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Culture of Kozhikode

Kozhikode, also known as Calicut, has a rich and diverse culture that's a beautiful blend of history, traditions, and modern influences. The city has a strong historical significance and was an important trading hub for spices during ancient times, attracting various cultures and contributing to its unique identity. The culture of Kozhikode is a colorful tapestry woven from various elements:

  1. Cuisine: The cuisine of Kozhikode is renowned for its unique flavors. The Malabar region is famous for its biryanis, spicy curries, and a variety of seafood dishes. The use of spices and coconut is prominent in their cooking.

  2. Arts and Literature: Kozhikode has a vibrant artistic and literary scene. It has a strong tradition of Malayalam literature and art. The city hosts various cultural events, including music and dance performances, art exhibitions, and literary festivals.

  3. Historical Significance: Kozhikode was the capital of the Zamorin dynasty and has a rich history. The city was a major trading center and has witnessed interactions with various cultures like the Arabs, Chinese, and Europeans. This has left a mark on its culture and architecture.

  4. Traditional Crafts: The city is known for its traditional crafts like handloom weaving, wood carving, and pottery. These crafts have been passed down through generations and continue to thrive.

  5. Festivals: Festivals in Kozhikode are celebrated with great fervor. Onam, Vishu, and other religious festivals are celebrated with traditional rituals and cultural performances.

  6. Language and Communication: Malayalam is the primary language spoken in Kozhikode. The local dialect and expressions have their own unique charm and add to the cultural identity of the region.

  7. Religious Diversity: The city is a melting pot of different religions, and this diversity is reflected in the religious practices and festivals celebrated by different communities.

Fairs and Festivals in Kozhikode

The culture of Kozhikode, a city in the Indian state of Kerala, is a vibrant tapestry woven with a rich history, diverse traditions, and a blend of influences from various communities that have settled there over the centuries.


Kozhikode is renowned for its culinary delights. The city is famous for its traditional Malabar cuisine, which includes dishes like biryani, seafood specialties, and unique sweets like the Kozhikode Halwa, made from flour, sugar, and ghee. The city’s numerous eateries offer a range of flavors, from spicy to sweet, reflecting the diverse cultural influences on the local cuisine.

Arts and Literature

Kozhikode has a strong tradition in art and literature. The city hosts various cultural events and festivals, showcasing local talent in music, dance, and drama. It has also been home to eminent poets, writers, and artists, contributing significantly to the Malayalam literary world.


The city celebrates a variety of festivals, including religious and cultural ones. Onam, the harvest festival, is widely celebrated with vibrant cultural programs and traditional games. Eid, Vishu, and Christmas are also celebrated with great enthusiasm, showcasing the unity among different religious communities.

Trade and History

Kozhikode has a rich history in trade and commerce, which has greatly influenced its culture. It was an important hub for the spice trade, drawing merchants from various parts of the world. The remnants of this historical significance can be seen in the architecture, such as the historic Pazhassiraja Museum, and in the various artifacts and documents displayed there.

Language and Clothing

The predominant language spoken is Malayalam, but due to its history of trade, there are communities that speak other languages too. Traditional attire for men includes Mundu and Shirt, while women often wear sarees or salwar kameez.

Religion and Spirituality

Kozhikode is home to people from various religious backgrounds, contributing to the city’s cultural diversity. The city hosts numerous temples, mosques, and churches, with each community actively participating in their religious and spiritual practices.

The cultural essence of Kozhikode lies in its harmonious blend of traditions, its deep-rooted history, and the way it preserves its heritage while embracing modern influences.

Festivals of Kozhikode

Festivals in Kozhikode

Kozhikode, a vibrant city in the southern state of Kerala, India, celebrates a range of festivals that reflect its rich cultural heritage and diverse traditions. Here are a few prominent ones:

  1. Malabar Mahotsavam: This festival showcases the cultural essence of Malabar, featuring folk art, music, dance performances, and traditional art forms. It's a celebration that brings together various aspects of the region's heritage.

  2. Kozhikode Beach Festival: Held along the beautiful coastline, this event combines cultural programs, art displays, food festivals, and beach sports. It's a lively celebration that attracts both locals and tourists.

  3. Puthiyathor Utsavam: Celebrated at the Lokanarkavu Temple in nearby Memunda, this festival involves vibrant processions, traditional rituals, and cultural programs.

  4. Nercha: Several temples in and around Kozhikode hold 'Nercha' festivals, which involve offerings, cultural programs, and processions. These festivals are often associated with religious significance and are celebrated with great enthusiasm.

  5. Sarwajanika Ulsavam: This is a public festival held at the famous Tali Temple, marked by various cultural activities, processions, and religious rituals.

  6. Kadalundi Bird Watching Festival: While not a traditional festival per se, it's an annual event that showcases the diverse bird species at the Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary, drawing bird enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Each festival in Kozhikode is an opportunity to experience the unique culture, traditions, and heritage of the region, and they often involve a combination of rituals, cultural performances, and local cuisine.

Another aspect of the literary and intellectual scene of Kozhikode is the Sanskrit-based discourse that is held annually between vedic scholars to gain the much desired and coveted title of ‘Pattathana’ or ‘knowledgeble one’. 

This debate is held at the Thali Temple and has been continuing unabated since the 13th century. It is a seven-day debate that is held during the Thulam month of the Malayalam Calendar.

The magnum opus of all festivals of Kozhikode are the grand Malabar festival which encapsulates the rich cultural heritage and traditions of Kerala. It is held every year between thirteenth to sixteenth January every year in the very heart of Kozhikode which is the Manachira Maidan. This festival offers a panaoramic view of the culture of Kozhikode.

Art Galleries in Kozhikode

The city might not have a vast number of galleries, but it still offers some enriching artistic experiences. The following are a couple of notable galleries. These galleries may have rotating exhibitions, workshops, and events, so it's a good idea to check their schedules or social media pages for the latest updates.

Pazhassi Raja Museum & Art Gallery

The Pazhassi Raja Museum & Art Gallery is a popular museum located in Kozhikode, Kerala, India. It's named after Pazhassi Raja, a revered ruler and freedom fighter in the region. The museum showcases a rich collection of historical artifacts, ancient coins, sculptures, and traditional Kerala art and crafts. The art gallery within the museum displays an impressive assortment of paintings by renowned local and international artists. It's a wonderful place to explore the cultural heritage and history of the region, providing a glimpse into Kerala's vibrant past.

Visiting hours are from 9 am to 4:30 pm.
Lunch break from 1 pm to 2 pm.
Open all days except Mondays and public holidays.
Phone Number: 0495 2384382

Lalitha Kala Art Gallery

The Lalitha Kala Art Gallery is a significant cultural institution in Kerala, India. Located in the heart of Kozhikode, it's renowned for promoting and exhibiting various forms of contemporary and traditional art. The gallery showcases an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and other visual art forms created by both local and international artists. It's a hub for art enthusiasts and visitors who appreciate diverse artistic expressions. The gallery often hosts exhibitions, workshops, and events that contribute to the flourishing art scene in the region.Read More

Musical Fountain at Mananchira Square

The Musical Fountain at Mananchira Square is a stunning attraction in Kozhikode (Calicut), Kerala, India. It's a captivating blend of water, lights, and music, creating a mesmerizing show. The fountain is set in the heart of Mananchira, a beautiful park that also houses an artificial pond. The synchronization of water jets, colorful lights, and music performances at the fountain is a treat for visitors, especially during the evenings when the shows are held. It's a wonderful place for locals and tourists alike to unwind and enjoy the enchanting displays.

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Auditoriums in Kozhikode

Auditoriums serve as the best venues for hosting various programs and shows. These programs and shows include talent shows, recitals, theatre acting etc. It is necessary to have such auditoriums because there is a need to seat many number of guests, which only auditoriums can provide. Tourists and locals love to be part of such shows because they provide us a lot of entertainment.

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