Kasaragod District is one of the 14 districts in the state of Kerala, India. Kasaragod became part of Kannur district, Kerala following the reorganisation of states and formation of Kerala in November 1, 1956. Kasaragod was declared as a district on 24 May 1984. Now Kasaragod is the northernmost and also the last (14th) district in the State comprising Kasaragod, Manjeswar, Vellarikundu and Hosdurg taluks.
Kasaragod is world-renowned for its coir and hand-loom industries. It is a region where three 'dream-lands' Kerala, Tulunadu and Coorg meet. The district has a coastline of around 29.3 kilometers and a very vast midland. It also consists of high mountain ranges like the Ranipuram-Kottencheri belt. The district is filled with rivers, hillocks, beaches, shrines and forts. Kasaragod District is unique for its linguistic culture is also known as "Sapthabhasha Sangamabhoomi" as seven major languages are spoken here.
Kasaragod has also been fatally affected by indiscriminate use of the pesticide Endosulphan. Its a challenge of this district.
Anandashram was founded by Swami Ramdas and Mother Krishnabai, also called Papa Ramdas and Pujya Mataji, in 1931. The surrounding area, which was called Manjapati before the establishment of the Ashram, is now known as Ramnagar. The Ashram slowly grew from its tiny initial structure to the present complex of low-rise buildings. Many of the buildings constructed by the Ashram were given away to those who worked in the Ashram or handed over to the Government to run various social welfare schemes and schools. The Ashram provides free food for all visitors, and free accommodation for a limited period of time. There are special buildings for wandering sadhus and sanyasis. The Ashram publishes a journal called The Vision as well as a number of books by Swami Ramdas (who was a prolific writer) and others. After the mahasamadhi of Swami Ramdas in 1963, Mataji Krishnabai headed Anandashram until her own passing in 1989. Swami Sachidananda, who joined the ashram in 1949, took over the leadership of the Ashram until he passed away in 2008. Now Swami Muktananda heads the Ashram.
Jainism was the first of the non-native religions in Kerala. The remnants of Jainism that once flourished here at Manjeswaram - a major pilgrim centre with scores of temples, churches, mosques and Jain temples. The Chathurmukha Basti is unique because there are four idols of Vardhamana Mahaveera facing four directions. Hence the name chathurmukha (four faces) and basti (temple).
The Jain Temple
Ananthapura Lake Temple is a temple built in the middle of a lake. The lake in which the Sanctum Sanctorum is built measures about 2 acres. An interesting spot to keep in mind while visiting the temple is a cave to the right corner of the lake. According to the local legend, the deity Anantha Padmanabha chose to go all the way to Thiruvananthapuram through that cave. Hence both the places retain similar names, in spite of being on either end of the region. The temple also has yet another interesting tale to tell &ndash the story of the guardian crocodile. The legend goes that there is only one crocodile in the lake at a time. When one crocodile dies, another one appears in the lake.
Ananthapura Lake Temple
Bela Church, also Our Lady of Sorrows Church, is a Roman Catholic church in Kasargod district It was built in 1890 and is thus the oldest church in the district. This Gothic Revival Roman Catholic church, which is under the Manglore Diocese, has recently celebrated its centenary and has also been renovated.
Over the years, Kasaragod acquired the considerable importance as a centre of Islam on the west coast. It is the site of one of the mosques believed to have been founded by Malik Deenar. The mosque contains the grave of Malik Deenar, one of the companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the place is sacred to Muslims.
This is one of the most famous Ganapathi temples of six ganpathi temples of ancients Tulunadu. The temple architecture is of 3-tiered gajaprishta type resembling the back of an elephant. One can also find beautiful wooden carvings depicting scenes from the Ramayana.The vast spacious gopurams give good ambiance for the devotees to relax and enjoy the Ganapathi`s presence. The temple also offers veda classes to young vatus during summer vacation which also included basics of sanskrit. The legend of Kumble seme says Tipu Sultan wanted to demolish the temple like Adooru Mahalingeswara temple during his invasion of Coorg, Tulunadu, and Malabar. But after drinking water from the well of the temple, he changed his mind on attacking and demolishing the Garbhagudi and marched towards Malabar. But to satisfy his soldiers and Islamic scholars he made a cut with his sword symbolising the attack. The mark is still visible on the building that is built around the temple well
Located on the hillock from south of Hosdurg in Kanhangad is the holy ashram built by Swami Nityananda, Nityananda Ashram. A place for relaxation, the place was part of a forest area and here Swami Nityananda constructed 43 guhas (holy caves) in a mountain slope. dark caves where the swamis used to spend long hours in meditation. I had been here as a child and remembered the shining red oxide floors that reflected the light from little wick lamps in the niches. The cave walls were white washed and clean. Many of them were occupied by ashramites in deep meditation. These caves are considered to be an engineering marvel even to this day and attract thousands of people from all over the world. There is a temple inside the ashram, built similar to the famous Lord Krishna temple in Gujarat- Somanath Temple. A full size statue of Swami Nityananda in sitting posture made of panchaloha is another attraction in the ashram.
Swami Nithyananda Ashram & Caves Kanhangad
Kasaragod is home to a unique weaving co-operative society that is known for its exclusive Kasaragod Sarees. It is not a big brand that adorns the malls and big showroom. But it is known for the tradition of 75 years that won the Kasargod Sarees the geographical indication (GI) tag in 2008 as also many committed buyers over the years. After more than 75years of its existence, today unfortunately the Kasaragod Sarees is a finding it difficult to keep the art a live due to a shortage of skilled staff. A visit to this weaving centre will transform you to a fascinating world of colours, tradition and designs. It is indeed an interesting experience to witness the traditional way cotton is spun into yarn, and the various dyeing and weaving process which eventually results in the beautiful Kasaragod Saree.
Thalangara Thoppi is a traditional Muslim cap produced in Thalangara by hand. It was made in homes and was a thriving business generating large-scale employment. These caps even had an overseas market mainly in gulf countries. This industry played an important role in the economy of Thalangara at that time. As mechanized production caps brought down market prices, handmade Thalangara caps were not able to compete, and the production has been significantly reduced in recent years.
Yakshagana is a traditional theatre form that combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style and form. This theatre style is mainly found in the coastal districts and the Malanadu region of Karnataka, India. Yakshagana is traditionally performed from dusk to dawn. The actors wear resplendent costumes, head-dresses, and face paints. Yakshagana is popular in the districts of Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Shimoga and Kasaragod.