Kannur lies between latitudes 11°40" to 12°48" North and longitudes 74°52" to 76°07" East. The temperatures range between 20 to 35 degrees Celsius throughout the year, making any climatic precautions or special clothing unnecessary. The rains start by the beginning of June and lasts till September. There are rains also in October which lasts for a month. Light cotton clothes are best for the Kannur climate.
Cost of Living
Indian currency called the Rupee comes in the following denominations -1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5(notes) and 10,5,2,1 (coins). The words lakh (1,00,000) and crore (1,00,00,000)are unique Indian usages.10 lakhs =1million and 100 crore = 1 billion. Indian Rupee is not fully convertible. Restrictions exists in bringing in and taking out currency. Both Indian and Foreign Exchange rates may vary, but the table below is an approximate indication.
If you bring or buy any vehicles in India you need to have a driving license issued by the Motor Vehicle Department of Govt. of Kerala or you need to possess an International Driving license. You may get an Indian driving license by applying online at www.keralamvd.gov.in. Eye test Certificate from an ophthalmologist, attested copy of proof of residence, proof of age and copy of your passport, along with a required amount as fees are required to apply for license.
Please note that using the horn is widespread in India, in view of the rather unorganized traffic, and the use of horn does not denote road rage.
The major bus station in Kannur is only two kilometres away from the University's main campus. From here, buses can be boarded for all the places in Kannur District and nearby districts also. Kerala Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses also operate services to all parts of Kerala and neighbouring states. In addition to this, private service operators conduct daily night trips to major metro cities in India and you can book tickets through www.redbus.in.
Auto Rickshaws(Auto), 3 wheeled 3 seaters are the most common and least costly of the public taxi service. Cabs are also available in plenty but they will charge higher than the autos.
Indian Railways is one of the largest in the world and the whole of Kerala is well connected by rail. Current unreserved tickets can be purchased from train stations and advance booking can be done at train stations and online at www.irctc.co.in and www.indianrail.gov.in. Kannur train station is just two kilometres away from the main campus and it connects most of the major cities in the country.
The Indian Railways connects most of the major towns of Kerala except those in the highland districts of Idukki and Wayanad.
Kannur offers a variety of cuisine in its restaurants. Traditional Kerala food, as well as Arabian dishes and Chinese, are available. KFC, Chic King etc. have their outlets in Kannur very close to the campus. Most people in Kerala eat with their right hand but cutlery will be available on demand in the restaurants.
A variety of spices go into the food, both for taste and their medicinal value. Turmeric, chillies, mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, poppy seeds, coriander cloves, cardamom etc. are some of the popular spices used in the Indian cuisine. In Kannur, in addition to the use of spices, use of coconut and coconut oil are all pervasive, giving the food here, a unique taste.
Religious freedom is enshrined in the constitution of India. Kerala has a unique record in India for the harmonious co-existence of diverse religions. Kerala has intimate, centuries old connections to almost all major religions of the world. Hindus, Christians and Muslims are the major religious communities in the state.Apart from the three major religions ,there is a small population of Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists in Kerala. Buddhism is believed to have reached Kerala in the period from 270 B.C. to 240 B.C.
Even though Indian Students are quite familiar with the usage of, Hello, Thank You, Excuse Me, Please etc., it may not be used with the same frequency as it is in the West. A gentle smile or a sincere gaze often stands for the same feelings. Take these as a part of your cultural experience.
There are no explicit restrictions or dress code in the campus, but do give consideration to the local sensitivities. You may discuss with your academic mentors and fellow local students as to what is considered appropriate. Semi-formal western dress and national dress of your country are always welcome.
You may notice that Indian Students address Professors as Sir or Madam/ Teacher. You may address them as Dr/Mr/Ms if you so wish.
Smoking, Drinking and drugs
Please stay away from smoking, drinking and drugs. University is a smoke free campus and in Kerala, public smoking and drinking are prohibited. Excessive alcohol consumption leads to poor and unsafe judgment which may be dangerous for foreigners in any country. Use of drugs at any time and place is illegal. Penalties for substance abuse violations in India are often harsher than in other countries. Use of illegal drugs or narcotics will result in immediate expulsion from the University. Please remember that the students travelling to India are subject to Indian laws and are not protected by the laws of their home country.
Protect Your Belongings
Protect your valuables like passport, driving license, bank card, credit card, cash, laptop, etc. by following standard safety tips while travelling in crowded locations. You should leave photocopies of all your important documents with your parents and another set in your baggage before travelling to India.
Malayalam is the official language and is commonly used in Kannur. English is the medium of instruction in educational institutions and is widely understood by the common people also. English is also widely used in the media, in official functions and in big organisations.
Since garments can be bought cheap (one set of dress will cost approximately $20-30) in India, it is recommended that you travel light.
For the Kannur weather cotton garments that fit loosely are ideal. Shirts, T- shirts, tops and jeans /trousers or long skirts would be climatically and culturally suitable.