KERALA INFO: Kasargod District Information
Kasargod District Information
by by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author) (Feedback)
Density per km2
372 cm (Annual)
The name, Kasaragod, is said to be derived from the word Kusirakood meaning Nuxvomica forests (Kanjirakuttom). Kasaragod is situated at the extreme northern tip of Kerala over looking Arabian Sea.
It is with the intention of bestowing maximum attention on the development backward areas that Kasaragod district was formed on May 24, 1984. With the formation of the new district, comprising the erstwhile Kasaragod and Hosdurg taluks, it has become possible to develop this coastal area fruitfully.
Kasaragod is known as the land of Gods, beaches, rivers, hills and forts. It is also a land of temples, mosques and churches. Kasaragod is bordered by west Arabian sea, north east Karnataka and south kannur.
Having three main religions of Hindu, Muslims and Christians, the Kasargod district is rich in folk-culture, visual arts and festivals. Some of its contributions are the Theyyam, the Kolkali, the Daff mutt, the Mappila patt, the Poorakkali, the Yakshaganam, the Kallampattu, the Porattu, the Oppana, and the Mappillapattu art forms.
Majority of the people of Kasaragod are farmers. The important crops of the district are Areca nut, Coconuts, Rubber, Paddy, Cashew, Pepper, Vegitables, Tapioca, Banana etc. The major languages spoken in the district are Malayalam, Kannada, Tulu, English, Hindi, and Konkani. There are 12 rivers in the districts. They are the Chandragiri, the Manjeshwara, the Mogral, the Shrirya, the Kvvayi, the Kumbala, the Kalanad, the Bekal, the Kariyankod, the Uppla, the Chithari, and the Nileshwar.
The Kasargod is famous since the time immemorial due to its location at north western coast of the state. Many Arab travelers visited Kasaragod between 9th and 14th centuries, as it was then an important trade centre. The region was called as Harkwillia by these Arab travelers. Mr. Barbose, the Portuguese traveler, who visited Kumbla near Kasaragod in 1514, had recorded that rice was exported to Male Island from this region. Dr. Francs Buccanan, who was the family doctor of Lord Wellesly, visited Kasaragod in 1800. In his travelogue, he has included information on the political and communal set –up in places like Athipramba, Kavvia, Nileswar, Bekkal, Chandragiri and Manjeswar.
The Kumbala kingdom in which there were 64 Tulu and Malayalam villages also had Kasargod as a part of its kingdom. The king Kolathiri was the ruler of the region with Nileswar as his headquarters when Vijayanagar Empire attacked Kasaragod. The ritualistic folk dance of northern Kerala, Theyyam depicts this story through its characters representing the king Kolathiri and those who had helped him against the attack of Vijayanagar Empire.
When this empire declined in 14th century, the administration of this region was vested with the Ikkeri Naikans. They ruled the region till the fall of the Vijayanagar Empire in 16th century. Then Ikkeri was declared independent by Vengappa Naik. In 1645 Sivappa Naik took the reins and transferred the capital to Bednoor. Thus these rulers came to be known as Bednor Naiks. Sivappa Naik constructed the Chandragiri fort and the Bekkal fort.
In 1763 Hyder Ali of Mysore conquered Bednoor and his attempt to conquer Thalassery for was foiled. His son, Tippu Sulthan, conquered Malabar. As per the Treaty of Srirangapattanam in 1792, Tippu surrendered Malabar except Tulunadu (Canara) to the British. The Talunadu or the Canara came under the control of the British only after the death of Tippu Sulthan in 1799.
Kasaragod became a part of Bekkal taluk in the south Canara district of Bombay presidency. Kasaragod taluk came into existence when Bekkal taluk was included in the Madras presidency on April 16, 1882. Vengayil Kunhiraman Nayanar moved a resolution in 1913 demanding the merger of Kasaragod taluk with the Malabar district. But it was withdrawn as the same kind of stiff resolution was passed at kozhikode stressing the same demand.
During the freedom struggle, Kasargod played a prominent role. Many leaders like Mohammed Sherul Sahib, Kandige Krishna Bhat, Umesh Rao, K.M.Krishnan Nambiar, Shreesankarji, Naranthatta Raman Nair, A.C.Kannan Nair, T.Gopalan Nair, and Meloth Narayanan Nambair were involved in the freedom struggle.
Later, by the efforts of K.P.Kesava Menon and many eminent personalities, Kasaragod became the part of Kerala following the reorganisation of states and formation of Kerala in November 1, 1956.
Places of Interest
Anandashram, Nityanandasramam, Ananthapura lake Temple, Beak Fort, Bela Church Kasaragod Town, Kasaragod Town, Mallikarjuna Temple, Nellikunnu Mosque
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