Once the capital of the powerful Zamorins and a prominent trade and commerce center, Kozhikode was the most important region of Malabar in the bygone days. The mysterious shore of Malabar was known as a land of tradition and hospitality. Driven by the south west monsoon winds, the Chinese and the Arabs came to this shore for trade. From 13th century. Kozhikode attained a position of pre-eminence in the trade of pepper and other spices.
As Kozhikode offered full freedom and security, the Arab and the Chinese merchants preferred it to all other ports. Then came Vasco-da-gama in 1498 and the foreign aggressions.Calicut is the anglicized form of Kalikut, the Arabic for the Malayalam Kozhikode. It is also called the Cock Fort. The term also means Koyil (palace) Kodu (fortified) From time immemorial, the city attracted travelers, with its charming physical features and prosperity. At present the city is emerging as a tourist center.
The district has a coastal length about 80 kms. It is situated on the south west coast of India. It is situated between North latitudes 11°08' and 11°50' and East longitudes 75° 30' and 76° 08'.
It lies in the idyllic setting of Wayanad hills on the east. The total area of the district comes to 2344 sq kms. The population the district as per 2001 census is 28,78.498 males 13,98,674 and females 14,79,824. Density of population per sq. kms is 1228.
The history of Kozhikode as an administrative unit begins from January 1957. When the states of the Indian Union were re-organized on linguistic basis on 1st November 1956, the erst-while Malabar district was separated from Madras state (Tamilnadu) and added to the new unilingual state of Kerala. As it was very big it has been divided into three districts. The Kozhikode district thus came into existence on 1st January 1957, originally consisting of five talukes, viz, Vadakara, Koyilandy, Kozhikode Ernad and Tirur. with the formation Malappuram district on 1st June 1969 and Wayanad district on 1st November 1980, Kozhikode district now consists one revenue division, three talukes, twelve blocks, 77 Panchayaths and 117 Villages. Kozhikode district has two Parliamentary constituencies Vadakara and Kozhikode and twelve assembly constituencies.
The Kozhikode city, known as the second Mecca of football lovers (first being Kolkatta) has a floodlight stadium constructed by the Municipal corporation. Near to this, stands an indoor stadium of the District sports Council.Kozhikode City continues to be a centre of flourishing domestic and international trade. It is the marketing center for commodities like pepper, coconut, coffee, rubber, lemongrass oil etc. produced in Kozhikode Wayanad, Malappuram and Kannur.The district has an intermediate port at Kozhikode (including Beypore) and minor port at Vadakara.
Traffic is mainly dealt at Beypore.Places of Interest.Kozhikode beach : Two sea piers almost 125 years old extending well inside the sea are a specialty of Kozhikode beach. Pazhassi Raja Museum, Art Gallery and VK Krishnamenon Museum : Situated adjacently at East hill. Krishna Menon Museum has a wing displaying his personal belongings and souvenirs. Art Gallery exhibits an excellent collection of paintings by Raja Ravi Varma and Raja Raja Varma.
Mananchira : Associated with the Zamorins is Kottaparamba where stood their ancient palace. Mananchira was the bathing tank of the members of the Zamorins' household. The adjacent maidan has been converted into an arcadia with beautiful trees and plants, artificial hill, shrubs sculpture and a musical fountain.SM Street : Sweet Meat Street is the busiest shopping center and is perhaps the oldest street in Calicut.
It derives its name from the times when the street was lined with sweet meat stalls. Old Bakery shops here are known for the famous Kozhikoddan Halwa and Banana chips.Kallai : This was once the second largest timber trading centre in Asia. A steel bridge built by British is still intact here.
Beypore : (9.65 kms south of Kozhikode) It is situated at the mouth of Chaliyar river. Tipu Sultan named the town "Sultan Pattanam" Beypore is famous for its boat building yard where mammoth country crafts known as Urus are being built.
There are two man made extensions to the sea to facilitate easy access for fishing boats.Kappad : (16 kms from Kozhikode) This is the historic beach where Vasco da Gamma, landed on the 27th May 1948, with 170 men in three vessels. an ancient temple, which is believed to be 800 yards old, on a hillock, facing the deep sea is an added attraction.Planetarium : Situated near Jaffar Khan Colony at Mavoor road, unveils the mysteries of universe. Regional Science centre is also situated in the same campus.. For more information on Kozhikode (Calicut) District please go to http://calicut.bizhat.com.
By: Alex P