The river gets its name from Mayyazhi (means eyebrow of the sea) which is the actual name of Mahe in Malayalam. Mahe was the French name of Mayyazhi. Mahe was a French ruled colony until it was ceded to the Union of India on 13 June 1954.
During the British rule in India, the Mayyazhi River was known as the “English channel” as it divided the French-controlled Mahe from British-controlled Thalassery. Mayyazhippuzha delimits the northern stretch of Mahe town. To the south Mahe continues upto Azhiyoor. Mahe is surrounded by the Kannur District on three sides and Calicut District on one.
The river originates actually from the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats in the Wayanad District of Kerala. It also sources from some rivulets of other rivers. From Wayanad it flows for a distance of around 55 kms along the villages of Naripetta, Vanimel, Iyyancode, Iringanur, Tripangathur, Peringalam, Edachery, Kacheri, Eramala, Parakkadavu Kariyad, Olavilam, Kunnumakkara, Azhiyur and finally covering a total area of 395 sq km. At Mahe it finally discharges into the Arabian Sea.
The river is definitely an attraction among tourists. The Water Sports Complex alongside the banks of the River houses facilities for water sports. Lot of water sports enthusiasts and tourists flock to this facility for rejoicing the thrill of water sports. A Riverside Walkway built alongside the banks of the river from the Water Sports Complex at Manjakkal, Mahe, till the breakwater of the Fishing Harbour at Mahe built by the government of Puducherry is a major attraction for the locals as well as the tourists. A drive on the Boulevard road alongside the river is an appealing experience. Noted Malayalam Novelist M. Mukundan’s Novel “Mayyazhi Puzhayude Theerangalil” which meant “On the banks of the Mahe River” is based on a story centred on this river. The English and French versions of this novels translation were a big hit bringing the author into limelight. This river is the base for many of the songs in numerous Malayalam films.
How to Reach
The nearest airport Karipur International Airport is at a distance of 85 kms. Kannur’s own Airport is under construction at Mattannur which at a distance of 40 kms from Mahe. By rail the nearest Railway Station is Mahe, where not many trains route through. Other Railway Stations nearby Mahe which are serviced by major trains from different parts of the country are Thalassery, Kannur and Vatakara.
Summer is hot and humid between the months of March and June; after which rains are at its furious best. Winter temperatures are mild with fewer rains. It is ideal to tour Mayyazhipuzha between September and June.
Other Places of Interest
Tagore Park, Saint Theresa Roman Catholic Church, Pallour, Juma Masjid, Gramathi, Juma Masjid, Mangad, Priyadarshini Yuvakendra, Spinning & Weaving Mills NTC are some of the other attractions at Mahe. Mahe also attracts lots of tipsy Keralites as liquor here is taxed very low compared elsewhere.