Manikkadave also known as Manikkadavu is a small town situated in the Kannur district of Kerala, India. It is located close to the Karnataka border and 65 km away from the district capital. The place is surrounded by the western ghats from three sides. The Manikkadavu river, which is also one of the main branches of the larger Valapattanam river flows through the only open end of Manikkadavu. The place is very lush and most of the people here are farmers. The place has a mostly Christian population and the St.Thomas Church is an integral part of the life of most of the people here. The majority of the people of Manikkadavu migrated from central Travancore after independence three generations ago. The original inhabitants were mostly a community known as 'Karimpalas' who became a minority in this place now. St.Thomas HSS Manikkadavu played a key role in the present good state of this beautiful village. The second and third generations of the migrators gradually became less dependent on farming through the excellent education they received through this institution. Manikkadavu is a small town now with all modern facilities and excellent connectivity. Thanks to the hardworking people of this place. Manikkadavu was neglected by the government authorities and elected representatives for a long period. The political parties of Manikkadavu were not of any use to this place. The place was one of the last places on earth to receive electricity until it was blessed with it on March 3rd of 2001. Manikkadavu has witnessed a rapid growth post-2000 and now surpassed most of the neighboring villages in development.
The nearest national highway to Manikkadavu is Nh27 which passes through Kannur town. Manikkadavu is connected to the outside world through the nearby town Iritty. Two roads connect Iritty and Manikkadavu. The shortest of them is the road through Vattiyathode-Ulikkal. The other option is Nuchiyad-Ulikkal. Other main roads are Manikkadavu to Kanjirakolli (a local tourist destination), Manikkadavu to Anappara,Manikkadavu to Kolithattu ,Manikkadavu to Kolithattu via Cheriamavu .Mattannur International airport is 25 km away from Manikkadavu . There is a frequent bus service from Iritty to Manikkadavu via Vattiyamthode and via Nuchiyad. The nearest railway station is the Kannur railway station.
St.Thomas church Manikkadavu is a roman catholic church under Thallassery Archdiocese. This is the main place of worship in Manikkadavu with the majority of the population being RC Christian.
The church is located close to Manikkadavu town. There are two convents in Manikkadavu. St.Thomas higher secondary school in Manikkadavu is under the administration of the church aided by the Kerala government. The annual church festival is the major festival of Manikkadavu which happens in the second half of January every year. Christmas and Ester are also celebrated enthusiastically by the people of Manikkadavu.
Manikkadavu school is an aided school under the management of the Thalassery archdiocese educational society. The school has a lower primary, upper primary, high school, and higher secondary division.
Education through this school is the main reason for the success of Manikkadavu . Students from neighboring villages seek education from this school as this is one of the two higher secondary schools in Ulikkal panchayath. The school has a good playground and played a key role in the development of many sports persons from Manikkadavu. There was a huge protest in 2021 against a move from the church to use a part of this playground for a new school building.
The majority of the people of Manikkadavu are the second and third generation of migrators from Travancore presently. For that reason, the local slag of the people is more similar to central Travancore than typical Kannur slang. This continues even in the fourth generation is an indication of the still strong connection of the people to Travancore. There is a large expat community in Manikkadavu. At least a person from almost all families is working abroad majority of them being in Gulf countries. Major political parties of Manikkadavu are congress lead UDF and CPIM lead LDF. The place was considered a strong fort for congress until recently.
The last few panchayath elections were won by independent candidates indicating a change in the political polarization of Manikkaavu.