Places of interest and historical significance in Kozhikode

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This is a list of places of interest and historical significance in Kozhikode.

Kozhikode Beach[edit]

The beach is the most popular retreat for locals. In spite of beautification works and lax coastal management, it remains unexploited and visually pleasing. This shore has been a witness to many historic events, including pitched naval battles and the arrival of ships from distant lands. Uddanda, a Sanskrit poet in Zamorin's court, wrote in his Kokila Sandeśa: "The ocean, the father of the goddess of riches [Indira is a synonym of Lakshmi] seeing that his daughter has settled down in Kukkatakroda [Sanskrit for Kozhikode], is embracing the place, presenting it with shipful of jewels".[1] Several national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Indira Gandhi and Krishna Menon have addressed people here. The 'Beach Road' was renamed Gandhi Road from Evan's Road after Mahatma Gandhi's visit in January 1934. Two dilapidated piers can be seen extending into the sea. The 'Iron Screw-pile' pier to the north was built in 1871, 400 ft long (120 m) with a 'T' end. Numerous cranes on these piers once loaded spices and other goods destined to foreign ports like Aden, Genoa, Oslo, London, Bremen, Hamburg, New York etc.

Near the northern pier is a park maintained by the Lions club, a children's park, the lighthouse with a seafarer's memorial and a marine aquarium. Further north to the Lions' Park is a dirty fishing area where once was located a French loge with factories and French settlements. Near the south pier is a place called 'Horse's Jumping Point' where horses brought from Gujarat and Arabia were made to jump into the water, swim and would gallop along the shore and be displayed for sale. The beach offers a pleasant view at times of fishermen entering the sea with their tiny boats, fighting the waves and returning with their catch.

A view of Kozhikode beach from the southern end

Veliyangadi (big bazaar)[edit]

Veliyangadi is not a typical 'place of interest' to visit. The noise, rush and heat of this narrow lane would test any visitor's mettle. Nevertheless, not many streets can boast a 600-year-old history[2] and still be functioning as one of the main commercial centre of a city. In spite of creeping signs of modernity over hundreds of years, this crowded part of the city offers the best chance to visualize daily life at a commercial hub in medieval Calicut. Muslim, Jain and Hindu seths, Gujarathi and Marwari moneylenders and Tamil and Andhra Chettis can be seen busy with their businesses, as they did for centuries. Merchants and accountants still use a unique system of finger-code language as noted by Ma Huang of Zheng He's fleet in 1403. The legend has it that the first secretary of the Zamorin, Mangat Achan, after a long penance had the goddess of wealth Lakshmi appear before him. He then made her promise to wait until he returned but went home and committed suicide. Unable to break her promise, it is said, Lakshmi stayed permanently in Veliyangadi.

Mananchira and nearby institutions[edit]

Mananchira is a large tank in the heart of the city. Mananchira or Mana Vikraman Tank (Manan or Mana Vikraman being the Coronation name of the Zamorins) seems to have been the drinking water source for the entire Palace complex (previously located at the Kottaparambu Women and Children Hospital). Surrounding the Mananchira are several important institutions. The Town Hall was constructed in 1891 by the salt merchants (previously called Salt Abkari Town Hall) and has been an important stage for several popular agitations and ceremonies during the freedom movement and thereafter. The Pattalapalli or 'Military Mosque' was originally built for the Mysore soldiers who had surrounded the Palace during the 'Mysore invasion'. The Comtrust Textile Factory (previously the Commonwealth Weaving Factory) was established in 1884 by the Basel Mission from Germany. To the western side of Mananchira is located the C.S.I. Church, Basel Mission Complex and the BEM (Basel Evangelical Mission) Girls' School (1848). Once the main courtyard of the Zamorin Ruler's palace, the Mananchira ground along with the older Ansari Park (named after the freedom fighter Ansari) has been developed into a well- maintained park called 'Mananchira Square'. It has a green carpet lawn fenced with laterite- sculpted walls. The entire complex is circled by 250 lamp posts designed in 'colonial' style. The 'Square' has an artificial stream, a musical fountain, an open-air theatre and a music stage. There is a public library near mananchira square which has a collection of huge variety of books. Books from all disciplines are available here. Malabar Palace, one of the first star hotels in Malabar is also located here.

S.M. Street[edit]

S.M. Street is a buzzing shopping and commercial lane immediately north of Mananchira Square. The name Sweetmeat is thought to have been derived from a kind of sweet (locally called 'halwa') which was called 'sweetmeat' by European traders.[3] S.M. Street, like the lanes of Veliyangadi, is about 600 years old and was most likely occupied by the residences and shops of sweet manufacturers from Gujarath. A now-abandoned Parsi cemetery called Anjuman, most likely built in the 17th century, is located here and finds mention in William Logan's Malabar.[4]

Regional Science Centre and Planetarium[edit]

The Regional Science Centre and Planetarium functioning under NCSM (Govt.of India) shoulders the leading role in propelling science dissemination activities in Kerala, especially in the Malabar region. Kozhikode, the capital of Malabar right from the time of the Zamorin’s dynasty is now a fascinating place with unparalleled attractions including historic monuments, works of art and cultural contributions. The city attracts and accommodates visitors by outstretched red carpet of its enticing natural beauty. Situated in this land of distinct heritage RSC & Planetarium engages itself in dissemination of science through interactive exhibitions. The centre provides a perfect ambiance for exploring science through hands-on expositions, planetarium, 3D theatre, etc. It presents a plethora of facilities to inculcate scientific attitude in society.

Sarovaram Biopark[edit]

Sarovaram is an eco-friendly bio-park in Kozhikode city. It is a project meant for conservation of the wetlands through eco-friendly tourism interventions by sustainable methods. This is one of the 27 wetlands of natural importance identified by the Government of India for conservation under National Wetland conservation program. The wetlands are rich with 7 mangrove spices, 29 mangrove associates and fauna ranging from protozoa to Otter. It is also a congenial habitat for 20 types of water birds, 2 bird associated with water, 3 birds associated with waterlogged reeds and 9 land birds. The 11 km long canal connects Korappuzha and Kallai rivers and brings in periodic influx of saline water which makes the habitat ideal for mangrove, fisheries and other biota. The major components of the project are canal walkway, boating facilities, Otter Park, Butterfly Park, bird sanctuary, aquarium, coracles, floating rafts, board-walk, park/ musical fountain, open air theatre, Interpretation centre etc.

Tali Siva Temple[edit]

Tali Siva temple, circa 1900

The Tali Siva temple was one of the two Brahmanical royal temples patronized by the Zamorin (the other being the Valayanaattu Kavu) and to this day remains one of the most important spiritual and cultural centres in Kozhikode. The temple's date of origin is uncertain but was most likely built during the foundation of the city itself in the 12th century or before. The temple is surrounded by gigantic walls of 'elephant belly' (aana palla) type with broad base and narrower neck at the top. One of the two tanks attached to the temple can be seen to the right. The temple hosts the annual 'competition for scholars' called Revathi Pattathanam attended by eminent scholars and philophers of Bharatiya Mimamsa, Prabhakara Mimamsa, Vedanta Mimamsa and Vyakarana. The temple was also the site for the famous anti-caste agitation of 1911 organized by Krishna Vakil (editor of Mitavadi) and advocate Manjeri Rama Ayyar for the rights of 'low-caste' people to use the road between the tank and the temple.

Mishkal Mosque[edit]

Mishkal Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Kerala. The Mosque was built by an Arab merchant, Nakhooda Mishkal, nearly 650 years ago. It is named Mishkal Mosque after him. It is located in Kuttichira, a part of Thekkepuram region in Kozhikode city. In 1510, the mosque was partially burned in a Portuguese attack. The top floors of the mosque still display some of that damage. Mishkal Mosque originally had five stories. It was reconstructed after the fire in 1510 and now has four stories. Typical for similarly aged mosques of the region, it has no cupolas and minarets and heavily employs timber. According to some historians, Kerala’s temple architecture influenced the architecture of old mosques in Kerala which have gopuram-style entrance arches and no minarets.

Panniyankara Bhagavati Temple[edit]

The Bhagavaty temple on a hillock on the southern side of Kallayi river is one of the two pre-Calicut temples known to historians, built at least two centuries before the foundation of the city. This area must have come under the territory of Porlathiri during the reign of Ceraman Perumal. It is a typical Chera period structure with a square garbhagriha and mandapa and probably had a currambalam and prakara (outer walls) that are no more. Two granite slabs dating to the 10–11th century AD were recovered recently carrying three inscriptions in Vattezhuthu, an old Malayalam language. One is a record of a land grant of the Chera king Ravi Kota, who was coronated in 1021 AD.[5] Mentioned in the inscription are functionaries like Adhikarar (officials), Alkoyil (king's representative) and Poduval (temple secretary) and avirodham (a system of unanimous resolution), kalam (an old measure), etc. The second inscription dating back to 883–913 AD records a decision by the Taliyar and Tali Adhikarikal of 'Panriyankarai' to conduct seven Tiruvakkiram (sacred feast) at the shrine of Patari (female deity). The third inscription records a unanimous decision to transfer some land belonging to the daughter of the Chief Queen of Cheraman Perumal for the conduct of Tiru amritu (sacred feast).

Thiruvannur Siva Temple[edit]

This ancient and beautiful Siva temple has an apsidal garbhagriha, decorated with typical Chola pillars and pilasters, panjaras and vyalimukhas. The central shrine has escaped any repair or change and is relatively well preserved. An inscription unearthed records a land grant given to Tirumannur Patarakar in the eighth regnal year of Raja Raja Chera. The record has been dated to 1044 AD. The deity appears to have been a Jain Tirthankara (since the rules of Thirukkunavaye, the premier Jain shrine of Kerala in Kodungalloor, are cited in the punitive clauses). The Jain temple must have been converted into a Siva temples sometime in the 11th century before the arrival of the Zamorins.[6] The apsidal shrine and other features are attributable to this period.

Kappad Beach[edit]

Vasco da Gama landed here at Kappad in 1498

Kappad (Kappakkadavu) Beach is located 16 km to the north of Kozhikode along the Kannur road at Tiruvangoor. Apart from the fact that it is a beautiful rocky beach with high potential for tourism, it is the site where Vasco Da Gama landed on 27 May 1498 with three vessels and 170 men. A monument erected here commemorates this event. An ancient temple on a hillock, facing the sea, is an added attraction.

Beypore[edit]

Beypore is a small port town situated 10 km south of Kozhikode at the mouth of Chaliyar river. Beypore is famous for its ancient shipbuilding industry that constructed the Uru, trading vessels more popular during the medieval periods and still used by the Arabs and others for commerce and tours. The place was formerly known as Vaypura and Vadaparappanad. Tippu Sultan named the town "Sultan Pattanam". It is one of the important ports of Kerala and has been a major trading centre for 1.061centuries. The dilapidated Kovilakam (palace) of the Parappanad Rajas and a small Basheer Museum (former house of the writer Vaikom Muhammad Basheer) can be found here. Towards the sea shore is a big complex that includes a port, a boat yard, a fish landing platform, breakwater project, marine ware shop, ship- breaking unit, etc. There are two man-made extensions to the sea to facilitate easy access for fishing boats. The 2 km breakwater made of stone is another attraction. The Beypore lighthouse is located to the south of the Chaliyar.

Kirtads[edit]

This unique museum houses the tools and devices used by the ancient tribal communities of Kerala. A good library with books on anthropology and sociology is an added attraction. It is in Chevayur.around 7 km from calicut city.The major studies related to tribes, welfare programmes and trinings are conducted by KIRTADS.KIRTADS means Kerala Institute for Research Training And Development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Thusharagiri Falls[edit]

Thusharagiri Falls is a waterfall in Chembukadavu Thusharagiri offers endless scope for trekking, rock climbing and wildlife sanctuary visits. It is around 50 kilometres (31 mi) from Kozhikode. The nearest town Kodencherry is around 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from Thusharagiri. The other main towns situated here are Thiruvambady and Thamarassery.

Other places of interest[edit]

  • Art gallery and Krishna Menon Museum at East Hill, Kozhikode
  • Kadalundi Bio Reserve, home to migratory birds
  • Lalitha Kala Academy, behind town hall, Kozhikode
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium
  • Mishkal Mosque, a historic Mosque built 650 years ago
  • Lokanarkavu Temple, a temple dedicated to the goddess Durga, is in Memunda. The temple is 4 km from Vadakara. It is often associated with the martial art Kalarippayattu.
  • Kozhippara waterfalls is located at the eastern side of the district and offers a good trekking experience.
  • Sultan Bathery: The major hill station of Malabar. The distance to Sultan Bathery is 98 km.
  • Peruvannamuzhi dam: There are boat services and a crocodile sanctuary. The Experimental Farm of the Indian Institute of Spices Research maintains large collections of black pepper, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon and garcinia here.[citation needed]
  • Kakkayam dam and hydroelectric power station. Also an ideal location for treks.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kokilasandesham, Sloka 67
  2. ^ M.G.S. Narayanan, Calicut: The City of Truth (2006) Calicut University Press, Kozhikode.
  3. ^ SM Street
  4. ^ Logan, Willam, Malabar (1887), Vol II
  5. ^ Narayanan M.G.S., Perumals of Kerala, Kozhikode (1996)
  6. ^ Narayanan M.G.S., Kozhikode: The City of Truth. p.109, Calicut University Press (2006)