The district is bound by the Western Ghats in the East (Coorg district of Karnataka State), Kozhikode and Wayanad districts, in the South, Lakshadweep sea in the West and Kasaragod, the northern most district of Kerala, in the North. The district covers an area of 2,996 km² . Kannur district has three taluks, Kannur Thaliparamba and Thalassery
Rock-cut caves and Megalithic burial sites of the Neolithic age have come to light in certain parts of the district. The Thaliparamba-Kannur-Thalassery area abounds in rock -cut caves, dolments, burial stone circles and menhirs , all of Megalithic burial order
The Kolathiris were a power to reckon with at the time of the arrival of the Portuguese towards the end of the 15th century. They were political and commercial rivals of the Zamorins of Kozhikode.
During the medieval age, several Arab scholars visited the west coast. Baliapatam, Srikantapuram, Dharmadom, Bekal and Mount Eli (Ezhimala) are some of the places which figure prominently in their travelogues.
The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama visited Kannur in 1498, and shortly thereafter it became a Portuguese settlement. The Portuguese led by Don Francisco de Almeda, the first Portuguese viceroy for India, built the St. Angelo’s Fort north of Kannur in 1505. In 1663 the Dutch captured the fort and in 1772 they sold the fort to Arakkal (King of Kannur). In 1790 the British captured the fort. At present, the fort is under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India. In the latter half of the 18th century, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, rulers of Mysore, conquered much of the district and came into conflict with the British. In 1792, at the conclusion of the Third Anglo-Mysore War, the British took over Kannur and the surrounding region, which became the new Malabar District of British India’s Madras Presidency.

Arakkal Palace
Arakkal Palace is just 3 kilometers from the town of Kannur. The fort built by the Portugese stands nearby
Dharmadom or Dharmadam is a census town in Thalassery taluk of Kannur district
Ezhimala Beach
Ezhimala Beach is located at distance of 55 km from Kannur town.This beach is surrounded by hillocks
Fort St.Anjelo
A massive triangular laterite fort, replete with a moat and flanking bastions, the St. Angelo's Fort also called Kannur Fort
Gundert Bengalow
Gundert Bengalow is at Thalassery,Kannur District. Home of Dr. Hermann Gundert (1814-1893), a scholar of the German Basel Mission
Madayipara is significant owing to its biodiversity as well as history. Madayipara was the administrative center of the Ezhimala kings
Moppila Bay
Moppila Bay is a natural fishing harbour, lying near to Fort St. Angelos.
Muzhappilangad Beach
Muzhuppilangad Beach in Kannur District has a length of 4.5 kms. The special feature of this beach is that the vehicles can be driven without getting stuck into the sea sand
Payyambalam Beach
One of the most beautiful beaches in the state of Kerala is at a distance of 2 km from Kannur town
Payyanur is located about 42 km.north of Kannur Town. The place derives its name from the renowned Sri Subrahmanya Swami Temple located here
Pythal Mala
Paithalmala is an enchanting hill station in Kannur District in the Western Ghats near Kerala-Karnataka border
Pazhassi Dam
Pazhassi Dam is located 37 km east of Kannur Town. An ideal retreat for tourists
Snake Park at Parassinikadavu
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Thalassery Fort
The British arrived in Thalassery in 1683 and errected a goods shed there