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Kannur district derived its name from location of its headquarters at Kannur town. The old name Cannanore is the anglicized form of Malayalam word Kannur. According to one opinion, 'Kannur' is a derivation of 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 well worth mentioning that the deity of Kadalayi Sri Krishna temple was originally installed in a shrine at Kadalayikkota in south eastern part of present Kannur town.
Today Kannur is known for its handloom, beedi and coir industries. Some of Kerala’s finest weavers come from this district, though these days their skills are not in as much demand as before. The coir industry, which uses traditional technology provides employment to 11,000 workers.
The tradition of making woven cloth dates back to Rig Vedic period. Authentic accounts about the industry is available right from 800 B.C. However, only during the Christian era the Indian Cotton fabric got recognition. Superior Bengal Muslin was imported by Arabs, Greeks and Romans. Travancore Maharaja brought a few silk families from Devanagiri during 17th century and made them settle near Nagercoil for weaving Royal Robe. This marked the beginning of the Kerala's Handloom industry. Over the years, these families settled around Kerala, making clothes for Royal families. Chirrakal Royal family brought these weavers to Cannanore. They mainly used Pit looms for weaving fine fabrics.
Basel Mission brought about a major breakthrough in Handloom sector at the time of British rule in 1844. Basel Mission first setup the Handloom weaving factories in Mangalore in 1844 and subsequently in Cannanore and Calicut in 1852. It brought the handlooms popular in Manchester, UK and adapted to Indian conditions to run the Handloom weaving factories in modern line.With the success of these weaving units, some of the wealthy families in the areas ventured into Handloom weaving factories, mainly focusing in the manufacture of dress materials and casements. Handloom industries suffered a setback after the Second World War and most of the factories were closed.
CREP weaving looms were converted into wider width looms for weaving heavy furnishing fabrics during the late 80's. Currently out of the 40,000 looms operating in this area, 80% of the weavers weave furnishing fabrics for Export Market.


The nearest airport is at Karipur, Calicut, about 93 km south. Further south is the cochin airport 317 km away.


Cannanore railway station is an important railhead of the Southern Railway and is well linked to major towns upcountry as well as within the state.


Cannanore is also accessible by road.

Apparel Cities
(Click the city names to view details)
 Ahmedabad  Alleppey  Badrinath  Bangalore  Belgaum
 Bhopal  Cannanore  Chennai  Coimbatore  Columbia
 Delhi  Erode  Fatehpur Sikri  Hyderabad  Indore
 Jaipur  Kanchipuram  Kanpur  Karur  Kochi
 Kolkatta  Kollam  Lucknow  Ludhiana  Madurai
 Mumbai  Nagpur  New Delhi  Pune  Rishikesh
 Salem  Srikakulam  Surat  Tirupati  Tirupur
 Trichy  Trivandrum  Vadodara  Varnasi  Warangal

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