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Shubhyatra >> Kerala Yatra >> Kozhikode


District : Kozhikode
Location : 224 km S of Mangalore, 210 km W of Mysore
Known As : Harbour of Honesty
Best Time to Visit : September to February

Kozhikode (Calicut) - A Word of Praise

Kozhikode Beach
An Evening Stroll on The Kozhikode Beach

To See : Mananchira Square, Sweet Meat Street, Palayam Market, Valiya Angadi, Thali Temple, Valayanad Devi Temple, Kozhhikode Beach, Regional Science Centre, Kappad Beach.
Most Famous For : Backwaters, Kappad Beach - 16 km from Kozhikode.
Don't Miss : Boat Cruise in Backwaters of Kozhikode.
Must Experience : Experience Ayurveda in the highly Reputed Ayurvedic Centre at Taj Residency.
Getting Around : Pisharikavu (28 km), Thikkodi Light House and Payyoli Beach (30 km), Kunhali Marikar's residence (45 km), Lokanarkavu (54 km), Thusharagiri Water Falls (48 km), Peruvannamuzhi and Kakkayam dams (50 km).
To Shop : Kozhikodan Halwa Seasoned with Dry Fruits, Kozhikode Banana Chips, Spice Market at Court Road – Spices, Chembotti Theruvu – Bell Metal Artifacts.
Getting There : Air - Karipur Airport connected to Delhi, Cochi, Mumbai.
Rail - Calicut Station connected to Ernakulam and Trivendrum by Netravati, Parashuram Express Trains. Netravati and Parashuram Express connects to Mumbai.
Road - From Kochi - N-H-47 to Kozhikode, N-H-17 to Kozhikode. Connected to Kannur(86 km) Mangalore(224 km) on N- H - 17.
Inside Tip : Participate in the Folk Songs or Ballads like Vadakkan Pattukal that is famous here. Also, sing Mappila Pattu and Oppana that are favourite past times of Muslims here.
Important Distances : 223 km N of Kochi, 224 km S of Mangalore, 210 km W of Mysore, 350 km SW of Bangalore.
Where to Eat : Taj Residency – Multi-Cuisine Restaurant, Hyson Heritage – Neriya Pathiri, Rich Chappatis, Biryanis, Fortune Hotel's Restaurant Tharavad – Kanji(Rice-Soup), Kappa Varuthathhu (Tapioca Fried), Meen Molakitttathu(Hot Fish Curry), Splendid Kerala Meal for Lunch Served on a Banana Leaf.
Staying Options : Taj Residency, Malabar Palace, Hyson Heritage, Malabar Mansion, Fortune Hotel, Victorian Beach Heritage.

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"Great province of Malabar"

- Marco Polo described in 1320 A.D

"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."

- Athanaseus Nikiten, Russian traveler, 13th century

"Kozhikode is a perfectly secured harbour, which, like that of Ormuz,
brings together merchants from every city and from every country"

- Abdur Razzaq, Arab traveller in 1443 A.D

And this is not enough.. Every traveller who visits Kozhikode has something to say about this town nestled on the shores of Arabian sea. Even you can't resist yourself to put some beautiful quotes. It is well said, "when you are in Kozhikode, you can't keep your mouth shut". It is a land where the whiff of history is too powerul to ignore, and in fact, it would be rather unwise to discount it. After all, it's only in Kozhikode that the beach will pull back to reveal a tale about Vasco da Gama's famous voyage from Lisbon, who anchored here in Kappad beach in 1498. It is only in Kozhikode that two Arab princes from Muskeeyat left behind three jars of gold coins hidden in date pickles, and found the same intact and untouched on return. It is only in Kozhikode that women continue to live in their ancestral house, while their husbands, visit them in the evening only to leave again next morning. It is here only where you will find a colourful crossboard of facts and myths.

Perhaps you wound ponder over it before you visit the lovely city, before you trip over the aroma of sweets in 'Mithai Theruvu', or spot the playful dolphins in the sea off Dolphin Point. But once here, it is hard to engage your soul in asinine puzzles of facts and fictions. For there are a thousand bonne bouche to relish, as many inebriating fragrances to inhale and many more memories to linger, perhaps in another place, another year.

How They Fought Battles On The Angry Waters

It is impassable to omit the fact that Kozhikode was once a major trading centre of the Malabar Coast, that the scent of spices lured traders from across the globe, including the chroniclers of that time - Al Barooni, Abdur Razaaq, Ibn Batuta. Their records say that in the 'Kulifa' or Kalikoot' of yore, as many as 200 yachts could be found moored in the harbour at one time. According to the historian, K.V Krishnan Iyer, Kozhikode is derived from the Malyalam expression "Koyil Kodu", meaning "Palace fortified", which was later anglicised to Calicut. Anyhow, it is a historical town with a hoary past. Once the capital of the Zamorins (Samuthiri), it eventually led the Portuguese to India over a fierce sea battle. Through the channel of history, thereon came the Dutch, the French and later the British, all of whom fought over the prize catch, that was Kozhikode.

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A Walk Around The Streets of Kozhikode

Thankfully, the only invaders now are those hoping to catch a glimpse of Kozhikode's past, the tourists who crowd here amidst the pristine sands of Kozhikode beach. Ineptly, there are no dazzling yachts moored in the harbour, but glancing at the pretty fishing boats bobbing in the waves, it's impossible to imagine that something is missing. This is the beauty of Kozhikode. Everything is obvious, but nothing is apparant. The city was built with the Samuthiri's residence and fort as its central point. The Manavikraman Chira, built by the rulers, is now known as the Mananchira Square and the city swells around it.

The CSI Church, recently renovated Pattalam Mosque and the 500-year old Commonwealth Spinning Mill are just some of the other important landmarks that dot the square. Visit the Kuttichera tank, considered sacred by both Muslims and Hindus, and the 14th century mosque Jama-at-palli, which is said to have the largest floor area of all the mosques in the state. Kozhikode also boasts of housing the Indian Institute of Management, a premier B-school known for its anlytical and industry oriented way of teaching.

Unleash Yourself And Get Ready To Mess With The Sands of Kozhikode Beaches

Kuttichera Palli Mosque , Kozhikode
Kuttichera Palli Mosque , Kozhikode - Kerala

Spend your evenings walking along the Kozhikode beach and feeling the kiss of the sea breeze on your face. Mess with the sun-kissed sands, make sand castles and leave an ephemeral signature on the ribs of sea. The ancient bridge standing next to the sea, defines Kozhikode appreciably. There it stands, dilapidated, somewhat forlorn, not a brick harking back to its preface as a welcoming motif for navigators. Two sea piers almost 125 years old over the breaking waves provide a good platform to spot a dolphin or two far out in the sea. Follow your nose and you will run into numerous stalls selling 'Kallumakaya' (mussels). Try a plate of this mouthwatering delicacy and you will linger the taste throughout your life.

Drive 11 km from Kozhikode to reach the sands of Kappad Beach. Touch the rocks once touched by the great explorer Vasco da Gama and feel the history slipping out of your hands. It is here that Gama set his foot in 1498 with 170 men in three vessels, thus discovering a sea route to India. One can also visit the famous boat buiding yard, located on the Beypore beach. Get a close look on the proficiency with which these skilled craftsmen try their hands in making the world famous 'uru'. You can also buy miniature boats - made either from teak or coconut - from the Kairali Emporium in Kozhikode. It takes around 50 'khalasis' over a year to carve and shape an 'uru' out of teak and jackfruit timber.

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Other Places of Merriment

When in Kozhikode, don't forget to visit the Regional Science Centre, with a planetarium and a science park. Huge working models of bisects are among the nearly 50 exhibits at the science park, and surely the kids are going to love it. Let your kids explore the complex while you relax under the shady trees dotting the terrain. In the evening, plan a visit to the Pazhassi Raja Museum displaying a bewitching collection of wall paintings, antique handicrafts, old coins, megalithic dolmonoid cysts and 'Kodakallu' (umbrella stones). Do visit the Kerala Institute of Research and Development of Scheduled Tribes and Castes, 9 ½ km from the downtown. You can gain a detailed knowledge of their lifestyles and tradition here in the museum.

Shed A Rupee To Shop, Get A Memory To Hop

Visit the famous street of Kozhikode, Mithai Theruvu, which got its name from a sweet that Calicut is known for. Get a few packets of the 'Kozhikodan Halwa' available in popular colours of red, yellow, green and black. Seasoned with dry fruits and prepared in pure coconut oil, it is a speciality that makes many of the travellers bewildered. To add some spice to your buds munch a few grams of Kozhikodan banana chips available here in the bakeries. Scout around the town and you may find many small carts dishing out hot and fresh chips straight from the pan. Don't forget to visit the spice market at Court Road to shop for bell metal artefacts and other interior decoration items of personal interest.

Getting There

Kozhikode is one of the bustling cities of Kerala, reverberating simultaneously with the glory of the past and frequency of the future. Due to its strategic location on the Arabian Sea coast, it was once a potential arena for commercial importance and now a feature for the tourism government. You can fly upto Karipur, just across the border in Malappuram district and get a taxi to cover 23 km to reach Kozhikode town. The nearest railhead is at Calicut Junction, well connected daily to Trivandrum and Ernakulam by the Netravati and Parshuram Express and to Mumbai by the Mangla Lakshadweep express. If you are planning via Chennai, the 6001 Mangalore Mail is the best option to choose. Kozhikode's KSRTC Bus Stand on Mavoor Road, links it to many places in Kerala. However you can hire a cab from Kochi and drive 223 km on NH 17 to reach Kozhikode. Take NH 47 to the junction with Nh 17 just north of Edapally and travel towards Kozhikode. You can enjoy light refreshments enroute at Kodungalloor, Chavakad and Feroke.

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Top 5 Reasons To Visit Kozhikode

Kozhikode - Kerala

Say Something About Kozhikode
They say that you cannot keep your mouth wide shut in Kozhikode. So say something beautiful. And you have to, because this is a place where beauty has slipped from the tight-fist of nature. It is a land which drew traders from all over the world with its sweet aroma of spices..

The Footprints of Gama
Visit the famous Kappad Beach where Vaso da Gama set his foot in 1498 with 170 men in three vessels, thus discovering a sea route to India. Touch the rocks once touched by the great explorer, and still bear the historic essence in their heart.

Chew Into A Juicy Mussel
It is indeed fun watching mussel collectors dive down and bring up basket loads of these fresh water delicacies. Ask the local fishermen and they will fry them for you.

Taste Kozhikodan Halwa
Try the famous 'Kozhikodan Halwa' available in popular colours of red, yellow, green and black. Seasoned with nuts and raisins and prepared in pure coconut oil, it is a speciality that will leave you licking your palate.

Boats of Beypore
Behold how colossal boats are carved from tonnes of raw timber under the blue sky of Beypore. Amazingly, all the work, including rolling the huge beams into place, is done manually. Get into a wooden 'uru' (boat) with a local fisherman and take a tour on the emarald waters of the Arabian Sea.

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