Kavvayi Islands, Kannur Overview

Recorded in the travel writings of scholars and explorers Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo, Kavil Pattanam, now called Kavvayi, has been recreated into a beautiful island. Spread over the districts of Kannur and Kasaragod, the Kavvayi islands, also called Kavvayi Kayal) are the largest backwater island group in north Kerala.

Historically, kavil Pattanam used to be the hub for spice and gems trade, done through the port of Malabar, which also brought in precious Damascus steel. The port, however, was closed after it was banned by the British in the 17th century. The name Kavil Pattanam was changed to Kavvayi by Sir William Hogan.

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Things to Do

The backwaters are fed by four rivers and streams - the Kavvayi, Kankol, Vannathichal, Kuppithodu and Kuniyan rivers. The largest island of the island group is Valiyaparamba, and the backwaters near it are also known by the same name. 

The Payyannur municipality, in an attempt to draw in more tourists, organises kayaking events and has developed a park near the ferry at Kavvayi, serving as a breathtaking view of the entire backwaters. Visitors can sit and watch the boats go by, and also avail boating facilities.

One of the most popular adventures sports here is water zorbing, where one has to get inside a large inflated plastic ball, to be able to “walk” on the water without getting wet. 

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Kavvayi Kayal is from October to March when humidity is at its low and it isn't raining as hard. The weather around this time is very cool and pleasant, and ideal for all the nature walks adventure sports, and boating trips and picnics.

One must avoid the monsoon months of June, July and August, as the average rainfall that Kavvayi receives is over 3578 mm. The summer months of May and June are very humid, and hot. The average annual temperature of Kavvayi is 27.2 °C.


Do pack some mosquito repellent and cotton clothes for a pleasant and comfortable stay.

How To Reach Kavvayi Islands

The islands are also very well connected to Mysore and Bangalore. The nearest railway station is the Payyanur railway station, and Kavvayi is only 3 kilometres from here. The nearest airport is at Kannur, Mangalore, and Calicut - all international airports.

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