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Location of Vatakara

in Kerala and India
Coordinates 11°34′2″N 75°36′2″E / 11.56722°N 75.60056°E / 11.56722; 75.60056
Country  India
State Kerala
District(s) Kozhikode
Nearest city Kozhikode
Parliamentary constituency Vatakara
Population 75,740
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Vatakara (Malayalam: വടകര) is a coastal Municipality in Kozhikode district of Kerala, a South Indian state. It is the heqdquarters of Vatakara taluk. This place is erstwhile Kadathanadu and was part of North Malabar province of Malabar District in Madras State during British Raj.



Vatakara is located at 11°36′N 75°35′E / 11.60°N 75.58°E / 11.60; 75.58[1]. It has an average elevation of 15 m (49 ft). Geographically, Vatakara is situated about 48 km to the north of Kozhikode City, approximately 44 km to the south of Kannur City and it is proximate to Mahe (Mahe district). This is the third largest town of North Malabar. The town lies by the side of a river known by different names as Moorad river, Kuttiadi river or Kotakkal river. Originally known as Vadakkekara (north shore) due to its position with respect to the Kottakkal puzha, the place came to be called as Vatakara by popular usage later. This city is also known as Badagara.


Vatakara railway station.

Vatakara is the capital of old Kurumbranadu, which was inhabited by a tribal folk known as Kurumbrar. The name Kurumbranadu has its origin in the name of this tribe. A Nambiar Lord known as "Vadakara Vazhunnore" was the former ruler of this area.

Vadakara is known as the birth place of Thacholi Othenan, the legendary hero of the Vadakkanpattu (ballads of North Malabar). These ballads of oral tradition are considered to be of great literary and aesthetic value. Thacholi Tharavadu (the original Thacholi family home) is still preserved and the birth anniversary of Thacholi Othenan is celebrated. Lokanarkavu is one of the famous temples in this area. Also the temple for the memory of legend Thacholi Othenan is located at Vadakara. This temple is named as Thacholi Manikkothu Kavu temple.

The martial art form Kalarippayattu has the largest number of exponents in Vatakara.

In 1934 Mahatma Gandhi visited Vatakara as part of a fund raising trip to North Malabar.


As of 2001 India census,[2] Vadakara had a population of 75,740. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. Vadakara has an average literacy rate of 83%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 85%, and female literacy is 80%. In Vadakara, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.


Since Vadakara is a coastal town, fishing is one of the main commercial activity. The Moorad river flows into the Arabian Seaat a pont close to the town. Sand Banks, a sunset spot and a place of tourist interest are located at the river mouth.

Nut Street is the largest market for coconut, arecanut etc.


  • Railway Station- Vadakara Railway station is one of the model railway station in India.
  • Nearest Airport- Calicut International Airport, approx. 80 km away. On completion of proposed Airport at Mattannur, the nearest Airport for Vadakara will be Kannur Airport.
  • Road- Vadakara is well connected to other cities by road.The National Highway 17 passes through Vadakara town. NH 17 connects Vadakara to Calicut (Kozhikode) on the south (47 km) and to Kannur on the North (44 km). A preliminary survey is being done for a National Highway Connecting Vadakara to Bangalore through Nadapuram.


Most of the people are labours and farmers. Some are government employees. A large number of people work in the middle eastern countries, and their remittances have a strong influence on the local economy.Some people work in the near states like karnataka and tamil nadu.


Vatakara assembly constituency is part of Vadakara (Lok Sabha constituency).[3]

Places of interest

Birth Place of Kunjali Marakkar: The Marakars were admirals of the Zamorins, who valiantly resisted the Portuguese on the high seas. Kunhali Marakar built a fort on the southern bank of the Moorad river.This fort was completely destroyed by the Portuguese at a later time. The place where the fort stood is known today as Kottakkal. It is 46 km. North of Kozhikode. A small hut that belonged to Kunhali Marakkar with collections of ancient swords, cannonballs and knives can be seen here. Marakkar Bhavanam can be seen in the Photo Gallery.

  • Lokanarkavu(ലോകനാര്‍ കാവ് ക്ഷേത്രം)

The Lokanarkavu situated at Memunda 5 km. from Vatakara is a popular temple of North Malabar. This temple is associated with the heroes and heroines of Vadakkanpattu. In the vicinity of the temple there are three rock-cut caves. There are candid murals and carvings adorning the caves. The main deity is Goddess Durga. The festival, locally called Pooram, is celebrated during March/April. The temple is 1500 years old. There are two temples adjacent to the Lokanarkavu with Vishnu and Shiva as deities. Lokanarkavu goddess is named as Lokanarkavilamma which was the dearest god of Thacholi Othenan a hero of Kadathanadu

Siddasramam: Situated near the Payam Kuttimala,in Memunda, Siddasrama is a spiritual centre. Siddasramam has branches in Kerala as well as outside Kerala. Its one of the most popular Sidda Centre of North Malabar.

Memunda Madham Shiva Temple (മേമുണ്ട മഠം ക്ഷേത്രം)

It is a very ancient nagakshethram(temple dedicated to snake gods).It is situated east of Memunda town.

Velliyamkallu: A massive rock, Velliyamkallu associated with the valiant Kunhali Marakkar is located 13 km off Payyoli Beach. The rock,though much dreaded by navigators, was safe ground for the Marakar to attack the invading Portuguese. It was on this rock that Marakars killed the whole crew of a ship belonging to the Portuguese.

Sand Banks: Sand Banks is where the Kottakkal river reaches the sea.There is a Bungalow of Birla opposite to the beach.

Silent Beach: South of Sand Banks is Silent Beach.

Thacholi Manikkoth Temple, Meppayil: About one km in the east side of the new bus stand. Thacholi tharavadu (the original thacholi family home) is still preserved and the birth anniversary of thacholi othenan is celebrated here.

Kuriyadi Sree Kurumba Bhagavathi Kshetram: Situated in Vatakara beach near Chorode Gramapanchayath. Originally, the temple was within Valiyavettil house which is more than 800 years old. Annual festival is held in the month of Feb.

  • Kottathuruthu:

It's one of the tortoise farm and a small place all sides are covered by water.

  • Muthappan Hill:

It's 5 km distance from vatakara town and in this place is one muthappan temple.In this place we have to see different areas near to vatakara.

Educational institutions

Vatakara has many schools and colleges.A list can be found at Educational institutions in vatakara

Birth place of famous persons


  • Lokanar Kavu
  • Sree Bhagavathi Kottakkal
  • Bhajana Madam, Puthuppanam
  • Othayoth Temple
  • Sidhanthapuram
  • Theru Ganapathi temple
  • Kuriyadi kurumba bhagavathi temple
  • Memunda Madom
  • Paravanthala Subrahmania Kshetram
  • Vishnu Temple Puthur


  • Jumahth MOPILA Palli,Beach Road
  • Chirakkal Mosque,Beach Road
  • Sheik Mosque,Thazhe Anghadi




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