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Kozhikode ([koːɻikːoːɖ]), or Calicut, is a metropolitan city in the state of Kerala in southern India on the Malabar Coast. Calicut is the largest urban area in the state and 192nd largest urban area in the world.[4] The city lies about 275 kilometres (171 mi) west of Bangalore.

Kozhikode / Calicut
Calicut beach skyline.jpg Mananchira,Calicut.jpg
Kakkayam hills.jpg IIM Kozhikode Aerial View s.jpg
കോഴിക്കോട് വിമാനത്താവളം.jpg HiLITE City - Mixed Use Development Project in Calicut.jpg
Nickname(s): City of Spices, City of Sculptures, City of Truth
Kozhikode / Calicut is located in Kerala
Kozhikode / Calicut
Kozhikode / Calicut
Coordinates: 11°15′N 75°46′E / 11.25°N 75.77°E / 11.25; 75.77Coordinates: 11°15′N 75°46′E / 11.25°N 75.77°E / 11.25; 75.77
Country  India
State Kerala
District Kozhikode
 • Mayor Thottathil Raveendran[1]
 • Collector Sri.U.V.Jose.IAS[2]
 • City Police Commissioner Mr. S. Kaliraj Mahesh kumar IPS [3]
 • Member of Parliament M. K. Raghavan
 • Metropolis 177 km2 (68 sq mi)
 • Metro 518 km2 (200 sq mi)
Elevation 1 m (3 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Metropolis 550,440
 • Density 3,100/km2 (8,100/sq mi)
 • Metro[7] 2,030,519
 • Municipal corporation 550,440[6]
 • Official Malayalam, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 673 0xx
Telephone code 91 (0)495 , 496
Vehicle registration KL 11, KL 18, KL 56,
KL 57,
Sex ratio 0.915  /[8]
Literacy 96.8%[8]

During classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, Kozhikode was dubbed the "City of Spices" for its role as the major trading point of eastern spices.[9] It was the capital of an independent kingdom ruled by the Samoothiris (Zamorins) in the Middle Ages and later of the erstwhile Malabar District under British rule. Arab merchants traded with the region as early as 7th century, and Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed at Kozhikode on 20 May 1498, thus opening a trade route between Europe and Malabar. A Portuguese factory and fort was intact in Kozhikode for short period (1511–1525, until the Fall of Calicut), the English landed in 1615 (constructing a trading post in 1665), followed by the French (1698) and the Dutch (1752). In 1765, Mysore captured Kozhikode as part of its occupation of the Malabar Coast. Kozhikode, once a famous cotton-weaving centre, gave its name to the Calico cloth.[10]

On 7 June 2012, Kozhikode was given the tag of "City of Sculptures" (Shilpa Nagaram) because of the various architectural sculptures located in various parts of the city.[11][12] In May 2015, a food programme called Operation Sulaimani was introduced to help people who cannot afford a meal to have food with dignity.

According to data compiled by economics research firm Indicus Analytics on residences, earnings and investments, Kozhikode ranked as the second best city in India to reside in.[13] It was ranked eleventh among Tier-II Indian cities in job creation by a study conducted by ASSOCHAM in 2007.[14] Kozhikode city continues to be a centre of flourishing domestic and international trade. Its contribution to all round development of the district in trade, commerce and economic development over the years is spectacular. Kozhikode city is the marketing centre for commodities like pepper, coconut, coffee, rubber, lemon grass oil etc., produced in Kozhikode and the neighbouring districts of Wayanad, Malappuram and Kannur.[15]



Pazhashi Raja Museum

While the city has been known by different names throughout history, Malayalam-speaking communities have traditionally called it Kozhikode. It is thought to derive from the name of the goddess Kalika, as in Kalikota meaning "City of Kali".

Arab merchants called it قَالِقُوط Qāliqūṭ (IPA: qˠaːliqˠːuːtˤ).[16] Tamils called it Kallikkottai while for the Chinese it was Kalifo. In Kannada it was known as Kallikote.

Although the city's official name is Kozhikode, in English it is sometimes known by its anglicised version, Calicut.[17] The word calico, a fine variety of hand-woven cotton cloth that was exported from the port of Kozhikode, is thought to have been derived from Calicut.[18] It is the historical capital of Kerala as the history dates back to 1498 AD when Vasco da Gama landed in Kappad, near Calicut.


Vasco da Gama lands in Kozhikode on 20 May 1498.

Kozhikode is a town with a long recorded history. From time immemorial, the city has attracted travellers with its prosperity. It has traded in spices like black pepper and cardamom with Jews, Arabs, Phoenicians, and Chinese for more than 500 years. As Kozhikode offered full freedom and security, the Arab and the Chinese merchants preferred it to all other ports. The globe-trotter Ibn Batuta (A.D. 1342–47) said, "We came next to Kalikut, one of the great ports of the district of Malabar, and in which merchants of all parts are found."

Kozhikode was the capital of Malabar during the time of sri Samoothiri Maharajas, who ruled the region before the British took over. The city's first recorded contact with Europe was when Vasco da Gama landed at Kappad (18 km north) in May 1498, among the leaders of a trade mission from Portugal. He was received by his highness Sri Samoothiri Maharaja himself.

Early Kozhikode in foreign accountsEdit

Accounts of the city and the conditions prevailing then can be gleaned from the chronicles of travellers who visited the port city.

Ibn Battuta (1342–1347), who visited six times, gives us the earliest glimpses of life in the city. He describes Kozhikode as "one of the great ports of the district of Malabar" where "merchants of all parts of the world are found". The king of this place, he says, "shaves his chin just as the Haidari Fakeers of Rome do...The greater part of the Muslim merchants of this place are so wealthy that one of them can purchase the whole freightage of such vessels put here and fit out others like them".[19]

Ma Huan (1403 AD), the Chinese Muslim sailor part of the Imperial Chinese fleet under Cheng Ho (Zheng He)[20] lauds the city as a great emporium of trade frequented by merchants from around the world. He makes note of the 20 or 30 mosques built to cater to the religious needs of the Muslims, the unique system of calculation by the merchants using their fingers and toes (followed to this day) and the matrilineal system of succession.

Abdur Razzak (1442–43) the ambassador of Persian Emperor Sha-Rohk finds the city harbour perfectly secured and notices precious articles from several maritime countries especially from Abyssinia, Zirbad and Zanzibar.

The Italian Niccolò de' Conti (1445), perhaps the first Christian traveller who noticed Kozhikode, describes the city as abounding in pepper, lac, ginger, a larger kind of cinnamon, myrobalans and zedary. He calls it a noble emporium for all India, with a circumference of eight miles (13 km).

The Russian traveller Athanasius Nikitn or Afanasy Nikitin (1468–74) calls 'Calecut' a port for the whole Indian sea and describes it as having a "big bazaar."

Other travellers who visited Kozhikode include the Italian Ludovico di Varthema[21] (1503–1508) and Duarte Barbosa.[22]

Image of Kozhikode, India from Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg's atlas Civitates orbis terrarum, 1572

The SamoothiriEdit

Kozhikode and its suburbs formed part of the Polanad kingdom ruled by the Porlatiri.[23] The Eradis of Nediyirippu in Eranad wanted an outlet to the sea, to initiate trade and commerce with the distant lands.[24] and after fighting with the king Polatthiri for 48 years conquered the area around Panniankara. After this, Menokki were became the ruler of Polanad and came to terms with the troops and people.[25] After this, the town of Kozhikode was founded close to the palace at Tali.[26] Then, the Eradis shifted their headquarters from Nediyirippu to Kozhikode. The Governor of Ernad built a fort at a place called Velapuram to safeguard his new interests. The fort most likely lent its name to Koyil Kotta the precursor to Kozhikode. Thus the city came into existence sometime in the 13th century CE. The status of Udaiyavar increased and he became known as Swami Nambiyathiri Thirumulpad, and eventually Samuri or Samoothiri. Europeans called him in a corrupt form as Samorin.

According to K.V. Krishna Iyer, the rise of Kozhikode is at once a cause and a consequence of Samoothiri's ascendancy in Kerala. By the end of the century, Samoothiri was at the zenith of his powers with all princes and chieftains of Kerala north of Kochi acknowledging his suzerainty.[27]

Geography and climateEdit

View of Calicut beach


View of Kappad beach

The city of Kozhikode is 410 kilometres (255 mi) north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. It is located at approximately 11°15′N 75°46′E / 11.25°N 75.77°E / 11.25; 75.77. It has an elevation of 1 metre (3 ft) along the coast with the city's eastern edges rising to at least 15 metres, with a sandy coastal belt and a lateritic midland. The city has a 15 km (9.3 mi) long shoreline and small hills dot the terrain in the eastern and central regions. To the city's west is the Laccadive Sea and from approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) to the east rises the Sahyadri Mountains.

The geographical conditions of city area and suburban areas are similar to the other parts of the district falling in coastal and midland zones. The region comprising Kozhikode Corporation and peri-urban blocks belong to the low- and midlands in the typical classification of land in Kerala as low-, mid- and highlands. Lagoons and backwaters characterise the lowland, which receives runoff from the rivers. The lowland is often subjected to salinity intrusion. The coastal plains exhibit more or less flat, narrow terrain with landforms such as beach ridges, sandbars, and backwater marshes. A few kilometres from the sea to the east, the surface gathers into slopes and clustering hills with numerous valleys in between formed due to floods and sediment transport. The Midlands is represented by hummocky rocky terrain with lateritised denudational hills and intervening valley fills (locally called elas). The 'elas' are fairly wide in the lower reaches of midlands and narrow towards the upper parts of the midlands.

A number of rivers originating from the Sahyadri run along the outer reaches of the city. These include the Chaliyar puzha, Kallayi Puzha, Korapuzha river, Poonoor puzha (river), and Iravanjhi puzha. Of these, Kallai river that runs through the southern part of the city has been the most important culturally and historically for Kozhikode. The Kallai River has its origin in Cherikkulathur village. It is connected with Chaliyar on the south by a man-made canal. The river passes through Cherukulathur, Kovur, Olavanna, Manava and Kallai before finally joining the sea near Kozhikode. The length of the river is 22 kilometres (14 mi).

The Korapuzha river is formed by the confluence of the Agalapuzha with the Punnurpuzha, and it joins the sea at Elathur. The Agalapuzha is more or less a backwater while the Punnurpuzha originates from Arikkankunni. The total length of the river is 40 kilometres (25 mi). Panurpuzha is a tributary of Korapuzha. It passes through the northern boundary of the study area and joins to the sea. The river is perennial.

Canoly Canal was built in 1848 to connect the Korapuzha river in the north to Kallayi river in the south. It functions as a drain to reduce flooding in the city during the rainy season and as a navigation channel. A system of wetland (mangrove) forests pervade the city from Kallai river to Eranjikkal.


Kozhikode features a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen climate classification Am). The city has a highly humid tropical climate with high temperatures recorded from March to May. A brief spell of pre-monsoon Mango showers hits the city sometime during April. However, the primary source of rain is the South-west monsoon that sets in the first week of June and continues until September. The city receives significant precipitation from the North-East Monsoon that sets in from the second half of October through November.

The average annual rainfall is 3,266 mm. The weather is milder from December/January until March when the skies are clear and the air is crisp. Winters are seldom cold. According to climate charts, 12 locations in India are cooler, 26 are warmer, 37 are dryer and only 1 is wetter than Kozhikode[28][dubious ] The highest temperature recorded was 39.4 °C in March 1975. The lowest was 14 °C recorded on 26 December 1975.

Climate data for Kozhikode
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.8
Average high °C (°F) 28.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.8
Average low °C (°F) 21.7
Record low °C (°F) 17.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 2.7
Average rainy days 0.3 0.3 1.1 4.9 10.8 25.4 25.3 23.3 13.0 11.9 7.7 1.9 125.9
Average relative humidity (%) 70 72 73 74 78 88 90 90 86 82 77 71 79.3
Source #1: IMD (average high and low, precipitation)[29]
Source #2: NOAA (extremes, mean, humidity, rain days, 1971–1990)[30]


English Church
Menon Museum

Total Population under Municipal Corporation limits is 550,440.[6] Males form 47.7% and females 52.3%.

Kozhikode has been a multi-ethnic and multi-religious town since the early medieval period. The Hindus forms largest religious group, followed by Muslims and Christians.[31] Hindus form the majority at 57.7% of the population with 315807 members.[6] Muslims form 37.6% of the population with 207298 members.[6]

The corporation of Kozhikode has an average literacy rate of 96.8%[8] (national average is 74.85%). The male literacy rate is 97.93% and female literacy rate is 95.78%.[8] Malayalam is the most spoken language. English and Tamil are widely understood.[citation needed]

The Hindus engage in beliefs spanning all forms of theism as well as atheism. Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and other Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu pantheon are worshipped. Many places have temples with local deities, more often a Goddess (Devi). Festivities like Theyyam, Thira and art forms like Ottamthullal, Kathakali are performed in stages attested to temple estates. Many temples have associated oracles called Velichappad. Serpent and ancestral worship are also practised.

The Muslims of Kozhikode are known as Mappilas, and according to the official Kozhikode website "the great majority of them are Sunnis following the Shafi school of thought.[31] There are also some smaller communities among the Muslims such as Dawoodi Bohras.[32] Many of the Muslims living in the historic part of the city follow matriliny and are noted for their piety.[33] Though Christianity is believed to have been introduced in Kerala in 52 CE, the size of community in Malabar (northern Kerala) began to rise only after the arrival of the Portuguese towards the close of the 15th century. A few Christians of Thiruvitankoor and Kochi have lately migrated to the hilly regions of the district and are settled there.[33]

Pre-modern Kozhikode was already teeming with people of several communities and regional groups. Most of these communities continued to follow their traditional occupations and customs till the 20th century. These included Kosavan (potter), Vannan (washerman), Pulayan (agricultural worker), Chaliyan (weaver), Chetti (merchant), Thiyya (physicians, militia and toddy tappers), Ganaka (astrologer), Vettuvan (salt-maker), Paanan (sorcerer), Eravallan (firewood and grass carrier), Kammalas, Parayan etc.[34] A number of Brahmins too lived in the city mostly around the Hindu temples. Regional groups like the Tamil Brahmins, Gujaratis and Marwari Jains became part of the city at various periods and lived around their shrines.[35]

The Nairs formed the rulers, warriors and landed gentry of Kozhikode. The Samoothiri had a ten thousand strong Nair bodyguard called the Kozhikkottu pathinaayiram (The 10,000 of Kozhikode) who defended the capital and supported the administration within the city. He had a larger force of 30,000 Nairs in his capacity as the Prince of Eranadu, called the Kozhikkottu Muppatinaayiram (The 30,000 of Kozhikode). The Nairs also formed the members of the suicide squad (chaver). The aristocratic Nairs had their Taravad houses in and around the capital. Several Nairs in the city were traders too. The Nairs could not be imprisoned or fettered except for serious crimes like cow slaughter, criticising the King etc.[36] The Mappila community of Kozhikode acted as an important support base for the city's military, economic and political affairs. They were settled primarily in Kuttichira and Idiyangara. Their aristocratic dwelling houses were similar to the tharavad houses of the Nairs and the Thiyyas. Two Ghazi's were recognised as their spiritual leaders. Travellers like Barbosa were intrigued by the extent to which the Mapillas blended into the local society, who spoke the same language and looked like any other Nair (except for the round caps and long beards).[34]

The Thiyyas formed the vaidyars(Physicians), local militia and traders of Kozhikode. Several aristocratic thiyya families such as 'Kallingal madom' were settled in and around the city.

The Tamil Brahmins are primarily settled around the Tali Siva temple. They arrived in Kozhikode as dependants of chieftains, working as cooks, cloth merchants and moneylenders.[37] They have retained their Tamil language and dialects as well as caste rituals. The Gujarati community is settled mostly around the Jain temple in and around the Valliyangadi. They owned a large number of establishments, especially textile and sweet shops. They must have arrived in Kozhikode at least from the beginning of the 14th century. They belong to either the Hindu or the Jain community. A few Marwari families are also found in Kozhikode who were basically moneylenders.

Civic administrationEdit

The city is administered by the Kozhikode Corporation, headed by a mayor. For administrative purposes, the city is divided into 75 wards,[38] from which the members of the corporation council are elected for five years. Recently neighbouring suburbs Beypore, Elathur, Cheruvannur and Nallalam were merged within the municipal corporation.

Kozhikode Municipal Corporation
Mayor Thottathil Raveendran
Deputy Mayor Meera Darsak
Member of Parliament M.K.Raghvan
District Collector Shri. U V Jose IAS
Police Commissioner Shri S Kaliraj Mahesh Kumar IPS

Kozhikode Corporation is the first City Corporation in Kerala after the creation of the state. Established in 1962, Kozhikode Corporation's first mayor was H Manjunatha Rao. Kozhikode corporation has four assembly constituencies – Kozhikode North, Kozhikode South, Beypore and Elathur – all of which are part of Kozhikode.[39]

Corporation Election 2015Edit

Political Performance in Election 2015Edit

S.No. Party Name Party symbol Number of Corporators
01 LDF   47
02 UDF   21
03 BJP   07
04 Independents   0

Initiatives by District AdministrationEdit

  1. Operation Sulaimani : Providing food with dignity for those who cannot afford a meal through contributions from the public.
  2. Project 4 N : Maintenance of roads through public participation.
  3. Savari Giri Giri : To enable students to travel in buses with dignity.
  4. Compassionate Kozhikode:[40] The brand name for plethora of initiatives launched by the District Administration in partnership with civil society, Government agencies and citizens, who volunteer to make Kozhikode an authentic and inspirational destination for them to live and invite others to visit and experience it. It is the brainchild of the current District Collector Prasanth N. (IAS).

Law and orderEdit

The Kozhikode City Police is headed by a commissioner, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. The present District Police Chief is S Kaliraj Mahesh Kumar IPS and Merin Joseph IPS is Deputy Commissioner of Police[41] .The city is divided into six zones each under a circle officer. Apart from regular law and order, the city police comprises the traffic police, bomb squad, dog squad, fingerprint bureau, women's cell, juvenile wing, narcotics cell, riot force, armed reserve camps, district crime records bureau and a women's station.[42] It operates 16 police stations functioning under the Home Ministry of Government of Kerala.



Anti glare screen system newly installed along Mini-Bypass stretch

The city has a reasonably well-developed transport infrastructure. A large number of buses, predominantly run by individual owners, ply on the major routes within the city and to nearby locations. City buses are painted green. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) runs regular services to many destinations in the state and to the neighbouring states. The city has three bus stands. All private buses to the suburban and nearby towns ply from the Palayam Bus Stand. Private buses to adjoining districts start from the Mofussil Bus Stand (one of the largest bus stand in Kerala) on Indira Gandhi Road (Mavoor Road). Buses operated by the KSRTC drive from the KSRTC bus stand on Indira Gandhi Road. KSRTC Bus Stand Kozhikode is the biggest bus stand in Kerala having a size of 36,036.47-meter square.[citation needed] There are also KSRTC depots in Thamarassery, Thottilpalam, Thiruvambady and Vadakara in the district.

There are two routes available to Bangalore. One is Kozhikode–Gundlupet–Mysore–Bangalore; this road is most preferred one but is very busy. Another route, less used, is Kozhikode–Gundlupet–Chamarajanagar–Kollegal–Bangalore.

A coastal route is available to Kochi via Feroke(NH), Chaliyam, Kadalundikadavu, Tirur, Chamravattom, Chavakkad and North Paravur. This road is very narrow in some parts but the easiest one.

Private tour operators maintain regular luxury bus services to Mumbai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Chennai, Vellore, Ernakulam, Trivandrum, Ooty etc. and mainly operate from the Palayam area. These are usually night services.

National HighwaysEdit

National Highway 66 connects Kozhikode to Mumbai via Mangalore, Udupi and Goa to the north and Kochi and Kanyakumari near Thiruvananthapuram to the south along the west coast of India. This highway connects the city with the other important towns like, Uppala, Kasaragod, Kanhangad, Kannur, Thalassery, Mahe, Vadakara, Koyilandy, Vengalam,[43] Ramanattukara, Kottakkal, Kuttippuram, Ponnani, (Guruvayoor)Chavakkad, Kodungallur, North Paravur, Edapally and proceed to Kanyakumari.

National Highway 766 connects Kozhikode to bangalore through Kollegal in Karnataka via Tirumakudal Narsipur, Mysore, Nanjangud, Gundlupet, Sulthan Bathery, Kalpetta and Thamarassery. This highway also connects the city with the suburbs like Malaparambu, Kunnamangalam and premier institutes like IIM-K, NIT-C, IISR and CWRDM.

National Highway 966 connects Kozhikode to coimbatore through Palakkad. It covers a distance of 125 kilometres (78 mi). At Ramanattukara, a suburb of Kozhikode, it joins NH 66. It also passes through towns like Kondotty, Malappuram, Perinthalmanna, and Mannarkkad. This stretch also connects the city and Calicut International Airport.

State HighwaysEdit

SH 28 is the Kerala section of highway connecting Kozhikode and Gudalur near Ooty. The highway is 103.6 kilometres (64.4 mi) long. It passes through important towns like Manjeri and Nilambur.

SH 29 passes through the city. It connects NH 212, Malabar Christian College, civil station, Kunnamangalam and also Padanilam, Thamarassery, Chellot, Chitragiri and Road to Gudallor from Kerala border.

SH 54 is connecting city and Kalpetta. The highway is 99.0 kilometres (61.5 mi) long. The highway passes through Pavangad, Kozhikode, Ulliyeri, Perambra, Poozhithodu, Peruvannamuzhi and Padinjarethara. SH 68 starts from Kappad and ends in Adivaram. The highway is 68.11 kilometres (42.32 mi) long.

SH 34 starts from Koyilandy and ends in Edavanna. The highway is 44.0 km long.


The history of railways in Malabar dates back to 1861 when the first tracks were laid between Tirur and Beypore.[44] Kozhikode railway station is the only A1 railway station in Palakkad railway division and it is situated in the Shoranur-Mangalore section. Today, Kozhikode is well connected by rail to cities like Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kollam, Palakkad, Coimbatore, Katpadi, Vellore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Kannur, Mangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.

Public transportEdit

A KSRTC Volvo city service bus

The city buses of Kozhikode are green coloured and they are very cheap and punctual. All the city buses start and end at the Mananchira Pond area. Buses going to the northern side originate from the Post Office side of the pond. Buses gong southwards originate from the Girls school side. Buses going to the easatern side originate from the Income Tax office area. The new government bus station on the Mavoor Road is the boarding point for long distance buses. This modern bus station has 350,000 shops and parking facilities.

Kozhikode is one of the cities to be granted the new generation air-conditioned low floor and non-air-conditioned semi low-floor buses under the JNNURM city transport development project.KURTC and private buses operate frequent schedules to neighbouring areas including NIT Calicut, IIMK etc. Call taxis and auto rickshaws (called autos) are available for hire.


Calicut International Airport is 26 kilometres (16 mi) from the city at Karipur . Regular domestic services are operated to major Indian cities. There are frequent international flights to the Middle eastern air hubs like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Salalah, Muscat, Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah, Sharjah, Bahrain, Doha and to domestic hubs Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi.

Light Metro RailEdit

Kozhikode Light Metro is a proposed mass rapid transport system (MRTS) for the city of Kozhikode (Calicut), in India. In 2010, the State government explored the possibility of implementing a metro rail project for Kozhikode city and its suburbs. The proposal was to have a corridor connecting the Karipur Airport to the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital through the heart of the city. An inception report was submitted by a Bangalore-based consultant, Wilber Smith, on the detailed feasibility study on the prospect of implementing the Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) and Light Rail Transit System (LRTS) in the city. However, the project has been scrapped to be replaced by Kozhikode Monorail project. The State Cabinet then decided to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to implement monorail projects in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram, and administrative sanction was given in October 2012, Finally, in the aspect led by the High Council met 18 May 2015 and decided to light metro.


Broken bridge at Calicut beach

There has been great leap in small scale industries in kozhikode. It has become a major non-leather footwear manufacturing hub in India. Footwear industries have been flourishing in this city. Kozhikode is one of the main commercial cities of Kerala. The economy is mainly business oriented. The city currently is the major trade hub of North Kerala with good connectivity through road, rail and air. It also has large timber yards along the banks of the Kallayi River. Kozhikode District with 8% of the state population makes 12% contribution to the state's income. Kozhikode has witnessed a building boom in recent years. This is particularly evident in the number of malls and buildings built in recent years. Kozhikode is also going to be the first city in Kerala to have a mono rail transporting system.The KSRTC bus terminal which is under construction is the biggest bus terminal in Kerala. Kerala's first and second tallest buildings are under construction in kozhikode. It is also famous for timber trade and roof tales manufacturing centre.

The District has an intermediate port at Kozhikode (including Beypore) and a minor port at Vadakara. In coast line of the Kozhikode port extends from Elathur cape to the south bank of Kadalundi river and treads roughly in straight line. This port has two Piers, but this cannot be used due to the dilapidate condition. Traffic is mainly dealt at Beypore port. Kozhikode Port has a Light House and a Signal Station. The godown at South Pier is used as transit sheds.

Two IT "cyber parks" are under construction in Kozhikode. One is the UL cyber park (constructed and operated by ULCCSC, a Kozhikode-based company). UL cyber park began operation in 2012 and will complete its first phase in 2013. The other park is run by the government, and will complete its first construction phase in 2014. Cyberpark, is a Government of Kerala organisation planned to build, operate and manage IT parks for the promotion and development of investment in IT and ITES industries in Malabar region of Kerala and will be the third IT hub in the state of Kerala.The two IT park will create a total 100,000(100000) direct job opportunities. It is in the process of setting up IT parks at Kozhikode, at the SEZs approved at Kannur and Kasargod. Its first project is the development of Cyberpark hub in Kozhikode with its spokes at Kannur and Kazargode IT parks.[45][46] Other planned projects include the Birla IT park (at Mavoor) and Malaysian satellite city (at Kinaloor) where KINFRA has plans to set up a 400-acre (1.6 km2) industrial park.


The city has a strong mercantile aspect. The main area of business was once Valiyangadi (Big Bazaar) near the railway station. As time progressed, it shifted to other parts of the city. These days, the commercial heart has moved to Mittai Theruvu (Sweetmeat Street or S. M. Street), a long street crammed with shops that sell everything from saris to cosmetics. It also houses restaurants and sweetmeat shops. Today, the city has multiple shopping malls. Focus Mall (the first shopping mall in Kerala), HiLITE Mall (the second largest mall in Kerala) and RP Mall are a few among them.[47] Currently, new shopping malls are springing up all over the city. This has changed the consumer habits, shifting the centre of commerce from S. M. Street to these places.

Places of attractionEdit


In the field of Malayalam language and literature, Kozhikode has made many significant contributions. During the 17th century, His Highness Sri Samoothiri Manavedan Maharaja authored the famous 'Krishnattam', a manipravala text describing the childhood of Lord Krishna in eight volumes. The district is famous for folk songs or ballads known as Vadakkan Pattukal. The most popular songs celebrate the exploits of Thacholi Othenan and Unniyarcha. An intellectual debate for Vedic scholars, where winners receive the title of Pattathanam, takes place at Thali temple during the month of Thulam. The culture of Kozhikode has changed a lot recently and the population is increasingly fashion conscious and are very much westernized. People are also very tech savvy and follow international trends quiet well.


A bust of S. K. Pottekkatt facing S.M. Street in Kozhikode

Many prominent writers of Malayalam literature hail from Kozhikode. Among them are S. K. Pottekkatt, Thikkodiyan, Sanjayan, Punathil Kunjabdulla, U. A. Khader, K. T. Muhammed, Akbar Kakkattil, N. V. Krishna Warrier, N. N. Kakkad, M.P.Veerendra Kumar, P. Valsala and M. N. Karassery. S. K. Pottekkatt was perhaps the most celebrated writer from Kozhikode whose award-winning work Oru Theruvinte Katha is set in S. M. Street. Several leading Malayalam publishing houses are based in the city, including Poorna, Mathrubhumi, Mulberry, Lipi and Olive. Several libraries are located in and around the city. The Kozhikode Public Library and Research Centre at Mananchira was constructed in 1996.[48]


In addition to the Malabar Mahotsavam, the annual cultural fest of Kozhikode,[49] every year since 1981 the Tyagaraja Aradhana Trust has been conducting a five-day music festival in honour of Tyagaraja. The festival is complete with the Uncchavritti, rendering of Divyanama kritis, Pancharatna Kritis, concerts by professional artistes and students of music from morning to late in the evening.[50]

Kozhikode has a tradition of Ghazal and Hindustani music appreciation. There are many Malayalam Ghazals. The late film director and play back singer M. S. Baburaj, from Kozhikode was influenced by Ghazal and Hindustani.[51]


Kozhikode offers a variety of South Indian, North Indian, European, Chinese, Arab, Gujarati and Jain food. The culinary culture of the city has been moulded by Portuguese, Dutch, French, British, Arab and other Indian influence. It offers both veg and non veg dishes in great variety. The mall culture in the city has gained momentum and fast foods are very popular. The new generation is more inclined to Chinese and American food culture and a new trend of vegetarianism is getting popular because of health concerns


The film history of Kozhikode dates back to 1950s. Some of the main production companies of Malayalam films like Grihalakshmi productions, Kalpaka, Swargachithra, etc. are Kozhikode based companies. The city was also an important hub of top notch film makers like M. T. Vasudevan Nair, I. V. Sasi and T. Damodaran. Kozhikode produced such notable actors as K. P. Ummer, Mammukoya, Balan K. Nair, Santha Devi and Kuthiravattam Pappu. The ever green musician Baburaj, lyricists Gireesh Puthenchery and Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri, film directors A. Vincent, Ranjith, Hariharan, V. M. Vinu, Shajoon Kariyal and Anjali Menon, and cinematographer P. S. Nivas also hail from Kozhikode. Some of the other male film actors like Neeraj Madhav, Madhupal, Anoop Menon, Nellikode Bhaskaran, Augustine and Vijayan Malaparamba are from Kozhikode. Famous film actresses from Kozhikode include Swetha Menon, Nithya Menon, Mamta Mohandas, Ann Augustine, Nithya Das, Jomol, Akhila Sasidharan, Parvathi Menon, Sharmilie, Neena Kurup, Ansiba Hassan and Diya.

The 1947 Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Hollywood thriller, Sindbad the Sailor, mentions Kozhikode.

Kozhikode, the largest city in the Malabar region, also has a vital role in the entertainment segment. The city's first theatre, Calicut Crown, was opened as early as 1925. The city has more than 10 theatres and two multiplexes, the PVS Film City (the first multiplex in Malabar region) and Crown Theatre.[52]


Kozhikode is known as the second Mecca of football (after Kolkata).[53] The other most popular games in Kozhikode are cricket,[54] football, basketball, badminton and volleyball. The E. M. S Stadium hosted many international football matches of major football teams in the past. The city is home to many international footballers. One of the famous was Olympian Abdurahman who played for the nation in many international games including Melbourne Olympic games. K.P. Sethu Madhavan, Premnath Phillips, Muhamad Najeeb, M Prasannan, Sudheer etc. are some international footballers from Kozhikode. The seven-a-side form of football is also very famous in the city. P. T. Usha, is a famous athlete who is regarded as one of the greatest athletes India has ever produced and is often called the "queen of Indian track and field". She is nicknamed Payyoli Express. Currently she runs the Usha School of Athletics at Koyilandy in Kerala. T. Abdul Rahman, popularly known as Olympian Rahman, was an Indian Olympian footballer from Kozhikode. Rahman was a member of the Indian team that reached the semi-final in 1956 Melbourne Olympics. Other sports personalities include Jimmy George, Tom Joseph (Indian volleyball player and was captain of Indian volleyball team) and Premnath Phillips. Jaseel P. Ismail, V. Diju, Aparna Balan & Arun Vishnu are international badminton players from the city. The Sports & Education Promotion Trust (SEPT) was established to promote sports development in India with focus on football. Started in 2004 and based in Kozhikode, the trust has set up 52 centres called "football nurseries" spread across thirteen districts in Kerala.[55] Since 2010, Calicut Mini Marathon runs have been organised by IIM Kozhikode and witness participation of around 7000 people every year.



Kozhikode occupies a prominent position in the history of Malayalam journalism. The origin of journalism in the district can be traced back to 1880. The Kerala Pathrika is likely the earliest newspaper published from Kozhikode. Keralam, Kerala Sanchari and Bharath Vilasam are among the other newspapers that were published from Kozhikode pre-1893.

Kozhikode is the 'birthplace' of the widely circulated Malayalam dailies Mathrubhumi, Desabhimani and Madhyamam. Chandrika, Thejas, Siraj, Varthamanam and Calicut Times are the other dailies from Kozhikode. Along with those papers, noted dailies like Malayala Manorama, Kerala Kaumudi, Mangalam, Deepika, New Indian Express, The Hindu, Deccan chronicle,Janmabhumi, Veekshanam and evening dailies like Pradeepam, Rashtra deepika, News Kerala and Flash are published from Kozhikode. Nearly all news agencies, other major newspapers published from outside the state are represented in Kozhikode. The Times of India, the largest-circulating English broadsheet newspaper in the world, started circulation in Kozhikode on 1 February 2012. A large number of weeklies, fortnightlies and monthlies are also published there (such as Information Technology Lokam, a computer magazine in Malayalam). Newspapers in other regional languages like English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu are available.


The Kozhikode radio station of All India Radio has two transmitters: Kozhikode AM (100 kilowatt) and Kozhikode FM [Vividh Bharathi] (10 kilowatt). Private FM radio stations: Radio Mango 91.9 operated by Malayala Manorama Co. Ltd. and Red FM 93.5 of the SUN Network. AIR FM radio station: Kozhikode – 103.6 MHz; AIR MW radio station: Kozhikode – 684 kHz.


A television transmitter has been functioning in Kozhikode since 3 July 1984, relaying programmes from Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram Doordarshan. Doordarshan has its broadcasting centre in Kozhikode located at Medical College. The Malayalam channels based on Kozhikode are the Shalom Television, Darshana TV and Media One TV. All major channels in Malayalam viz. Manorama News, Asianet, Surya TV, Kairali TV, Amrita TV, Jeevan TV, Indiavision and Jaihind have their studios and news bureaus in the city. Satellite television services are available through DD Direct+, Dish TV, Sun Direct DTH and Tata Sky. Asianet Cable Vision popularly known as ACV telecasts daily city news. Spidernet is another local channel. Other local operators include KCL and Citinet.

The Calicut Press Club came into existence in 1970. It is the nerve centre of all media activities, both print and electronic. Began with around 70 members in the roll, this Press Club, over the years, became a prestigious and alert media centre in the state with a present membership of over 280.[56]


Telephone services are provided by various players like Airtel, Idea cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Docomo, MTS, Uninor, Tata Indicom and the state owned BSNL and most of them provide 3G services also. The city also has broadband wireless services on WiMAX platform.[57]

In August 2015, Bharti Airtel became the first telecom service provider to offer 4G LTE in Calicut.Currently, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea provide 4G LTE services in the city . Reliance Jio has also started the services.


There are 1,237 schools in Kozhikode district including 191 highschools.

There were reputed centres of learning and culture in Kozhikode even in the early and medieval periods. Under the rule of the enlightened Samoothiri Maharajas, it became famous all over South India as a rendezvous of scholars and men of learning.

The beginning of western education may be traced back to the first half of the 19th century, when in 1848 the basal Evangelical Mission started a primary school at Kallai. In 1877, a school for the young Rajas was started in Kozhikode. This was later thrown open to all caste Hindu boys. In 1879, it was affiliated to the University of Madras as a second grade college and with this, collegiate education in the district received a fillip. Secondary education recorded an appreciable progress since 1915. The erstwhile Malabar district, of which the present Kozhikode district formed a part, holds a high rank among the districts of Madras Presidency in secondary education.[58]

Primary educationEdit

Kerala primary education starts with pre-primary institutions just like Anganvadis and play schools where it is the basic stage in schooling. Primary school is further divided lower primary (LP) [classes I–IV] and into upper primary (UP) [classes V–VII]. The pattern of primary education is essentially the same all over the state. Each school is affiliated with either the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), Kerala State Education Board or the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). English is the language of instruction in most private schools, while government run schools offer English or Malayalam as the medium of instruction. The city is widely known through the functioning of educational institutions like Vedavyasa Vidyalayam, St. Josephs Boys High School (established in 1794), Apex International School, Silver Hills Higher Secondary School etc.

Higher educationEdit

There are many premier institutes in the city. They are IIM (Indian institute of Management), NIT (National institute of Technology), NIRDESH (National institute of research and development in defence shipping) first of its kind in India, IISR (Indian institute of spices research), NIELIT(national institute of electronics and information technology). FDDI (footwear design and development institute) is upcoming. ZSI's (Zoological survey of India) western ghat centre is at Kozhikode.

There are also many state government undertaking institutes in the city. They are MBGIPS (Malabar botanical garden and institute for plants), CWRDM (Centre for Water Resources and Development and Management), IMHANS (Institute of mental health and Neurosciences), SIHM (State institute of hospitality management) and Kerala institute of mathematics.

The NITC was formerly known as Calicut Regional Engineering College (CREC). CREC was born in September 1961 as the ninth of its kind and the first one established during the Third Five Year Plan period. It become a Deemed University under the name National Institute of Technology Calicut in June 2002. NITC is located about 22 kilometres northeast of Kozhikode. It started management education also (School of management Studies) in the year 2009.

The University of Calicut the main university named after the city, is in Thenjipalam, about 24 kilometres (15 mi) south of Kozhikode. This university established in 1968 was the second university set up in Kerala. Most of the colleges offering tertiary education are affiliated with this university.[59]

The Calicut Medical College was established in 1957 as the second medical college in Kerala. Since then, the institution has grown into a premier centre of medical education in the state. Presently it is the largest medical institute in the state with a yearly intake of 250 candidates for the undergraduate programme.

Some of the other major institutes in Kozhikode are the Government Engineering College, Kozhikode, Malabar Christian College, Zamorin's Guruvayurappan College, St. Joseph's College, Devagiri, Farook College, Government Arts and Science College, Providence Women's College, Government Homeopathic Medical College, Government Law College, Kozhikode, Government College of Teacher Education, Kerala School of Mathematics, NIELIT Calicut, formerly known as DOEACC, CEDTI etc.

Research institutesEdit

There are a few research institutes located in or around the city. These include the Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR), the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), Western Ghats Field Research Station (Zoological Survey of India) and the Regional Filaria Training and Research Centre, a centre of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Centre for Mathematics.

Renowned personalitiesEdit

Many famous diplomats and politicians hails from this district. Among them are V.K. Krishna Menon, C. H. Muhammed Koya, K. Kelappan, K.P. Kesava Menon, P.P. Ummer Koya, Punathil Kunjabdulla.

Dr. Verghese Kurein was the person who played an outstanding role in the development of Amul. He was known as the 'Father of the white revolution' in India. He is also called as the ‘Milkman of India’. Dr. Varghese was the architect behind the success for the largest dairy development programme in the world, christened as ‘Operation Flood’.

P. T. Usha is one of the greatest athletes India has ever produced. She has won 101 international medals in her sparkling career. During the 1985 Asian Track and Field Meet at Indonesia, Usha also nicknamed as Payyoli Express secured 5 gold medals, in the 100, 200, and 400-metre sprints, 400m hurdles, 4 × 400 m relay and a bronze ine 4 × 100 m relay. This is the current World Record for the most gold medals earned by a female in a single track meet.


See alsoEdit


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External linksEdit

  Kozhikode travel guide from Wikivoyage