Kozhikode, a well known, perfect tourist destination and a popular city of Kerela is famous for its aromatic spice gardens, magnificent beaches, beautiful landscapes, country sides, overwhelming 44 beaming rivers and ancient locations.
Designated as the second largest city of the state, Kozhikode is set amidst Wayanad Hills on the East and Arabian Sea on the West. It is also known as ‘Calicut’ as the name is derived from the word Calico which means hand woven cloth. This place is also known as the ‘City of Spices’ because of its major role in spice trading and cultivation in India and the world.
Kozhikode is also titled as the ‘City of Sculptures’ as it houses beautiful and antique structures located at various parts of the city. This city houses beautiful beaches and villages, wildlife sanctuaries that attract thousands of visitors and tourist not only from India but also from the other parts of the world.
A very interesting history attached with this place is the discovery of this town by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama for the first time who was the one to place this city on the world map in the year 1498.
As per another intriguing tale associated with Kozhikode, three Princes from Arabia had placed three pickle jars with a gold coin in each of them on the western coast of India. But it was only in the jar placed in Kozhikode that the coin could be found intact. The Princes when returned, titled the city as ‘Harbour of Honesty’.
Major Tourist Attractions in Kozhikode
- Kozhikode Beach and Backwaters: Kozhikode beach is one of the preferred tourist destinations in the city. The picturesque view of sunset and magical surroundings gives a divine feeling to the visitors coming over here to relax and rejuvenate their spirit and soul. One can have the view of various kinds of rowing boats entering the sea; fishermen catching different marine species, ice-cream parlours and local delicacies which make it a popular retreat for the tourists and local people. To roam around the backwaters of Kozhikode, is an interesting tour provided by the local authorities. The backwaters comprise of beautiful floating ships and house boats which make it a favourite stay over place for honeymoon couples. Surrounded by Kali river and coconut palm trees along the banks of backwaters make it a very serine and peaceful place alluring many tourists all across the country.
- Beypore: Beypore is the port town of Kozhikode. It is one of the oldest ports of Kerela. The main site of attraction here is the Bird Sanctuary and fishing harbour. During the months of February and March, varied species of migrating birds visit this sanctuary making this place exotic and beautiful for bird lovers. Another site of attraction is the ship building yard that manufactures wooden ships called Dhows.
- Art Gallery of Kozhikode: Exhibiting the magnificent oil paintings and art work of Raja Ravi Varma, a famous Indian artist of oil paintings, this art gallery is another must visit spot of Kozhikode. It is situated about 5 Km from the main city and is a great place for painting lovers.
- Kappad Beach– Another not to be missed beach of Kozhikode, the beach is also known by the name of Kappakkadavu among the locals. Enclosed by Arabian Sea and fascinatingly wonderful natural ambience, the beach was also visited by Vasco da gama while he was on a voyage to the world. There is also a stone temple located alongside.
Besides those that are mentioned above, there are many other places of tourist interest in Kozhikode that attracts many visitors and pilgrims across the country.
- Valiyangadi Market
- Mananchira Pond
- Sweet Meat Street
- Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary
- Mavoor Road
- Sarovaram Bio-park
- Tali Shiva Temple
- Kuttichira Mosque
- Thusharagiri Falls
Fairs and Festivals
Kozhikode has a very rich traditional past and cultural heritage associated with it. All the events and festivals are celebrated here with full joy and enthusiasm involving huge crowd participation. Kerela State Government plays a vital and appreciable role in organizing these events. Some of the major festivals that are celebrated here are Malabar Mahotsavam, Shivarathri Mahotsavam and Jalotsavam.
- Malabar Mahotsavam: It is one of the most important and primary event at Kozhikode which is celebrated with full pomp and gaiety. It attracts many tourist and visitors from around the world. It is held every year in the month of January and lasts for five days from 13th to 17th January. Various cultural activities like folk dances, musical events, dance & drama programmes are organized to entertain the crowd.
- Jalotsavam: This is also one of the biggest festivals celebrated in Kerela. It is held during the months of August-September where three water fiestas are conducted at Moorad, Pangilodippara and Korapuzha. Various activities especially water sports are organized by the Kerela Tourism Department where snake-boats become center of attraction. People from all ages participate in this festival with full fun and fervour.
- Shivarathri Mahotsavam: This is another grand festival celebrated for 2 days in the month of October. It is held at Thiruvangoor Sri Mahaganapathy Temple every year.
- Malabar Pepper Fest: It is an annual event that takes place in the month of October. This event is especially dedicated to spice traders. Experts from all over the country attend this unique exhibition organized by the state government every year.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Kozhikode is between October to February when the climate is pleasant and cool. One can explore and do all the sightseeing very comfortably. Generally, the climate here is warm and humid throughout the year. During the months of April to June, Kozhikode witnesses hot and humid weather with maximum temperature touching 380C. Heavy showers take place between the months of July to September. Many visitors specially come during the monsoon season to become the part of the festive season.
How to Reach
By Air – Karipur International Airport also known as Calicut International Airport is located at a distance of around 23 Km from the main city. It is very well connected with all major states and cities across India. Many buses and taxis are available from the airport to reach the main city.
By Rail – Kozhikode has its own Railway station which is well connected with all the major cities across Kerela and other parts of the country. All the major and important trains travelling to Southern India have their connectivity to Kozhikode.
By Road – Kerela State Road Transport Corporation has developed a well planned road network that connects Kozhikode with all the major cities and towns of Kerela.