History of Iritty
Iritty and Malabar was part of the Later Cheras also known as the Kulasekharas, who ruled most of Kerala from 9th century to 11th century. To ensure the continued protection of the southern regions of Kerala the Chera king Ram Varma Kulasekhara merged his forces with the existing house of the Venad, thus forming the next phase of the dynasty, in the form of the Venad Empire. The subsequent kings of Venad took the title of Kulasekhara or Perumal that was earlier assumed by the Chera kings of Mahodayapuram. By the end of the 12th century after the disappearance of the imperial Kulasekharas or the Perumal rulers of Mahodayapuram, the Kolathiri Rajas became completely independent and prominent in Kerala. Their rule lasted till 15th century until the arrival of the Portuguese; during that time they made Kannur their capital and built the fort of St. Angelo’s in 1505.
The last decades of the 18th century witnessed the power of Pazhassi Raja, also popularly known as the Lion of Kerala. He was the king of the Kottayam royal clan. When the East India Company levied an unlawful revenue tax on Kottayam, Pazhassi Raja resisted and challenged their rule. When the Company made an attempt to arrest him he evaded capture and instead fought back using guerrilla warfare. On 30th November, 1805, the Raja was shot dead in an operation. With the death of Pazhassi Raja, the resistance movement in North Kerala came to an end. The British razed the original place to the ground and built the Tellicherry - Mysore road over it.
Geography of Iritty
Iritty is a scenic town surrounded by hills. It is a major town which lies between Coorg and Kannur international airport. The official languages spoken here are Malayalam and English. It is a popular hilly destination and tourists visiting Iritty have the option of staying at a number of riverside tourist homes, from where they can view the Iritty River. The Pazhassi Dam across the Valapattanam River, near Kuyiloor is an ideal retreat for tourists. This dam is near to the birth place of Pazhassi Raja, after whom it has been named. Almost 10 km from Kannur, the water supply from this reservoir serves for drinking water as well as irrigation purpose.
The Iritty Steel Bridge is one of the major bridges constructed by the British in British-India. Built on two pillars with three spans and an excellent vibration reduction system made this bridge an engineering marvel. The Steel Girders used for the bridge construction was completely imported from Great Britain. Constructed in 1933, the bridge weighs 10 tonne and is used to connect the towns of Kodagu and Thalassery.
Administration of Iritty
Iritty got municipal status when Government of Kerala, recently decided to upgrade Keezhur-Chavassery gram panchayatas Iritty Municipality, along with the formation of Kannur Municipal Corporation, 27 new other municipalities and 66 new gram panchayats.
Commerce in Iritty
Iritty is one of the fastest upcoming towns in Kerala having an enormous scope of development. It is one of the major primary trading towns in the Kannur district of Kerala. Iritty taluka has 19 villages under its domain thus resulting in massive agriculture with a huge production of cash crops and plantation crops. Iritty is famous for cash crops such as pepper, rubber and cashew nuts, some of which are sold under regional brands in various auction houses and commodity markets.
Tourism in Iritty
Iritty is a tourist destination with places like the Pazhassi Dam, the Steel Bridge and the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, which is about 8 km away from the town. A nearby tourist destination is Wayanad, which is a district in the north-east of Kerala. It has the Luv Kush Temple and the caves of Ambukuthi mala.
The scenic town of Iritty is accessible by road from Kannur, Thalassery and Kozhikode. The nearest airport is the Calicut International airport at Kozhikode. There is no railway line, the closest railway stations are at Kannur and Thalassery.
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