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Tellicherry or Thalassery is a city in Kannur District. Thalassery is known as the political and cultural capital of Malabar. It is the centre of progressive political and literary movements. In the colonial era, Thalassery was the centre of learning in north Kerala. The first Malayalam newspapers, novels and short stories in Malayalam were born here. It's also the birthplace of the communist movement in Kerala. Thalassery has a composite cosmopolitan culture.Rajya Samacharam, the first Malayalam newspaper, was published from Thalassery.

Jagannath Temple, Thalassery
Dharmadam Island
The park called Overbury's Folly


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, born in the city, is known as "the father of Kerala Circus". Circus artists and coaches from Thalassery are very much in demand. India's premier Circus Academy was inaugurated in Thalassery.

Older houses in Thalassery have traditional Kerala architecture, usually large houses with wide verandas and solid wooden doors. Each house invariably has coconut trees, jackfruit, and perhaps papaya, 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 evident in Thalassery dishes.

Get in[edit]

The sea bridge at Thalassery

By plane[edit]

  • Kannur International airport (CNN IATA) is the nearest airport, around 28 km from Thalassery town. The airport opened for commercial operations on 9 December 2018.
  • Calicut International Airport (CCJ IATA) is the second nearest airport, 98 km away from the city.
  • Alternatively, you can come to Mangalore International Airport (IXE IATA) or Cochin International Airport (COK IATA) and catch a train or taxi to Thalassery.

By train[edit]

Book in advance, as trains are usually crowded. Reservations are available from 3 months in advance of the travel date. Depending upon the season and day bookings may get wait-listed or close up to several days prior to departure. You can also try using Tatkal which is an emergency booking system. The Tatkal service opens only one day before the departure of the train. (excluding the day of journey from the train originating station)

One of the best ways to get to Thalassery from Mumbai or Goa is to take the Konkan Railway train. The train ride is renowned for the breathtaking scenery and the natural beauty of the terrain.

By bus[edit]

You can also reach Thalassery by bus from cities like Kochi, Bangalore, Goa, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Mumbai, Coimbatore. Thalassery is accessible from these cities and from other parts of the state, through the extensive state-run bus services and numerous private bus services.

By car[edit]

Saidhar Mosque, Thalassery

Thalassery is well connected by road from all parts of the state and other major cities.

Thalassery is connected to Goa, Mumbai, and Kochi via NH-17. Highway is mostly two-laned and very narrow, but make for extremely scenic drives as it pass either through the Western Ghats or along the coastline.

Get around[edit]

Map of Thalassery

By bus[edit]

Like most Kerala cities Thalassery has a good local bus service system. Most of the local bus services are operated by private bus companies. Plenty of buses are available, mostly in 2-3 minutes gap.

By autorickshaw[edit]

This is also a cheap method of transport. You can find autos at all important places near junctions and residential areas. Make sure you agree on a fare with the driver before the journey. The normal fare starts at ₹25 for the shorter distances. with a premium of 15-25% at night (8PM-6AM).

By taxi[edit]

Taxi cabs are available near bus stations & railway station only. Taxis are usually used by passengers on long-haul routes

By foot[edit]

Walking is nearly impossible as sidewalks are absent and driving habits are dangerous. Motorcycle population is incredibly high.


  • 1 Dharmadam Island, Dharmadam,Thalassery (4 km from city centre). The 5-acre (20,000 m²) island covered with coconut palms and dense bushes is a beautiful sight from the Muzhappilangad beach. During low tide, one can just walk to the island from the beach. It is surrounded by rivers and seas. Permission is required to enter this privately owned island. Dharmadam, earlier known as Dharmapattanam was a Buddhist stronghold.
  • 2 Gundert Bungalow, Koduvally. Residence of Rev. Dr. Herman Gundert, a German missionary and great scholar, author of first Malayalam dictionary.
  • 3 Holy Rosary Church (Near Thalassery Fort). Famous for stained glass works brought from London.
  • Nettur Hill Church. Built by Rev. Dr. Herman Gundert.
  • 4 Odathil Mosque (Odathil Palli). Built around 1806 in the heart of Thalassery is Odathil Palli and the Garden Mosque. The site of the Odathil Palli used to be a sugarcane garden of the Dutch. It changed hands to the British-owned East India Company.Moosakaka, a Muslim keralite, was the contractor of the East India Company. Moosakaka hailed from the Keyi family of Thalassery. The Keyis were was one of the prominent traders of the time. Moosakaka was considered to be very honest and trustworthy. Hence the company wanted to gift him for his loyalty. Per his request he was given the sugar garden of the Dutch. Musakaka bought this land for a small price as he did not want it free. He constructed a beautiful mosque in Thalassery in the 'Karimbin-odam' Sugarcane plantation had belonged to the Dutch, occupied by the British. Odam means 'garden' in Dutch language. Since it was constructed in Odam the mosque came to be called Odathil Palli, meaning 'mosque in Odam'. The mosque had copper plate roofing and golden dome in the minor and share the scenic features as the ones noted in the Brahmin/Brahminical tradition. There was opposition in laying the dome - a privilege enjoyed by the temples so Zamorin gave speedy permission to lay the domes and the minaret. It highlights the communal harmony that prevailed in those days and the policy of enlightened toleration followed by the Kerala rulers. All the Muslims can offer prayers but in the graveyard/Kabaristan (graveyard adjacent to the mosque) where only the dead bodies of the Keyis, their wives and children are buried. This is famous among tourists to visit, as its historic tradition and a mosque in pure typical Kerala Hindu style and a golden dome covering over its original sugarcane dome.
  • 5 Overbury's Folly, Thalassery. Multi-level landscaped recreational park which commands sweeping views of Arabian Sea.
Drive in beach at Muzhappilangad
  • Shri Jagannath Temple (3 km). This temple was built in 1908 in the style of Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa. The beautiful yellow and red structure faces the railway track. Only slow trains stop at the Jagannath Temple Railway Station. An annual festival is conducted here with a lot of fireworks at display.
  • Shri Maha Vishnu Temple, Edakkad (10 km). Majestic and sylvan surroundings.
  • 6 Thalassery Fort (Tellicherry Fort). 18th-century fort built by british, and a light house.
  • 7 Thalassery Pier (Kadal Palam), Thalassery. An old pier extending out into the Arabian Sea. Built by East India Company in 1910 for transporting commodities to and from ships.
  • 8 Thiruvangad Sree Ramaswami Temple,, Thalassery (1km from city centre). A prominent temple with carvings as old as 400 years. One of the four famous temples dedicated to Lord Sree Rama in Kerala. Located on an elevated plot of 2.75 hectares with an adjoining temple tank which extends over an area of one hectare, This well maintained temple has excellent wood carvings, terracota art work, mural paintings carved on wooden planks in the ceilings are a repository of art treasure.
  • Saidarpally Jumuah Masjid (Saidarpally), Thalassery - Nadapuram Rd (2 km from Tellicherry Town).
  • 9 Thalassery Municipal Stadium (Thalassery Stadium) (Near Police Station, Palissery, Thalassery, Kerala 670101, India), +914902341591. Thalassery Stadium, located close to the sea, hosts Ranji Trophy cricket matches quite often. Wellesley is believed to have introduced this game in Kerala in the 18th century for British soldiers garrisoned in the Tellichery Fort. India's first cricket club, which was later named the Town Cricket Club, was formed in 1850 at Tellichery by Wellesley. The Tellichery Cricket ground was the hub of cricket activities those days.


  • 1 Drive in beach @ Muzhappilangad (7 km). Four-km-long beach with strong sand. The longest drive-in-beach in India. Muzhappilangad Beach (Q12062240) on Wikidata Muzhappilangad Beach on Wikipedia


  • Arya Sweets, Logans Road (1 km).
  • Greens Bakery, Pallishery (1 km).
  • Hai Uppilittathu, On the highway near stadium police station. Salted mangoes, salted tamarinds, salted carrots, salted pineapples, salted beetroots, salted gooseberry, salted papaya, salted green chilli and a dozen other varieties. This shop was established in 1998. Water and ice used here is hygienic.


Unnakkaya is a preparation of smashed banana with nuts and ghee specially prepared for the feast given to the son-in-laws of Thalassery.
  • Bharath Coffee House, PIlakkool (1 km).
  • Green Leaf Restaurant, Gundert Road, +91 490 2326888.
  • Indian Coffee House, Behind bus station, +91 490 - 2325574.
  • Mughal Restaurant, PeIlakkool (1 km).
  • Olive Garden Restaurant, Narangapuram, +91 490 2321050.
  • Paris Restaurant, Logans Road, +91 490 2320370. Famous for biriyani, samoosa and banana filling.
  • Peacock Restaurant, Pallishery (1 km).
  • Prakrithi Restaurant, Palissery (2 km).
  • Raraavis Restaurant, Narangapuram, +91 490 2322043. Famous for fish biriyani.
  • Saroma Adhithya Vegetarian, opp. Fire Station. 8 AM to 9 PM.
  • Western Restaurant, Near Jubilee (1 km).
  • Zaika Multi-Cuisine, Pilakool (1 km), +91 490 234 1202.
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Logans Road, near New Bus Stand, Narangapuram.
  • National Restaurant, Palissery.
  • Cafe Fills, Kodiyeri Road, Narangaapuram. Good place for burgers.


Falooda is made in thalassery with rose syrup, vermicelli, psyllium (ispaghol) or basil (sabza/takmaria) seeds, fruit pieces, tapioca pearls and pieces of gelatin with milk.
  • Firoz Shake Corner, Chalil, Pier Road (1 km).



  • Area code international, +91 490.
  • Area code national, 0490.

Go next[edit]

  • Iritty, cute little hill town, 42 km
  • Kannur, beach city, 22 km
  • Kozhikode, major beach city, 70 km
  • Madikeri, hill station with fine hospitality, 142 km
  • Mahe (India), old Portuguese enclave, 10 km
  • Mattanur, sleeping giant, 42 km
  • Mysore, city of palaces and gardens, 182 km
  • Ooty, major hill station, 208 km
This city travel guide to Thalassery is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.