Payyanur is a Municipal Town situated at the northern end of Kannur district in North Malabar region of Kerala, India. This Municipality consists of three administrative villages viz. Vellur, Korom and Payyannur.
Other villages are; Annur and Kokkanissery. As of 2001 India census, Payyannur had a population of 68,711. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. Payyannur has an average literacy rate of 83%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 86%, and female literacy is 80%. In Payyannur, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age. The place derives its name from the renowned Sri Subrahmanya Swami Temple located here. Payyan is an appellation of Lord Subrahmanya and ooru means "the place". Thus Payyanur means the land of Lord Subrahmanya. Payyanur is also well known for Pavithra Mothiram, Astrology, art forms like Theyyam and Poorakkali, and historical movements like that held at Korom.