Introduction: Kozhikode (Calicut), the most important region of Malabar in yesteryears, was the capital of the powerful Zamorins and also a prominent trade and commerce center.
History: Kozhikode District found a place in the World History with the discovery of Sea Route to India in 1498 by the Portuguese Navigator Vasco Da Gama. Vasco Da Gama landed at the Kappad sea shore with three vessels and 170 men. A monument is constructed here to commemorate the historical landing.
Description: Kozhikode city continues to be a centre of flourishing domestic and international trade. Its contribution to all round development of the district in trade, commerce and economic development over the years is spectacular. Kozhikode city is the marketing centre for commodities like pepper coconut, coffee, rubber, lemon grass oil etc., produced in Kozhikode and the neighbouring districts of Wayanad, Malappuram and Kannur. Basking in the idyllic setting of the serene Arabian Sea on the west and the proud peaks of the Wayanad hills on the east. The serene beaches, lush green countryside,and the historic sites, all combine to make Kozhikode a popular tourist destination filled with a warm ambience to fascinate a visitor.
Kozhikode Quick facts
Kozhikode Geography and Climate
Geography: Geographically, the district has three distinct regions - the sandy, the rocky highlands formed by the hilly portion of the Western Ghats and lateritic midland. Of the total area of 2344 sq km, the sandy coastal belt is 362.85 sq km, lateritic midlands 1343.50 sq km. and rocky highlands 637.65 sq km. All the three taluks are spread over the three regions. The district has a coastal length of about 80 km. The highland region accounts for 26.80 percent and the low-land region for 15.55 percent of the total area of the district.
Climate: The district has a humid climate with a very hot season extending from March to May. The most important rainy season is during the South West Monsoon which sets in the first week of June and extends up to September. The North-East monsoon extends from the second half of October through November. The average annual rainfall is 3266 mm. During December to March, practically no rain is received and from October onwards the temperature gradually increases to reach the maximum in May, which is the hottest month of the year. The highest maximum temperature recorded at Kozhikode was 39.400C during the month of march 1975 and lowest temperature was 140C recorded on 26th December 1975. Humidity is very high in the coastal region.
Best time to visit Kozhikode
As it is a combination of all tourist places like waterfalls, beaches, museums and the important Kalaripayattu,( the very old martial art taken birth at Badagara )it makes the tourists to visit this place eagerly. Generally September to May would be much better the season for a Holiday here.
Ansari Park: Ansari Park (also known as Mananchira Maidan) is in the centre of the town. West of the park is the post office, north is the State Bank of India, east is the CSI Church, and south is the KTDC Hotel Malabar Mansion. Bank Road goes north, past the bank. From Bank Road, Indira Gandhi Road (Mavoor Road) goes off to the right. Close to this intersection is the KSRTC bus station, Indian Airlines, shopping facilities, and PL Worldways. The beach is 2 km west from the centre of the town.
Kozhikode Near Getaways
Mahe, Thalasseri, Kannur, Bekal, Kasaragod up north, past the big city of Kozhikode is a string of small seaside towns, no longer anything big in their own right but pleasant enough to drive through. Old forts from the days of the Company, the French, the Portuguese and relics from the times of local rulers pepper the countryside. The coastal road to the northern extreme of the state winds along these charming towns having already come through like Aluva, Kodungallur and the important temple town of Guruvayur.
A well-built network of roads connects Kozhikode to the other parts of the state. The district has a fairly extensive road network. The National Highway stretches to 77 km, major district roads to 313 km, other district roads to 245 km and village roads to 639 km. The National Highway runs almost parallel to the coastal line linking the headquarters of the 3 taluks, i.e., Kozhikode, Koyilandy and Vadakara. Kozhikode is well connected to other cities,Mangalore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Bangalore and Coimbatore by road. It is actually a pleasure to drive from Bangalore to Calicut through Gundulpet and SulthanBathery. It is not advisable to travel during late hours in small vehicles as wild elephants move in the small stretch of jungle.
How to reach Kozhikode by Rail
Kozhikode is connected by a handful of costal expresses and several passenger trains. Kozhikode can be reached from other cities like Kochi (Cochin), Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Chennai, Mangalore, Bangalore, Bombay, New Delhi and Calcutta by train. The railway line of Palakkad division enters Kozhikode district at Kadalundi and runs through the district covering Feroke, Kallai, Kozhikode, Vellayil, West Hill, Elathur, Chemancheri, Pantahalayani, Thikkodi, Payyoli, Iringa, Vadakara and Nadapuram road stations. The total length of broad-guage railway in the district is 17.48 km.
Kozhikode has an airport at Karipur. The Karipur Airport is 23 km from Kozhikode town. There are daily flights to Mumbai, Bangalore and the Middle East. The nearest airport is Kochi International Airport. Other airport options are Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Chennai, Bangalore and Bombay airports.
How to reach Kozhikode by Water
The District has an intermediate port at Kozhikode (including Beypore) and a minor port at Vadakara. The coast line of the Kozhikode port extends from Elathur cape to the south bank of Kadalundi river and treads roughly in straight line. There is another minor Port at Badagara. Even though the port is opened for traffic, there has been no traffic during the recent years. The Port of Kozhikode, Beypore and Badagara are open for foreign and coastal trade.
The important festivals in the district are held at Arakkal temple, Madappalli, Vadakara (pooram Festival, march/April), Lokanarkavu Bhagavathi temple, Memunda,Vadakara (two festivals held on March/April & November/Decemeber), Kadappally Kumbhom Thira Puduppanam, Vadakara Shri Pisharikavu Bhagavathi temple, Viyyur, Thikkody (Kaliatta Mahotsavam in March), Vettakkorumakan Pattu in the Balussery Fort, Koyilandy, Sreekanteswara temple festival, Kozhikode (Sivarathri Festival for seven days in February/March), Thacholi Manikkoth Temple Festival (February), and Appavanibha Nercha at Idiyangara Sheik Masjid. Malabar Mahotsavam is a cultural extravaganza that showcases the centuries old rich cultural heritage of Kerala. The event is at Mananchira Maidan (ground) in the heart of Kozhikode town from 13th to 16th January every year.
Revathy Pattathanam: The famous intellectual debate for Vedic scholars to win the coveted position of pattathana takes place at Thali temple during the month of Thulam. It is said that this unique intellectual gathering commenced during the fag end of 13th century. Many stories are attributed to the beginning of the Pattathanam. The seven-day debate starts on Revathi day and concludes on Thiruvathira day of the Malayalam month of Thulam.
In the field of Malayalam language and literature, Kozhikode has made many significant contributions. The district is famous for folk songs or ballads known as Vadakkan Pattukal. The most popular songs among them are those which celebrate the exploits of Thacholi Othenan. One of the favourite past times of the Muslims of the district is singing Mappila pattu and Oppana. The songs are composed in a composite language of Arabic and Malayalam. The famous intellectual debate for Vedic scholars to win the coveted position of Pattathanam takes place at Thali temple during the month of Thulam. Kozhikode also has strong associations with ghazals and football. The multicultural mix of Kozhikode ensures that Onam, Christmas and Id-ul-Fitr (the festivals of the Hindus, Christians and Muslims) are celebrated with equal pomp.
Mosques: Jami Mosque Mucchandipalli Mithqalpalli Mishkal Masjid.
Thacholi Manikkoth: A Kalari belonging to Thacholi Othenan, the legendary hero of the ballad of Malabar called 'Vadakkan Pattu' can be seen at a short distance from Vadakara. A monument and Kalari still exists at this place which is 3 km away from Vadakara. Every year martial arts festival is held in the month of March or April. There is a ruined fort in the town. Vadakara was the scene of many exploits of Thacholi Othenan, the hero of the ballads of North Malabar. A cattle fair is also held during February at Vadakara.
Kozhikode has a lot to offer the visitors. The Beaches-Kappad, Kozhikode, Beypore, Bird sanctuary, Planetarium, Science Lab etc., make the visit worthwhile.
Beach hotel and Sea Queen hotels offer a bit of nightlife otherwise the place is so steeped in tradition that there is no nightlife there.
Kidding around Kozhikode
Kalaman Para Maruthilavu Tourist Spot: A beautiful forest area. It is located 50 km away from Kozhikode City in the Kozhikode-Wynad National Highway at Chippilithodu.
Kakkad Eco Tourism Centre: It is located 40 km away from Kozhikode City in the Kozhikode-Wynad National Highway at Eangapuzha. Attractions are,variety of birds, animals and butterflies, Medicinal plants and Rivers. Trekking facility is an added attraction of this place.
Kolamala: It is located 40 km away from Kozhikode City in the Kozhikode-Wynad National Highway at Eangapuzha and travel 2 km West to reach this centre . Attractions are variety of birds, animals and butterflies and Medicinal plants. Trucking facility to Kolamala, Koompan mala and Choyiyodu mala and services of experienced guides are available.
This is the home of Calico, soft printed cotton that got its name from this town (Calicut). Predictably Kozhikode is a major centre for garment export. Hand woven textiles from Kozhikode are very attractive. Local handicraft includes rosewood and sandalwood carving.
Famous To Eat at Kozhikode
Kozhikodan Halwa is the name Mithai Theruvu or S M Street comes from the famous Kozhikode Halwa which was often called the Sweet Meat by European traders. Malabar cuisine is quite popular among gourmands. The midly flavored, gently cooked Malabar Moppila Biriyanis are a must eat when visiting Calicut. The mutton is cooked tender, the rice flaky and delicately spiced with the right portions of condiments, to leave the taste lingering for long. The side-dishes include `alisa'( husked wheat cooked with chicken) 'muttamala' or 'egg garland' (yolk of egg cooked in thin strings in sugar syrup, with the white cooked as a pudding ornamenting the centre). In seafood, mussels are a favourite. A concoction of mussel and rice flour, cooked in the shell is called arikadaka. The Arab influence on the local cuisine is very visible in the rich meat curries and desserts.
Kozhikode Museum and Hill Stations
Pazhassirajah Museum: Located at East Hill, the Pazhassirajah Museum, run by the State Archaeological Department, displays ancient mural paintings, antique bronzes and old coins as well as models of temples, megalithic monuments like dolmonoid cysts and the umbrella stones. Art Gallery Situated next to the Pazhassirajah Museum, contains paintings of Raja Ravi Varma.
Krishna Menon Museum: The Krishna Menon Museum has a section in honour of the great Indian leader V.K Krishna Menon, whose personal belongings and souvenirs gifted to this world leader are exhibited here.
Mananchira: Mananchira the heart of the city, is the site of important institutions like the Town Hall and the Public Library. One of Calicut's oldest buildings, the Commonwealth Trust Office is situated here. The large pond and the park are well known landmarks.
Science Planetarium: Kozhikode wins a place in the planetarium map of the world. Situated within the city at Jaffarkhan Colony ,it reveals the mysteries of universe and enlightens about the planets and stars. Shows are at 12.00, 2.00, 4.00 & 6.00 pm.
Regional Science Centre: The science centre abounds with puzzles and wonders that can keep you busy for at least half a day. Floating ball, whisper being carried from one end to another with the help of parabolic reflectors and many more wonders await you at Science centre. Science Centre and Planetarium are situated in the same compound.
Aquarium: A marine water aquarium is situated at Kozhikode beach near the light house. Varieties of marine and fresh water fish can be seen here. Opened on all days from 8 am to 8 pm.
Gardens and Parks at Kozhikode
Malabar Botanical Garden: The 16-hectare garden has a herbal garden, a Hortus Malabaricus garden and a star forest, apart from the water plants. It would be dedicated to the memory of Itty Achuthan Vaidyar, who helped in the compilation of Hortus Malabaricus. It will showcase fossils of plants that existed more than 10 lakh years ago, varieties of butterflies, birds, fishes, domestic animals, spices and agricultural crops.
Lake at Kozhikode
Thusharagiri: Thusharagiri waterfalls which literally means snow capped mountains , has the presence of three majestic waterfalls and is the ideal destination to unwind and spend a nostalgic holiday.It is at a distance of 55 km from Kozhikode.
The Mahe River: The Mahe river, also called the Mayyazhippuzha, originates from the forests on the western slopes of the Wayanad hills which form part of the Western Ghats. This river flows through the villages of Narippetta, Vanimel, Iyyancode, Bhekiyad, Iringanoor, Tripangathur, Peringalam, Edachery, Kacheri, Eramala, Kariyyad, Olavilam; Kunnamakkara, Azhiyoor and Mahe, before emptying into the Arabian Sea at the former French Settlement of Mahe, about 6 km.
South of Thalassery: The length of the river is about 54 km. And it flows through an area of 394 sq km.
The Murad (Kuttiady) river: The Murad river, also known as the Kuttiady river, takes its origin from the Narikkotta ranges on the western slopes of the Wayanad hills, a part of Westerm Ghats. This river flows through Vadakara, Koyilandy and Kozhikode Taluks. It empties into the Arabian Sea at the historical Kottakkal fort, 7 km.
South of Vadakara: This river has a length of 74 km. And along with its tributaries it flows through an area of 583 sq km. The Onipuzha, the Thottilpalampuzha, theKadiyangad puzha, the Vamathil puzha and the Madappallippuzha are the Major tributaries of Murad river. It passes through oorakuzhi, Kuttiady, Tiruvallur, Muyipoth, Maniyur and Karuvancheri.
The Korapuzha: Formed by the confluence of two streams called Punnurpuzha and Agalapuzha, this river and it is main tributaries are tidal in their lower reaches. The Agalapuzha is more or less a backwater, while the Punnurpuzha originates from Arikkankunnu. The Agalapuzha forms a part of the important West Coast Inland Navigation System. There is heavy traffic through this river connecting all important industrial towns lying in the coastal areas such as Vadakara, Kozhikode, Kallai, beypore etc. The total length of the river is 40 km. With a drainage area of 624 sq km.
The Kallai river: The river has its origin from Cherukulathur village and it is connected to the Chaliyar on the south by a man-made canal. The river passes through Cherukulathur, Kovur, Olavanna, Manava and Kallai before finally joining the Arabian Sea at Kozhikode. The length of the river is 22 km. And it has a drainage area of 96 sq km. Though small in size, the kallai is one of the most important rivers in the entire State from the commercial point of view, Kallai, a main centre of timber trade, is situated on its banks.
The Chaliyar river: Known in the lower reaches as the Beypore river, this is one of the major rivers of the State. The lower reaches form part of the West Coast Inland Navigation system. It originates from the Illambalari hills in Gudalur taluk of Nilgiri district in Tamil Nadu. The Chalippuzha, the Punnapuzha, the Pandiyar, the Karimpuzha, the Vadapurampuzha, the Iringipuzha and the Iruthilpuzha are its important tributaries. As an interstate river, this has a total drainage area of 2923 sq km, of which 2535 sq km. lie in Kerala and the rest, 388 sq km. in Tamil Nadu. With a length of 169 km., the Chaliyar river flows through Nilambur, Mambad, Edavanna, Areecode and Vazhakkad in Malappuram district and Feroke in Kozhikode district before it joins the Arabian Sea near Beypore.
The Kadalundi river: This river is formed by the confluence of its two main tributes, the Olipuzha and the Veliyar. The Olipuzha takes its origin from the Cherakkombanmala and the Veliyar from the forests of Erattakombanmala. The total length of this river is 130 km, with a drainage area of 1099 sq km. The river flows towards the Chaliyar and joins the Arabian Sea at about 5 km. south of the Chaliyar river mouth. The Pooraparamba river, a small stream, is also included in this basin, as its length is only 8 km. With a drainage area of 23 sq km. The total drainage area of the basis is thus 1122 sq km. The Kadalundi river, also known by the names, Karimpuzha and Oravanpurampuzha, is important from the navigation point of view.
As Kozhikode is combination of beaches, rivers, forests and also for many religious places ,
Visitors should be aware of reservation or booking for hotels and tickets for travelling
As beaches are there ,it would be more helpful if visitors carry some lotions like sun screen for sunbath
As many temples and other religious places are there ,visitors should be aware of prohibitions on photography etc
Kozhikode Tourist Offices
Calicut Tours and Travels,
13/669-C1, Opp. Apsara,
Railway Station Link Road,
Kozhikode - 673022.
Phone: 0495 -2701253
Metro Trade and Travels,
FF-58, Vyapara Bhavan,
Bank Road, Kozhikode.
Phone: 0495 -2766131
C.S.I. Shopping Centre,
Bank Road, Kozhikode - 673001.
Must do at Kozhikode
Everyone who makes a visit to Kozhikode will have the experience of the very old martial art if they visit Badagara, a place where one of the very old martial arts wasoriginated. It is a commercial centre of martial arts, Kalaripayattu, marmakala at Badagara, 48 km from Calicut is also the birthplace of Thacholi Othenan, whose heroic deeds have been immortalised in the ballads of North Malabar
Yoga institutes conduct classes but to take them up you should be there for at last 3 weeks
In February the Mahashivratri festival is conducted with great fanfare. Elephant processions, fireworks and fetes,etc If you are in Kozhikode during this time you can't miss the excitement