Calicut, is the third largest city and a municipal corporation in the southern state of Kerala, India. It is the headquarter of Kozhikode district, and was formerly the capital of an independent kingdom, and later of the erstwhile Malabar District. This city is famous as the nearest town to Kappad where Vasco da Gama, the first European to sail directly from Europe (from Lisbon, Portugal) to India, landed in 1498.
Kozhikode or Calicut is situated in the south Indian state of Kerala on the southwest coast of the Arabian Sea. The district extends from latitude 11°15'N to 75°49'E. Basking in the idyllic setting of the serene Arabian Sea on the west and mesmeric peaks of the Wayanad hills on the east, this district has all the required ingredients to fascinate a tourist.
Due to its nearness to the sea, the place has a hot and humid climate. Summer begins from March and continues until May. The maximum temperature recorded in the month of May is 36°C and the minimum temperature recorded in the month of December is 14°C. Southwest monsoon arrives in the first week of June and the average annual rainfall is about 254cm.
The early history of Calicut is not clear except a few rock-cut scripts found in some parts of the district. It is the Sangam age that the district was ruled by the Cheras. This region became a major centre of trade between Kerala and the outside world. In the 13th century, Udaiyavar, the kind of Ernad, conquered the area around Ponniankar and built a fort at a place called Velapuram, now known as Calicut. With the entry of Vasco da Gama in 1498, many Europeans came to this region. After many disputed over the control of Calicut continued till 1792, the East India Company went into an agreement with the local Zamori rulers to directly administer this area. The whole of Cochin was under the control of the British until the Independence in 1947. Calicut today is one of the most important centres of trade and business.
Calicut Tourism Information
You can have a glimpse of the rich historic past of Kozhikode in the Pazhassiraja Museum, which is located at East Hill, 5km from the city. The state archaeological department runs this museum.
The Manachira Square is located in the heart of the city, a place where the main courtyard of the palace of the erstwhile Zamorin rulers once existed. Presently, the square has a well laid out park, which has a number of traditional Keralite houses and a large water tank nearby.
Thusharagiri is famous for its waterfalls and lush green forests. It is at a distance of 11km from Kodenchery, a place abounding in rubber plantations, coconut, pepper, ginger, and spices of all sorts.
There is a dam at Kakkayam, located around 45km from Calicut. The place offers challenging trekking and rock-climbing through river path and numerous waterfalls.
Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary
Kadalundi Birds Sanctuary is a heaven for migratory birds. Terns, gulls, herons, sandpipers, whimbrels, and other migratory birds flock the place from the month of November and returns only by the end of April. The ideal season to visit this place is from December to April in the early hours of the day.
Krishna menon Museum
The Krishna Menon Museum is also located near the Pazhassiraja Museum. This museum is dedicated to the memory of V.K.Krishna Menon, who was a great Indian statesman.
The coastline along Kozhikode, located on the eastern of the city, offers you a long stretch of uninterrupted sandy beach. You can see and enjoy the glorious spectacle of the setting sun from this beach. The Lighthouse, the Lions Park (children's park) and the Aquarium (which has a good collection of marine life and freshwater fish) are interesting places to visit on this beach.
Kappadin Calicut is the place where Vasco da Gama set foot for the first time when he came to India on May 27, 1498. There is a small stone monument at the beach to commemorate that event. Pazhassirajah Museum is located on the East Hill. It contains ancient mural paintings, antique bronzes, old coins modles of temples and megalithic structures.
The most important festivals of the Calicut (Kerala) district are Pooram Festival (March/April), Memunda (March/April), Vadakara (November/December), Kaliatta Mahotasavam (March), and Shivratri (February/March).