|Gods own sculptures from Gods own Country|
Payyanur is a beautiful, sparkling mid-size town located in North Kerala down the valley of the legendary hill, Ezhimala. This town offers what every other well developed places around the world offers, world class educational institutes, Medical colleges, Asia's largest naval academy, Information technology park and a railway yard with a biggest food storage foot print in India etc. Payyanur also has a rich heritage of leading the freedom struggle of India and the father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi has also paid a visit to Payyanur during those periods.
Payyanur derives its name from the famous Sri Subrahmanya Swami Temple located at the heart of the city. Payyan is an appellation of Lord Subrahmanya and Ooru meaning the place. Thus Payyanur meaning the land of Lord Subrahmanya. Payyanur Sri Subrahmanya Swami Temple is believed to be constructed by Lord Parashurama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Payyanur is world famous for a ring known as Payyanur Pavithra Mothiram, Art forms like Theyyam and Poorakkali, the bell metal industry in a village Padoli, the weaver’s street in Theru for Khadi costumes and famous Astrologers.
History of Payyanur:
Centuries ago Payyanur was part of famous Ezhimala Kingdom and was ruled by King Nandan.Later Ezhimala came under regime of the Chera Dynasty and thereafter the Mooshaka Dynasty. A village south of Payyanur, Ramanthali was the headquarters of the Mooshaka Dynasty. Later during the regime of the Kolathiri Dynasty Payyanur was a part of Kolathu Nadu ruled by the Kolathiri Rajas based in Chirakkal near Kannur. During the British Rule, Payyanur was part of the Chirakkal Taluk. Soon after receving independence from British, and the formation of Kerala state in 1957, Payyanur was taken away from Madras state and joined to Kerala state. Since then Payyanur is administered by elected members of Payyanur Panchayat/Municipality.
Historic Places in Payyanur:
There are lot of historic places in and around Payyanur which would be worth visiting. The Gandhi Maidan is a popluar ground located at the center of the city and is the epicenter of cultural and political activities of many in the town. Gandhi Maidan also has a beautiful statue of father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.The Uliyathu Kadavu, famous river bank near Payyanur is where salt Sathyagraha occured in 1928. Payyanur is also home to famous port in the sea, the Kavvayi port and was a major shipping spot in North Kerala in old days. There is also a small island by name Idayilakkadu surrounded by river and is a major tourist attraction.The Ezhimala Hills south west of Payyanur is where Asia’s largest naval academy is located. There is also a beach down the Ezhimala hills facing Arabian ocean and is also a major tourist spot. There is huge Lord Hanuman statue located at the Ezhimala Hills, in a village Ramanthali.
What's special about Payyanur:
The world famous ring, Payyanur Pavithram Mothiram is manufactured in Payyanur by a gold smith family. The ring is famous for its intricate designs and is believed to purify a person’s mind and bring prosperity and material wealth.
The viswakarma craftsmen at Padoli village is famous for craft making skills in Panchaloha and bell Metal. The Idols and Lamps made by these craftsmen are seen in almost every temples in South India and beyond. The famous crafts they make are Deshavathara Vilakku, Lakshmi Vilakku, Deepasthambam and Idols of all deities.
The weavers’ street in Payyanur Theru is home to many weavers who usually make their designs in KHadi using traditional weaving technique and mostly are hand-woven ones. The popularity of Khadi dresses is increasing and wearing of these dresses has become a fashion among younger generation in Kerala.
Payyanur is home to famous astrologers and also has an Astrological calendar (Panchangam) called Jyothi saddanam. Payyanur being the land of Astrology is linked with Sree Subrahmanya swami Temple as Lord Subrahmanya is considered as the lord of Sun, planets and universe.
Arts and Cultures:
The Theyyam or theyyattam is a popular ritual dance of North Kerala and is celebrated in two disctricts, Kannur and Kasargod popularly known as Kolothunadu. There are hundreds of dance varieties in Theyyam which are performed by artists in north Kerala. The Theyyam dance is usually performed between December and April in almost all the village shrines in Payyanur.
The Poorakkali, is a traditional dance ritual performed by men during the nine-day Pooram festival in Bhagavathy temples across northern Kerala. These traditional dances are popularly played in famous bhagavathy temples in Theru, Mambalam and Padoli.
Kolkali is another folk art performed people of Payyanur. The dance performers move in a circle, striking small sticks and keeping rhythm with special steps. The circle expands and contracts as the dance progress. The accompanying music gradually rises in pitch and the dance reaches its climax.
Kalaripayattu is a Dravidian martial art from the Indian state of Kerala. One of the oldest fighting systems in existence, it is practiced in Kerala and the variety seen in Payyanur is a northern styled Kalaripayattu. There are plenty of Gurus in Payyanur who teaches this marital arts.
Places of interest for tourists in Payyanur:
1. Bekal Fort in Kasargod district near Kanjhangad is a good place to visit to soak in the sun and the beautiful beach near the historical Bekal fort. This place is about 30km from Payyanur and is worth paying a visit. the best way to reach this place from Payyanur is via Road or Train. If you are interested in taking water route, you can go to a boat service from Payyanur to Nileshwar enjoying the endless beauty of river route of Kerala. From Nileshwar you can get to Bekal through road.
2. Paithalmala a hill station in north Kerala is about 70 km from Payyanur and takes about an hour and half journey to get there. Paithalmala is the best place for camping trekking and adventure tourism and it also has a hanging bridge and watch tower. You may go prepared for an overnight stay and enjoy the views of sunset and sunrise from the hill top by enjoying background music of small waterfalls.
3. Madayi Para is another place to visit which is about 15 km from Payyanur. This hill side overlooking beautiful Arabian Sea is a nice place to spend your evenings. There is a big pond on top of the hills and the pond never dries even in harsh summer. During the spring you will get to enjoy many flower verities found only in this place.
4. Kauvayi beach just 3 km from Payyanur Railway station is a wonderful place to visit. You may be also able to ride on small fishing boats by talking to the owners if you are interested.
Famous Temples and Shrines in Payyanur:
Sree Subrahmanya Swami Temple.
Sree Kondothidam Swomeshwari Temple
Sree Annur Mahavishnu Temple.
Sree Viddobha Temple.
Sree Madathumpadi Temple.
Sree Ashtamachal Bhagavathy Temple, Theru.
Sree Bhagavathy Temple, Padoli.
Sree BHagavathy Temple, Mambalam.
Sree Bhagavathy Temple, Mavichery.
Sree Koormbakkavu Temple, Kandothidam.
How to travel to Payyanur:
There are plenty of transportation methods available to reach Payyanur and the easiest one will be to travel to Payyanur Railway station using Indian Railway Trains. Another transport mode is via National Highway 47 and Payyanur city is just under a mile far from the NH highway. The nearest airport is Kozhikode and Mangalore and in future, the Kannur International Airport being built at Moorkkan Parambu 30 miles south of Payyanur. If you travel via sea, you can dock at Kavvayi Port and can get to Payyanur in 2-3 miles.
Accommodation in Payyanur:
There are plenty of luxury hotels available in Payyanur Town who offers a decent stay to visitors at reasonable rates. There are good restaurants also in town but restaurants serving other country cuisines may be very few. There are home accomodations also available in Payyanur.