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Mahe(Mayyazhi)-center of foreign liquor

Mahe, a small town in the south of India on the Arabian Sea, has the official name of Mayyazhi (means "eyebrow of the sea") in the local Malayalam language, is about 630 km from Pondicherry. The Kannur District of the state of Kerala surrounds the town on three sides. Formerly a French colony, Mahe now forms a municipality in Mahe district of the Union Territory of Puducherry (based on the east coast). It lies south of Mahe River near where the river meets the sea. Mahe is famous as a brisk trade center of foreign liquor.

The history of Mahe is closely associated with a statue named Marianne, a proud symbol of French revolution. The freedom struggle of Mahe gathered momentum from this place. Hence, this place is now well maintained as a park in the name of Rabindranath Tagore.

The Headquarters office of Mahe administration is the Government House which is a fine example of the French architecture. There is a mini forest area at the back of the Government House. From this point, the Arabian Sea, the costline with golden sand, the Mayyazhi River and the Dharmadam island can be seen.

Other attractions include a tall flag mast, a lighthouse, remnants of a fort and the sunset. In addition to these, Mahe Boat house, 2 km from the Government house, in the Mahe River welcomes the visitors with speed boats, pedal boats and kayak boats. Some other places of interest are Thacholi Othenan’s Fort, Puzhakal Juma Masjid, St. Theresa Church, Sree Krishna Temple, St. George Fort, Puthalam Bhagavathi Temple and Sree Narayana Madam.

ST. THERESA'S CHURCH:
The most famous Christian Church in Malabar. The Church was built during French Reign and it stands as a monument to the legacy of French rule. The festival is celebrated from 5th to 22nd October every year and the important dates are 14th and 15th. It is a festival of Mahe irrespective of religion or caste. For the entire people of Mahe consider this church as their own. The people all over Kerela and from neighboring Districts of Karnataka come and visit the church during this festival. It lies on the Main Road.
According to De Missione Mahnensi in Malabaribus, an Italian priest came erected the church in 1736. The church got damaged during the war between French and British forces in 1960. Then it was re-constructed in 1788. In 1956, the entire church was renovated.

Legend of Mahe Church:

According to one legend, one ship was carrying the statue of St. Theresa of Avila stopped at Mahe. Then the crew of the ship thought that the will of St. Teresa of Avila that the statue be enshrined in that place. Thus they have constructed the church. Another legend is that the the small wooden statue was found by the fishermen in the sea.

The church is under the diocese of Calicut (Latin rite)

PUTHALAM:
The Puthalam festival takes place in the 1st fortnight of every March. It is during this period of festival that the Theyyam gets enacted. Theyyattam or Thirayattam is the most famous ritual art of North Kerala which is a combination of art craft, choreography, painting, dancing, acting and singing. Puthalam is famous for its ancient temple and kuttichathan, the God, another incarnation of Vishnu.

OTHENAN'S FORT:
Remnants of this castle may be seen just at the corner of the Kozhikode Kannur National Highway near the Mini Civil Station. This is believed to have been built by Thatcholi Othenan, a widely known folk-lore hero who became the Robin hood of North Malabar.

ST. GEORGE FORT:
Situated on the highest hill of Cherukallayi one kilometer from Mahe. The French constructed a Fort here and the ruminants could now be seen. You may have a panoramic view of Mahe from here.

It is near this fort, that the TV. Relay station of Mahe has been built.


Mahe is very well connected to other important towns like Thalassery (Tellichery), Kozhikkode (Calicut) and Kannur (Canannore) by Roads. A national highway connecting all these towns is passing through Mahe. There is a railway station, named Mayyazhi(mahe). Nearest main railway station is Thalassery (Tellichery).

The Government Tourist Home near the Government House, the Zara Resort on the railway station road, the Arena Hotel near the Mahe Sports Club and the Municipal Tourist Home provide excellent accommodation.

If, as a French Tourist has once reveled in, there is any place in India that makes and keeps its own history as a beautiful legend, that is Mahe fantastic blend of Myth and Mystery.

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