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North is Kozhikode district, East Palakkad, South Thrissur and Palakkad districts, West Arabian sea. The Zamorins of Kozhikode had their sway over this place. The Chaliyaar , Kadalundi and Bharathapuzha rivers flow through this district. Several heritage mansions colour the district.

Malappuram is a small town. The Jamaat Mosque here is a master-piece in architecture. Built in temple style architecture, the mosque is 280 years old. The royal family, Hindu Prana Nambi family, had once usurped the property of Muslims. Soon they flattered with incurable diseases. An astrologer marked out the cause and advised to construct a mosque in repentance. The mosque thus built by a Hindu took the style of temple which happened to be everybody’s attraction.


  1. Thirunavaya
  2. Nilambur
  3. Kottakkal
  4. Angadipuram
  5. Ponnani
  6. Triparangode
  7. Chmravatam
  8. Padinjarekkara Beach
  9. Navamukundan Temple
  10. Keraladeeshapuram Temple
  11. Thunchan Smarakam Memorial
  12. Garuda Temple
  13. Kadampuzha Bhagavathi Temple
  14. Sastha Temple
  15. Pazhayangadi Mosque
  16. Perinthalmanna
  17. Thirumanthamkunnu Temple
  18. Kadannamana Kovilakam
  19. Jamaat Mosque
  20. PSV Natysangham Kathakali School
  21. Venkattathevar Temple
  22. Nilambur Kovilakam
  23. Teak Museum
  24. Kumbam Handicrafts Village


Thirunavaya is located 8 km south of Tirur. This place shot into limelight due to the presence of Navamukundan temple here. The 6000-year old temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Thirunavaya, well-known for the performance of last rites to the departed, is on the banks of Bharathapuzha. The temple has scenic setting. Its envying exquisite sculptures carved around the sanctum sanctorum are a feast for heritage lovers. Carvings of ten avatars of Lord Vishnu and sculptures narrating how Lord Shiva in his kirata (tribal) avatar blessed Arjuna with Pasupathi Astra, the powerful arrow, are mind-sticking.

Thirunavaya was the venues for Mamankam, a cultural mega show held once in 12 years, where Samuthiris (the rulers of Malabar) used to sit and watch in a structure built for the purpose. [Top]



Famous for teak plantations The oldest teak plantation in the world “Conollys Plot’ is situated here. A teakwood museum functions here. [Top]



Kottakkal is located 12 km south west of Malappuram. Kottakkal is a place known world over. Kottakkal is jacked up to fame by the renowned Kottakkal Aryavaidya Sala, a pioneering institution in Ayurveda. This highly acclaimed institution runs an Ayurveda Research Centre, an Ayurveda Nursing Home and an Ayurveda Hospital, besides being a leading producer of Ayurveda medicines in large scale. Over 5 lac outpatients get treatments every year in the hospital. The quantum of in-patients is also impressive. [Top]



Angadipuram is located 3 km from Perinthalmanna, off NH 213. The famous Thirumandhamkunnu temple devoted to Shiva and Parvathi is here. Thirumandhamkunnu is a hill. The temple precincts offer lovely view of the surrounding village beauty. The idols here have an interesting past to reveal. Lord Shiva rewarded King Mandhatha of the Surya Dynasty a Shivalinga. The King returning with the Linga from Kailas, the abode of Shiva, decided to install it in Thirumandhamkunnu as he felt the place is ideal. On hearing the parting of the Linda by Shiva goddess Parvathi reached here to take back the Linga as it was dearer to her. A battle ensued. In the battle Linga split into two. Impressed by the devotion of the King to the Linga, Parvathi felt sympathy and allowed him to keep the Linga but at the same time she decided to stay with the Linga. The mural paintings in the temple depict the story behind the idol. On the ceiling of the temple scripts from Ramayana is beautifully sculpture-carved. [Top]



Ponnani is a coastal town in Malappuram district. A haven for heritage lovers, Ponnani seems neglecting its heritage tradition. Valuable monuments which include ancient mosques and temples do not get deserving attention, mainly due to the thrust of Gulf money. Modern life-style forbids cherished values of the past. This is the case everywhere. Ponnani has a beautiful beach and an old sea-port. Port area bustles with fish-catch activities. Speedboats, water scooters and country boats compete each other to establish dominancy in the sea-shore. [Top]



Triparangode is known for its Garuda temple, the only temple in India for Garuda (kite), the carrier of Lord Vishnu. Here there is a separate shrine for Lord Vishnu in Koorma (tortoise) Avatar (transformation). The Garuda shrine is sculptured with golden snakes around. [Top]



Like Triparangode, Chamravattom, located 15 km west of Tirur, is also known for its Sastha temple in the banks of Bharathapuzha. The temple built by legendary sculptor Perunthachan lies amidst wide paddy fields. The idol is placed in the level of river as sanctum sanctorum is well below. During monsoon the temple is flooded but it is considered auspicious. Most of the pilgrims proceeding to Sabarimala through this route stop here and worship. [Top]


Padinjarekkara Beach

The beach is where Bharatapuzha (puzha means river) embraces Arabian sea. Bird-watchers’ lovely spot, Padinjarekkara beach attracts migratory birds in large number. Why the birds like this beach so much is known to them alone. The boating facility is an added attraction. Speedboats and water scooter rides (organized by a private party) lure many. [Top]


Navamukundan Temple

Located at Thirunavaya. This 6000-year old temple is known as Kashi of the South. The deity of the temple, on the banks of Bharatapuzha, is Lord Vishnu. It is very famous and popular for the performance of last rites for the departed. The temple became ideal for the rites as Bharatapuzha flows over the temple steps, making it very convenient to flow the rites’ remains in the water. The exquisite sculptures carved around sanctum sanctorum are splendid. Ten avatars of Lord Vishnu are carved on the top row against the wall as below the slopped roof. Just below the row sculptures depicting Lord Shiva, in his kirata (tribal) avatar, blessing Arjuna with Pashupati Astra neatly placed. [Top]


Keraladeeshapuram Temple

Located at the coastal town of Tanur. The 3000-year odd old tile-roofed temple was once visited in1546 by St Francis Xavier, the Apostle of the East who is resting in the Basilica of Bom Jesu in Old Goa. The deity in the temple is Krishna. Tipu Sultan’s army ravaged idol was replaced recently. [Top]


Thunchan Smarakam Memorial

Located 2-km away from Tirur Railway station on Kuttipuram Road. Thunchathu Ramanuja Ezhuthachan was a legendary Malayalam poet of 16th century. The memorial is always crowded with student community. They find it an ideal place to read or right as the surroundings are scenic and calm. There is a big Nax Vomica tree here. It was under this tree Thunchan taught his students. The leaves of Nax Vomica tree usually are bitter, but to the utter surprise of all, the leaves of the tree here are not bitter. A fit subject for researchers to go into. Annual Thunchan Festival is held in January or February when cultural events such as poetry reading and seminars take place among other programmes. Vijayadashami day(a Hindu auspicious day) when Vidyarambam (initiation to letters) is celebrated all over Kerala, the memorial turns to be a great children-puller. Over 10000 get initiation to letters during this day here. [Top]


Garuda Temple

Located at Taripangode in Chamravattom Road. This is the only temple in India dedicated to Garuda, the carrier of Vishnu. The temple set in picturesque surroundings also accommodates a rare shrine in which Vishnu is worshipped in his Koorma (tortoise) avatar positure. The temple is ornated by golden snakes around it, presenting an impressive sight. [Top]


Kadampuzha Bhagavathi Temple

Kadampuzha literally should mean Kadam river. The fact is otherwise; there is no river at all. The deity here is goddess Durga, who, it is believed possesses immense curative and rewarding powers. Besides thousands of pilgrims coming daily to seek blessings, hundreds of new vehicles too come here to seek blessings to ward off mishaps during their life in the roads. The idol placed in the sanctum santorum, below several stairs, is small and always flower covered. [Top]


Sastha Temple

Situated at Chamravattom, 15-km to the west of Tirur. The temple sculptured by legendary sculptor, Perunthanchan, beholds Ayyappa deity. The beauty of the temple is unparallel. The temple is fronted by vast rice fields and the Bharatapuzha flows behind. The idol, positioned in equal level to the river, is below the sanctum sanctorum, quite unusual. During monsoon the flood-water inundates the temple and the same is considered as arattu (auspicious bathing of the idol). [Top]


Pazhayangadi Mosque

Just 54-km from Karipur Airport. Mughal-like architectured mosque has a beautiful white dome and meticulous filigree work. Set in the middle of coconut grooves, the mosque is of 18th century origin. Huge crowd pulling festival called Valia Nercha is an exclusive speciality of this mosque. [Top]



Perinthalmanna is the most developed town in Malappuram district. A temple on top of a hill is star attraction. Below the hill, a platform seems declare “ I am here as a memorial to the valiant soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the Valluvanad kingdom.” It was always a losing battle against Samuthiri. [Top]


Thirumanthamkunnu Temple

Located at Angadipuram, 3-km from Perinthalmanna. The courtyards of the temple, on a hill, offer excellent opportunity to have a clear and lovely view of the countryside. The temple has a story centred on king Mandhatha of Surya dynasty. The king returning from Shiva’s abode, Kailas, halted at Thirumandhamkunnu, stunned by the scenic beauty. The king was carrying a Shivalinga given to him by Shiva. Parvathi came to know later the reward of Linga to the king by his husband Shiva to her dismay. She decided to take it back for which she had to battle with the king. In the tussle the Linga was split into two. Even the split Linga was dearer to the king. Impressed of the devotion to the Linga by the king, Parvathi felt sympathy towards the king and allowed him to keep it. The emotional thrust, however, resisted her keeping away from the Linga and she decided to stay on there.

The sculptures carved on the temples ceiling portray Ramayana and the mural paintings depict the origin of the temple. There is a Chaver Thara (suicide stage) at the entrance (below the hill). The suicide soldiers of the king used to pray from this stage before venturing out on their mission – that is killing the Samuthiri – a non-accomplished task. Mankada Kovilakam: Located on Manjeri Road. Kovilakam means house of king. With decayed gate and dilapidated Padipura (Padipura in Malayalam means shelter over the entrance) the Kovilakam presents a pathetic look. The descendants of the Kovilakam reside in the house around it. The wooden ceilings and the giant teak pillars in the veranda and two inner courtyards make this Kovilakam different from others. [Top]


Kadannamana Kovilakam

The red laterite built Kovilakm displays unpolished walls outside. Other aspects are similar to Mankada Kovilakam. Inside, there is a small temple. Move around inside to notice exciting ancient weapons and vessels. The Vadakkinedath temple and Thekkinedath temple are overlooked by the Kovilakam. The Vadakkinedath temple can be accessed from the Kovilakam. The Thekkinedath temple is right to the Kovilakam down the road. It has extra-ordinary conical roof, rarely found elsewhere. [Top]


Jamaat Mosque

Located on Malappuram-Venkara Road. The mosque, with white walls and blue doors, looks like a temple in its architecture. It may be due to the fact that it was constructed by Hindu Prana Nambi family. The royal family had once wrested the property of Muslims. Soon after they suffered prolonged illness. This prompted them to think of repentance and built a mosque which is Jamaat mosque. [Top]


PSV Natysangham Kathakali School

Situated at Kottakkal. The founder of Kerala’s most prestigious Ayurveda establishment, Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala, late P S Warrier, was also the founder of PSV Natysangham Kathakali School. The students occasionally display their talents for the benefit of tourists. The products of this School are perfect in the Kathakali arts. [Top]


Venkattathevar Temple

Located at Kottakkal. The deity is Shiva. The walls of sanctum sanctorum are beautified with 64 types of mural paintings. Paintings of birds in garland form and paintings of flower-garland form divide the murals. The sculptured walls portray Arjuna praying for the Pashupathi Astra. The annual festival called Venkattathevar Utsavam during April attracts many. [Top]


Nilambur Kovilakam

No trace of Kovilakam now except a roofed entrance. There is a temple, Vettakorumakan temple, in the centre of Kovilakam once stood. This temple is devoted to the son of Lord Shiva in his kirata (tribal) avatar. The devotees are mostly tribals. A six-day Nilambur Pattu Utsavam (Nilambur Music Festival) held in every January attracts many, mostly tribals.

Two houses in front of the temple bear lot of history. One house has a billiard room while the other house has an open drawing room with pillars. The late Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had once stayed in the top floor. [Top]


Teak Museum

At Nilambur. The first of its kind the world. The museum narrates the history and life of teak. An exhibit christened, “moods of a teak tree,” mutely explains the life-style and growth culture of teak. Narration about world’s oldest teak tree still in good health and homed in Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is very interesting. [Top]


Kumbam Handicrafts Village

Located at Aruvacode. Aruvacode is on off Ooty-Kozhikode road. This hilly village was in news some time back. The village population mostly is of Kumbaran community whose profession is of making pottery items. Lack of buyers for pottery pots and vessels the population faced starvation and malnutrition problems which forced some to resort to prostitution. The tendency short-lived, thanks to a social worker. The intervention and counselling by a social activist changed the course and the artisans returned to their learned profession. The area is now thriving with activities related to pottery making. [Top]