Kozhikode is a coastal city in the south Indian state of Kerala. Kozhikode, also known as Calicut, is a city in the state of Kerala in southern India on the Malabar Coast. Kozhikode, the most important region of Malabar in yesteryears, was the capital of the powerful Zamorins and once a renowned commercial center. Today Kozhikode is one of the best cities in Kerala. It was trading in spices like black pepper and cardamom with the Jews, Arabs, Phoenicians and the Chinese for centuries, and with the Dutch and Portuguese more than 500 years ago. With its long serene coastline, picturesque mountains, gorgeous waterfalls and lively forests, wild life sanctuaries and historical sites, Kozhikode unveils a visual treat to any visitor.
Kozhikode is the largest urban area in the state and 195th largest urban area in the world. The greater Calicut urban area in the Malabar coast is the part of the ninth biggest urban area in the world and the second biggest in India after the greater Kolkata urban area, which constitute of the northern Kerala region or the Malabar coast.
Kozhikode has a long and illustrious history—one of resplendent trade, poignant invasions and liberation struggles. Arab merchants traded with the region as early as 7th century, and Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama dropped anchor at Kozhikode on 20 May 1498, thus opening a trade route between Europe and Malabar, and the ruler of this area was called as the Zamorin.Today, lush green countryside’s, serene beaches, historic sites,wildlife sanctuaries, rivers, hills, a unique culture and a warm, friendly ambiance make Kozhikode a popular destination. Zamorin or Samoothri is a hereditary royal title used by the Eradi rulers of the medieval kingdom of Kozhikode. The Eradi headquarters was situated at Nediyiruppu, but they wanted a connection to the sea and so began their war against the King of Porlatiri that lasted 48 long years. It was dubbed the “City of Spices” for its role as the major trading point of eastern spices during the Middle ages and probably as early as Classical antiquity. Kozhikode was once the capital of an independent kingdom by the same name and later of the erstwhile Malabar District.
While the city has been known in history under different names, Malayalam speaking communities have traditionally called it Kozhikode. Arab merchants called it Qāliqūṭ. Tamils called it Kallikkottai while for the Chinese it was Kalifo. Although the city’s official name is Kozhikode, in English it is sometimes known by its anglicised version, Calicut. Trade with several kingdoms of Asia, Africa and the middle- east made Kozhikode a popular trading centre. On 7 June 2012, Kozhikode was given the tag of “City of Sculptures”(Shilpa Nagaram) because of the various architectural sculptures located in various parts of the city.
The district has a humid climate with a very hot season extending from March to May. A brief spell of pre-monsoon Mango showers hits the city sometime during April. However, the primary source of rain is the South-west monsoon that sets in the first week of June and continues until September. The average rainfall is about 326 mm. The weather is milder from December and January until March when the skies are clear and the air is crisp.
Tourist Attraction :
Kozhikode Beach :
The beach is the most popular retreat for locals. In spite of beautification works and lax coastal management, it remains unexploited and visually pleasing. Two crumbling piers, more than a hundred years old, stand out into sea at the beach. Kozhikode beach also has a marine life aquarium that remains open the whole day. where the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama landed on 20 May 1498. The beach also houses a lighthouse, Marine Water Aquarium and Lions Park. The beach is a perfect setting for tourists wanting to enjoy the sunrise or sunset. This place has played an important role as one of the most important trading ports in Indian history. The beach has paved stones and illumination. There is one Lions Park for the children and an acquarium. Kozhikode beach has always been a prominent place for conducting public meetings. The beach road was renamed ‘Gandhi Road’ in 1934 after Gandhi visited Calicut in 1934.
At dawn, a walk along Dolphin’s Point will reward you with a sight of playful dolphins. Adding to its natural beauty is the old world charm retained by the old lighthouse and the two crumbling piers that run into the sea, each more than a hundred years old. There is also a Lions Park and the Marine Water Aquarium. Other attractions are CVN Kalari Centre, Tali Temple, Mananchira Square etc.
Kappad Beach :
Beach is one of the most historical places of significance. Kappad Beach is very famous because of the fact that the great world explorer Vasco Da Gama first set foot on the Kappad Beach on his world famous journey is located 16 km to the north of Kozhikode along the Kannur road at Tiruvangoor. The beach is lined by swaying coconut trees and silver-colored sand glistens on the beach.One of the most popular beached in Calicut, it is also known as Kappakadavu beach. The beach is quite famed for its serene surrounding and abundant natural beauty. This was the start of economic relationship between Europeans and this part of India now called Kerala. Quench your thirst with the nature-flavored tender coconut water which is healthful. Tourists can reach Kappad by availing the backwaters that offers an enjoyable experience. They can reach the beach by taking a ride down the backwaters through the River Korappuzha. One of the prime attractions near the Kappad beach is an 800-yr old temple. In the vicinity, there are breathtaking backwaters, fishing hamlets and verdant scenery. People board ships to reach Lakshadweep from Beypore; there are cargoships also sailing from Beypore. Visit to the Kappad beach is one of the best things to in Calicut.
Beypore Beach :
At a distance of 10 Kms from Kozhikode Railway Station, Beypore Beach is located at the mouth of the Chaliyar River. Previously, it was known as ‘Sultan Pattanam’ during the reign of Tipu Sultan and as ‘Vaypura’ by the locals. Beypore Beach is famous for its Ship building yard more than 1500 years old. During the trading days of Arabs and Chinese, and later the Europeans, this was one of the most important fishing harbours. This village was also popular as a centre for shipbuilding, meeting the demands of the merchants from Western Asia and mainly constructed traditional ships like the Uru or Arabian trading vessel. Beypore had a beautiful beach and walkway that extends deep into the sea. A visit to this beach, away from the hustle-bustle of city life, is pretty refreshing.
Kozhikode,alsoknown as Calicut is a small little town on the Malabar coast. As with most of Kerala, this place is also known for its backwaters. The Elathur canal & the Kallai river are popular spots for boating.The most exciting feature while on the backwaters however is of course the Kettuvallom. Among all the other backwaters in Kerala, Kozhikode one is perhaps the most laid back one. Simple lifestyle of the people of Calicut will win your heart over. One can also go for a houseboat trip on the Valiyaparamba Backwaters. Bekal Boat stay organizes a range of cruises for tourists. The backwaters in Kozhikode are very simple and beautiful and it definitely deserves a visit. It is easily one of the prime attractions of Kerala.
Thusharagiri Waterfall :
Thusharagiri Fall cascades down as three waterfalls. For those who are lovers of Nature , a visit to Thusharagiri Waterfalls about 50 km away is gainful. The massive Thusharagiri Falls splash dense white waters because of which it gets its name meaning ‘a snow-capped mountain.’ It is a set of 5 beautiful cascades located in the hills of Western Ghats, the lower three are open for tourists. This is because the top two waterfalls are considered inaccessible. Far from the mad crowd this waterfall springs from the high hills among the green forests. It is a rich producer of rubber, various spices, areca nut, and various herbs. Of the five waterfalls here.
Tali Temple :
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Tali Temple is one of the oldest temples in the region. The Tali Siva temple was one of the two Brahmanical royal temples patronized by the Zamorin (the other being the Valayanaattu Kavu) and to this day remains one of the most important spiritual and cultural centres in Kozhikode. The temple is built using a combination of laterite and wood, which is a remarkable feature of the Kerala style of architecture. The wall of the sanctum sanctorum is adorned with intricate brass-relief which is quite fascinating. The sanctum contains the image of the momentous event of the Mahabharata battle. Everyday, five different religious ceremonies are performed in the Tali Temple. The temple organizes a seven day festival that centres on the religious icons of the temple. The temple is well known for the ‘Revathi Pattathanam’, an annual competition of pedagogic skills. The annual festival is celebrated for 8 days in the month of April / May.
Mananchira Square :
Mananchira Square is the palace tank of King Vikrama, one of the great rulers in the region. This forms the heart of the city. The name comes from the large pool of clear water bound by laterite stone steps built by Manavedan Raja one of the earlier Zamorins. Its traditional architectural design is a sample of ancient splendor because of which it works as a great allure for visitors. Mananchira Square is surrounded by a manmade freshwater lake, which is fed by a natural spring and supplies water to the region till today. This historic place, adjacent to Manachira has been converted as a park with beautiful plants, artificial hill, shrubs, sculpture, an open-air theatre and a musical fountain. The entire complex is circled by 250 lamp posts designed in ‘colonial’ style. It was primarily the main courtyard of the Zamorin Rulers palace but presently, it has been converted into a beautiful park. The site gives an amazing view after dawn under the bright light of these 250 lamps.
Pazhassiraja Museum :
The Pazhassiraja Museum is situated in East Hill, at a distance of 5 km from the Kozhikhode town, has been named after the great Pazhassiraja Kerala Varma of the Padinjare Kovilakom of the Kottayam Royal Family. This museum displays old coins, mural paintings and monuments. Art Gallery has some excellent paintings, some by Raja Ravi Varma the old master painter. Managed by the Kerala State Archaeology Department, the museum as well as the art gallery, exhibits collection from the megalithic age and the Indus Valley Civilization. The museum is famous for its various archaeological remains such as antique bronzes, ancient paintings and the historical umbrella stones etc. The art gallery is located in the vicinity of the museum and exhibits a number of paintings of Kerala’s respected artists, including the Raja Ravi Varma, and Raja Varma, who were the connoisseurs of paintings and other performing arts.
How to Reach :
Kozhikode is also known as Calicut International Airport and is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular flights. Trains and buses also available from all major city of indea.
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