The busy coastal city of Kozhikode, located to the north of Kerala and 225 kms from Kochi holds an important postion in the legend and history of Kerala.
The place is historically famous as the Portuguese led by Vasco da Gama first landed in India, at Kappad near Kozhikode in 1498 AD. He was the first European to reach India via the sea route, around the southern cape of Africa. Later the Dutch, French and British came to its shores.
Thus, began a period of conflict of foreign powers for domination of trade in Malabar. Kozhikode (Calicut) was the capital of the powerful Zamorins. This age-old town still maintains its commercial traditions.
Attractions of Kozhikode, Kerala :
Pookot Lake :
With its own dream-like serenity, this natural fresh water lake surrounded by meadows and trees on all sides is a haven for peace-loving travellers. It is located half way from Calicut half an hour ahead of Kalpetta.
Ettumanoor Temple :
Famous for its legendary 16th century Shiva Temple, Ettumanoor is a Hindu pilgrimage. The Shiva temple is a specimen of Kerala's indigenous style of temple architecture, incorporating clear-cut wood carvings and murals, including an exceptionally striking one of Shiva as Nataraja, where he trampled underfoot the evil spirit represented by a demon. Every year in February and March, a 10 - day long festival is held at the temple.
Krishnan Menon Museum :
The Krishna Menon Museum has a section in honour of the great Indian leader V.K. Krishna Menon, whose personal belongings and souvenirs gifted by world leaders are exhibited here.
Malabar Mahotsavam :
Malabar Mahotsavam is a cultural extravaganza that showcases the centuries old rich cultural heritage of Kerala. The event is at Mananchira maidan (ground) in the heart of Kozhikode town from 13th to 16th January every year.
Pazhassi Raja Museum :
Located at East Hill, the Pazhassiraja Museum, run by the State Archaeological Department, displays ancient murals, antique bronzes and old coins, as well as models of temples, megalithic monuments like dolminoid cysts and umbrella stones.
Thusharagiri Waterfalls :
Snuggled cosily in the Western Ghats, are the gurgling waterfalls of Thusharagiri. Meaning the snow capped mountains; Thushargiri exhibits a unique kinship between the land and water.
Thali Temple :
Thali temple, located downtown is an important temple of the erstwhile Zamorin Kingdom of Kozhikode. The temple is famous for the 'Revathi Pattathanam', an annual competition of pedagogic skills.
Dolphin's Point :
Just 15 minutes from the city centre is a place called Dolphin's Point, where one can see dolphins playing in the sea of an early morning. The long tree-lined beach, about 2 km away, is popular with the local people because of the Lions Club Park, the lighthouse, and two piers - and of course, the opportunity to soak in the evening breeze.
Six kms away is Kallai, once the bustling nerve-centre of Kozhikode's timber trade, said to have been the largest such trading centre in Asia. Today, though some business does take place, hard times have fallen on the timber trade and Kallai is just a shadow of its busy past.
Lokanarkavu Festival : Mandala Utsavam is the forty-one day annual festival at the Lokanarkavu Bhagavathy Temple near Vadakara in Kozhikode. This is the only temple where a peculiar folk dance called Thacholikali is presented.
Mananchira is the heart of the city and sites important institutions like the Town Hall and the Public Library. One of Kozhikode's oldest institutions, the Commonwealth Trust's office is located here. The large pond and park are well-known landmarks.
Thikkoti Lighthouse :
The lighthouse, which overlooks Velliyamkallu - the rock much dreaded by mariners - off Moodadi coast, was built after a shipwreck, the remains of which can still be seen here. The region around the Velliyamkallu rock is the transit home of migratory birds.
Excursions from Calicut (Kozhikode) :
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (15Km.) :
Established in 1973, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipore of Karnataka and Mudumalai of Tamilnadu.
Beypore Beach (11Km.) :
Beypore 11 km from Kozhikode, is a small coastal town famous for centuries as a ship-building centre and still is known today for its country crafts called `Uru' built by traditional shipbuilders known as `khalasis'.
Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary (19Km.) :
Kalalundi bird sanctuary, 19 kms from Kozhikode is home to more than a hundred varieties of native birds and over 60 species of migratory birds flock here in large numbers.
Kappad Beach (16Km.) :
Kappad, the historic beach. It is the beach where Vasco da Gama landed on the 27th of May, 1498 with 170 men in three vessels, thus discovering a sea route to India.
Lakkidi, the gateway of Wayanad, is situated 700 m above mean sea level, at the crest of the Thamaraserri ghat pass. Lofty peaks, gurgling streams and luxuriant forests add magic to the journey up the winding roads to this hill station.
Lokanarkavu Temple :
The Lokanarkavu Bhagavathi Temple is a temple frequently alluded to in the Northern Ballads or the Vadakkanpattu of Kerala. The main deity is Goddess Durga, with two adjacent shrines dedicated to Vishnu and Siva. more..
The tomb of Veera Pazhassi Raja, known as the Lion of Kerala has been erected here as a memorial to this valiant leader, who committed suicide to avoid capture, by the British. more..
Peruvannamuzhi Dam (60Km.) :
60 kms from Kozhikode, it is picturesque dam with a crocodile farm, bird sanctuary and boating facilities. The dam is a famous picnic spot.
How To Get There - Kozhikode (Calicut) :
By Air :
Kozhikode (Calicut) has an airport at Karipur.
By Rail :
Kozhikode is served by a handful of costal expresses and several passenger trains.
By Road :
A well-built network of roads connects Kozhikode (Calicut) to the other parts of the state.
Local Transport :
Auto Rickshaws, Deluxe Buses.