ThalasseryThalassery, also known as Tellicherry, is a city on the Malabar Coast of Kerala, India. This is the second largest city of North Malabar in terms of population. The name Tellicherry is the anglicized form of Thalassery. Thalassery municipality has a population just less than 100,000.Established in 1866, it is the second oldest municipality in the state. Possessing an area of 23.98 km2, Thalassery is a town strategically located on the western coast of Kannur district on the Malabar Coast of Kerala. It is 22 km from the district headquarters at Kannur. The town is situated between 11°44’N latitude and 75°26’E longitude, at an altitude ranging between 2.5m above the mean sea-level in the low-lying areas, to 30m above the mean sea-level in the higher regions.
3 Thalassery Assembly Constituency
4 British influence
5.1 Thalassery Carnival
5.2 Heritage City
5.3 Sree Jagannath Temple
5.4 Sree Andaloor Kav
5.5 Cultural forums
5.6 Libraries and reading rooms
6.3 Art Galleries
10.1 Railway station
10.2 Bus station
10.3 How to reach
11 Places of interest
12 Notable citizens
14 Further reading
Thalassery is in Kannur district. The palm-fringed terrain of Thalassery has a scenic coastline and features four rivers, canals and hills with orange-hued rock. One of the four rivers is the Mahé River (Mayyazhi river). During the British Raj, the Mahé River was nicknamed the English Channel, because it separated British-ruled Thalassery from French-ruled Mahé. Muzhappilangad, a 5 km long beach, is located within 6 km of the city centre.
As of 2001 India census, Thalassery has a population of 99,386, making it the 8th largest city of Kerala in terms of population. Males constitute 47% of the population and females 53%. Thalassery has an average literacy rate of 86%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 86%, and female literacy is 86%. In Thalassery, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age. The Thalassery urban agglomeration is considered as consisting of the Thalassery municipality and panchayaths of Eranholi, Kadirur, Dharmadam, Muzhappilangad, Pinarayi and New Mahe with a present population of around 2,02,161.
Thalassery Assembly Constituency
The Thalassery assembly constituency consists of Thalassery Municipality and four neighboring Panchayats namely Eranholi, Kadirur, New Mahe and Chokli. Dharmadam has been excluded from Thalassery recently, becoming a separate constituency.
The British established their presence in Kerala in 1682, when they obtained permission from the Vadakkilamkur Prince of Kolattunad to settle at Thalassery. In the following years, the British presence in the state of Kerala strengthened. During this period, there were many organised revolts held by the natives of the region against the empire. Among them was the revolt of 1704, organised by natives of Thalassery; this revolt was quickly crushed by the British forces due to its localised, non-nationalistic nature.
Due to its coastal location, the town of Thalassery was a major commercial centre during the British rule of India. During the British rule, the Malayalam name Thalassery was anglicised into Tellichery.
The British built a seaport in Thalassery through which a variety of spices such as pepper and cardamom were exported. (Thalassery pepper, ground from locally grown pungent black peppercorns, is much sought after by chefs around the world). In 1708, the British built Thalassery Fort by the sea to protect and control the spice trade from the town. A ship wreckage of these merchant caravans is visible near the shore of Thalassery For the ship wrecked in 1806 see Tellicherry (ship)
The square fort, with its massive walls, secret tunnels to the sea, and huge, intricately-carved doors, is an imposing structure. The fort, once the nucleus of Thalassery's development, is now an historical monument. In 1781, this fort was attacked unsuccessfully by the ruler and military commander of Mysore, Hyder Ali.
The British also established the district judicial court in Thalassery. During the British rule, jurisdiction of Thalassery Court extended up to Mysore.
One of the popular tourist spots in the town, Overbury's Folly, was built by E. N. Overbury a local British judge in the 1870s.
Thalassery is known as the political and cultural capital of Malabar. Its the centre of progressive political and literary movements. In the colonial era itself Thalassery was the centre of learning in north Kerala. The first Malayalam newspapers, novels and short stories in Malayalam were born here. Earlier, the well known romantic poem in Malayalam, "Veenapoovu" (Fallen Flower) of Kumaran Asan was published from Thalassery. It's also the birthplace of the Communist movement in Kerala. Thalassery has a composite cosmopolitan culture.
Thalassery is at times referred to as the city of Cricket (where Indians first played cricket), Cakes and Circuses.
Thalassery is considered to be the birth place of the Indian Circus. Keeleri Kunhikannan is a legend in the history of the circus. Circus artists and coaches from Thalassery are very much in demand. India's premier Circus Academy was inaugurated in Thalassery. This could serve as a recruitment ground for circus companies. There is also scope for earning foreign exchange as the circuses are very popular in other countries. The cultural exchange programme with Russian performers from Jumbo Circus was well-received.
Older houses in Thalassery have traditional Kerala architecture, usually large houses with wide verandas and solid wooden doors. Each house invariably has a few coconut trees, jackfruit, and perhaps papaya, and/or mango trees. The many idyllic suburbs are well defined by the rivers and canals that flow past.
Since long ago Thalassery residents, like other Keralites, have gone abroad, or all over India, in search of work, and to seek their fortunes. It is quite common to find one or more persons from each household living overseas or in other states. This has led to a somewhat dependent money-order economy. It is a matter of concern for the residents on how to diversify and have a self-sustainable and independent local economy. Thalassery is also famous for its cuisine, the Thalassery biryani is famous for its distinguishing taste. The influence of Arabian culture is prominent in Thalassery dishes.
Rajya Samacharam, the first Malayalam newspaper, was published from Thalassery .
Carnival consists of cultural programs, sports events, martial arts, auto expo, food festival, seminars, etc. Thalassery Carnival is included in the tourism calender of the government of Kerala.
Twin City- Thalassery has historical cultural links with the German city of Calw. The Herman Hesse festival conducted in Thalassery and the links between Kannur University's Thalassery campus and Calw University, Germany continue.
The Government of Kerala declared Thalassery a heritage city. A Rs.200 crore project for Thalassery Heritage Tourism Circuit has been announced by the Department of Tourism, Govt.of Kerala. With heritage conservation as the main aim, the new circuit would cover the heritage sites such as the Thalassery Fort, the Sree Rama Temple at Thiruvangad, St. John's Anglican Church, Arakkal Kettu, Jagannatha Temple, Thalassery Pier, Ezhimala Fort, Madayi and Neeliyar Fort, the Annapoorna Temple, Thrichambaram Temple, Sree Rajarajeswari Temple at Thalipparambu, Kanjirangad Temple, Thrikkaikkunnam Temple, Soorya Narayana Temple, Perlasserry Temple, Makreri Temple, Thiruvattoor Temple, Nadal Oorparassikkavu, Thrikkaikunnu Temple, Dharmadam Andaloorkkavu, Thodeekkulam Temple, various mosques in the Arakkal area and the Kakkulangara Mosque.
The project also includes the preservation of the residence of Herman Gundert, the home of renowned communist leader Late A.K. Gopalan at Perlasserry, the historical monuments in Chirackal area and the handloom village at Azhikode. A museum of traditional arts in Thalassery is also envisaged in the project .
Sree Jagannath Temple
Sree Gnanodayayogam, the prominent social organisation of North Malabar and the governing body of Sree Jagannath Temple, Thalassery, was consecrated in 1908 by his Holiness Sree Narayana Guru, in light of centennial celebrations. Sree Varadur Kunhi Kannan visited Guru Dev in December 1904 and suggested that Thiyya Community should have a Temple at Thalassery. Sree Narayana Guru Dev allowed Varadur to invite Kumaran Asan as his representative, and to convene meetings with citizens to ascertain the feasibility of a Temple for the community. Kumaran Asan, who was residing in Bangalore, accepted the invitation, and on his arrival the first meeting was convened at ‘Parambath House’ of Sree Cheruvari Shirastadar on 9 July 1905.The temple is open to people of all religion.
Sree Andaloor Kav
Andaloor kav is well known for the variety of theyyams, the ancient ritual of North-Kerala. It is believed to be the early Buddhist shrine in Kerala. During the festival season the entire Dharmadam village accepts vegetarian diet, they purchase new utensils, clothes and paint their homes. Everyone will be accepted as guests at homes in Dharmadam during the temple feast season, which is also the festival of the village. The guests will be cordially treated with rice flakes and plantains. Villoppikkal (presentation of arrow), meyyalovital, kuluthattal etc. are some the rituals performed by the men of the village.
Akam Samithi-conducts discourses on literature and culture and published books related to literary philosophy,aesthetics and fiction.Akam magazine published by Kairali books Kannur owes its name to the Akam Samithy,Thalassery.
Drishyakala Samskarika vedi-Conducts cultural programs.
Kesarikrithikalute Prasathaka Samithi-Published books of Kesari Balakrishnapillai.Kesariwas a journalist,literary critic,historian,essayist, translator and he is considered as one of the most influential figures in modern Kerala's intellectual life.Kesari samithi also conducts speeches and seminars on the contributions of Kesari.
Elders forum-a community of the senior citizens of the city forum arranges amateur theatre performances.
Sarada Krishnaiyer Fine Arts Society
Multimedia Artists Forum-Conducts painting and photography exhibitions and publishes pamphlets on art and local history.
Libraries and reading rooms
Azad Academic library , Near Fort, Gundert Road
Sporting Youths Library, Thiruvangad
State Central Revenue reference library, Gundert road
Thalassery Courts Bi-centenary Memorial Libaray, district court premises.
Thalassery Municipal Town Hall - This is the largest of its kind owned by a municipality in Kerala
Thalassery Co-Operative Bank auditorium
Sarda Krishnaiyer Memorial Auditorium - A venue of book, painting and other exhibitions and conferences.
Thalassery Cricket Stadium
The Thalassery Stadium, located close to the sea, hosts the Ranji Trophy cricket matches quite often. Lord Arthur Wellesley is believed to have introduced this game in Kerala in the 18th century for the British soldiers who were garrisoned in the Tellichery Fort. India's first Cricket Club, which was later renamed as the Town Cricket Club, was formed in 1860 at Tellichery. The Tellichery Cricket ground was the hub of cricket activities those days. It has been reported that an exhibition match was conducted in this ground to raise funds during the First World War. Famous English cricketer Colin Cowdrey's father was a tea planter in Thalassery and he used to play cricket in Thalassery during 1890s, and is credited to have laid a decent cricket pitch here, in the early 1900s. Colin Cowdrey played in Thalassery during the British regime.
Thalassery Cricket Ground celebrated its 200th birthday in 2002 by hosting a match between the former cricketers of India and Sri Lanka. In 2008 a new stadium only for cricket was inaugurated in Conor Vayal near Venus Junction in Thalassery, as a project of the Kerala Cricket Association.
Liberty Paradise, a multi-theatre complex, AVK Nair road
Liberty Movie House, Manjodi
Prabha, Thalassery-Coorg road
Chitravani, O.V. Road
Lotus, near the railway station
Kerala Lalitkala Akademi Art Gallery,Sporting Youths Library,Thiruvangat
Kathiroor Gramapanchayath Art Gallery,TC road
High Touch Art Gallery,Gundert road.
Thalassery is home to the Government Brennen College, Thalassery, founded in 1851, one of the oldest educational institutions in the region. The Basel Evangelic Mission Parsy (B.E.M.P High school) is the first English Medium school set up in Thalassery. MESBRS is the first CBSE school set up in Thalassery.
Other notable educational institutions in Thalassery:
Nettur Technical Training Foundation
St Joseph's Higher Secondary School, Thalassery
College of Engineering, Thalassery
Kannur University Thalassery Campus
Sports Authority of India SAG Centre.
Kerala School of Fine Arts
Govt. Brennen College of Teacher Education
Medical College, Anjarakkanty
Co-Operative College of Nursing
Co-Operative College of Physiotherapy and para-medical sciences
Auriga college of Media studies
Kerala Institute of Travel and Tourism Studies (KITS) study centre
IHRD College of Applied Science
BKJM School of Nursing
Govt Brennen Higher Secondary School
Govt.Vocational Higher Secondary School Koduvally
Govt.Vocational Higher Secondary School Chirakkara
Mubarak Higher Secondary School
Basel Evangelical Mission Parsi Higher Secondary School
Sacred Heart Girls Higher Secondary School
Govt Girls Higher Secondary School
Tellicherry Public School
Sanjos Metropolitan School
Malabar Cancer Centre,Moozhikkara
It is an important centre for cancer care,treatment and research.It is institution governed by the health and family welfare department,government of Kerala.MCC is located around four kilomeeters south-east of the city centre.
General Hospital-It is one of the large general hospital in Kerala.It is located at the heart of the city.
Thalassery Co-Operative Hospital,Veenus corner
Indira Gandhi Memorial Co-operative Hospital,Manjoti
Admirable treatment is available at both hospitals in co-operative sector in hygienic atmosphere for reasonable rate.Co-operative hospitals are a boon to Tellicherrians as they save them from rip-off of private hospitals in other cities. For this people of Thalassery are indebted to veterans in co-operative movement-E.Narayanan and Mambaram Divakaran.
Tely Medical Centre,Second gate.
Thalassery Mission Hospital,near Rly station,goods shed road.
Josgiri Hospital,Hollow way road
City Maternity Hospital,Hollow way road.
Santosh Hospital-renowned for piles treatment.
Unity Hospital,TC road,chirakkara
Malabar Hospital,Jubilee road
Com trust eye hospital,veenus corner
Haniman Homeo Hospital,Kayyath road
Cholayil Sanjeevanam Ayurveda Hospital,Hollow way road
Santhigiri Ayurveda Hospital,Chirakkara
In spite of these hospitals the people of Thalassery still compelled to rely upon hospitals in Mangalore,Cochin and Coimbatore for specialist treatment.The city is in dire need of a modern multi-speciality hospital and laboratory.
Thalassery City Centre,Venus Corner Harbour City,Old bus stand
Thalasserians are well known around the country for their skills in baking. In fact the first bakery of Kerala, Mambally's Royal Biscuit Factory, was opened in Thalassery.Bakeries usually offer a variety of halwas, and often a cool bar is attached to the bakery, where falooda can be had. Some notable bakeries include Mambally's, which still operates at the Harbour City Mall and Jayabharathi with several branches round the city.
Thalassery Railway Station is one of the major railway stations in Kerala under Palakkad Railway Division. It's an 'A' class railway station.
Thalassery has three bus stations. Most of the buses operate from the New Bus Stand estd 1982. Buses to suburban areas operate from Town bus stand adjacent to the new bus stand vegetable market. A few suburban buses operate centering Old bus stand and all buses towards north halt at Old bus stand. KSRTC depot is located at Konor vayal, behind Thalassery Cricket stadium. Passengers to places like Bangalore, Thiruvanathapuram and Madurai make use of KSRTC bus station. Inter-state buses to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu operate via New bus stand. Buses are available to Kudagu and Wayanad in a frequency of once in an hour and to Mysore in a frequency of once in three hours from New bus stand. Ticket reservation counters of Kerala RTC and Karnataka RTC (Online) are located in New bus stand complex. Private travel agencies, where you can book tickets to Bengaluru (Day&Night services), Coimbatore, Mumbai and Ernakulam, also function in New bus-stand complex.
How to reach
By air: The nearest airport is at Kozhikode International Airport, about 93 km south. The works of Kannur International airport commenced recently. The new airport will be near Mattanur, a town en-route Tellicherry and Coorg around 28 km from the city. Airport can be accessed via Thalassery-Anjarakkanty road, around 20 Kilometers from Thalassery.
By rail: Thalassery Railway Station. Thalassery railway station is well linked to major towns up country as well as within the state.
By road: NH-17 passes through Thalassery. Kozhikode is 66 km away from Thalassery. Thalassery Coorg Road is a major road linking Kerala to kudaku >Thalassery - Kadirur -Koothuparamb- Nirmalagiri College - Mattannur -Iritty- Koottupuzha - State Boundary 55.1 km. Interstate buses ply on this route in a frequency of once in an hour.
Thalassery is well connected with the Bangalore(Bengaluru) through road. There are a lots of private buses operating between Thalassery and Bangalore, usually at night.
Places of interest
Overbury's Folly, Thalassery
Thalassery fort, Thalassery
Sree Ramaswami Temple
Sree Jagannath Temple
Sree Andalur Temple
Sea view Park
Thalassery Pier (Kadalpaalam)
Mariamman Koil, Pilakool
Sri Narayana Velayudhan Kovil, Pilackool
Melut Sri Muthappan Madappura
E. K. Janaki Ammal, botanist and plant cytologist
Oyyarathu Chandumenon, author of the first Malayalam novel, Indulekha
Nettur P. Damodaran, author, freedom fighter, member of Parliament in the 1st Lok Sabha
A. K. Gopalan, (A.K.G) Communist Party of India (Marxist), one time opposition leader in the Lok Sabha
Hermann Gundert, German missionary and scholar, lived in Thalassery for 20 years
V. R. Krishna Iyer
Moorkoth Kumaran, a disciple of Sree Narayana Guru, wrote a biography of Narayana guru
Moorkoth Kunhappa, former associate editor of Malayala Manorama
Keeleri Kunhikannan, a legend in the history of the circus
William Logan, author of Malabar Manual, lived in Thalassery for some time
Devan Nair, third president of Singapore
K. Raghavan, a Malayalam music composer
Sanjayan (M. R. Nair), a Malayalam satirist
Sreenivasan, actor, director and script writer of Malayalam cinema
V. P. Sathyan, former captain of India national football team
M. N. Vijayan, writer, orator and academic