Payyoli Beach Rd, Payyoli, Kerala 673522, India
Rocky islands in the Arabian Sea for adventurers.
Velliyamkallu is a two acre rocky island in the Arabian Sea, about 36 km from Kozhikode City of Kerala State in Southern India. The island is located 14 km from Payyoli and 16 km from Thikkodi sea shores and is one of the best places for adventurers to watch seabirds and sunset.
Historical significance of Velliyamkallu
The massive rocks of the island was much dreaded by navigators and has witnessed many battles between Zamorin’s (the ruler of the medieval Kingdom of Kozhikode ) fleet and the Portuguese.
This huge rock was used by the great Kunhjali Marakkar, naval commander of Zamorin. Velliyamkallu was the vantage point of Marakkars and helped to sabotage the Portuguese ships during encounters. In 1598, a Portuguese ship was attacked and its entire crew was killed here by the Marakkars. Finally, once the Portuguese conquered the area, the island was used by them to throw the local troublemakers from Velliyamkallu into the sea. The rock was hence also known as Sacrificial Rock or Balikkallu locally.
At present, the only indication of any man made activity on the island is the plaque proclaiming it as the property of the Government of India.
Velliyamkallu has some unique natural carvings on the rocks to explore. Many of the rocks are also marked with cannon ball hits as the area has witnessed a period during which battles were fought between the local ruler and the European powers. The island has both shallow and deep caverns and treacherous rocks. Inside some of the caverns are deep wells filled with sea water.
The island can be seen at a distance from Payyoli Beach as a small dark spot.
The almost one hour boat ride from the shores makes it look a lot bigger once you get closer and closer. One of the prominent rocks in the island looks like a turtle from a distance. The entire rocks are filled with seagulls and the sky with eagles.
The sea is very deep here, with dark blue waters and many fishing boats in the vicinity. The boat will stop near to the rocks if the currents are weak, and then you will have to jump into the waters and swim to the rocks. The surface of the rocks are too slippery and sharp due to mussels and oyster shells for walking.
Best time to visit and how to reach Velliyamkallu?
The best time to visit the island will be from October to May after the monsoon when the sea is comparatively calmer. Exploring the island during low tides is much preferred, in any case the captain of the boat you hired will know the best times to visit during the day.
The island lies 36 km away from Kozhikode City and 14 km from the nearest shores. There are boats from Thikkodi/ Payyoli/ Vadakara beaches but one will have to go to either of these places and make a booking for the boat service. There are buses from Kozhikode City to all three places. The nearest railway station is also in Kozhikode.
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