Malappuram district

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Malappuram (/mələppurəm/ (About this soundlisten)), located in the southern part of former Malabar district, is a revenue district of the Indian state of Kerala. The city of Malappuram, the district headquarters, gives the district its name.

Malappuram district

Malapuram district
Malappuram Kottakkunnu.jpg
Copy of Ezhuthachan's Adhyathma ramayanam Kilippattu.jpg
Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala OP Block.jpg
കരിപ്പുര്‍ വിമാനത്താവളം.jpg
Oppana @VAST.jpg
The Mecca of Kerala football[1][2][3]
Location of Malappuram district in Kerala
Location of Malappuram district in Kerala
Coordinates: 11°N 76°E / 11°N 76°E / 11; 76Coordinates: 11°N 76°E / 11°N 76°E / 11; 76
Country India
District formation16 June 1969; 50 years ago (1969-06-16)
 • District collectorJaffer Malik, IAS[4]
 • District Panchayath PresidentA. P. Unnikrishnan (IUML)[5]
 • Members of Lok Sabha
 • Niyamasabha constituencies16
 • Total3,550 km2 (1,370 sq mi)
 • Total4,112,920
 • Rank1
 • Density1,200/km2 (3,000/sq mi)
 • OfficialMalayalam
 • Additional officialEnglish
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
ISO 3166 codeIN-KL(KL-10, KL-53, KL-54, KL-55, KL-65, KL-71, KL-84)
Vehicle registrationMalappuram: KL-10,
Perinthalmanna: KL-53,
Ponnani: KL-54,
Tirur: KL-55,
Tirurangadi: KL-65,
Nilambur: KL-71,
Kondotty: KL-84
Sex ratio1096 /

It is the most populous district in Kerala, which is home to about 12.3% of the total population of the state.[6] The district was formed on 16 June 1969 spanning an area of about 3,550 km2 (1,371 sq mi). Today it is the third-largest district in Kerala in terms of area.

Malappuram district was carved out by combining some portions of the former Palakkad and Kozhikode districts- Eranad taluk and portions of Tirur taluk in the former Kozhikode district, and portions of Perinthalmanna taluk and Ponnani taluk in the former Palakkad district (before 1969).


The term, Malappuram, which means "terraced place atop the hills", is derived from the geography of Malappuram city, the district headquarters.


Before the district's formation, the region was known as Eranad, Valluvanad, Vettathunad etc.

Ancient and Medieval eraEdit

The district has a rich cultural and political heritage. The port of Ponnani (known as Tyndis in the ancient period) was a centre of trade with Ancient Rome. During Sangam period, the region was included in the Kudanadu, a province in the Ancient Tamilakam. After the Chera Dynasty, a number of dynasties controlled the area, and by the ninth century the region was ruled by the Kulasekharas of Mahodayapuram. After the disintegration of the Kulasekhara kingdom a number of Nair city-states emerged, including Valluvanad, Vettattunadu (Tanur), Parappanad and Nediyiruppu (ruled by the Zamorins). During the 13th century, the Samoothiri of Calicut expanded their territories to Malabar. Thirunavaya, the seat of Mamankam, is located at the present-day Tirur Taluk in Malappuram district.

A number of medieval Malayalam poets hailed from Malappuram, including Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri who composed the Narayaneeyam in Sanskrit, Poonthanam Nambudiri and Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan. Among them, Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan is known as the father of modern Malayalam language. Today the district includes Tirunavaya, the classic medieval centre of Vedic learning and Kottakkal, home of Ayurveda medicine.

The Thunchan Smarakam in Tirur, in memory of Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan, who is known as the father of modern Malayalam language

In the field of astronomy and mathematics also, Malappuram has dedicated its talented persons during the medieval period. The ancient Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics though mainly centered in Thrissur also had Namboodiri and Nair scholars coming from Malappuram. The Parameshvara, the Nilakantha Somayaji, the Jyeṣṭhadeva, the Achyutha Pisharadi, and the Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri, who were the main members of the Kerala School of Astronomy and Mathematics hailed from Tirur area in the district.

Colonial eraEdit

European colonial powers first landed in Malabar during the 15th century, and the Samoothiris often allied with foreign powers. During the 18th century, the de facto Mysore kingdom rulers Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan marched into the Samoothiris’ districts.

This district was the venue for many of the Mappila revolts (uprisings against the British East India Company in Kerala) between 1792 and 1921. Malappuram has been part of movements such as Khilafat Movement and Malabar Rebellion in the early 20th century. Before Indian independence in 1947, Malappuram was part of Malabar District in the Madras Presidency of British India. The present district was administered as parts of Kozhikode taluk, Eranad taluk, Valluvanad Taluk and Ponnani taluk.

South Malabar during the Malabar rebellion in 1921 (today a major part lies in the Malappuram district)
Ali Musliyar, one of the chief Mappila rebels

After IndependenceEdit

The Malabar District remained as a part of Madras state for a few years after independence, but on 1 November 1956 it merged with Travancore-Cochin to form the state of Kerala. The newly merged Malabar District was divided into Kannur, Kozhikode and Palakkad in 1957 soon after the formation of Kerala. Large-scale changes in the territorial jurisdiction of the region took place in between 1957 and 1969. On 1 January 1957, Tirur taluk was formed by adjoining the major portions of Eranad taluk and Ponnani taluk. Another portion of Ponnani taluk was transferred to the new Chavakkad taluk in Thrissur district, and the remainder is present-day Ponnani taluk. Perinthalmanna taluk was formed from the former Valluvanad Taluk. Of these, Eranad Taluk and Tirur remained in Kozhikode District and Perinthalmanna Taluk and Ponnani taluk remained in Palakkad District. The new district of Malappuram was formed with four taluks (Eranad, Perinthalmanna, Tirur, and Ponnani), four towns, fourteen developmental blocks and 100 panchayats. Later, three more taluks, Tirurangadi, Nilambur and Kondotty were formed from Tirur Taluk and Eranad taluk.

In the early years of Communist rule in Kerala, Malappuram experienced land reform under the Land Reform Ordinance. During the 1970s Persian Gulf oil reserves were opened to commercial extraction and thousands of unskilled workers migrated to the Gulf. They sent money home, supporting the rural economy, and by the late 20th century the region had First World health standards and near-universal literacy.[7]


The Cherumb eco-tourism village in Karuvarakundu
The Biyyam Kayal in Ponnani

Bounded by the Nilgiri hills on the east, the Arabian Sea on the west, the Wayanad and Kozhikode districts on the north, and the Palakkad and Thrissur districts on the south, Malappuram district possesses a total geographical area of 3,550, which ranks third in the state in terms of area. The district is located at 75°E - 77°E longitude and 10°N - 12°N latitude in the geographical map. Similar to the other parts of Kerala, the Malappuram district also have a coastal area (lowland) bounded by the Arabian Sea at the west, a midland at the centre, and a hilly area (highland),bounded by the Western Ghats at the east.

Eranad and Perinthalmanna Talukas are located in the midland. The vast Nilambur Taluk covers the whole hilly area (highland) where the population is less, but the land area (including a lot of forest area) is more.

Coastal regionEdit

Ponnani, Tirur, and Tirurangadi talukas are situated in the most populous coastal region. Malappuram ranks fourth in the length of coastlines among the districts of Kerala having a coastline of 70 km (11.87% of the total coastline of Kerala).[8]Ponnani, Tanur, and Parappanangadi, which lies in the southwest part of the district, are the major coastal cities of the district.


Malappuram's temperature is almost steady throughout the year. It has a tropical climate. Malappuram has significant rainfall most months, with a short dry season. According to Köppen and Geiger, this climate is classified as Am. The average annual temperature in Malappuram is 27.3 °C. In a year, the average rainfall is 2,952 millimetres (116.2 in). Summer usually runs from March until May; the monsoon begins by June and ends by September. Malappuram receives both southwest and northeast monsoons. Winter is from December to February.[9]

Climate data for Malappuram
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 32.0
Average low °C (°F) 21.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 1
Source: [10]


The Kuttippuram bridge in Kuttippuram over Bharathappuzha

Four important rivers of Kerala flow through the district: The Chaliyar, the Kadalundi River, the Bharathappuzha and the Tirur River. Chaliyar traverses through Nilambur, Mampad, Edavanna, Areekode, Vazhakkad and flows into the sea at Beypore in Kozhikode district. Kadalundi River passes through places like Melattur, Pandikkad, Malappuram, Panakkad, Parappur, Kooriyad, and Tirurangadi. Bharathappuzha flows through Thootha, Elamkulam, Pulamanthole and joins the main river at Pallippuram. After a course in Palakkad and Thrissur districts, the Bharathappuzha again enters Malappuram district at Thiruvegappura and from Kuttippuram onwards, the river belongs entirely to Malappuram. Tirur River is 48 km long, originates from Athavanad hills in Tirur Taluk, flows in a south-west course up to Tirunavaya, deviates to encircle Tirur town and flows south-west parallel to the sea until it joins the Bharathappuzha near Ponnani port.[11]

Flora and faunaEdit

The Nilambur forests from the banks of Chaliyar

Malappuram district contains abundant wildlife and a number of small hills, forests, rivers and streams flowing to the west, backwaters and paddy, arecanut, cashew nut, pepper, ginger, pulses, coconut, banana, tapioca, and rubber plantations. The northeast part of the district has a vast forest area of 758.87 sq km. In this, 325.33 sq km is reserved forests and the rest is vested forests. Of these, 80% is deciduous whereas the rest is evergreen. The forest area is mainly concentrated in the Nilambur Taluk, which shares its boundary with the hilly district of Wayanad, Western Ghats and the hilly areas (Nilgiris) of Tamil Nadu. The trees like Teak, Rosewood, and Mahogany can abundantly be seen in this Nilambur forest area. Bamboo hills can be seen anywhere in the forest. A variety of animals, birds, and reptiles are found in the forests. Forest produces like honey, medicinal herbs, and spices are also collected from here. The forests are protected by two divisions- Nilambur north and Nilambur south. About 50 Acre of Mangroves forest is found in Vallikunnu, located in the coastal area of the district.[12]


YearPop.±% p.a.

In the 2011 census the district had a population of 4,112,920.[14]

General featuresEdit

Malappuram is the most populous district in Kerala. It is also the 48th most populous of India's 640 districts, with a population density of 1,158 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,000/sq mi). Its population-growth rate from 2001 to 2011 was 13.39 percent. Malappuram has a sex ratio of 1096 women to 1000 men, and its literacy rate is 93.55 percent.

As of 2011 Indian Census Malappuram had the highest number of child marriages in Kerala.[15]


Religions in Malappuram District[14]
Religion Percent
Distribution of religions
Source: 2011 Census.

Malappuram is the only Muslim-majority districts in South India. The Mappilas are the most prominent group among the people of Malappuram.The Hindu temples and Mappila mosques of the region are known for their colorful festivals. Religions practised in the district include Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, and other minor religions.[16]


Malayalam is the district's principal language. Minority Dravidian languages are Allar (350 speakers)[17] and Aranadan, kept alive by the low education level of its 200 speakers.[18] Tamil is also been spoke by a very small number of people.

Administration of MalappuramEdit

Malappuram District has four types of administrative hierarchies:

  • Revenue Division - Taluk - Village administration managed by the state government of Kerala
  • Local body (Gram Panchayat/Block Panchayat/District Panchayat/Municipality) Administration managed by the local bodies
  • Parliament Constituencies for the Parliament of India
  • Assembly Constituencies for the Kerala Niyamasabha

Malappuram Revenue district is divided into 2 revenue divisions, Tirur and Perinthalmanna. In these two divisions there are 138 villages included in 7 talukas. For the sake of rural administaration, 94 Gram Panchayats are comprised in 15 Block Panchayats, which together form the Malappuram District Panchayat. Besides this in order to perform urban administration better, 12 municipal towns are there. For the representation of Malappuram in Kerala Niyamasabha, there are 16 Niyamasabha constituencies in the district. These 16 are included in 3 Lok Sabha constituencies.[19]

Taluks and VillagesEdit

Malappuram district is divided into 138 villages which together form 7 taluks.[20] Taluk Villages
1 Eranad 23
2 Nilambur 21
3 Perinthalmanna 24
4 Tirur 30
5 Tirurangadi 17
6 Kondotty 12
7 Ponnani 11

Villages in Eranad Taluk (23)Edit

Malappuram, Panakkad, Melmuri, Payyanad, Elankur, Karakunnu, Trikkalangode, Kavanoor, Areekode, Vettilappara, Urangattiri, Kizhuparamba, Pulpatta, Narukara, Perakamanna, Pookkottur, Vettikattiri, Pandikkad, Chembrasseri, Anakkayam, Panthalloor, Edavanna, and Manjeri.[21]

Villages in Nilambur Taluk (21)Edit

Vazhikkadavu, Nilambur, Edakkara, Pullipadam, Karulai, Chungathara, Thiruvali, Karuvarakundu, Amarambalam, Mampad, Kurumbalangode, Akampadam, Tuvvur, Porur, Vellayur, Kalikavu, Kerala Estate, Pothukal, Moothedam, Wandoor, and Chokkad.[21]

Villages in Perinthalmanna Taluk (24)Edit

Nenmini, Angadippuram, Valambur, Vadakkangara, Moorkkanad, Aliparamba, Puzhakkattiri, Kuruva, Thazhekkod, Koottilangadi, Pathaikara, Edappatta, Mankada, Perinthalmanna, Kuruvambalam, Kodur, Elamkulam, Keezhattur, Melattur, Vettathur, Karyavattam, Arakkuparamba, Anamangad, and Pulamanthole.[21]

Villages in Tirur Taluk (30)Edit

Tirur, Thalakkad, Triprangode, Mangalam, Vettom, Purathur, Thirunavaya, Ananthavoor, Thrikkandiyur, Tanalur, Tanur, Ozhur, Ponmundam, Cheriyamundam, Valavannur, Kalpakancheri, Perumanna, Niramaruthur, Pariyapuram, Kottakkal, Ponmala, Athavanad, Kattiparuthi, Edayur, Irimbiliyam, Melmuri, Kurumbathur, Marakkara, Kuttippuram, and Naduvattom.[21]

Villages in Tirurangadi Taluk (17)Edit

Parappur, Abdu Rahiman Nagar, Thenhipalam, Peruvallur, Oorakam, Nannambra, Vengara, Kannamangalam, Othukkungal, Vallikunnu, Moonniyur, Ariyallur, Tirurangadi, Neduva, Parappanangadi, Thennala, and Edarikode.[21]

Villages in Kondotty Taluk (12)Edit

Cheekkode, Cherukavu, Chelembra, Kondotty, Kuzhimanna, Morayur, Muthuvallur, Nediyiruppu, Pulikkal, Vazhakkad, Pallikkal, and Vazhayoor.[21]

Villages in Ponnani Taluk (11)Edit

Ponnani Nagaram, Maranchery, Nannamukku, Alamkode, Vattamkulam, Edappal, Perumpadappa, Thavanur, Ezhuvathiruthy, Veliyankode, and Kalady.[21]

Kerala Niyamasabha constituenciesEdit

Before the 2008 delimitation, the district had 12 assembly constituencies. As a result of delimitation, one among them, Kuttippuram assembly constituency defuncted and five new constituencies came into existence- Eranad, Vengara, Vallikunnu, Kottakkal, and Thavanur. Now the district has the highest number of assembly constituencies in the state - 16.[22] Among these, 12 seats are bagged by the UDF and 4 are bagged by the LDF since 2016 Kerala Legislative Assembly election.[23]

Niyamasabha constituencies in Malappuram district


 IUML    CPI (M)    INC    Independent Constituency Reserved for
Local segments Member of the
14th Niyamasabha
Party Alliance
33 Kondotty None T. V. Ibrahim IUML   UDF
34 Eranad None P. K. Basheer IUML   UDF
35 Nilambur None P. V. Anvar Independent   LDF
36 Wandoor SC A. P. Anil Kumar INC   UDF
37 Manjeri None M. Ummer IUML   UDF
38 Perinthalmanna None Manjalamkuzhi Ali IUML   UDF
39 Mankada None T. A. Ahmed Kabir IUML   UDF
40 Malappuram None P. Ubaidulla IUML   UDF
41 Vengara None K. N. A. Khader IUML   UDF
42 Vallikunnu None P. Abdul Hameed IUML   UDF
43 Tirurangadi None P. K. Abdu Rabb IUML   UDF
44 Tanur None V. Abdurahiman Independent   LDF
45 Tirur None C. Mammutty IUML   UDF
46 Kottakkal None K. K. Abid Hussain Thangal IUML   UDF
47 Thavanur None K.T. Jaleel Independent   LDF
48 Ponnani None P. Sreeramakrishnan CPI(M)   LDF

Lok Sabha ConstituenciesEdit

Eranad, Nilambur and Wandoor Niyamasabha constituencies are included in the Wayanad (Lok Sabha constituency) whereas Tirurangadi, Tanur, Tirur, Kottakkal, Thavanur and Ponnani form a major part of Ponnani (Lok Sabha constituency). The remaining seven assembly constituencies together form the Malappuram (Lok Sabha constituency).


 IUML    INC Constituency Reserved for
Member of the
17th Lok Sabha
Party Alliance
4 Wayanad (minor portion) None Rahul Gandhi INC   UDF
6 Malappuram None P. K. Kunhalikutty IUML   UDF
7 Ponnani (major portion) None E. T. Mohammed Basheer IUML   UDF


Malappuram has the highest number of emigrants in the state. According to the 2016 economic review report published by the Government of Kerala, every 54 per 100 households in the district is emigrants.[24] Most of them work in the Middle East. They are the major contributors to the district economy. They also contribute much to the state economy.

About 1,000 people are aided annually under a self-employment program. There are KINFRA food-processing and IT industrial estates in Kakkancherry,[25] Inkel SME Park at Panakkad for Small and Medium Industries and a rubber plant and industrial estate in Payyanad. MALCOSPIN, The Malappuram Spinning Mills Limited is one of the oldest industrial establishments in the district under state Government. Wood-related industries are common in Kottakkal, Edavanna, Vaniyambalam, Karulai, Nilambur and Mampad. Sawmills, furniture manufacturers and the timber trade are the most important businesses in the district. Employees' State Insurance has its branch office at Malappuram. Wood-related industries are in Kottakkal, Edavanna, Vaniyambalam, Karulai, Nilambur and Mampad. Sawmills, furniture manufacturers and the timber trade are the most important businesses in the district. Employees' State Insurance has a branch office in Malappuram.



The Chamravattom Regulator-cum-Bridge which connects the city of Tirur with the coastal city of Ponnani.
Flights Parked at Calicut Airport

Malappuram is served by Calicut International Airport (IATA: CCJ, ICAO: VOCL) located at Karipur in the Malappuram district. The airport started operation in April 1988. It has two terminals, one for domestic flights and second for international flights.[26] There are direct buses to the airport for transportation. Other than buses, Taxis, Auto Rickshaws available for transportation.

The Bus stand in Tirur


The Malappuram City is served by Angadipuram railway station (17 km away), Parappanangadi Railway Station and Tirur Railway Station both (26 km, 40 minute drive away). Other railway stations are Kuttippuram and Tanur. However Ministry of railways have included the railway line connecting Kozhikode-Malappuram-Angadipuram in its Vision 2020 as socially desirable railway line. Multiple surveys have been done on the line already. Indian Railway computerised reservation counter is available at Friends Janasevana Kendram, Down Hill. Reservation for any train can be done from here.

Distance through roadEdit

Distances from major places to Malappuram in kilometres are given below:

City/Town Distance (km) City/Town Distance (km) City/Town Distance (km) City/Town Distance (km) City/Town Distance (km)
Kochi 161 Kollam 295 Guruvayur 75 Kottayam 224 Kozhikode 50
Nedumbassery Airport 147 Palakkad 89 Thrissur 92 Thiruvananthapuram 360 Ooty 140
Bangalore 355 Coimbatore 138 Kanyakumari 458 Kodaikanal 239 Alappuzha 218
Mangalore 254 Mysore 203 Chennai 627 Salem 301 Kannur 141

Major citiesEdit

Malappuram has the second highest number of municipalities in the state (12) followed by the Ernakulam which has 13.

List of municipal towns/cities in Malappuram district
No. Municipal town Taluk Wards Images No. Municipal town Taluk Wards Images
1 Ponnani Ponnani 51   7 Tirurangadi Tirurangadi 39  
2 Manjeri Eranad 50   8 Tirur Tirur 38  
3 Parappanangadi Tirurangadi 45   9 Perinthalmanna Perinthalmanna 34  
4 Tanur Tirur 44   10 Nilambur Nilambur 33  
5 Malappuram Eranad 40   11 Valanchery Tirur 33  
6 Kondotty Kondotty 40   12 Kottakkal Tirur 32  

Educational institutionsEdit

Law Department in AMU Malappuram Campus

Malappuram district plays a significant role in the higher education sector of Kerala. The district is home to two of the main universities in the state- the University of Calicut centered at the Thenjipalam which was established in 1968 as the first university in the Malabar region and the second university in Kerala,[29] and the Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University centered at Tirur which was established in the year 2012.[30] One of the three off-campus centres of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is situated near Perinthalmanna in the district, which was established by AMU in 2010.[31][32] The Government Medical College, Manjeri, established in 2013, is the apex medical college in the district.[33] The Govt Ayurveda Research Institute for Mental Disease at Pottippara near Kottakkal is the only one Ayurveda mental hospital in Kerala.

Notable people from MalappuramEdit


E. M. S. Namboodiripad, the first Chief Minister of Kerala.
Syed Muhammedali Shihab Thangal on 2010 stamp of India


Demand for bifurcation of MalappuramEdit

For a few years, the demand for bifurcating the district into two districts by carving out a new one called Tirur district, centered at Tirur is being strengthened.[72] They argued that it is imperative from the development perspective to split the district, with double the population and size of Alappuzha district, into two. No other district in Kerala has seven talukas, 94 village panchayats, and 12 municipalities. As for its extent, if one travels from Perumbadappu which borders Thrissur district to Vazhikkadavu bordering Tamil Nadu, normally it takes four hours to cover that distance of 126 km. They also point out that the problems in the health and educational sectors that require solutions are not trivial. The issue was raised again by the IUML MLA KNA Khader in 2019.[72] The demand was to bifurcate the existing Malappuram district into two districts by carving out a new one called Tirur district from it[72] Many including Veteran Congress leader Aryadan Muhammad,IUML district secretary UA Latheef,CPI(M) had come out strongly against the bifurcation of Malapuram.[73][74]

However, the demand was rejected by the two successive governments who ruled Kerala in 2013 and in 2019.[73][74] But, the studies regarding bifurcation of the district is still there in the consideration of the Government of Kerala.


Photo galleryEdit

See alsoEdit


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  20. ^ "Talukas in Malappuram district". Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g "Villages in Malappuram". Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  22. ^ "Niyamasabha constituencies of Malappuram". Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  23. ^ Naha, Abdul Latheef (19 May 2016). "UDF wins 12 out of 16 seats in Malappuram district, 4 seats for LDF, The Hindu". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
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  30. ^ "The world's only Malayalam University".
  31. ^ "Aligarh Muslim University Malappuram Off-centre".
  32. ^ "Universities in Malappuram district".
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