Kozhikode, also known as Calicut, is the third largest city (pop. 801,190:1991) in the southern state of Kerala, India and was a part of the erstwhile Malabar District. This city is famous as the place where Vasco da Gama landed in 1498. He landed in the remote beach of Kappad which is 18 km away from the city.The name of the fibre calico is derived from the name of this city.
Kozhikode district is situated on the south west coast of India. The district is bounded by the districts of Kannur in the north, Wayanad in the east and Malapuram in the south and by the Arabian sea in the west . It is situated between latitudes 11° 08'N and 11° 50'N and longitudes 75° 30'E and 76° 8'E.
Calicut is the anglicised form of ‘Kalikut’,Arabic for the Malayalam name Kozhikode. It is also called the Cock Fort. According to the historian, K.V.Krishnan Iyer, the term means Koyil (Palace) Kodu (fortified). Anyhow, it is a historical town with a hoary past. From time immemorial, the city attracted travellers, with its charming physical features and prosperity. Even today, the glory that Calicut had, has not faded. The political history of Kozhikode is a story of treacherous and ill-conceived conspiracies hatched by the Western powers. Vasco Da Gama landed at Kappad (18 kilometers north of Kozhikode) in May 1498, as the leader of a trade mission from Portugal and was received by the Zamorin himself.
The district has a generally humid climate with a very hot season extending from March to May. The most important 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 3266 mm. 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.
Hindus constitute the majority of the population and next come the Muslim and the Christian communities respectively. The Muslims of the district are known as Mappilas. A great majority of them are sunnis following the Shafi School of thought. They are noted for their piety. Though Christianity is believed to have been introduced in Kerala in 52 A.D. not much progress was made by the Christian of this district before the advent of the Portuguese towards the close of 15th century.
Kozhikode district occupies a prominent place in the history of Malayalam Journalism. The origin of the Journalism in this district can be traced back to 1880. The ‘Kerala Pathrika‘ is likely to be the earliest newspaper published from Kozhikode. ‘Keralam’, ‘Kerala Sanchari’ and ‘Bharath Vilasam’ are among the Other news papers published from Kozhikode before 1893. The two major Malayalam newspapers, the Malayala Manorama (http://www.malayalamanorama.com) and the Mathrubhoomi (http://www.mathrubhumi.com) bring out Kozhikkode editions while one of the major National dailies in English, the New Indian Express (http://www.indianexpress.com) also has its offices in the city. The Kozhikode station of All India Radio was commissioned on 14th May 1950 and it has two transmitters, Kozhikode A of 10 Kilowatt power and Kozhikode B (Vividh Bharathi) of 1 kilowatt power. A television transmitter has been functioning in Kozhikode from 3rd July 1984, relaying programmes from Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram Doordharsan. Besides Cable TV network and Satellite Television are also available in many parts of the District
Places of Interest
The temples and mosques of this district contain sculptures and inscriptions which are of considerable interest to the students of art. Kozhikode town itself has many temples, the most important of which are the Tali Temple, Thiruvannur Temple, Azhokodi Temple, Varakkal Temple, Bilathikulam Temple, Bhairagi Madam Temple. There is also a Brahmastanam Temple consecrated by Mata Amritanandamayi at Vellimadukunnu around seven kilometres to the east of City.
There is an art gallery and Krishna Menon Museum at East hill in Kozhikode City. Lalitha Kala Academy also has an art gallery adjacent to the Kozhikode townhall.There is a planetarium, situated in the heart of the city near Jaffer khan colony.
Thusharagiri, a very beautiful Waterfall is about 55 Km from Calicut Railway Station. Thusharagiri is served by a KTDC (Kerala Tourism Development Corporation) hotel.
Culture & Cuisine
In the field of Malayalam Language and literature kozhikode has made most significant contributions. The district is famous for folk songs or ballads known as Vadakkan Pattukal. The most popular songs among them are those which celebrate the exploits of Thacholi Meppayil Kunhu Othenan ‘The Robinhood of North Malabar’. One of the favourite past times of the Muslim of this district is the singing of the Mappilapattu and Oppana. The songs are composed in a composite language of Arabic and Malayalam. The famous intellectual debate for vedic scholars to win the coveted position of Pattathanam takes place at Thali temple during the month of Thulam.
Kozhikode also has strong associations with two things - ghazals and football. The game has a huge fan following here, and the Football World Cup is followed with even greater enthusiasm than the unofficial national sport of India - cricket. Local clubs even pick favourites among competing nations, and vociferously support their teams.
The city also has a strong mercantile streak to it, with the major vein of commerce being the "Mithai Theruvu", a long street crammed with shops that sell everything from sarees to cosmetics, and house hotels to sweetmeat shops. The multi cultural mix of Kozhikode ensures that Onam, Christmas and Id (the festivals of the Hindus,Christians and Muslims) are celebrated with equal pomp.
Kozhikode also offers fare for every palette. Vegetarian fare includes the 'sadya' (the full-fledged feast with rice, sambhar, and seven different curries and pappadum). However, the non-vegeterian food offered in the city is a unique mix of Muslim and Christian preparations. Some popular dishes include the Biriyani, Ghee Rice with meat curry, a whole host of sea-food preparations (prawns, mussels, mackerel, sea-fish) and paper thin Pathiris to provide accompaniment to spicy gravy. Another well know Kozhikode speciality are banana chips, which are made crisp and wafer thin, and the 'Kozhikode Halwa'.
- National Institute of Technology: One of the most renowned engineering instituions in India. It was formerly known as Regional Engineering College (REC) and was affiliated to University of Calicut. It is now a deemed university.
- Indian Institutes of Management: The latest in the IIM series, this institution was ranked in the top 10 B-schools in India.
- Calicut Medical College: One of the most prestigious medical institutions in India. The Institution recently made headlines by creating the Calicut Medical Journal, the premier Open Access Medical Journal in India.
- Zamorins Guruvayurappan College: One of the oldest and most prestigious colleges in the country, founded by Zamorins of Calicut.
- St. Joseph's College, Devagiri: A prestigious arts and science college, accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council with a grade A.
- Farook College ,Calicut:The only College in Calicut University to be recognised as a Center of Excellence by the UGC and accredited at 5 star level by NAAC
- History of Medical Education in Calicut
- National Institute of Technology, Calicut (http://www.nitc.ac.in)
- Calicut Medical College (http://cmcnetwork.netfirms.com)
- Sunny Markaz Calicut (http://www.markazonline.com/)
- Calicut Medical Journal (http://calicutmedicaljournal.org)
- IIM Kozhikode (http://www.iimk.ac.in)
- Zamorin's Guruvayurappan College, Calicut (http://www.zgcollege.org)
- St. Joseph's College, Devagiri (http://www.devagiricollege.org)
- A Portal with data on Malabar and Calicut (http://www.calicutnet.com)
- Government Engineering College Calicut (http://www.geckkd.ac.in)