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Payyannur is a Taluk in Kannur district in the state of Kerala in India. On 10 March 2018, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated Payyannur as the fifth taluk in the district. This taluk comprises of 22 villages including 16 de-linked from the Taliparamba taluk and six from the Kannur taluk. [1] The town is situated on the banks of Perumba River.

Payyanur Railway Station
Payyanur is located in Kerala
Location in Kerala, India
Payyanur is located in India
Payyanur (India)
Coordinates: 12°06′27″N 75°11′40″E / 12.1076100°N 75.1943590°E / 12.1076100; 75.1943590Coordinates: 12°06′27″N 75°11′40″E / 12.1076100°N 75.1943590°E / 12.1076100; 75.1943590
 • BodyPayyannur Municipality
 • Total54.63 km2 (21.09 sq mi)
 • Total72,111
 • Density1,300/km2 (3,400/sq mi)
 • OfficialMalayalam
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code+91 4985
ISO 3166 codeIN-KL
Vehicle registrationKL-83 (ajax) , KL-59 & KL-13
Nearest citiesTaliparamba, Kannur
Sex ratioM:F - 48:52 male/female
Lok Sabha constituencyKasaragod
Backwaters in Payyannur



As of 2011 India census,[2] Payyannur had a population of 72111. Males constitute 46% of the population and females 54%. Payyannur has an average literacy rate of 84.62%, higher than the national average of 74.04%. Male literacy is 86.23%, and female literacy is 83.72%. In Payyannur, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.


The place derives its name from the renowned Sri Subrahmanya Swami Temple located here. Payyan is an appellation of Lord Subrahmanya and ooru means "the place". Thus Payyannur means the land of Lord Subrahmanya. Payyannur is also well known for astrology, Pavithra Mothiram, art forms like Theyyam and Poorakkali, and historical movements at the time of freedom struggle.


Payyannur is located at 12°06′N 75°12′E / 12.1°N 75.2°E / 12.1; 75.2.[3] It has an average elevation of 16 metres (51 feet).


Payyannur is one of extant ancient civilized places in Kerala.[1] This northern town of Kerala claims a rich recorded history. The archeological remains excavated from Payyannur and nearby places prove the existence of a city in this area centuries ago.[1]

The earliest known mention of this town is in the Brahmanda Purana, when Garga Muni talks about this place to the Pandavas, during their exile.[4]

The famous travelers, who visited here, have described about this area with high praise. The famous traveler Ibn Bathutha visited Ezhimala in AD 1342 and wrote about the large seaport and the Chinese ships anchored here. In AD 1273, Abul Fida, and in AD 1293, the world-famous traveler, Marco Polo, and in the 15th century, the Italian traveler Nicholo Konti all visited this place, and have given good and extensive accounts of Ezhimala port, which known by the name of "Heli". The Portuguese scholar and traveler Barbosa had also described this place.[1]

Centuries back, Payyannur was a part of the Ezhimala/Mushika/Kolathiri Kingdom. King Nandan who ruled this Kingdom was mighty and well known as a great warrior and ruler. The books written during the Sangam period describe about this country and this King with much importance. At certain times, Ezhimala was also under the rule of the Cheras.

Payyannur Pattu, the ballad written by an unknown person belonging to the Chettiar community sometime during the 13th or 14th Century, was based here.[5][6]

Evolution of Payyannur TownEdit

Payyannur Highway

During the past the city centre was Kachil Patanam (present Kavvayi) was the main town because of the waterways through Kavvayi River and its big seaport. It was the administrative as well as business centre during that time. According to historians ships from China and other countries used to visit this port and anchored in the nearby river Changoorichal. Kavvayi retained its position even during the rule of British East India Company also. They established the first Magistrate's court and Registrar’s Office in Kavvayi only.

Later Kokkanisseri became the city centre. The main road, which starts from Perumba, divided the town into two. The south of this road was called Payyannur village and the north Kokkanisseri village. The business centre was called Kokkanisseri Bazaar. Later the name Payyannur became common and thus the developed city of today came into existence.

Subrahmanya swamy Temple pond

During the regime of the Kolathiri Dynasty, Payyannur was a part of Kolathu Nadu ruled by the Kolathiri Rajas based in Chirakkal near Kannur. During the British rule, Payyannur was considered as a "farka" which in term is a part of the Chirakkal Taluk. Till the formation of Kerala State in 1957, Payyannur remained in the Malabar District of the Madras State. The famous scholar and author Hermann Gundert, William Logan, the Malabar District collector during the British Rule who wrote Malabar Manual also visited Payyannur and did studies on the rich heritage of Payyannur.


Colleges in Payyannur

  • Ampere Institute of Engineering and Private ITI.[2]
  • Sree Narayana Guru College of Engineering & Technology.
  • Payyannur College, Edat. [3]
  • Gurudev Arts & Science College, Mathil
  • College of Engineering and Technology, Payyannur
  • Residential women's polytechnic college Payyannur. [4]
  • Government ITI Peringome, Peringome
  • Government College, Peringome
  • Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit Regional Centre, Payyannur [5]
  • AWH- al-badar special college Payyannur. Department of psychology.

Social ServiceEdit

Payyannur has groomed several social workers, community activists, extraordinary orator and freedom fighter KP Kunhirama Poduval who founded Sanjayan Smaraka Grandhalayam at Annur (Sanjayan Memorial Library), Kelappan Service Center (perhaps the only institution built in memory of Kelappaji, also known as "Kerala Gandhi") and Payyannur Co-operative Stores among a host of other social organizations.


'Theyyam' and religious festivals (Kaliyattam) of various temples in and around will be attraction of Payyannur. Poorakkali & kolkali are the major traditional dance ritual performance. Architect Kunhimangalam Narayanan master . V.P. Dhananjayan, the world-renowned dancer, Appukkuttan master, E. Sreedharan, the Sanskrit scholar. The native place of legendary Kathakali master Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair is not far from this town. Kandoth in Payyannur is famous for pottery. The weaver's streets of various villages around Payyannur contributes to the fame of handlooms of Kannur.

Theyyam at Payyannur
Bali Theyyam
Kalikkadavu Junction

Pavithra MothiramEdit

Payyannur Pavithram or Pavithra Mothiram is the particular ring worn during performing vedic or holy rituals or during the "pithrubali" (ceremony performed for the well-being of the forefathers or departed souls) in the Hindu tradition. The traditional Pavitram is usually made of "dharba" grass. The formation of Payyannur Pavitram is closely related with Payyannur Sree Subrahmanya Swami Temple. According to the legends, Pavitram made of gold was recommended to avoid the inconvenience of making it many times a day for the various poojas and rituals.[7]

Payyannur Pavithra Mothiram is a uniquely crafted ring shaped like a knot and considered being a sacred ornament. Usually, Payyannur Pavithram is being made of gold and silver. The Pavithram is to be worn on the right ring finger by the person performing Vedic Karmas. It is believed that this ring will bring luck and grace to anyone who wears it with the deep devotion. The three lines on the top of the ring represents the three vital "nadees" (nerves) of the human body, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. The knot between these three nerves together can awake or arose the "Kundalini sakthi" (vital energy of the body) of the human body. It is believed that the Pavithram brings the "Trimoorthi Chaithanyam" (the vigor or the effect due to the presence of the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva).The person who wear Pavithram as well as the goldsmith who makes it has to have to impose some sort of self-control or discipline over themselves. They should be pure vegetarian and should not drink alcohol and should keep way from immoral activities. If worn by women, they have to remove the ring during the period of menstruation.

According to tradition, the Pavithram, before being handed over to the customer, is taken to Payyannur Perumal Temple for special poojas and a part of the cost of the ring will be given to the temple as an offering. Payyannur Pavithram is being exhibited in many of the museums of India as well as abroad. It is relevant to mention the name of late C.V. Kunhambu, who was an expert in the making of Payyannur Pavithram and was also a freedom fighter. Payyannur has a history of national movement, prominent leaders being, KP Kunhiraman Poduval.

Payyannur is most famous for astrology and a lineup of eminent astrologers known worldwide. The temple town is also called a world astrology hub for many centuries.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Payyanur Informations : Payyanur Municipality Profile". Payyanur, India. Archived from the original on 28 September 2010.
  2. ^ "District Census Hand Book, Kannur" (PDF). Census Commission of India. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  3. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Payyanur
  4. ^ "Subrahmanya". Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Payyannur Paattola – Nilakesi's revenge". Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  6. ^ "1994 – പയ്യന്നൂർപ്പാട്ട്". ഗ്രന്ഥപ്പുര. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  7. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Srikant (1987). Power in temples : a new look through modern science. Integral Books. p. 84.