhabhishekham. This was performed in the presence of Srimat Sudhindra Tirtha Swamiji on 26-12-1986. The Devaprashna also indicated that a Lalki is to be constructed in place of the present unusable one in the temple. A new one was constructed at Mulki and transported to Kannur and submitted to the Lord on 8-11-1986. This Lalki was first used in the festival on the Sahasra Kumbhabhishekham day.

Temple location in Google map

About Kannur    click for district map

Kannur (Cannanore), the sea coast town in the northern Malabar area was for many centuries the capital of the Kolathiri Rajas, the rivals of the Zamorins of Kozhikode. Formerly a major port area, Kannur is now a city known for its handloom and beedi industries. Kannur has the Arabian sea in the west, the Western Ghats in the east, and the Kozhikode and Wayanad districts in the south.

Kannur  has always been a favorite destination of the  foreign traveler. Europeans, Chinese and Arabs have visited Kannur coasts. Kannur finds mention as NAURA in early history. Marco Polo, Fahian and Ibn Batuta are some of the well known travellers to visit Kannur. The ships of Solomon are believed to have anchored along Kannur coasts to collect timber for building the 'Temple of the Lord'.

For long, local Rajas held sway over the land. The Kolathiris were based at Chirakkal. The Pazhassi Raja ruled from Kottayam in Tellicherry (Thalassery) taluk. The Beebi (queen) of Arakkal, Kerala's only Muslim Royal family controlled parts of the coast and even the Lakshadweep Islands.

St Angelo FortThe quest for spices lured several European powers to this land. The advent of the Portuguese (1498) marked the beginning. They were followed by the Dutch and the English. Fortifications at Thalassery and Fort St. Angelo at Kannur attest to their arrival. The st. Angelo fort  is situated around 3 km from Kannur. The laterite fort was constructed in 1505 AD by the first Portuguese Viceroy, Don Francisco De Almeda with the consent of the ruling Kolathiri Raja. After changing hands from the Portuguese to the Dutch, and then to the Ali Raja of Arakkal and finally to the English, the fort became one of the important military centres of the British in Malabar.  This fort is more commonly known as Kannur Kota. It is now under the supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India.

Arakkal dynasty

The Arakkal dynasty at Kannur was the only Muslim dynasty of Kerala. Their origin is thought to be from the last of Chera Dynasty. Cheraman Perumal's nephew, Muhammed Ali (Mammali), is believed to have founded the principality in the first century of the Muslim era. The descendants of Mammali later came to be known as Arakkal family. The Arakkal Kettu, the seat of the Arakkal royal family is about 4 km from Kannur town. Built of laterite and wood, the independent units, including the building that was once used as palace administrative office and four mosques, are now in a dilapidated condition, and the `pandikasalas', once a storehouse of the Arakkal family, are in an extreme state of decay.
The Arakkal family followed a matrimonial system of descent. The elder most member of the family, male or female, was its head and ruler. While male rulers were called Ali Rajah, female rulers were known as Arakkal Beevis.

Valapattanam or Baliapatam is the suburb of Kannur about 7km from the town. This location on the Valapattanam river is well known for its wood-based industries and timber trade. The port of Azhikkal and Azhikkal Beach are located nearby. Western India Plywoods, the largest wood-based industry in the country and also one of the largest of its kind in South East Asia, is a major industrial concern here.


courtesy: Amritha Kalasha souvenir 1986