Kozhikode ([koːɻikːoːɖ] ( listen)), or Calicut, is a
city in the state of
Kerala in southern
India on the Malabar Coast.
Calicut is the largest urban area in the state and 192nd largest urban
area in the world. The city lies about 275 kilometres (171 mi)
west of Bangalore.
During classical antiquity and the Middle Ages,
Kozhikode was dubbed
the "City of Spices" for its role as the major trading point of
eastern spices. It was the capital of an independent kingdom ruled
by the Samoothiris (Zamorins) in the Middle Ages and later of the
Malabar District under British rule. Arab merchants traded
with the region as early as 7th century, and Portuguese explorer Vasco
da Gama landed at
Kozhikode on 20 May 1498, thus opening a trade route
between Europe and Malabar. A Portuguese factory and fort was intact
Kozhikode for short period (1511–1525, until the Fall of
Calicut). The English landed in 1615 (constructing a trading post in
1665), followed by the French (1698) and the Dutch (1752). In 1765,
Kozhikode as part of its occupation of the Malabar
Coast. Kozhikode, once a famous cotton-weaving centre, gave its name
to the Calico cloth.
On 7 June 2012,
Kozhikode was given the tag of "City of Sculptures"
(Shilpa Nagaram) because of the architectural sculptures around the
city. In May 2015, a food programme called Operation Sulaimani
was introduced to help people who cannot afford a meal to have food
According to data compiled by economics research firm Indicus
Analytics on residences, earnings and investments,
Kozhikode ranked as
the second best city in
India to reside in. It was ranked eleventh
among Tier-II Indian cities in job creation by a study conducted by
ASSOCHAM in 2007.
Kozhikode in foreign accounts
2.2 The Samoothiri
3 Geography and climate
5 Civic administration
6 Corporation Election 2015
6.1 Political Performance in Election 2015
6.2 Initiatives by District Administration
6.3 Law and order
7.1 National Highways
7.2 State Highways
12 See also
14 External links
Pazhashi Raja Museum
Arab merchants called it Qāliqūṭ (IPA: qˠaːliqˠːuːtˤ).
Tamils called it Kallikkottai while for the Chinese it was Kalifo. In
Kannada it was known as Kallikote.
Although the city's official name is Kozhikode, in English it is
sometimes known by its anglicised version, Calicut. The word
calico, a fine variety of hand-woven cotton cloth that was exported
from the port of Kozhikode, is thought to have been derived from
Calicut. It is the historical capital of
Kerala as the history
dates back to 1498 AD when
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama landed in Kappad, near
Main article: History of Kozhikode
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama lands in
Kozhikode on 20 May 1498.
Kozhikode is a town with a long recorded history. From time
immemorial, the city has attracted travellers with its prosperity. It
has traded in spices like black pepper and cardamom with Jews, Arabs,
Phoenicians, and Chinese for more than 500 years. As
full freedom and security, the Arab and the Chinese merchants
preferred it to all other ports. The globe-trotter Ibn Batuta (A.D.
1342–47) said, "We came next to Kalikut, one of the great ports of
the district of Malabar, and in which merchants of all parts are
Kozhikode was the capital of Malabar during the time of Sri Samoothiri
Maharajas, who ruled the region before the British took over. The
city's first recorded contact with Europe was when Vasco da Gama
Kappad (18 km north) in May 1498, among the leaders of
a trade mission from Portugal. He was received by his highness Sri
Kozhikode in foreign accounts
Accounts of the city and the conditions prevailing then can be gleaned
from the chronicles of travellers who visited the port city.
Ibn Battuta (1342–1347), who visited six times, gives the earliest
glimpses of life in the city. He describes
Kozhikode as "one of the
great ports of the district of Malabar" where "merchants of all parts
of the world are found". The king of this place, he says, "shaves his
chin just as the Haidari Fakeers of Rome do... The greater part of the
Muslim merchants of this place are so wealthy that one of them can
purchase the whole freightage of such vessels put here and fit out
others like them".
Ma Huan (1403 AD), the Chinese Muslim sailor part of the Imperial
Chinese fleet under Cheng Ho (Zheng He) lauds the city as a great
emporium of trade frequented by merchants from around the world. He
makes note of the 20 or 30 mosques built to cater to the religious
needs of the Muslims, the unique system of calculation by the
merchants using their fingers and toes (followed to this day) and the
matrilineal system of succession.
Abdur Razzak (1442–43) the ambassador of Persian Emperor Sha-Rohk
finds the city harbour perfectly secured and notices precious articles
from several maritime countries especially from Abyssinia, Zirbad and
Niccolò de' Conti
Niccolò de' Conti (1445), perhaps the first Christian
traveller who noticed Kozhikode, describes the city as abounding in
pepper, lac, ginger, a larger kind of cinnamon, myrobalans and zedary.
He calls it a noble emporium for all India, with a circumference of
eight miles (13 km).
The Russian traveller Athanasius Nikitn or
Afanasy Nikitin (1468–74)
calls 'Calecut' a port for the whole Indian sea and describes it as
having a "big bazaar."
Other travellers who visited
Kozhikode include the Italian Ludovico di
Varthema (1503–1508) and Duarte Barbosa.
Image of Kozhikode,
Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg's atlas
Civitates orbis terrarum, 1572
See also: Samorin
Kozhikode and its suburbs formed part of the Polanad kingdom ruled by
the Porlatiri. The Eradis of Nediyirippu in
Eranad wanted an
outlet to the sea, to initiate trade and commerce with the distant
lands. and after fighting with the king Polatthiri for 48 years
conquered the area around Panniankara. After this,
Menokki were became
the ruler of Polanad and came to terms with the troops and people.
After this, the town of
Kozhikode was founded close to the palace at
Tali. Then, the Eradis shifted their headquarters from Nediyirippu
to Kozhikode. The Governor of Ernad built a fort at a place called
Velapuram to safeguard his new interests. The fort most likely lent
its name to Koyil Kotta the precursor to Kozhikode. Thus the city came
into existence sometime in the 13th century CE. The status of
Udaiyavar increased and he became known as Swami Nambiyathiri
Thirumulpad, and eventually Samuri or Samoothiri. Europeans called him
in a corrupt form as Samorin.
According to K.V. Krishna Iyer, the rise of
Kozhikode is at once a
cause and a consequence of Samoothiri's ascendancy in Kerala. By the
end of the century,
Samoothiri was at the zenith of his powers with
all princes and chieftains of
Kerala north of
Kochi acknowledging his
Geography and climate
View of Calicut beach
The city of
Kozhikode is 410 kilometres (255 mi) north of the
state capital Thiruvananthapuram. It is located at approximately
11°15′N 75°46′E / 11.25°N 75.77°E / 11.25; 75.77. It
has an elevation of 1 metre (3 ft) along the coast with the
city's eastern edges rising to at least 15 metres, with a sandy
coastal belt and a lateritic midland. The city has a 15 km
(9.3 mi) long shoreline and small hills dot the terrain in the
eastern and central regions. To the city's west is the Laccadive Sea
and from approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) to the east rises
The geographical conditions of city area and suburban areas are
similar to the other parts of the district falling in coastal and
midland zones. The region comprising
Kozhikode Corporation and
peri-urban blocks belong to the low- and midlands in the typical
classification of land in
Kerala as low-, mid- and highlands. Lagoons
and backwaters characterise the lowland, which receives runoff from
the rivers. The lowland is often subjected to salinity intrusion. The
coastal plains exhibit more or less flat, narrow terrain with
landforms such as beach ridges, sandbars, and backwater marshes. A few
kilometres from the sea to the east, the surface gathers into slopes
and clustering hills with numerous valleys in between formed due to
floods and sediment transport. The Midlands is represented by hummocky
rocky terrain with lateritised denudational hills and intervening
valley fills (locally called elas). The 'elas' are fairly wide in the
lower reaches of midlands and narrow towards the upper parts of the
A number of rivers originating from the
Sahyadri run along the outer
reaches of the city. These include the Chaliyar puzha, Kallayi Puzha,
Poonoor puzha (river), and Iravanjhi puzha. Of these,
Kallai river that runs through the southern part of the city has been
the most important culturally and historically for Kozhikode. The
Kallai River has its origin in Cherikkulathur village. It is connected
with Chaliyar on the south by a man-made canal. The river passes
through Cherukulathur, Kovur, Olavanna, Manava and Kallai before
finally joining the sea near Kozhikode. The length of the river is 22
kilometres (14 mi).
Korapuzha river is formed by the confluence of the Agalapuzha with
the Punnurpuzha, and it joins the sea at Elathur. The Agalapuzha is
more or less a backwater while the Punnurpuzha originates from
Arikkankunni. The total length of the river is 40 kilometres
(25 mi). Panurpuzha is a tributary of Korapuzha. It passes
through the northern boundary of the study area and joins to the sea.
The river is perennial.
Canoly Canal was built in 1848 to connect the
Korapuzha river in the
north to Kallayi river in the south. It functions as a drain to reduce
flooding in the city during the rainy season and as a navigation
channel. A system of wetland (mangrove) forests pervade the city from
Kallai river to Eranjikkal.
Kozhikode features a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen climate
classification Am). The city has a highly humid tropical climate with
high temperatures recorded from March to May. A brief spell of
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 city
receives significant precipitation from the North-East Monsoon that
sets in from the second half of October through November.
The average annual rainfall is 3,266 mm. The weather is milder
from December/January until March when the skies are clear and the air
is crisp. Winters are seldom cold. According to climate charts, 12
India are cooler, 26 are warmer, 37 are dryer and only 1
is wetter than Kozhikode[dubious – discuss] The highest
temperature recorded was 39.4 °C in March 1975. The lowest was
14 °C recorded on 26 December 1975.
Climate data for Kozhikode
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average rainy days
Average relative humidity (%)
Source #1: IMD (average high and low, precipitation)
Source #2: NOAA (extremes, mean, humidity, rain days, 1971–1990)
Total Population under Municipal Corporation limits is 550,440.
Males form 47.7% and females 52.3%.
Kozhikode has been a multi-ethnic and multi-religious town since the
early medieval period. The
Hindus forms largest religious group,
followed by Muslims and Christians.
Hindus form the majority at
57.7% of the population with 315807 members. Muslims form 37.6% of
the population with 207298 members.
The corporation of
Kozhikode has an average literacy rate of 96.8%
(national average is 74.85%). The male literacy rate is 97.93% and
female literacy rate is 95.78%.
The Muslims of
Kozhikode are known as Mappilas, and according to the
Kozhikode website "the great majority of them are Sunnis
following the Shafi school of thought. There are some smaller
communities among the Muslims such as Dawoodi Bohras. Many of the
Muslims living in the historic part of the city follow matriliny and
are noted for their piety. Though Christianity is believed to have
been introduced in
Kerala in 52 CE, the size of community in Malabar
(northern Kerala) began to rise only after the arrival of the
Portuguese towards the close of the 15th century. A few Christians of
Kochi have lately migrated to the hilly regions of
the district and are settled there.
Kozhikode was already teeming with people of several
communities and regional groups. Most of these communities continued
to follow their traditional occupations and customs till the 20th
century.[better source needed] Brahmins, too, lived in
the city mostly around the Hindu temples. Regional groups like the
Tamil Brahmins, Gujaratis and
Marwari Jains became part of the city
and lived around their shrines.
Nairs formed the rulers, warriors and landed gentry of Kozhikode.
Samoothiri had a ten thousand strong Nair bodyguard called the
Kozhikkottu pathinaayiram (The 10,000 of Kozhikode) who defended the
capital and supported the administration within the city. He had a
larger force of 30,000
Nairs in his capacity as the Prince of Eranadu,
called the Kozhikkottu Muppatinaayiram (The 30,000 of Kozhikode). The
Nairs also formed the members of the suicide squad
(chaver).[better source needed] The
Mappila community of
Kozhikode acted as an important support base for the city's military,
economic and political affairs. They were settled primarily in
Kuttichira and Idiyangara. Their aristocratic dwelling houses were
similar to the tharavad houses of the
Nairs and the Thiyyas. Two
Ghazi's were recognised as their spiritual leaders. Travellers like
Barbosa were intrigued by the extent to which the Mapillas blended
into the local society, who spoke the same language and looked like
any other Nair (except for the round caps and long beards).
The Thiyyas formed the vaidyars(Physicians), local militia and traders
of Kozhikode. Several aristocratic thiyya families such as 'Kallingal
madom' were settled in and around the city.
Tamil Brahmins are primarily settled around the Tali Siva temple.
They arrived in
Kozhikode as dependants of chieftains, working as
cooks, cloth merchants and moneylenders. They have retained their
Tamil language and dialects as well as caste rituals. The Gujarati
community is settled mostly around the
Jain temple in and around the
Valliyangadi. They owned a large number of establishments, especially
textile and sweet shops. They must have arrived in
Kozhikode at least
from the beginning of the 14th century. They belong to either the
Hindu or the
Jain community. A few Marwari families are also found in
Kozhikode who were basically moneylenders.
The city is administered by the
Kozhikode Corporation, headed by a
mayor. For administrative purposes, the city is divided into 75
wards, from which the members of the corporation council are
elected for five years. Recently neighbouring suburbs Beypore,
Elathur, Cheruvannur and Nallalam were merged within the municipal
Kozhikode Municipal Corporation
Member of Parliament
Shri. U V Jose IAS
Shri S Kaliraj Mahesh Kumar IPS
Kozhikode Corporation is the first City Corporation in
the creation of the state. Established in 1962, Kozhikode
Corporation's first mayor was H Manjunatha Rao.
has four assembly constituencies –
Beypore and Elathur – all of which are part of Kozhikode.
Corporation Election 2015
Political Performance in Election 2015
Number of Corporators
Initiatives by District Administration
Operation Sulaimani : Providing food with dignity for those who
cannot afford a meal through contributions from the public.
Project 4 N : Maintenance of roads through public participation.
Savari Giri Giri : To enable students to travel in buses with
Compassionate Kozhikode: The brand name for plethora of
initiatives launched by the District Administration in partnership
with civil society, Government agencies and citizens, who volunteer to
Kozhikode an authentic and inspirational destination for them to
live and invite others to visit and experience it. It is the
brainchild of the current
District Collector Prasanth N. (IAS).
Law and order
Kozhikode City Police is headed by a commissioner, an Indian
Police Service (IPS) officer. The present District Police Chief is S
Kaliraj Mahesh Kumar IPS and Merin Joseph IPS is Deputy Commissioner
of Police. The city is divided into six zones each under a circle
officer. Apart from regular law and order, the city police comprises
the traffic police, bomb squad, dog squad, fingerprint bureau, women's
cell, juvenile wing, narcotics cell, riot force, armed reserve camps,
district crime records bureau and a women's station. It operates
16 police stations functioning under the Home Ministry of Government
Calicut mini bypass
National Highway 66 connects
Mumbai via Mangaluru, Udupi
Goa to the north and
Kanyakumari near Thiruvananthapuram
to the south along the west coast of India. This highway connects the
city with the other important towns like, Uppala, Kasaragod,
Kanhangad, Kannur, Thalassery, Mahe, Vadakara, Koyilandy,
Vengalam, Ramanattukara, Kottakkal, Kuttippuram, Ponnani,
(Guruvayoor)Chavakkad, Kodungallur, North Paravur,
proceed to Kanyakumari.
National Highway 766 connects
Bengaluru through Kollegal
in Karnataka via Tirumakudal Narsipur, Mysore, Nanjangud, Gundlupet,
Kalpetta and Thamarassery.
National Highway 966 connects
Kozhikode to coimbatore through
Palakkad. It covers a distance of 125 kilometres (78 mi). At
Ramanattukara, a suburb of Kozhikode, it joins NH 66. It passes
through towns like Kondotty, Malappuram, Perinthalmanna, and
Mannarkkad. This stretch connects the city and Calicut International
SH 28 is the
Kerala section of highway connecting
Gudalur near Ooty. The highway is 103.6 kilometres (64.4 mi)
long. It passes through important towns like
Manjeri and Nilambur.
SH 29 passes through the city. It connects NH 212, Malabar Christian
College, civil station,
Kunnamangalam and Padanilam, Thamarassery,
Chellot, Chitragiri and Road to Gudallor from
SH 54 is connecting city and Kalpetta. The highway is 99.0 kilometres
(61.5 mi) long. The highway passes through Pavangad, Kozhikode,
Ulliyeri, Perambra, Poozhithodu,
Peruvannamuzhi and Padinjarethara. SH
68 starts from
Kappad and ends in Adivaram. The highway is 68.11
kilometres (42.32 mi) long.
SH 34 starts from
Koyilandy and ends in Edavanna. The highway is
44.0 km long.
The history of railways in Malabar dates to 1861 when the first tracks
were laid between
Tirur and Beypore.
Kozhikode railway station is
the only A1 railway station in
Palakkad railway division; it is in the
Mangalore section. Today,
Kozhikode is well connected by rail
to cities like Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kollam, Palakkad,
Coimbatore, Katpadi, Vellore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Kannur,
Mangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi,
Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.
Calicut International Airport
Calicut International Airport is 26 kilometres (16 mi) from the
city at Karipur. Regular domestic services are operated to major
Indian cities. There are frequent international flights to the Middle
Ewastern air hubs like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Salalah, Muscat, Dammam,
Riyadh, Jeddah, Sharjah, Bahrain,
Doha and to domestic hubs Chennai,
Mumbai and New Delhi.
Broken bridge at Calicut beach
Cyberpark, is a Government of
Kerala organisation planned to build,
operate and manage IT parks for the promotion and development of
investment in IT and ITES industries in
Malabar region of
will be the third IT hub in the state of Kerala.The two IT park will
create a total 100,000(100000) direct job opportunities. It is in the
process of setting up IT parks at Kozhikode, at the SEZs approved at
Kannur and Kasargod. Its first project is the development of Cyberpark
Kozhikode with its spokes at
Kannur and Kazargode IT
parks. Other planned projects include the Birla IT park (at
Mavoor) and Malaysian satellite city (at Kinaloor) where KINFRA has
plans to set up a 400-acre (1.6 km2) industrial park.
Main article: Shopping Malls in Calicut
The city has a strong mercantile aspect. The main area of business was
once Valiyangadi (Big Bazaar) near the railway station. As time
progressed, it shifted to other parts of the city.
These days, the commercial heart has moved to Mittai Theruvu
(Sweetmeat Street or S. M. Street), a long street crammed with shops
that sell everything from saris to cosmetics. It also houses
restaurants and sweetmeat shops. Today, the city has multiple shopping
malls. Focus Mall, HiLITE Mall (the second largest mall in
Kerala) and RP Mall are a few among them.
Currently, new shopping malls are springing up all over the city. This
has changed the consumer habits, shifting the centre of commerce from
S. M. Street
S. M. Street to these places.
In addition to the Malabar Mahotsavam, the annual cultural fest of
Kozhikode, every year since 1981 the
Tyagaraja Aradhana Trust has
been conducting a five-day music festival in honour of Tyagaraja. The
festival is complete with the Uncchavritti, rendering of Divyanama
kritis, Pancharatna Kritis, concerts by professional artistes and
students of music from morning to late in the evening.
Kozhikode has a tradition of
Ghazal and Hindustani music appreciation.
There are many Malayalam Ghazals. The late film director and play back
singer M. S. Baburaj, from
Kozhikode was influenced by
Kozhikode radio station of All
India Radio has two transmitters:
Kozhikode AM (100 kilowatts) and
Kozhikode FM [Vividh Bharathi] (10
kilowatts). Private FM radio stations are
Radio Mango 91.9 operated by
Malayala Manorama Co. Ltd. and Red FM 93.5 of the SUN Network. AIR FM
radio stations are
Kozhikode – 103.6 MHz; AIR MW radio station
Kozhikode – 684 kHz.
A television transmitter has been functioning in
Kozhikode since 3
July 1984, relaying programmes from
Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram
Doordarshan has its broadcasting centre in
Medical College. The Malayalam channels based on
Kozhikode are the
Shalom Television, Darshana TV and Media One TV. All major channels in
Malayalam viz. Manorama News, Asianet, Surya TV, Kairali TV, Amrita
TV, Jeevan TV,
Jaihind have their studios and news
bureaus in the city.
Satellite television services are available through DD Direct+, Dish
Sun Direct DTH
Sun Direct DTH and Tata Sky.
Asianet Cable Vision popularly known
as ACV telecasts daily city news. Spidernet is another local channel.
Other local operators include KCL and Citinet.
The Calicut Press Club came into existence in 1970. It is the nerve
centre of all media activities, both print and electronic. Begun with
around 70 members in the roll, this Press Club, became a prestigious
and alert media centre in the state with a present membership of over
280.[better source needed]
Main article: Educational institutions in
See also: Education in
Kerala and List of educational institutions in
There are 1,237 schools in
Kozhikode district including 191
The beginning of western education may be traced back to the first
half of the 19th century, when in 1848 the basal Evangelical Mission
started a primary school at Kallai. In 1877, a school for young Rajas
was started in Kozhikode. This was later thrown open to all caste
Hindu boys. In 1879, it was affiliated to the University of Madras as
a second-grade college and with this, collegiate education in the
district received a fillip. Secondary education recorded an
appreciable progress since 1915. The erstwhile Malabar district, of
which the present
Kozhikode district formed a part, holds a high rank
among the districts of Madras Presidency in secondary education.
Areas of Kozhikode
Airport Road, Kozhikode
List of people from Kozhikode
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^ Narayanan M.G.S., Calicut: The City of Truth, Calicut University
^ Narayanan, M.G.S., Calicut: The City of Truth (2006) Calicut
^ Narayanan.M.G.S., Calicut: The City of Truth(2006) Calicut
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original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
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Cyberpark to take off next year". Archived from the
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^ List of High Schools in Kozhikode, Mighil.com 28 December 2017
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kozhikode.
Kozhikode travel guide from Wikivoyage
Kozhikode District official website
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