Calicut is the anglicised form of Kalikut , the Arabic for the Malayalam, Kozhikkod. It is also called the Cock Fort. According to the historian, K.V.Krishnan Iyer, the term means Koyil (palace) Kodu (fortified). From time immemorial, the city attracted travellers, with its charming physical features and prosperity. Even today, the glory that was Calicut has not faded.
The political history of Kozhikkod is a story of treacherous and ill conceived conspiracies hatched by the Western powers. Vasco Da Gama landed at Kappad (16 kilometers north of Kozhikkod) in May 1498, as the leader of a trade mission from Portugal and was received by the Zamorin himself.
This marked the beginning of foreign dominations in the East. From the 13 th century, Kozhikkod attained a position of preeminence in the trade of pepper and other spices which made it India's emporium of international trade. As Kozhikkod offered full freedom and security, the Arab and the Chinese merchants preferred it to all other parts. The globe-trotter Ibn Batuta (A.D. 1342-47) notes: "We came next to Kalikut, one of the great ports of the district of Malabar, and in which merchants of all parts are found".
Athanaseus Nititen, the Russian traveller, (1468-74) accounts thus, "Calicut is a port for the whole Indian sea, which God forbid any craft to cross, and whoever saw it, will not get over it healthy, everything is cheap and servant and maids are very good".
Associated with the Zamorins is Kottaparamba where stood their ancient palace. Mananchira was the bathing tank of the members of the Zamorin's household.
Kozhikkod district is situated on the south west coast of India. The district is bounded on the north by Kannur district, on the east by Wayanad district, on the south by Malappuram district and on the west by the Arabian Sea. It is situated between north latitudes 11 ° 08' and 11 ° 50' and east longitudes 75 ° 30' and 76 ° 08'.
Basking in the idyllic setting of the serene Arabian Sea on the west and the proud peaks of the Wayanad hills on the east, this district has all the elements that fascinate a visitor.
Topographically the district has three district regions - the dandy coastal belt, the rocky highlands formed by the hilly portion of the Western Ghats and laterite 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 per cent and the lowland region for 15.55 per cent of the total area of the district.
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 Northeast Monsoon extends from the second half of October through November. The average annual rainfall is 3266 m.m.
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 maximum temperature in the month of May comes to 36° C. The highest maximum temperature recorded at Kozhikkod was 39.4°C during the month of March 1975 and the lowest temperature was 14 ° C recorded on 26 th December 1975. Humidity is very high in the coastal region.
There is an abundance of wild and marine life here. Though wild elephants and bison are occasionally seen in the forests, tigers and leopards are very few and rare.
Barking deer, Mouse deer, Monta lizards, Malabar squirrels, black and gray monkeys, hares and porcupines are found in the forests here. The avions are well represented by horn bills, peacocks, jungle fowls, thrushes, pigeons, sun birds, king fishers, wood peckers, paradise fly catchers, parrots, mynas, king crows, rachuet tailed drangos etc. Snakes, poisonous and non-poisonous, are seen in the forest in fairly large numbers. Pythons also are common.
The natural forests fall under three main categories; the southern tropical moist deciduous, western tropical wet ever green and semi evergreen.
The principal tropical moist deciduous forest species are Terminalia paniculata, Dilenia, Pentagyna, Miliusa velutina, Schrebra suretenoides (all inhabiting species) etc. Bamboods bambusa, Arundanaclac, Callicarpalanta, Cacsalpintia minussoides etc. (under growth), Butea parviflora, Celastrus paniculaters (climbers) etc.
The principal western tropical wet evergreen species are Pakquium ellipticum, Salmalia malabarica, Mappila foetida (inhabiting species top canopy layer) Canarium strictum, Chrysophyllum reshurghi, Oleadiocea, Canes, wild arrow roots, screwpines etc.
The history of Kozhikkod district as an administrative unit begins from January 1957. When the States of the Indian Union were reorganised on linguistic basis on 1 st November, 1956, the erstwhile Malabar district was separated from Madras State (Tamil Nadu) and added to the new unilingual State of Kerala. But Malabar district was found to be too large for administrative purposes. Consequently, the State Government ordered the formation of three districts with certain changes in the boundaries of some of the taluks. The Kozhikkod district thus came into existence on 1 st January 1957, originally consisting of five taluks, viz., Vadakara, Koyilandy, Kozhikkod, Ernad and Tirur. With the formation of Malappuram district on 1 st June 1969 and Wayanad district on 1 st November 1980, Kozhikkod district now consists of one revenue division, three taluks, twelve blocks, 77 panchayats.
The revenue division is Kozhikkod is one among the twelve taluks in the State having an area of more than 1000 sq. km., it has an area of 1026.6 sq.km. The areas of Koyilandy and Vadakara taluks are 756.90 sq. km and 549.80 sq. km. respectively.
Kunnummal, Balussery, Tuneri, Permbra, Kunnamangalam, Thodannur, Koduvally, Meladi, Vadakara, Panthalayani, Chelannur and Kozhikkod are the twelve blocks.
Of the 77 panchayats in the district, 21 panchayats are grouped in the special grade. There are 32 first grade panchayats and the remaining 24 are second grade ones.
The total area of the district comes of 2344 sq.km. which accounts for six per cent of the total area of the State. Of the total area of the district, 2004 sq. km.are rural and 340 sq.km. urban.
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