During my annual break I planned 2 day solo trip to Kannur- a district in northern part of Kerela followed by a day trip to Bekal (Kasargod).
Kannur, also known as Cannanore has a long history of Arabian, Persian, Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonies. For tourist this place offers some unexplored beautiful beaches, historical forts, backwaters, theyyam rituals, temples, and many more. With these entire offerings Kannur gives you an option of budget travelling.
Reaching Kannur was not difficult as it has an international airport which is well connected with daily flight from Bangalore. It also has a railway station and intercity buses too. I did start my journey from Bangalore and booked a flight for 1500 INR per ticket for an hour flight to Kannur. Bus to Kannur from Bangalore usually costs around 800 to 1200 INR for an overnight journey. The airport is situated 20 km from Kannur town. You can book prepaid auto, cabs for reaching Kannur town. There are buses too but they are few in numbers. A prepaid auto costs 400 INR and a car will cost about 600 INR from airport to Kannur town. The prepaid booking counter is inside the airport near the exit gate. It is advisable to book a ride from there as the rates for the auto and cabs are not fixed outside and you may end paying more if not negotiated properly.
I planned my trip such that I can see some unexplored places around Kannur and photograph some beautiful landscapes. The day I reached Kannur, I checked in my hotel and left for Payyanur which is 30 km from Kannur town in train. At Payyanur, my plan for the trip included- exploring the Coconut Island and mangroves in Valiyaparamba backwaters in Kayak and enjoying a beautiful sunset at Valiyaparamba Beach which runs parallel to the backwaters on its western side. There are frequent trains and buses to Payyanur from Kannur. The ticket fare in train was just 15 INR for 30 minutes journey. You can get buses frequently to Payyanur from Kannur new bus stand. However, it takes 1.5 hrs travel time in bus to reach Payyanur. It is advisable to explore these places either in early morning or late afternoon to avoid hot sun. Payyanur offers you the best of adventure, peaceful and serene vacation as this place is remote and with fever tourist.
I did my exploration of Payyanur with the help of Rahul Narayanan who offers Swastikam heritage homestay, personalized kayaking, guiding, and island camping in Kavvayi island of Payyanur. A nature enthusiastic and an energetic person, Rahul made my Payyanur travel a great fun and success. I was made sure that beside doing all the activity I can photograph some amazing landscape in some unexplored places of the backwater and beach. After reaching the Payyanur railway station it was very kind of Rahul to pick me up and take me to the starting point of Kayaking, the Kavvayi Island shore. Kavvayi Island an idyllic destination was about 15 minutes of bike ride from Payyanur railway station. We started the kayaking and reached the coconut island and spent few minutes inside the dense coconut plantation. Later, we kayaked to the mangroves. Mangroves are shrub and tree species that live along shores, rivers, and estuaries/backwaters. The natural patches of mangroves can be seen scattered in the backwaters. After the exploration of mangroves we headed our kayak towards Valiyaparamba Island which is a strip of island of about 16 Km2and Valiyaparamba beach lies to the west of this strip. I was astonished to see such lonely, clean and pristine beach. There were hardly any people beside few fishermen. Golden sand, turquoise water and setting sun made my evening a divine. I took some pictures of the dusk and headed back to kayak and sailed to the shore with some amazing experience. After relaxing for few minutes in shore we headed back to Swastikam homestay. A bungalow turned into homestay located opposite to the Payyanur new bus stand offers you amazing stay, adventure, and some really good memories. Swastikam homestay also arrange night camping at Coconut Island. From food/barbeque to travel assistance to island in boat or Kayak, Swastikam takes care of all. Rahul and his staff at Swastikam were cordial and I spent few relaxing minutes there before heading back to Kannur.
First day was a well spent one. I had my dinner at Indian Coffee House at Kannur town and reached my stay. Please check out my next story wherein I will take you to some local tourist attraction of Kannur, followed by my adventurous evening at Bekal.