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Home » Kerala » Calicut  


Calicut Backwaters Kerala Travel IndiaCalicut or Kozhikode is situated in the south Indian state of Kerala on the southwest coast of the Arabian Sea. The busy coastal city of Kozhikode / Calicut, holds an important place in the legend and history of Kerala. The place is historically famous as the Portuguese led by Vasco da Gama first landed in India, at Kappad near Kozhikode in 1498 AD. He was the first European to reach India via the sea route, around the southern cape of Africa. Later the Dutch, French and British came for trade to the shores of Calicut. Kozhikode (Calicut) was the capital of the powerful Zamorins. This ancient commercial town of Kerala still maintains its commercial traditions.

» History
There is not much known of the early history of Calicut except for some prehistoric rock-cut caves that have been found at many places of the district. During the Sangam age, the district was under the Chera administration until ad 1122. This was the time when this region was a major center of trade between Kerala and the outside world. The city of Calicut came into existence in the 13th century when Udaiyavar, the king of Ernad, conquered the area around Ponniankar and built a fort at a place called Velapuram, now known as Calicut. Interestingly, the name Calicut is derived from ‘calico,’ the fine variety of hand-woven cotton cloth said to have originated from this place. The outer world came to know about India in 1498 when Vasco da Gama came to Calicut and obtained permission to carry out trade from here. Quickly in succession came the English and Dutch. Disputes over the control of Calicut continued for a long time until 1792, when the East India Company went into an agreement with the local Zamori rulers to directly administer this area. Kerala was declared a state in 1956, and Calicut today is one of the most important centers of trade and business in this progressive state.

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Prime Attractions of Calicut

» Pazhassirajah Museum
This rich museum displays the historic past of Kozhikode. Located on the East Hill, at a distance of 5 kms from the city, the museum is run by the State Archeological Department. Ancient mural paintings, antique bronzes, old coins, models of temples, and megalithic structures are on display here.

» Art Gallery
Known for its treasured collection of paintings made by Raja Ravi Varma and Raja Raja Varma, the gallery pulls in the art connoisseurs the most. This gallery holds an important position in the Indian art circle because of its association with Raja Ravi Varma, the first Indian painter to make use of oil colours. The paintings of this great artist generally revolve around the portrayal of mythological events, royal portraits and day-to-day life.

»Kozhikode Beach
Kozhikode Beach Calicut Tour Packages Kerala IndiaLocated on the eastern part of the city, the beach at Calicut offers the leisure-seekers a long stretch of endless sandy beach. The glorious spectacle of the setting sun from this beach is most glorious to see. The Lighthouse, the Lions Park (children's park) and the Aquarium (a good collection of marine life and freshwater fish) are interesting spots to visit on this beach.

» Dolphin's Point
Dolphin's Point is the place where one can see dolphins playing in the sea of an early morning. The long tree-lined beach, about 2 km away, is popular with the local people because of the Lions Club Park, the lighthouse, and two piers - and of course, the opportunity to soak in the evening breeze.

» Thikkoti Lighthouse
The lighthouse which overlooks Velliyamkallu of Moodadi coast was built after a shipwreck, the remains of which can still be seen here. The region around the Velliyamkallu rock is the transit home to migratory birds.

Festivals of Calicut (Kerala)

The most important festivals of the Calicut (Kerala) district are:
Pooram Festival : March/April
Memunda : March/April
Vadakara : November/December
Kaliatta Mahotasavam : March
Shivratri : February/March


S.M. Street is the busiest shopping area in the city of Calicut (Kerala) and famous for its innumerable sweetshops. Those willing to see or buy the traditional boats of Kerala should go to Beypore, which is barely half an hour's journey from Calicut (Kerala).

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Excursions from Calicut

There are a number of excursion options from Calicut. Beypore is 11 km from Calicut. It is a small coastal town known for its shipbuilding industry for centuries.

Vadakara, 48 km from Calicut is a commercial center of martial arts and the birthplace of Tacholi Othenan, a legendry hero of North Malabar.

98 km from Calicut is Tellicherry and Sultan Battery famous for their breathtaking scenery.

Thusharagiri is famous for its waterfalls and lush green forests. It is at a distance of 11 km from Kodenchery, a place abounding in rubber plantations, coconut, pepper, ginger, and spices of all sorts, a must visit from Calicut.

Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary Calicut Tour Operator Kerala IndiaThere is a dam at located around 45 km from Calicut. This excursion from Calicut offers challenging trekking and rock-climbing through river path and numerous waterfalls.

There is another dam at 60 km from Calicut. It is a place of beauty, calm, and serenity and boasts of a crocodile farm run by the state forest department.

Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary, 25 km from Calicut 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.

Other places worth visiting near Calicut are Velleri Mala, a beautiful location for trekking and Velliyamkallu.

How to get there

» Location
Calicut or Kozhikode 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.

» Air
Calicut airport 29 Km from Calicut (Kozhikode) city.

» Rail
Kozhikode Railway station. All Kerala-bound trains on Konkan line stops in Kozhikode. Services to Chennai, Coimbathore also. Vadakara, Koilandi are other stops in the district.

» Road
Three National Highways connect Kozhikode with destinations elsewhere in the country. N H 17 on Western coast connects the city with Mumbai, Mangalore and Goa. N H 213 (Kozhikode-Palakkad) gives a fast track to Tamilnadu. N H 212( Kozhikode- Kollegal, Mysore) winds its way through Wayanad district before entering the stipulated Mysore- Bangalore Express Highway in Mysore. KSRTC operates round- the-clock services to Southern Kerala, Wayanad district, Mysore and Bangalore. A few services to Kannur, Kasargode, Mangalore, Coimbathore and Ootty.

Private buses are on all the village routes in the district, besides operating to Palakkad, Kannur, Thrissur, Malappuram districts. However, they ply during the daytime only. City buses run within Kozhikode city.

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