Kozhikode district

Kozhikode or Calicut district, in the central part of the former Malabar district, is a district of Kerala state, on the southwest coast of India. The city of Kozhikode, also known as Calicut, is the district headquarters. The district is 38.25% urbanised.[4]

Kozhikode district

Calicut district
Chaliyam Harbour, Calicut.jpg
Ksrtc bus stand calicut.jpg
IIM Kozhikode Aerial View s.jpg
ലോകനാർകാവ് ഭഗവതി ക്ഷേത്രം 02.jpg
View point of Thamarassery Churam.jpg
Clockwise from the top:
Chaliyam harbour, Mananchira KSRTC bus stand complex,
Lokanarkavu Temple, Kozhikode beach,
IIM Kozhikode, Thamarassery Churam.
Kozhikode district
Location in Kerala
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
RegionNorth Malabar (Vadakara, Koyilandy, and Thamarassery Taluks), and South Malabar (Kozhikode Taluk)
 • CollectorSeeram Sambasiva Rao
 • District Panchayat PresidentBabu Parasserry CPI (M)[1]
 • Members of Parliament
 • Total2,344 km2 (905 sq mi)
Highest elevation2,339 m (7,674 ft)
 • Total3,249,761
 • Density1,386/km2 (3,590/sq mi)
 • OfficialMalayalam, English
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
ISO 3166 codeIN-KL
Vehicle registrationCalicut City-KL-11, Vatakara-KL-18, Koyilandy-KL-56, Koduvally-KL-57, Nanmanda-KL-76, Perambra-KL-77, Ramanattukara (Feroke)-KL-85
HDI (2005)Increase 0.781[3] ( High)

Kozhikode district is bordered by the districts of Kannur and Mahé (Puducherry) to the north, Wayanad to the east, and Malappuram to the south. The Arabian Sea lies to the west and Western Ghats stretches towards east. Vavul Mala, a 2,339 m high peak situated on the trijunction of Kozhikode, Malappuram, and Wayanad districts, is the highest point in the district. It lies between latitudes 11° 08'N and 11° 50'N and longitudes 75° 30'E and 76° 8'E.

The district is divided into four taluks: Kozhikode, Vatakara, Koyilandy and Thamarassery. By the 2011 census there are 12 block panchayats: Balusseri, Chelannur, Koduvally, Kozhikode, Kunnamangalam, Kunnummal, Melady, Panthalayani, Perambra, Thodannur, Thuneri and Vatakara.[5]


Uru, a type of ship built at Beypore, Calicut
India in early 1320 CE. Note that most of the parts of present-day state of Kerala was under the influence of the Zamorin of Kozhikode.

Following the formation of Kerala in 1956, the erstwhile Malabar District was divided into three: Kannur district, Kozhikode district, and Palakkad district.[6]

At that time, Kozhikode district had two Revenue Divisions: Kozhikode Revenue Division and Malappuram Revenue Division.[6] Kozhikode Revenue Division had four Taluks: Vatakara, Koyilandy, Kozhikode, and South Wayanad.[6] Malappuram Division had two Taluks: Eranad and Tirur.[6]

The path Vasco da Gama took to reach Kozhikode (black line) in 1498, which was also the discovery of a sea route from Europe to India, and eventually paved way for the European colonisation of Indian subcontinent.

On 16 June 1969, Malappuram Revenue Division of Kozhikode district excluding three Revenue villages, Feroke, Ramanattukara, and Kadalundi, was separated to form Malappuram district.[7]

Again on 1 November 1980, the South Wayanad Taluk of Kozhikode district was separated to form Wayanad district.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
% of Population Sex Ratio Literacy Rate (L.R.) L.R. Males L.R. Females
Hindus 56.2% 1049 94.5 97.3 91.9
Muslims 39.2% 1058 91.6 95.3 88.1
Christians 4.3% 1178 98.2 98.6 97.8
Jains 0.06 1003 97.7 99.3 96.1

(Details for 'Kozhikode Urban' retrieved from Census of India.[9])

According to the 2018 Statistics Report Kozhikode district has a population of 3,249,761,[2] roughly equal to the nation of Mongolia[10] or the US state of Iowa.[11] 2011 Census of India gives the district a ranking of 115th in India (out of a total of 640).[12] Among this the population of the Hindus increased to 17,34,958 (males: 8,37,824, females: 8,97,134) from the figure of 16,69,161 in the 2001 census. Muslim population grew rapidly to 12,11,131 (males: 5,64,489: females: 6,46,642) from the 2001 figure of 10,78,759 while the Christian population stood at 1,31,516 (males: 64,367 and females: 67,149). Its population a decade ago was 1,27,468. The district has a population density of 1,318 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,410/sq mi).[12] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 7.31%.[12] Kozhikode has a sex ratio of 1097 females for every 1000 males,[12] and a literacy rate of 95.24%.[12]

The centuries of trade across the Indian Ocean has given Kozhikode a cosmopolitan population.


Religion in Kozhikode (2011)[13]

  Hinduism (56.21%)
  Islam (39.24%)
  Christianity (4.26%)
  Other (0.29%)

According to the 2011 census, Hindus constitute the majority of the population, followed by the Muslims and the Christians. The proportion in the 2011 census was 56.21% Hindus; 39.24% Muslims and 4.26% Christians.[13]

There is a small presence of Jains (601), Sikhs (297), and Buddhists (235).[13]


The district has a generally humid climate with a very hot season extending from March to May. The rainy season is during the South West Monsoon, which sets in the first week of June and extends up to September. The North East Monsoon extends from the second half of October through November. The average annual rainfall is 3,266 millimetres or 129 inches. The best weather is found in towards the end of the year, in December and January – the skies are clear, and the air is crisp. The highest temperature recorded was 39.4 °C or 102.9 °F in March 1975. The lowest was 14 °C or 57.2 °F recorded on 26 December 1975.

Climate data for Kozhikode
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.6
Average low °C (°F) 22
Average rainfall mm (inches) 2.7
Source: [14]

Political divisionsEdit

Subdistricts (Taluks)Edit

Taluks in Kozhikode
Subdistrict Area
(in km2)
Vatakara 576 687,726 28
Koyilandy 642 645,879 31
Thamarassery 574 401,831 20
Kozhikode 547 1,354,107 39
Sources: 2011 Census of India,[15] Official website of Kozhikode district[16]

Parliament constituenciesEdit

Member of Kerala Legislative assemblyEdit

Local authorities in Kozhikode district

There are 13 legislative assembly seats in Kozhikode district. They are Balussery, Beypore, Elathur, Koduvally, Koyilandy, Kozhikode North, Kozhikode South, Kunnamangalam, Kuttiyadi, Nadapuram, Perambra, Thiruvambady and Vatakara.

Sl. No Constituency Member Party Alliance
1 Nadapuram E. K. Vijayan CPI   LDF
2 Koyilandy Kanathil Jameela CPI(M)   LDF
3 Perambra T. P. Ramakrishnan CPI(M)   LDF
4 Balussery K. M. Sachin Dev CPI(M)   LDF
5 Elathur A. K. Saseendran NCP   LDF
6 Kozhikode North Thottathil Ravindran CPI(M)   LDF
7 Kozhikode South Ahamed Devarkovil INL   LDF
8 Beypore P. A. Mohammed Riyas CPI(M)   LDF
9 Kunnamangalam P. T. A. Rahim LDF Ind.   LDF
10 Koduvally M. K. Muneer IUML   UDF
11 Thiruvambady Linto Joseph CPI(M)   LDF
12 Vatakara K. K. Rema RMPI   UDF
13 Kuttiady K. P. Kunhammadkutty Master CPI(M)   LDF
Kozhikode District in 1961


Kozhikode was the capital city of the erstwhile Malabar District

Kozhikode is one of the largest economic hubs in Kerala. Being home to about 8% of the state's population, the district contributes more than 12% to the state's income. Nedungadi Bank, the first and oldest bank in the modern state of Kerala, was established by Appu Nedungadi at Kozhikode in the year 1899.[17] Cyberpark at Kozhikode is one of IT hubs in Kerala. The economy of Kozhikode significantly depends upon its Service sector.


An old map of India in 1804. Note that only Thalassery, Kozhikode, and Kochi, are marked as cities within the present-day state of Kerala

Malayalam languageEdit

In the field of Malayalam language and literature, Kozhikode district 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. Kozhikode also has a strong associations with ghazals and football.

Malayalam LiteratureEdit

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, Punathil Kunjabdulla, U. A. Khader, Akbar Kakkattil, N. N. Kakkad, 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.[18]


In addition to the Malabar Mahotsavam, the annual cultural fest of Kozhikode,[19] 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.[20]

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.[21]

Apart, Hindi songs are more popular in this city. Mohammed Rafi Foundation, organises musical nights in the name "Rafi Nite" on birth (on 24 December) and death anniversary of legendary singer Mohammed Rafi. It is estimated that the gathering for this Rafi Nite is the largest gathering for the Rafi nite anywhere in India.[22]


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,Arab and American food culture and a new trend of vegetarianism is getting popular because of health concerns.

Kallummakkaya nirachathu or arikkadukka (mussels stuffed with rice)
Halwas are popular in S. M. Street, Kozhikode

The cuisine of Calicut depicts it culture and heritage. It is famous for Kozhikode Biryani. The city is also famous for Haluva called as Sweet Meat by Europeans due to the texture of the sweet. Kozhikode has a main road in the town named S. M. Street (Mittayi Theruvu). It derived this name from the numerous Halwa stores which used to dot the street. The history of this Street dates back to time of the Zamorin of Calicut, when the ruler invited Gujarati sweetmeat makers to set up shop in the city and accommodated their shops just outside the palace walls.[23] Another speciality is banana chips, which are made crisp and wafer-thin. Other popular dishes include seafood preparations (prawns, mussels, mackerel) . Vegetarian fare includes the sadya. The cuisine of Calicut is a blend of traditional Kerala, Persian, Yemenese and Arab food culture.[24] This confluence of culinary cultures is best seen in the preparation of most dishes.[24] Kallummakkaya (mussels) curry, irachi puttu (irachi meaning meat), parottas (soft flatbread),[24] Pathiri (a type of rice pancake)[24] and ghee rice are some of the other specialties. The characteristic use of spices is the hallmark of the cuisine of city — black pepper, cardamom and clove are used profusely. The Malabar version of biryani, popularly known as kuzhi mandi in Malayalam is another popular item, which has an influence from Yemen. Varieties of biriyanis like Kozhikode biriyani are available in the city.[25] There is a considerable difference between Kozhikode Biryani and the Biryani in Thalassery cuisine.[26] The ingredients like Tomato and Coriander powder are used in Kozhikode Biryani which are not seen in the Thalassery cuisine.[26] More ingredients are included in Kozhikode Biryani while compared to its counterpart in Thalassery cuisine.[26] The snacks include unnakkaya (deep-fried, boiled ripe banana paste covering a mixture of cashew, raisins and sugar),[27] pazham nirachathu (ripe banana filled with coconut grating, molasses or sugar),[27] muttamala made of eggs,[24] chatti pathiri, a dessert made of flour, like a baked, layered chapati with rich filling, arikkadukka,[28] and more.[24]


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 I. V. Sasi and T. Damodaran. Kozhikode produced such notable actors as Ummer, Mammukoya, Balan K. Nair, Santha Devi and Kuthiravattam Pappu. The ever green musician Baburaj, Gireesh Puthenchery, arguably one of the best lyricists[original research?] in the Malayalam film industry, director, script writer and actor Ranjith, V. M. Vinu, A. Vincent, Shajoon Kariyal, Anjali Menon and cinematographer P. S. Nivas also hail from Kozhikode. Some of the other cine actors like Neeraj Madhav, Madhupal, Anoop Menon, Nellikode Bhaskaran, Augustine and Vijayan Malaparamba are from Kozhikode.

The 1947 Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Hollywood thriller, Sinbad 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.[29]


Kozhikode is known as the second Mecca of football (after Kolkata).[30] The other most popular games in Kozhikode are cricket,[31] 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.[32] Since 2010, Calicut Mini Marathon runs have been organised by IIM Kozhikode and witness participation of around 7000 people every year.

Print MediaEdit

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, The Times Of India, 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.[33]



Flights Parked at Calicut Airport

Kozhikode is served by Calicut International Airport (IATA: CCJ, ICAO: VOCL) located at Karipur in Malappuram District, about 28 kilometres (17 miles) from Kozhikode city. The airport started operation in April 1988. It has two terminals, one for domestic flights and second for international flights.[34]


Kozhikode is well connected by road. NH 66 and NH 766 connects Calicut to rest of India.[35][36] It has bus services to all parts of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and to important cities like Hyderabad and Mumbai.[citation needed]

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "District Panchayath Kozhikode". kozhikodejillapanchayath.in. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b Annual Vital Statistics Report - 2018 (PDF). Thiruvananthapuram: Department of Economics and Statistics, Government of Kerala. 2020. p. 55.
  3. ^ "Kerala | UNDP in India". UNDP.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 January 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Reports of National Panchayat Directory: Block Panchayats of Kozhikode, Kerala". Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India. Archived from the original on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d Devassy, M. K. (1965). District Census Handbook (2) - Kozhikode (1961) (PDF). Ernakulam: Government of Kerala.
  7. ^ K. Narayanan (1972). District Census Handbook - Malappuram (Part-C) - 1971 (PDF). Thiruvananthapuram: Directorate of Census Operations, Kerala. p. 3.
  8. ^ "Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901". Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 January 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 1 October 2011. Mongolia 3,133,318 July 2011 est.
  11. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2011. Iowa 3,046,355
  12. ^ a b c d e "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  13. ^ a b c "Religion – Kerala, Districts and Sub-districts". Census of India 2011. Office of the Registrar General.
  14. ^ "Kozhikode weather". India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  15. ^ "Taluk-wise demography of Kozhikode" (PDF). censusindia.gov.in. Directorate of Census Operations, Kerala. pp. 161–193. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Villages in Kozhikode". kozhikode.nic.in. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  17. ^ Chandran 2018, p. 386.
  18. ^ Krishnadas Rajagopal (10 December 2013). "A library in its last chapter". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  19. ^ "Malabar Mahotsavam set for a comeback". The Hindu. 1 January 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Paying tribute to Sathguru Sri Tyagaraja". Tyagaraja Aradhana Trust. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  21. ^ Ramin Raveendran (20 October 2013). "Keeping the harmonium close to his heart". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  22. ^ "Rafi Ki Yaden By Mohammed Rafi Foundation @ Kozhikode Beach :: Thiraseela.com :: Upcoming Performing Events". Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  23. ^ "Story of the streets". The Hindu.
  24. ^ a b c d e f Sabhnani, Dhara Vora (14 June 2019). "Straight from the Malabar Coast". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  25. ^ Shamsul (7 May 2016). "Calicut Biryani Recipe I Kozhikodan Biriyani Recipe". CookAwesome. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  26. ^ a b c George, Anjana (25 July 2018). "What is the real Malabar biriyani?". The Times of India.
  27. ^ a b Kurian, Shijo (2 July 2014). "Flavours unlimited from the Malabar coast". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  28. ^ "Arikkadukka - Spicy Stuffed Mussels". Faces Places and Plates. 30 June 2020. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  29. ^ "PVS film city". Pvsfilmcity.in. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  30. ^ "football in Calicut".
  31. ^ "Games in Kerala". Information and Public relations office of Kerala. Archived from the original on 28 April 2006. Retrieved 12 June 2006. Football and Cricket – the Most Popular Games
  32. ^ "SEPT Calicut".
  33. ^ "Calicut press club". Archived from the original on 23 June 2003.
  34. ^ "Silver jubilee does not bring cheer to Karipur airport users | Kozhikode News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  35. ^ https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-analysis/national-highway-766
  36. ^ https://www.aspireias.com/daily-news-analysis-current-affairs/NH-66-to-be-redeveloped-as-an-economic-corridor
  • Chandran, VP (2018). Mathrubhumi Yearbook Plus - 2019 (Malayalam Edition). Kozhikode: P. V. Chandran, Managing Editor, Mathrubhumi Printing & Publishing Company Limited, Kozhikode.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit