|Location||Muzhappilangad, Kannur, India|
Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach (5.5 km length) is a beach in the state of Kerala in southwestern India. It is located parallel to National Highway 66 (formerly National Highway 17) between Thalassery and Kannur.
This beach is the longest Drive-In Beach in Asia and is featured among the top 6 best beaches for driving in the world in BBC article for Autos. Muzhappilangad is the only Asian beach featured in the list. Even though Goa has many beautiful beaches, it does not have a Drive-in beach. It is considered as the longest drive-in beach in Asia.
The beach festival is celebrated in the month of April and it is one of the important tourist attraction in the district of Kannur in Kerala. The youth also try many driving stunts in cars like drifting and wheeling in bikes as this is a paradise for driving along the shore.
There is an unpaved road winding through coconut groves leading to the beach. To get to this road, if you are driving from Tellicherry towards Kannur, take the left turn just before the first railway crossing you encounter after crossing the Moidu bridge. The beach is about 5 km long and curves in a wide area providing a good view of Kannur on the north. Local laws allow beachgoers to drive for a full 4 km directly on the sands of the beach. The beach is bordered by black rocks, which also protect it from the stronger currents of the ocean. These rocks provide habitat for Blue mussel, a delicious seafood. Beach attracts bird-watchers from far off places as hundreds of birds flock here during various seasons.
Approximately 100–200 m south of the beach there is a private island called Dharmadam Island (Pacha Thuruthu in Malayalam, which translates to Green Island in English). It is possible to walk to the island during low tide from the nearby Dharmadam beach.
Since the late 1990s, the beach has seen a steady influx of European tourists during winter. A major share of foreign and domestic tourists are not aware of the potential of this elusive destination. It is a must see destination for Indians as well as foreign tourists. After the face lift of the beach there has been a huge improvement in the facilities available to the beach visitors including resorts, roads, etc. The beach is wide and the sand is firm enough to support smooth driving.
Bird Watching Hotspot
Despite a tourist destination the beach is a bird watching hotspot too. More than thirty species of migratory birds visit here in the winter. Among them Pectoral sandpiper and Caspian plover, sighted here in 2013 were reported for the first time in Kerala. Long, broad shore and rocky formations on the either side of the beach provide a safe place for migration.
- White bellied sea eagle
- Eurasian Oystercatcher
- Black-winged Stilt
- Eurasian whimbrel
- Eurasian Curlew
- Common Greenshank
- Common Redshank
- Ruddy Turnstone
- Little Stint
- Brahminy kite
- Black kite
- Asian Openbill
Nearest Towns / Railway stations :
- The author has posted comments on this article (12 November 2012). "Neglect ruins Muzhappilangad beach - The Times of India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- Gibson, David K. "The best beaches for driving". Retrieved 26 June 2016.
- "Muzhappilangad wins BBC favour". deccanchronicle.com. 24 June 2016.
- "Muzhappilangad: Exploring Kerala's only drive-in beach". manoramaonline.com.
- "Rare migratory birds spotted during survey". 24 September 2013 – via www.thehindu.com.
- 'Birds of Kerala: Status and Distribution'; ISBN 978-81-264-2921-9; DC Books, Kerala, 2001
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sGamwTRhdo YouTube video
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