Chemperi (ചെമ്പേരി) is a small town on the bank of the Chemperi River, in the Western Ghat, in the Kannur district of SouthIndia. It is characterized by its production and export of rubber and spices, its beautiful hillocks, and its serene streams. Vimaljyothi Engineering College, a technical institute is one of the main landmarks of Chemperi.
The modern history of Chemperi starts in the 1930s with the arrival of migrants from the Kottayam district of Kerala. These migrants made Chemperi a big town with almost all the facilities needed to serve its population. More recently,the town has become a local business hub.
Eruvessy, which is very near to Chemperi, has a different historical background. It is believed that the inhabitants there descend from 18th century settlers of the Eruvessy region.
The culture and belief system of the people of Eruvessy is entirely different from that of the people of Chemperi, though the neighboring communities live harmoniously.
The economic mainstay of Chemperi is agriculture. Primary crops include rubber, coconut, pepper, cashew, tapioca, arecanut, and other plantation crops.
Rubber occupies the largest land area among plantation crops. Recent increases in the price of rubber have improved the economic condition of many local families. Next to rubber, coconut is the most popular crop. Cashew is yet another important plantation and areca nuts are also important. Pepper is generally intercropped with coconut, arecanut and various fruit trees. In the hilly surroundings of Chemperi, such as in Nellikutty and Areekamala, this inter-cultivation is done between rubber and cashew.
The employment situation in Chemperi is slowly changing.
Many people seek employment in gulf countries and in other cities of India. The establishment of Vimal Jyoti Engineering college has improved both the employment and education outlook in Chemperi.
Chemperi's climate is humid. The weather is pleasant in December, January and February. An oppressive hot season stretches from March until the end of May, followed by the southwest monsoon, which continues until the end of September. October and November bring the northeast monsoon, Thulamazha.
Nirmala Lower Primary School was the first educational institution in Chemperi. It was founded in 1950 by the parish of Chemperi to fulfill the wish of the migrant fathers. The school was first managed by the parish of Chemperi.
Later, the diocese started a corporate educational agency and the school became a part of it. In 1953, Nirmala High School was established and was the first high school in the migrant areas. Students from Alakode, Chandanakkampara, Paisakkari, Nellikutty, Pottamplavu, Kudianmala, Vellad, Vayattuparamba were educated in this school.
In 1998, the high-school was upgraded to a higher secondary school; the first higher secondary in the migrant area; catering to the needs of all the people in and around Chemperi. There is a network of government schools, corporate schools and CBSE schools in and around Chemperi.
Chemperi has lately become a center of professional education in Kerala. The new Vimal Jyothi Engineering College , in Jyothinagar, Chemperi, is affiliated with Kannur University and is a self-financing engineering college, sanctioned in 2002 by the All India Council For Technical Education. It is one of the premier institutes of technology in Malaba
r, and recently the college has been ranked among the A grade colleges in Kerala. VJEC is an educational project of the Archdiocese of Thalassery and is managed by the Meshar Diocesan Educational Trust. Msgr Mathew M Chalil, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Tellicherry is the manager of the college. The project includes a management institute, with more rural educational opportunities designed for the future.
Paithal Mala is a tourist attraction near Chemperi, which tourists can visit year 'round. It is a hillstation near Kudianmala, on the Kerala-Karnataka border and is 65 km north of Kannur. According to the Kerala Government Department of Tourism, the place is ideal for trekking, and adventure tourism. Paithal Mala is located at around 1,450 metres (4,700') above sea level. There is a base reception centre at Pottamplavu and a watchtower atop the cliff.
Chemperi has a wide network of roads. Hill Highway, the prestigious road of Kerala, passes through Chemperi. There are well-maintained roads connecting Taliparamba, Iritty, Alakode,Cherupuzha, Kudianmala, and Vaithalmala. The planned Kannur International Airport is 45 km from Chemperi. The nearest railway station is Kannur; 56 kilometres (35 mi) away. The nearest port is Mangalore.