Malappuram: It is situated on the Calicut - Madras road, 12 km. south - west of Manjeri and 52 km. south - west of Calicut. Malappuram is the head quarters of the district. In earlier times, Malappuram was the head quarters of European and British troops and later it became the head quarters of the Malabar Special Police (M.S.P).
This place has still the ruins of an ancient fort built by Tippu Sultan. Malappuram was also the scene of the Malabar rebellion of 1921 which was suppressed by the Malabar Special Police (M.S.P) Prior to 1947, the area covered by the present district formed part of Kozhikode, Ernad, Valluvanad and Ponnani taluks of the erstwhile Madras Presidency. However, large scale changes in the territorial jurisdiction of this tract took place in 1957 and 1969. On 1st January 1957, Tirur taluk was newly formed taking portions of Ernad and Ponnani taluks. Another portion of Ponnani taluk was transferred to the newly formed Chavakkad taluk, while the residuary portion was known as Ponnani taluk. Perinthalmanna was a new taluk formed out of the erstwhile Valluvanad taluk. Of these, Ernad and Tirur continued under Kozhikode district and Perinthalmanna as well as Ponnani under the Palakkad district. The new district of Malappuram was formed with four taluks, Ernad, Perinthalmanna, Tirur and Ponnani, four statutory towns, fourteen developmental blocks and ninetyfive panchayats. Two more taluks namely Tirurangadi and Nilambur were formed later by bifurcating Tirur and Ernad taluk.
At present Malappuram District consists of 2 Revenue Divisions, 6 Taluks, 135 Villages, 14 blocks, 5 Muncipalities and 100 panchayats.
Places of Interst:
Padinharekara beach: C lose to Ponnani and at the end point of the Tipu Sulthan road. It offers a breath taking view of the confluence of the river Bharathapuzha and Tirur puzha with the Arabian sea.
Kadampuzha: In Melmuri village of Tirur taluk is situated 3 Km north of Vettichira on the NH-17 connecting Calicut and Trissur and is famous for its Bhagavathi temple said to have been set up by Jagadguru Sankaracharya. Kadampuzha Sree Parvathy Temple poomoodal important two kilometers south of Kottackal, East of NH.
The Temple for Sreeparvathi at Kadampuzha, dedicated to Goddess Vana Durga, is one of the most prominent Devi temples in Kerala. The term 'puzha' which in Malayalam denotes river is a misnomer here since the otherwise sylvan surroundings and verdant greenery around the location has no river skirting it. The idol in the Sanctum Sanctorum is abstract in shape but it is 'Swayambhoo' or natural manifestation. The temple is very simple in architecture without any imposing edifices or a gold-plated flagmast. There are no festival processions or drum concerts. But the multitude of birds nestling on the verge of the green belt provide a natural ambience with their non-stop chirping and it is fully in tune with Kerala's temple culture; Kavu as it was known in ancient times, an epitome of preservation of ecological balance.
Kadampuzha in Malappuram District of Kerala is far from the bustle of city life, just about two kilometres east of Vettichira between Valanchery and Kottakkal on N .H.17. Those who prefer train journey can alight at Kuttipuram or Tirur Railway Station from where there are buses to the temple (Distance 19 kms).
Legend about the origin of the temple is associated with the popular episode in the Mahabharatha where Arjuna does penance to appease Lord Siva to obtain the divine weapon Passupathastra. Lord Siva approaches Arjuna as a hunter (Kiratha) with His divine consort Sreeparvathi escorting Him as huntress (Kirathi). Arjuna is challenged by the Lord in disguise to test the skills of the boon-seeker.In the fierce battle between Lord Siva (Kiratha) and Arjuna, the arrows that Arjuna showered on Lord Siva miraculously turned into Thechi flowers. Arjuna then recognises the Lord and prostrates before Him. Having found Arjuna worthy of the deadly weapon, the Lord obliges His devotee very soon, and here He is goaded by Sreeparvathi who hastened the process. Hastening is twaritha in Malayalam and Goddess at Kadampuzha is worshipped as Twaritha or one who is quick in granting blessings and favours. The shower of arrows-turned into flowers is symbolised here by a unique offering to the Goddess, Poomoodal, the Swayambhoo Sthanam being covered completely by flowers. Petals of Thechi flowers are mandatory since they resemble arrowheads. The quantity required is 12 Kutanna, one Kutanna being the capacity when two cupped palms are held together. During the divine couple's wandering in this forest, Sreeparvathi once felt thirsty and the Lord brought forth holy water from river Ganga through a well directed arrow ino the earth. This event is immortalised as KaatanAmbu-eitha-ala where kaatan is hunter, ambu is arrow, eitha is shot and ala is hole. This became Katanambueithaala which was later colloquialised as Kadampuzha. Devotees thus worship the hole through which river Ganga sprouted and this is the idol sankalpa. Shankaracharya during once of his frequent pilgrimages while traversing this forest area was attracted by an all pervading 'aura' emanating from the dense undergrowth. Finding it difficult to approach the spot due to the heat generated by the radiation, he meditated upon
Lord Vishnu as Narasimha and the Lord appeared. With the help of Sudarshanachakra of Lord Vishnu the great saint moved closer only to fmd the radiance shrinking and fmally vanishing into a hole on the earth's surface. Through deep meditation using the 'Divyachakshussu', the Aacharya discerned the nature of the phenomenon nothing other than the divine presence of Seeparvathi in the forest. The place was consecrated as a temple and in commemoration of 'showers of flowers' , Poomoodal gained prominence due to the inherent quality and power of flower petals to contain heat. Lord Narasimha and Sudarshanachakra are honoured through depictions in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum. There are enclosures for Sree Dharma Sastha and Nagakanyaka as upadevaas or subsidiary deities. Modalities of worship are as prescribed by Shankaracharya.
Goddess here is worshipped in three forms viz., Vidya Durga (Saraswathi), Vanadurga (Durga) and Aadi Durga (MooladurgaLakshmi). As Durga, She blesses the devotees with health, early marriage and domestic harmony. Saraswathi is invoked for education and career. Lakshrni is of course Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Another unique offering here is Muttarukkal where coconuts brought by devotees are broken by the Poojari in front of Devi's idol in the presence of the devotees themselves and this is to ward off hostile influences plaguing them. One coconut for every obstacle is the system followed. The popularity of this ritual can be gauged from the figure of more than thirty lakhs of coconuts that are brought to the temple every year by the stream of devotees. The other important sevas are Katinapayasam, Rekthapushpanjali, Choroon (Anaprasam),Dehapushpanjali, Thrimadhuram, Thrikalapooja, Kettunira,Vilakkumala,Malapooja, Neyvilakku, Ganapathi Homam, Niramala etc.
Angadipuram: About 1.5 Kms west of Perinthalmanna. This is an important place on the Madras-Calicut Trunk road through which the Shoranur-Nilambur railway line also passes. This place has two well known temples Thirumandhamkunnu and Tali .
Thirunavaya: This ancient and famous temple on the banks of the Bharathapuzha dedicated to Lord Shiva was the traditional venue of the ritual of Mamankam an enactment of traditional martial arts by suicide squades. Thirunavaya is a small village in Malappuram district of Kerala, south India. This village is famed as the theatre of the Mamankam festival held in the Thirunavaya Temple on the banks of the Bharathapuzha River.
Thirunavaya was once the capital of Perumpadapu Swaroopam. They were forced to move their capital from Thirunavaya to Thiruvanchikkulam, when the Samoothiri captured Thirunavaya. Between 1353-1361 AD, the Samoothiri Raja fought a series of small battles with smaller states called the Thirunavaya War. After Thirunavaya was captured, the Samoothiri proclaimed himself as the Rakshapurusha (in Malayalam for chief protector) and announced that from then on, he had the sole right of conducting the Mamankam festival - a major Hindu festival of the Bhagvati deity held at Thirunavaya.
Famous poet Melputhoor Narayana Bhattapathiri was born at Melputhoor Illam, located 3.5 km from Thirunavaya, on the northern banks of Nila River, (Bharathapuzha River).
Trikandiyur : This ancient Shiva temple with an idol said to have been installed by Parasurama, is situated close to the town of Tirur, and attracts devotees from far and wide.
Mumburam: Muslim shrine and receptacle for dead bodies of the Thangals (the relegious leaders of the malabar muslims), situated in A.R.Nagar village; is a major pilgrimage centre of Muslims.
Valiya Juma Masjid Malappuram: This is an important pilgrim centre of the Muslims of Kerala. The four day annual festival at the mosque(nercha) is celebrated in April. Adjoining the mosque is the mausoleum of the Malappuram shaheeds (martys) whose brave exploits have been immortalised in the Mappila ballads.
Pazhayangadi Mosque, Kondotti: (18km east of Manjeri. On the way to Malappuram): The three day long Valia Nercha feat at this 500 year old Muslim pilgrim centre, celebrated in February/March, is a local cultural event. Moyin Kutty Vaidyar - Kondotty, the finest exponanent of Mappila Pattu. His Badral Muneer - Husn-Ul-Jamal, the earliest romantic piece is praised for its craft.
Kottakunnu: One can see trace of an old fort at the base of the cantonment Hill. The fort was the first to be built by the Zamorins of Kozhikode. Nearby are the Vettakkorumakan Temple and the Siva temple with the famous murals of Malabar. DTPC has plan to develop Kottakunnu in to an attractive park and the District Sports Council to establish a stadium nearby.
There is a beautiful helipad at Kottakunnu.
Biyyam Kayal: Close to Ponnani, is a placed greenery fringed waterway with a watersports facility recenlty set up by the D.T.P.C.
Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary: Located 19kms from Kozhikode and 7kms from Beypore port, the sanctuary which is spread over a cluster of islands covers an area surrounded by hillocks where the Kadalundipuzha flows in to the Arabian sea. Over a 100 varieties of native birds and over 60 varieties of migratory birds flock here.
Kottakkal: 13kms from Malappuram, is the premier centre for the traditional classical Indian medical system of Ayurveda with a renowned private institution set up in 1900. It possess a large private hospital, drugs producing centre, herbarium and even an Ayurvedic Medical College. Patients even from several foreign countries come to this world renowned centre of excellence in ayurveda for treatment.
Manjeri : The headquaters of Ernad Taluk, a place rich in history, and a witness to the vicissitudes of the Malabar rebellion and the indipendence struggle; also home to the renowned Kunnathmbalam, and the Karikkad Subramania temple; now an important administrative and commercial centre as well.
Tirur: 43 Kms south of Calicut, this is an important Railway Station of the Shoranur-Mangalore section of the Southern railway, a major trading centre of fish and betel, and the birth place of Tunchan Ramanujan Ezhutassan, the founder of Malayalam Literature, Even now the Thunchan Paramba , being developed into an important research centre and literacy meeting place by the government; is considerd a place of great veneration. The site attracts a large number of people on Vijayadashami day for the ritual initiation of children into the world of learning.
Wagon Tragedy Memorial Muncipal Town Hall : A standing monument reminiscent of the notorious Wagon Tragedy during the British rule
Tanur: The costal town Tanur was one of the earliest Portugeese settlements situated 8 kms from Tirur. It is believed that St. Francis Xavier visited this place in 1546. The Keraladheeswarapuram temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, which is one among the oldest temple of Kerala, is 3 kms, south of Tanur town. Keraladheeswarapuram is also a weavers settlement.
Tirurangadi: Tirurangadi was an important centre of the Khilapath movement, national movement and the Malabar Rebillion. It was the Tirurangadi incident on 20th Augest, 1921, that ignited the out break of Mappila Rebillion. Mumburam Kizhakke Palli was the seat of Khilapath leader Ali Musliar.
Ponnani: Ponnani is the only port in Malappuram District and one of the oldest in Kerala. A tidal port at the mouth of Bharathapuzha.
Nilambur: on the Calicut - Ootty highway, 40 Kms from Malappuram, this is an important halting place for tourists on route to Ootty, a trading centre in hill products and is well known for its teak plantations, said to the oldest in the world ( Connolly's plot ) and a well desingned Teak Museum , which traces the history and uses of the wonder wood.
Adyanpara: Adyanpara lies in Kurumbalangode village of Nilambur taluk and is famous for its water falls and the splendour of its wooded jungles.
Kodikuthimala: Kodikuthimala a scenic hilltop near Perinthalmanna, attracting tourists with it's panoramic viewes and DTPC has plans to develop this in to a majer tourist spot in the district.