The beautiful town of Nileswaram, 40 kms from Kasaragod town, has an unhurried, quaint ambience. The town used to be the headquarters of the erstwhile Nileswar Rajas, and was also once known as the cultural capital of the district. Blessed with backwaters and strips of beaches, the place attracts those in search of a serene getaway. 

To add to the quaint nature of the place, there are many kovilakom, the palaces of the Nileswar Rajas, that stand testimony to a glorious past. The Thekke Kovilakam, the Kinavoor Kovilakam, the Kovilakam Chira, the Tali Temple and many more, associated with the royal family attract visitors from everywhere.

The picturesque town, which houses serpent groves, temples and ancient buildings, is also a cradle of folk arts and culture. The serpent groves, usually found close to traditional ancestral houses in Kerala, are considered sacred and have idols of snakes that are worshipped regularly. They have both religious and ecological significance as the area surrounding the shrine offers shelter to squirrels, birds and other small creatures and also hosts various plants. No one disturbs the ecosystem of these revered places.

One can see the ritual art form of Theyyam being performed in many temples here and listen to the folk music of the place. 

The Nileswaram palace now acts as the folklore centre of the Department of Archaeology. Inside the palace premises is the Kavil Bhavan Yoga and Cultural Centre, famous for its Ayurvedic rejuvenation therapies, and naturopathy treatments like mud and oil baths. 

Traditional industries in Nileswaram 
Nileswaram is known for its handloom and beedi industries. Dinesh Beedi, the country's largest and best-run beedi co-operative society, has a factory here where the entire process of beedi-making is done by hand.