About KozhikodeBeing a part of the most beautiful state in India, Kozhikode has been ranked the second best city in India to reside in. Also known as Calicut, this beautiful city boasts of beautiful beaches, parks, temples, churches, sanctuaries, hillocks, museums, wildlife, sculptures, rivers and lots more. It is the prominent trade and commerce center in Kerala. Vasco Da Gama first set foot here in 1498 after which it became one of the most important ports in the Malabar region for the trade of spices, silk and other goods between European countries and India. The nature of land in Kozhikode is marshy. That is the reason why the world also knows Kozhikode as Chullikkad, which means a ‘shrubby jungle’. The friendly nature of the people of Kozhikode, along with their love for traditional values is heart touching.
Erstwhile Malabar District of British India became a part of the newly formed Kerala on November 1 1956 and a new revenue district named Kozhikode was formed on January 1, 1957. Kozhikode is known to the world as the Center of Malabar, the land of spices and festivals. It attracts traders from all over the globe with its magnificent spices and other commodities. Kozhikode attained a position of pre-eminence in the trade of pepper and other spices since 13th century which made it an ‘Indian Emporium’ of International trade. From time immemorial, the city has been attracting travelers. Its charming physical features and the prosperity is what makes it stand out way above any other city.
The economy of Kozhikode mainly depends on agriculture and fisheries but it is not just limited to them. The timber industry is very powerful in Kozhikode and it is also the main center for the export of tea, coffee and coconuts.
Brief History of KozhikodeIt is a historical town with a hoary past. For more than 500 years, it has been in trade with the Arabs, the Jews and the Chinese by trading spices like black pepper and cardamom. The history of Kozhikode district as an administrative unit begins from January 1957. Western powers have made the political history of Kozhikode be full of conspiracies and treacherous. As Kozhikode offered full freedom and security, the Arabs and Chinese merchants preferred it to all the other ports.
It was the capital of Malabar during the time of Zamorins, who ruled the region before the British took over. There is also a legend about the last Chera King, Cheraman Perumal. According to that legend, Cherumal divided the kingdom into partitions and left it over to his feudatories. After his disappearance in a mysterious way, the governors of those partitioned lands gained Independence and proclaimed those lands as gifts from Cheraman.
The arrival of the Portuguese marked an epoch in the history of Kerala and India, not because Vasco Da Gama discovered the sea route to India, but because the Portuguese yearned for political power and imperial domination. In 1604, the Dutch signed a treaty with the Zamorins, according to which they were meant to support and help each other to expel the Portuguese out from India. However, the Britishers and their force proved to be more powerful and because of that, the Dutch could not stay in India for a long time. By 1783, Tipu Sultan established his authority over Northern Kerala. He prosecuted the local Hindu population, destroyed numerous temples and forcibly converted many to Islam. By 1792, the whole of Malabar including Calicut came under the British dominion.
Geography of KozhikodeLocated at a very low elevation of just one meter (3 ft), all the way along the western coast of India, the city’s eastern edges rise up to almost fifteen meters. The Midland is lateritic and the whole belt along the coast is sandy. The city of Kozhikode is just 410 kilometers (255 miles) north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. The shoreline of the city is almost fifteen kilometers long (9.3 mi) and the terrain is dotted by small hills near the central and the eastern edges. It is located at approximately 11.25 deg N and 75.77 deg E. The Lakshadweep Sea is to the left of the city and the Sahyadri Mountains rise from around 60 kilometers to the East of the city. The Korapuzha river is approximately 40 kilometers long.
ClimateKozhikode experiences a tropical monsoon climate. Months of March, April and May record high temperature. Few monsoon showers hit the city in April. However, the main months of Monsoon (South-West monsoons) are from June to September. The North-East monsoon makes the city receive significant precipitation in October and November. The weather gets mild from December till the end of February with clear skies and crispy air. The average annual rainfall is 3266 mm.
Tourism in KozhikodeKozhikode is well known as the ‘city of spices’ and the ‘city of sculptures’. The visit to Kozhikode would be incomplete if you do not go to the local markets of the city to buy spices like black pepper and cardamom. It is not just the spices and the sculptures that make Kozhikode what it is today. The historical significance and the modern living amenities make Kozhikode a famous tourist destination.
Some of the major tourist attractions of Kozhikode:
- Thikkoti Light House
- Kappad Beach
- Kozhikode Beach
- Vellari Mala
- Tali Temple
- Tusharagiri falls
- Kadalandi Bird Santuary
- Musical Fountain at the Mananchira Square
- Peruvannapuzhi Dam
- Lion’s Park
- Marine Water Aquarium
- SM Street
Shopping in KozhikodeIn Kozhikode, interestingly, there are many options for tourists to indulge themselves in shopping. The Sweet Meat Street, also known in short as the S.M. Street, is one of the busiest shopping areas in the city. The most famous item on the street, as well as the city in general, is the ‘Kozhikodean Halwa’ which will be available at almost every other shop on the street. Not only the ‘Halwa’, but also the banana chips are very much sought after. No, it is not just limited to the food items like Halwa and the banana chips. The shops on this street sell almost everything. Selling items from silk sarees to cosmetics, tourists are in for a treat whenever they visit this area. There is a road known as the Bog Bazaar Road, which is a wholesale market for spices. They sell an irresistible variety of the famous spices of Kerala. Many local handicrafts are popular such as miniature snake boats, rosewood, coir products and buffalo horn carvings. Read More
Festivals in KozhikodeFestivals in Kozhikode are celebrated with pomp, enthusiasm and fanfare. Though many festivals celebrated in Kozhikode are similar to those celebrate in the northern part of India, there are a few festivals which are only celebrated here or in the southern part of India. All the festivals celebrated in Kozhikode are Onam, Sabarimala festival, Thiruvathira, Ashtami Rohini, Thrikarthiaka, Mahashivratri, Navarathri, Miladi Sharif, Malabar Mahotsavam, Utsavam at Sreekanteswara Temple and Jalotsavam.
Food in KozhikodeMalabar Cuisine is quite popular among gourmands. Kozhikode offers a wide variety of South Indian, North Indian, European, Chinese, Gujarati, Arab and Jain food. The European and Arab trade influences has influenced the culinary culture of Kozhikode. It also has a street food culture. However, the new generation of Kozhikode people are more inclined towards the Chinese and American food culture. In sea-food, mussels are a favorite. As a sweet, you should not miss the Calicut Halwa. Made out of flour and sugar, it is a sought after savory in Kozhikode. Different varieties are available in almost all bakeries in the city. Read More
How to Reach KozhikodeKozhikode can be easily reached by air, rail, road or boat. All major airlines have direct flights to Calicut. The airport is around 23 kilometres from the main city of Kozhikode. Indian railways help connect Kozhikode to all the major cities and tourist destinations in India. National Highway 212 connects Kozhikode in Kerala with Kollegal in Karnataka via Mysore. National Highway 213 connects Palakkad, Malappuram and Calicut district headquarters in Kerala. National Highway 17 connects Kozhikode to Mumbai via Mangalore, Udupi and Goa. By water, the coast line of the Kozhikode port extends from Elathur cape to the south bank of Kadalundi river and treads roughly in a straight line. The port of Kozhikode, Beypore and Badagara are open for foreign and coastal trade.
Quick facts about KozhikodeGovernment in Kozhikode: Mayor
Area: Metropolis- 2345 sq km
Elevation- 1 m (3 ft)
Population as per the 2011 census
Density- 1316 / km2 ( 817 /mi2)
Metro rank- 115th
Time Zone- IST
Postal Index Number- 673001
STD Code- 0495
Offcial Languages: Malayalam, English, Hindi, Urdu