Kozhikode: The ports of the Malabar Coast have participated in the Indian Ocean trade in spices, silk, and other goods for over two millennia. There are documented visits, as early as the 14th century, by Chinese travellers such as Zheng He.
Zheng He's navigation chart from Hormuz to Calicut, 1430During the Sangam period, Calicut District formed part of the Chera Empire. It played an important role in fostering trade relations between Kerala and the outside world. Tondi, present day Kadalundi, as per scholars, was a flourishing seaport of Kerala at that time. Very little is known about Calicut's history in the post-Sangam age (which is considered to be a Dark Age in South India's history). During the 9th century, Calicut became a part of the Second Chera Empire. The Cheras (also known as Perumals) ruled the territory until 1122 AD. After the fall of the Cheras, the Chera kingdom in Kerala was divided into many independent districts called "Nadus", such as Eranad (land of the Eradis) and Polanad. The Porlarthris, rulers of Polanad, controlled the area to be later called as kozhikode.
During the 13th century AD, the Udaiyavar of Ernad, whose headquarters was at Nediyiruppu wanted an outlet to the sea. After going to war with the Polatthiri King for 48 long years he conquered the area around Ponniankara (Panniyankara) and build a fort at a place called Velapuram. Thus the city of Calicut came into existence sometime in the 13th century AD. With the conquest of Calicut, the status of the Udaiyavar increased and he came to be known as Swami Nambiyathiri Thirumulpad. This title gradually shortened to Samoothirippadu or Saamoothiri or Samuri over the years. The Europeans called him Zamorin.
Vasco da Gama delivers the letter of King Manuel I of Portugal to the Zamorin of CalicutIn 1498 Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed at Kappad, about 25 km from Calicut city. This was a major event in the era of European exploration because the discovery of the sea route from Europe to India gave the Portuguese a significant advantage in the control of international trade. Portuguese control of the sea route lasted for almost a century.
It was during the 16th century that the Portuguese set up trading posts to the north in Kannur and to the south in Kochi, The Zamorin, however, resisted the establishment of a permanent Portuguese presence in the city. In 1509, the kingdom was forced to accept a Portuguese trading post at Chaliyar.
In 1604 the Samoothirippadu allied with Steven van der Hagen, representing the Dutch East India Company and by the mid-17th century the Dutch had captured the Malabar Coast spice trade from the Portuguese.
Engraving of the coast of Calicut (James Forbes, 1813)In 1766 Hyder Ali of Mysore captured Kozhikode and much of the northern Malabar Coast. This bought him into conflict with the British based in Madras, which resulted in four Anglo-Mysore Wars. Kozhikode and the surrounding districts were among the territories ceded to the British by Tipu Sultan of Mysore at the conclusion of the Third Anglo-Mysore War in 1792. The newly acquired possessions on the Malabar Coast were organized into the Malabar District of Madras Presidency, and Calicut became the district capital.
After Indian Independence in 1947, Madras Presidency became the Madras State. In 1956 when the Indian states were reorganized along linguistic lines, Malabar District was combined with the state of Travancore-Cochin to form the new state of Kerala on November 1, 1956. Malabar District was split into the districts of Kannur, Kozhikode, and Palakkad on January 1, 1957.
Places of Interest
Sweat Meat Street, popularly known as SM street with its cross raods , is the busiest shopping spot of kozhikode . The name derived so as a result of the presence of numerous sweet meat stalls. Old bakery shops here known for the famous Kozhikodan Halwa and Banana Chips.
Kallai was known as the world's best timber trading centre. Even now, it is the place for timber trade in Malabar
On 27th May 1498, Vasco-De Gama landed here with three vessels and 170 men. If you travel 16 Kms north of Kozhikode by kannur road, a small road near Tiruvangoor health centre guides you to this beach of historical inportance. A monument is here to commemorate the historical landing. An ancient temple on a hillock, facing the deep sea, is an added attraction.
Beypore town is about 9.65 Kms from Kozhikode at the mouth of the Beypore River. The Place was formerly known as Vaypura and Vadaparappanad. Tippu Sultan named the town "Sultan Pattanam" .It is one of the imporatant ports of Kerala and naturally an important trading centre.It is famous for it's boat buliding yard where mammoth country crafts known as "Urus" are being bulit.It is a major fishing harbour of kerala. there are two man made extensions to the sea to facilitate easy acces for fishing boats. This is an ideal place for outing
Thusharagiri is situated 55 kms away from Kozhikode City and the 'Green Splender' considered as the major tourist destination in Malabar region with four water falls right in the middle of the forest. The waterfalls and streams amidst the hilly regions are really a feast to eyes.
Kirtads ( 7km from Kozhikode)
This unique museum houses the tools and devices used by the ancient tribal communities of kerala. a good library with books on Anthropology and Sociology is and added attraction
A new attraction in the heart of the city, Manan-chira-maidan, is the sublimation of the concept of a planned modern city. The historic maidan, adjacent to Manachira has been converted into an arcadia with beautiful trees and plants, artificial hill,, shrubs, sculpture, an open air theatre and above all a musical fountain. No doubt, locals and tourists seeking leisure and relief from the mad rush outside, find shelter here. Mananchira Maidan is managed by the corporation of Kozhikode.
Science Centre & Planetarium:
Calicut now wins a place in the Planetarium map of the world. Regional science centre Calicut houses a 250 seater Planetarium fitted with a sophisticated Zeiss projector. The Science centre abounds with puzzles which make mathematics easy. An array of rolling balls move in a circuitous path and perform acrobatics. They ring bells, generate electricity and play musical chimes on their way. Parabolic reflectors carry whispers from one end of the park to the other end. Objects float in space defying gravity. Chemistry brings magic at home. The Science Centre unravels mysteries, explains things which otherwise would be called supernatural.
This is thick dense forest and is called the " Chirapunchi" of kerala because of the high availablity of the heavy rains. It is about 44 Kms from Kozhikode and is the boundary to Wayanad district. A journey through this ghat section is enjoyable experience . It is 14 kms long with nine hair pin curves amidst a number of hills and thick forests. A view from the top will be a breath taking experience.
Kadalundi (25 km from kozhikode):
The eatuary at kadalundi is a haven for migratory birds. trens, grulls,herons, sandpipers, whimberels and other exotic birds flock into this place in November and return home in April.Thousands of migratory birds from all over the world gather here during the season which strats from November.
Unexplored,unspoiled, the backwaters of Kozhikode hold great promises of enchanting holiday options. Elathur , the Canoil Canal and the Kallai river are favourite destinations for boating , Kadalundi with its beautiful bird sanctuary is a charming site. Korapuzha , the venue of the Korapuzha Jalotsavam is fast becoming a populat watersport destination.
The Beauty and serenity of Kozhikode beach is not yet exploited to develop it into a tourist centre. Still People from all around gather here to enjoy the sunset and it is a popular retreat for local people. Two sea piers almost 125 years old extending well inside the sea are a speciality. The Lions Club Childrens park along with the near by ice-cream parlours make evenings pleasent for visiting families. Fisherman with their small rowing boats entering the sea, fighting the waves and returning with varieties of fish is worth watching.
A marine water aquarium is situated at Kozhikode beach and varieties of marine and fresh water fish can be seen here.
The Kozhikkode Thali temple:
Thali temple is an ancient one, dating back to the days of the Zamorin rule. The term Thali refers to a Shiva temple; however, the temple complex also houses a shrine to Krishna. Legend has it that Parasurama, associated with several temples in Kerala, worshipped Shiva here. Several legends associated with feudal rivalry, curses and relief from curses are associated with this temple. In its glorious days, this temple celebrated the Revathi Pattattaanam festival for seven days in the malayala month of Tulaa where learning and scholarship was celebrated with feasting and awards. The composer of Narayaneeyam (Guruvayur) is said to have been a recepient of awards at this festival. The Zamorin is also asociated with the pomp and splendor of the now extinct Mahamakam festival at Tirunavayi.
This temple suffered destruction at the hands of Tippu Sultan and Hyder Ali and was renovated in the 18th century. The current structure dates back to the period of the ruler Manavikraman. The two storeyed sanctum has works of art in terms of stone sculptures and wood work with scenes from the puranas. In front of the sanctum is a chamber with intricate woodwork.There are also shrines to Ganapati, Narasimha and Saasta. In the north east segment of the temple complex is the Krishna shrine with its own set of mandapams and a flagstaff. The 7 day long annual festival commences on the Malayala new year. Five worship services are offered each day.
Kuttichira was the main square in the Calicut urban area from 14th Centuary onwards. The square was formed around a tank with several mosques around and nearby. This area was mainly inhabited by Muslim traders.Mosques are built in the traditional systems of timber construction with tiered roofs. These mosques are preserved without much alterations and additions from the original form
Situated adjacent to the Pazhassi Raja Museum, the art gallery houses painting of Raja Ravi Varma among the other collections.. The museum has a section dedicated to VKKrishamaenon. The personal belongings and souvenirs gifted by this world leader are exhibited here