Kannur is a coastal city in the south Indian state of Kerala. It was once an ancient trading port. Enduring monuments such as 16th-century St. Angelo Fort, once occupied by European colonial forces, show the city’s significant role in the spice trade. Housed in a former palace, the Arakkal Museum highlights Kerala's one Muslim royal family. The palm-fringed sands of Payyambalam Beach run along Kannur’s western shore.
Kannur is one of the 14 districts along the west coast in the state of Kerala, India. The city of Kannur is the district headquarters and gives the district its name.
Kannur district derived its name from the location of its headquarters at Kannur town. The old name ‘Cannanore’ is the anglicised form of the Malayalam word Kannur. According to one opinion, ‘Kannur’ is a derivation from Kanathur, an ancient village, the name of which survives even today in one of the wards of Kannur Municipality. Another version is that Kannur might have assumed its name from one of the , deities of the Hindu pantheon, a compound of two words, Kannan (Lord Krishna) and Ur (place) making it the place of Lord Krishna. In this context, it is worth mentioning that the deity of the Katalayi Sreekrishna temple was originally installed in a shrine at Katalayi Kotta in the south eastern part of the present Kannur town.