While Kerala offers all kinds of experiences in terms of natural beauty, thanks to all the gushing waterfalls, serene backwaters, rolling mountains, and interesting flora and fauna, this is the best time to experience the beaches of ‘God’s Own Country.’
If you’re planning a quick getaway from Kochi, what better place to visit than Ponanni, a small picturesque town in Malappuram with the Arabian Sea framing its side. It’s not only home to many beautiful beaches but is also a vibrant fishing centre. However, the town also has several mosques and other religious places that one can explore to understand the unique heritage and history of the place.
About 114km/3 hours from Kochi, Ponanni was once home to the powerful Samoothiri kings. It has a special position in the history of India’s freedom struggle since several freedom fighters were from this town. One of the highlight’s of this town is also the Bharatappuzha river that eventually flows out into the Arabian Sea.
When Malabar was conquered by Hyder Ali in the year 1766, an outpost was established in Ponnani. The town then became the main centre for Islamic studies and trade during the rule of Hyder Ali’s successor Tipu Sultan.
Ponnani is often also referred to as the ‘small Mecca of Kerala’ as the town predominantly has a majority of Muslim population and therefore home to unique Muslim architecture and traditions.
Among the most prominent attractions here are the Ponnani Juma Masjid, a 16th-century masterpiece which was built in a traditional Kerala style of architecture. The mosque was known to be constructed by the celebrated Muslim spiritual leader – Zainudhin Makhdum. Other tourist attractions include the Trikkavu Temple, the fishing harbour and Ponnani Lighthouse. You can also visit Biyyam Kayal and the Biyyam Hanging Bridge, if there’s extra time in hand.
Just like the food of Kochi has a distinctive taste, the food of Ponnani is an interesting fusion of South Indian and Arabic style of cooking. Sampling some of the local dishes from a restaurant here is highly recommended.