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Padanna Backwaters

In Kannada language salt fields are referred to as padanna. It is believed that as there were large tracts of salt fields in between the river that flowed west and the sandy shore, the place came to be known as Padanna. Though there are no salt fields today, the place holds a unique position in the tourism map thanks to kallumakai (mussels) and community farming. Prior to Independence, Padanna and Udinoor villages situated in the southern part of south Karnataka were part of the erstwhile Madras State. Later Padanna and Udinoor were combined to form today’s Padanna panchayath.

Padanna retains its pristine glory of the past. Its rustic charm makes it a paradise. Close to five rivers and the sea, Padanna was once a midway to transport goods to China. This has been described in the palmyra writings of Patelars.

The main occupations of the villagers are farming and fishing. It is believed that there were Muslims here during the days of Malik Dinar. The Juma’at mosque of Padanna is one of the most famous mosques of Malabar. It is believed that it was Tippu Sultan who rebuilt the mosque. The ivory sculptures and mural paintings of the Sri Kshetrapalaka Temple are also famous.

Extending from the Nileswaram Estuary to Valapattanam Estuary, Padanna offers immense scope for tourism. This is exemplified by Oyster Opera, an initiative launched by the entrepreneur Shri.Gul Muhammed. The initiative links together many families that depend on oyster breeding. This is perhaps first of its kind in Kerala’s tourism scene.

Padanna Backwaters


• Bekal, about 36 kms away
• Kanhangad, about 25 kms away
• Nileshwaram, about 13 kms away
• Madayipara, about 28 kms away
• Kavvayi, about14 kms away
• Thrikarippur, about 6 kms away
• Vellur, about 14 kms away

Things to do

• Padanna-Kavvayi-Valiyaparambu boating
• Rural pearls trail through Oyster Opera
• A journey through kalumakkai (mussel) farms
• Water zorbing
• Game fishing
• Pedal boating and other facilities
• Pilgrim tours to Udinoor Temple, Padanna maqbara


Near by Locations