Tourism in Calicut, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
Calicut Tourism is not yet big business even though Calicut is the third largest city in Kerala. Calicut or Kozhikode once known as the 'city of spices'. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama first set foot in India nearby Calicut.
Calicut was in past times the most important port on the Malabar coast. It no longer plays the strategic role it did. But the Calicut still have its industry, notably spices and coconuts, bustling atmosphere of trade and commerce.
Calicut is the anglicized version of Kozhikode. The word calico originated from 'Calicut'. Calicut is not a compelling stop on the tourist trail, but makes a pleasant place to pass through. Tourism in Calicut is yet to taken up as in entire north Kerala.
There is sizeable Muslim character here. Some of the main points of interests are the mosques.
Calicut tourism also has many of cultural attractions. But the main pleasure is simply walking around the narrow, curious lanes and taking in the atmosphere.
Calicut is the best base to explore Malabar including Wayanad. Malabar region comprises of northern districts of Kerala. Calicut is an unofficial capital of Malabar. The city has an international airport which is well connected to Indian metros and Middle East cities.
Getting Around Calicut
Among the options available for moving around within Calicut are local buses, tourist taxis and auto-rickshaws. For those who are looking for low-budget transport options, auto-rickshaws are the best bet.
Tourist taxis are a good bet for getting around town. It is also convenient if you are planning to visit some of the nearby attractions on a day-long excursion.
Things to see and do-Calicut Kozhikode Tourism
What Calicut tourism offers travellers is its beauty, folklore and legends of the past. Here one can take in history while having life nourishing tender coconut. Seafood is also an integral part of Kozhikodan life.
The long period of popular governance by the Zamorins did not leave any monuments to appreciate. But the streets of Calicut still has the old spirit, giving the visitor an air of time long gone. The long beach adds to the city's beauty.
Mananchira square is in the centre of the city. This was where the Zamorins who ruled Calicut has their palace complex.
The area today consists of beautifully landscaped lawns. It is surrounded by a series of building in a typically Kerala style architecture. Part of the Mananchira square complex is a big water-tank.
It is a relaxing place, but not good for swimming. The northern end of the beach has line of casuarina trees. You can see the light house and the All India Radio tower. Most of the visitors head towards this area.
There is a breezy paved esplanade in south. Note that after dark auto-rickshaws can be rare to get.
Pazhassiraja Museum and V K Krishna Menon Museum
These two museums stand adjacent to each other. They are home to impressive collection of two different sorts.
The Pazhassiraja Museum has on display a vast collection of ancient bronzes, copies of murals, excavated earth ware, coins and models of megaliths and temples.
The V K Krishna Menon Museum, next door to the Pazhassiraja Museum, houses mementos concerning the former Indian Defence Minister. Also next to the art gallery containing a number of wood and ivory carvings. You can also see the paintings by the famous artist Raja Ravi Varma.
The Mosques at Kuttichira
Calicut lies deep in Malabar. Malabar has a large Muslim population. So it comes as no surprise that some of its most splendid monuments are mosques. There are three of them in the Kuttichira area.
The two main ones are the Muchundipalli and the Mishkal Mosque. Both are built in traditional Kerala style with wood as an important part of the building.
The Mishkal Masjid is a four-storied structure standing proudly atop wooden pillars. Much of it was burnt down by the Portuguese in 1510 and rebuild later.
The Muchundipalli was built on land donated by the Zamorin. The building itself contains a stone inscription proclaiming the fact. The structure is a beautiful one, complete with carved wooden pillars, ventilators and water tanks.
Juma'atpalli is the third one. This 14th century mosque is said to have the largest floor area of all the mosques in Kerala.
Calicut district is known for its Kalarippayattu gymnasiums. The most illustrious one is CVN Kalari Sangam. It is at the suburb of Nadakkavu, 2km north of the city centre.
Established over fifty years ago by the father of the current master, the centre enjoys international reputation. Members regularly perform in Europe, the Middle East and Far East.
CVN Kalari's great claim to fame, however, is that it choreographed the combat scenes for the film The Myth, starring Jackie Chan.
Visitors are welcome to watch demonstrations and lessons. You'll have to get up early in the morning to catch the more worthwhile of the two daily training sessions.
Kalari offers Marma Chikilsa. It is the special ayurveda massage technique used by kalari practitioners. This Kalari is a main attraction of Calicut tourism.
The 14th century Tali Shiva Temple was the axis of the city of Kozhikode when it was initially laid out. The temple itself was believed to be the energy centre for the entire city.
Although little remains today of the medieval city of Kozhikode, the temple is one of the town's main attraction. It was built by the Zamorin ruler Swamy Thirumalpad within the complex of his palace.
The temple is a fine architecture, combining wood and laterite in its composition.
The Jain Temple
Kozhikode's Jain Temple is one of the oldest structures in the city. It consists of a shrine that is actually more than 2500 years old.
There have been many renovations and additions since then. Much of the shrine's original architecture has been preserved and is worth a look.
Around Calicut - Calicut Tourism India
16 km from Kozhikode is the quiet palm-lined stretch of coast known as Kappad beach. This historic site is a popular Calicut tourism attration. This was the place where on May 21, 1498, the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama landed. His ships anchored here and accomplished the first journey to India.
There is an inscription marking the landing, which was to change the course of India's history completely. Kappad beach is dominated by a large rock protruding into the sea.
The town of Beypore lies 10 km south of Kozhikode and has some attractions to add to the Calicut tourism. The town is at the mouth of Chaliyar river. It is a quiet town now. But the ancient Beypore was one of the busiest fishing harbours, trade centres and seaports along the Malabar coast.
It once had a huge shipbuilding industry that produced ships like the uru (the dhow, a typical Arabian trading vessel). The uru is no longer produced in Beypore as earlier. Only one yard remains in business now.
These days, the few that are built here each year tend to be sole to wealthy Gulf Arabs as pleasure dhows or floating casinos.
Uru Maker of Beypore
M/s Haji P I Ahamed Koya
Tel: +91 495 2703893, 2704853