Ponnani is the only port in Malappuram district and one of the oldest ports in Kerala. A tidal port at the mouth of Bharathapuzha, Ponnani is an important fishing centre. The town is connected by road from Kuttippuram railway station. National Highway-17 passes through this town, which is divided by the Canolly Canal, adding to its beauty.
Ponnani is a town of Mosques and Khabaristans. Earlier described as a place of 231/2 mosques, now there are only more than 50 mosques here. Malik Ibnu Dinar, the first Islamic missionary who came to Kerala, was believed to have visited Ponnani. The Juma Ath mosque in the town was built by Sheik Zainuddin Makhodum in the 16th century. Zainuddin was proficient in Arabic and he wrote books. Zainuddin Makhodum-II was another scholar who wrote the early history of Kerala Muslims. Trikavu in Ponnani was one among the seats of the Zamorin, from where he controlled trade and commerce. The famous Trikavu Durga temple here, celebrates theNavarathri festival.
Ten km. South East of Ponnani, is the legendary Mookkuthala Bhagavathi Temple, one of the ancient Durga temples of Kerala. It is believed that Sankaracharya is associated with the founding of the temple. The Karthika Mahotsav, celebrated in Virschikam (November-December) attracts thousands of devotees. The Mookkuthala stone, believed to be growing from below the idol every day, is considered sacred. Sukupuaram temple near Edappal, is another important Hindu temple.
Biyyam Kayal is a spread of backwaters near Ponnani town, where a boat race is conducted annually, during the Onam celebrations. A permanent pavilion is built for the spectators and nearly a dozen country boats, including some rowed by women, participate.