Kasargod is the extreme north district of Kerala.Head Quarters also is known as Kasargod. In addition to those who speaks Malayalam the district have a majority speaking Kannada also. The spoken language of Kasargod has much influence of languages ,Kannada, Kongani and Thulu. The district was formed on 24th May 1984. Before that this formed part of Kannure district. Kasargod district comprises of Kasargod, and Hosdurg tallukas.
Behind the Name
It is believed that Kasargod got its name from the word K annada word “Kuzirakoodu”and in Malayalam ‘Kanjiram Koottam’( Kanjiram-Strychnine tree) .It can be understood from old generation alive that in Malayalam it was told as “Kanjirodu”.
Arabs who visited this place between 9th and 14th Century used to call this place “Harkwillia’.Barbosa the Portugese trader and traveler who came to “Kumbala” in 1514 records that there was rice exported from here to Maldives. Francis Buchannan who came to Malabar in 1800,mentions in his travelogue about Athiparambu,Kawai,Neeleswaram, Chandragiri Bakel, and Manjeswaram. “Kolathiri’ based in Neeleswaram was ruling here when Vijayanagara Dynasty attacked Kasargod.Towards the end of Vijayanagara Dynasty ,Ikkeri was ruled by Naykers .During Venkappa Nayak Ikkeri got freed from Vijayanagara Dynasty. It is believed that Kumbala, Chandragiri and Bakel Forts were constructed by Sivappa Nayak. In 1763 Hyder Ali invaded , the then headquarters of Nayakans. Followed Tippu Sulthan conquering Malabar As per the Pact of Sreerangapattanam in 1792 the whole of Malabar other than Thulanadu came under British. After Tippu Sulthan Thulunadu also came under British rule.
Rivers and Forts
There are many small and large rivers and forts in this district. Forts in places like Bakel,Chandragiri Hosdurg,Kumbala,Panayal Kundankuzhi and Banthadukka highlight for the historical importance of this place. Including river Chandragiri starting from Pattimala of Coorg and running down 105 kilometers to reach the sea at Talankara, there are 12 rivers in the district. It is believed that Chandragupta Mourya of Chadragupta Dynasty leaving his Palace to become a Jain Monk spent his last days here. That’s how the river got its name Chandragiri. The second longest river is 64 kilometer long Karyankodu river. This river is also called “Thejaswini”. The dam at Kakkadavu is across this river.
Panchayaths and Muncipalities
There are 3muncipalites and 38 panchayaths in this district.