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This article is about the city. For the district, see Kozhikode district. For the medieval kingdom of the same name, see Zamorin of Calicut.
Not to be confused with Kolkata.
Kozhikode / Calicut
Nickname(s): City of Spices, City of Sculptures, City of Truth
Kozhikode / Calicut is located in Kerala
Kozhikode / Calicut
Kozhikode / Calicut
Kozhikode / Calicut is located in India
Kozhikode / Calicut
Kozhikode / Calicut
Calicut Sea Shore
Coordinates: 11°15′N 75°47′E / 11.25°N 75.78°E / 11.25; 75.78Coordinates: 11°15′N 75°47′E / 11.25°N 75.78°E / 11.25; 75.78
Country  India
State Kerala
District Kozhikode
 • Mayor Thottathil Raveendran[1]
 • Collector Sri.N.Prashanth.IAS[2]
 • City Police Commissioner Smt.Uma Behra[3]
 • Member of Parliament M. K. Raghavan
 • Metropolis 128 km2 (49 sq mi)
Elevation 1 m (3 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Metropolis 550,440
 • Density 4,300/km2 (11,000/sq mi)
 • Metro[4] 2,030,519
 • Official Malayalam, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 673 0xx
Telephone code 91 (0)495
ISO 3166 code IN-KL
Vehicle registration KL 11,KL 18,KL 56,
KL 57,
Sex ratio 1.096  /[5]
Literacy 96.8%[5]
Website www.kozhikode.nic.in

Kozhikode ([koːɻikːoːɖ]), or Calicut, is a city in the state of Kerala in southern India on the Malabar Coast. Calicut is the largest urban area in the state and 195th largest urban area in the world.[7] The city lies about 182 kilometres (113 mi) north of Kochi. The greater Calicut urban area in the Malabar coast is the ninth biggest urban area in the world and the second biggest in India after the greater Kolkatta urban area, which constitute of the northern Kerala region or the Malabar coast[8].

Calicut beach skylines

City of spices[edit]

During classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, Kozhikode was dubbed the "City of Spices" for its role as the major trading point of eastern spices.[9] It was the capital of an independent kingdom ruled by the Samoothiris (Zamorins) in the Middle Ages and later of the erstwhile Malabar District under British rule. Arab merchants traded with the region as early as 7th century, and Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed at Kozhikode on 20 May 1498, thus opening a trade route between Europe and Malabar. A Portuguese factory and fort was intact in Kozhikode for short period (1511–1525, until the Fall of Calicut), the English landed in 1615 (constructing a trading post in 1665), followed by the French (1698) and the Dutch (1752). In 1765, Mysore captured Kozhikode as part of its occupation of the Malabar Coast. Kozhikode, once a famous cotton-weaving centre, gave its name to the Calico cloth.[10]

City of sculptures[edit]

On 7 June 2012, Kozhikode was given the tag of "City of Sculptures" (Shilpa Nagaram) because of the various architectural sculptures located in various parts of the city.[11][12]

National awards[edit]

According to data compiled by economics research firm Indicus Analytics on residences, earnings and investments, Kozhikode ranked as the second best city in India to reside in.[13] It was ranked eleventh among Tier-II Indian cities in job creation by a study conducted by ASSOCHAM in 2007.[14] Kozhikode city continues to be a centre of flourishing domestic and international trade. Its contribution to all round development of the district in trade, commerce and economic development over the years is spectacular. Kozhikode city is the marketing centre for commodities like pepper, coconut, coffee, rubber, lemon grass oil etc., produced in Kozhikode and the neighbouring districts of Wayanad, Malappuram and Kannur.[15]

Pazhashi Raja Museum


While the city has been known in history under different names, Malayalam-speaking communities have traditionally called it Kozhikode.

Arab merchants called it قَالِقُوط Qāliqūṭ (IPA: qˠaːliqˠːuːtˤ).[16] Tamils called it Kallikkottai while for the Chinese it was Kalifo. In Kannada it was known as Kallikote.

Although the city's official name is Kozhikode, in English it is sometimes known by its anglicised version, Calicut.[17] The word calico, a fine variety of hand-woven cotton cloth that was exported from the port of Kozhikode, is thought to have been derived from Calicut.[18] It is the historical capital of Kerala as the history dates back to 1498 AD when Vasco da Gama landed in Kappad, near Calicut.


Main article: History of Kozhikode
Vasco da Gama lands in Kozhikode on 20 May 1498.

Kozhikode is a town with a long recorded history. From time immemorial, the city has attracted travellers with its prosperity. It has traded in spices like black pepper and cardamom with Jews, Arabs, Phoenicians, and Chinese for more than 500 years. As Kozhikode offered full freedom and security, the Arab and the Chinese merchants preferred it to all other ports. The globe-trotter Ibn Batuta (A.D. 1342–47) said, "We came next to Kalikut, one of the great ports of the district of Malabar, and in which merchants of all parts are found." Kozhikode was the capital of Malabar during the time of sri Samoothiri Maharajas, who ruled the region before the British took over. The city's first recorded contact with Europe was when Vasco da Gama landed at Kappad (18 km north) in May 1498, among the leaders of a trade mission from Portugal. He was received by his highness Sri Samoothiri Maharaja himself.

Kozhikode and its suburbs formed part of the Polanad kingdom ruled by the Porlatiri.[19] The Eradis of Nediyirippu in Eranad wanted an outlet to the sea, to initiate trade and commerce with the distant lands.[20] and after fighting with the king Polatthiri for 48 years conquered the area around Panniankara.


View of Kappad beach

The city of Kozhikode is 410 kilometres (255 mi) north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. It is located at approximately 11°15′N 75°46′E / 11.25°N 75.77°E / 11.25; 75.77. It has an elevation of 1 metre (3 ft) along the coast with the city's eastern edges rising to at least 15 metres, with a sandy coastal belt and a lateritic midland. The city has a 15 km (9.3 mi) long shoreline and small hills dot the terrain in the eastern and central regions. To the city's west is the Laccadive Sea and from approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) to the east rises the Sahyadri Mountains.

The geographical conditions of city area and suburban areas are similar to the other parts of the district falling in coastal and midland zones. The region comprising Kozhikode Corporation and peri-urban blocks belong to the low- and midlands in the typical classification of land in Kerala as low-, mid- and highlands. Lagoons and backwaters characterise the lowland, which receives runoff from the rivers. The lowland is often subjected to salinity intrusion. The coastal plains exhibit more or less flat, narrow terrain with landforms such as beach ridges, sandbars, and backwater marshes. A few kilometres from the sea to the east, the surface gathers into slopes and clustering hills with numerous valleys in between formed due to floods and sediment transport. The Midlands is represented by hummocky rocky terrain with lateritised denudational hills and intervening valley fills (locally called elas). The 'elas' are fairly wide in the lower reaches of midlands and narrow towards the upper parts of the midlands.

A number of rivers originating from the Sahyadri run along the outer reaches of the city. These include the Chaliyar puzha, Kallayi Puzha, Korapuzha river, Poonoor puzha (river), and Iravanjhi puzha. Of these, Kallai river that runs through the southern part of the city has been the most important culturally and historically for Kozhikode. The Kallai River has its origin in Cherikkulathur village. It is connected with Chaliyar on the south by a man-made canal. The river passes through Cherukulathur, Kovur, Olavanna, Manava and Kallai before finally joining the sea near Kozhikode. The length of the river is 22 kilometres (14 mi).

The Korapuzha river is formed by the confluence of the Agalapuzha with the Punnurpuzha, and it joins the sea at Elathur. The Agalapuzha is more or less a backwater while the Punnurpuzha originates from Arikkankunni. The total length of the river is 40 kilometres (25 mi). Panurpuzha is a tributary of Korapuzha. It passes through the northern boundary of the study area and joins to the sea. The river is perennial.

Canoly Canal was built in 1848 to connect the Korapuzha river in the north to Kallayi river in the south. It functions as a drain to reduce flooding in the city during the rainy season and as a navigation channel.

A system of wetland (mangrove) forests pervade the city from Kallai river to Eranjikkal.


English Church, Nadakkavu

Kozhikode features a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen climate classification Am). The city has a highly humid tropical climate with high temperatures recorded from March to May. A brief spell of pre-monsoon Mango showers hits the city sometime during April. However, the primary source of rain is the South-west monsoon that sets in the first week of June and continues until September. The city receives significant precipitation from the North-East Monsoon that sets in from the second half of October through November.

The average annual rainfall is 3,266 mm. The weather is milder from December/January until March when the skies are clear and the air is crisp. Winters are seldom cold. According to climate charts, 12 locations in India are cooler, 26 are warmer, 37 are dryer and only 1 is wetter than Kozhikode[21][dubious ] The highest temperature recorded was 39.4 °C in March 1975. The lowest was 14 °C recorded on 26 December 1975.

Climate data for Kozhikode
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.8
Average high °C (°F) 28.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.8
Average low °C (°F) 21.7
Record low °C (°F) 17.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 2.7
Average rainy days 0.3 0.3 1.1 4.9 10.8 25.4 25.3 23.3 13.0 11.9 7.7 1.9 125.9
Average relative humidity (%) 70 72 73 74 78 88 90 90 86 82 77 71 79.3
Source #1: IMD (average high and low, precipitation)[22]
Source #2: NOAA (extremes, mean, humidity, rain days, 1971–1990)[23]
The parameter "source 3" is not recognized by Template:Weather box


Total Population under Municipal Corporation limits is 550,440.[6] Males form 47.7% and females 52.3%.

Kozhikode has been a multi-ethnic and multi-religious town since the early medieval period. The Hindus forms largest religious group, followed by Muslims and Christians.[25] Hindus form the majority at 57.7% of the population with 315807 members.[6] Muslims form 37.6% of the population with 207298 members.[6]

Civic administration[edit]

The city is administered by the Kozhikode Corporation, headed by a mayor. For administrative purposes, the city is divided into 75 wards,[26] from which the members of the corporation council are elected for five years. Recently neighbouring suburbs Beypore, Elathur, Cheruvannur and Nallalam were merged within the municipal corporation.

Kozhikode Municipal Corporation
Mayor Thottathil Raveendran
Deputy Mayor Meera Darsak
Member of Parliament M.K.Raghvan
District Collector Prasanth N., IAS
Police Commissioner Smt.Uma Behra IPS

Kozhikode Corporation is the first City Corporation in Kerala after the creation of the state. Established in 1962, Kozhikode Corporation's first mayor was H Manjunatha Rao. Kozhikode corporation has four assembly constituencies – Kozhikode North, Kozhikode South, Beypore and Elathur – all of which are part of Kozhikode.[27]

New Initiatives[edit]

Mr. Prasanth Nair, the district administrator of Kozhikode has launched the following initiatives in the district during the Congress period. The new left government that came to power in 2016, permitted him to continue in power because of the popularity of the projects.[28]

  • Operation Sulaimani : Providing food with dignity for those who cannot afford a meal through contributions from the public.
  • Project 4 N : Maintenance of roads through public participation.
  • Savari Giri Giri : To enable students to travel in buses with dignity.
  • Compassionate Kozhikode:[29] The brand name for plethora of initiatives launched by the District Administration in partnership with civil society, Government agencies and citizens, who volunteer to make Kozhikode an authentic and inspirational destination for them to live and invite others to visit and experience it.


City buses are painted green. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) runs regular services to many destinations in the state and to the neighbouring states. The city has three bus stands. All private buses to the suburban and nearby towns ply from the Palayam Bus Stand. Private buses to adjoining districts start from the Mofussil Bus Stand (also called New Bus Stand, one of the largest bus stands in Kerala) on Indira Gandhi Road (Mavoor Road). Buses operated by the KSRTC drive from the KSRTC bus stand on Indira Gandhi Road. KSRTC Bus Stand Kozhikode is the biggest bus stand in Kerala having a size of 36,036.47-meter square.[citation needed] There are also KSRTC depots in Thamarassery, Thottilpalam, Thiruvambady and Vadakara in the district.

KSRTC Kozhikode
Main Entrance of Kozhikode Railway Station

Kozhikode railway station is the only A1 railway station in Palakkad railway division and it is situated in the Shoranur-Mangalore section. Today, Kozhikode is well connected by rail to cities like Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kollam, Palakkad, Coimbatore, Katpadi, Vellore, Chennai, Bangalore, Kannur, Mangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, and Hyderabad.

A KSRTC Volvo city service bus
View of Calicut Airport

Calicut International Airport is 26 kilometres (16 mi) from the city at Karipur . Regular domestic services are operated to major Indian cities. There are frequent international flights to the Middle eastern air hubs like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Salalah, Muscat, Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah, Sharjah, Bahrain, Doha and to domestic hubs Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi.


There has been great leap in small scale industries in kozhikode. It has become a major non-leather footwear manufacturing hub in India. Footwear industries have been flourishing in this city. Kozhikode is one of the main commercial cities of Kerala. The economy is mainly business oriented. The city currently is the major trade hub of North Kerala with good connectivity through road, rail and air. It also has large timber yards along the banks of the Kallayi River. Kozhikode District with 8% of the state population makes 12% contribution to the state's income. Kozhikode has witnessed a building boom in recent years. This is particularly evident in the number of malls and buildings built in recent years. Kozhikode is also going to be the first city in Kerala to have a mono rail transporting system.The KSRTC bus terminal which is under construction is the biggest bus terminal in Kerala. Kerala's first and second tallest buildings are under construction in kozhikode. It is also famous for timber trade and roof tales manufacturing centre.

The District has an intermediate port at Kozhikode (including Beypore) and a minor port at Vadakara. In coast line of the Kozhikode port extends from Elathur cape to the south bank of Kadalundi river and treads roughly in straight line. This port has two Piers, but this cannot be used due to the dilapidate condition. Traffic is mainly dealt at Beypore port. Kozhikode Port has a Light House and a Signal Station. The godown at South Pier is used as transit sheds.

Two IT "cyber parks" are under construction in Kozhikode. One is the UL cyber park (constructed and operated by ULCCSC, a Kozhikode-based company). UL cyber park began operation in 2012 and will complete its first phase in 2013. The other park is run by the government, and will complete its first construction phase in 2014. Cyberpark, is a Government of Kerala organisation planned to build, operate and manage IT parks for the promotion and development of investment in IT and ITES industries in Malabar region of Kerala and will be the third IT hub in the state of Kerala.The two IT park will create a total 100,000(100000) direct job opportunities. It is in the process of setting up IT parks at Kozhikode, at the SEZs approved at Kannur and Kasargod. Its first project is the development of Cyberpark hub in Kozhikode with its spokes at Kannur and Kazargode IT parks.[30][31] Other planned projects include the Birla IT park (at Mavoor) and Malaysian satellite city (at Kinaloor) where KINFRA has plans to set up a 400-acre (1.6 km2) industrial park.


The city has a strong mercantile aspect. The main area of business was once Valiyangadi (Big Bazaar) near the railway station. As time progressed, it shifted to other parts of the city. These days, the commercial heart has moved to Mittai Theruvu (Sweetmeat Street or S. M. Street), a long street crammed with shops that sell everything from saris to cosmetics. It also houses restaurants and sweetmeat shops. Today, the city has multiple shopping malls. Focus Mall (the first shopping mall in Kerala), HiLITE Mall (the second largest mall in Kerala) and RP Mall are a few among them.[32] Currently, new shopping malls are springing up all over the city. This has changed the consumer habits, shifting the centre of commerce from S. M. Street to these places.

Places of attraction[edit]

Thali Subramanya Temple


In the field of Malayalam language and literature, Kozhikode has made many significant contributions. During the 17th century, His Highness Sri Samoothiri Manavedan Maharaja authored the famous 'Krishnattam', a manipravala text describing the childhood of Lord Krishna in eight volumes. The district is famous for folk songs or ballads known as Vadakkan Pattukal. The most popular songs celebrate the exploits of Thacholi Othenan and Unniyarcha. An intellectual debate for Vedic scholars, where winners receive the title of Pattathanam, takes place at Thali temple during the month of Thulam. Kozhikode also has a strong associations with ghazals and football.


Kozhikode offers a variety of South Indian, North Indian, European, Chinese, Arab, Gujarati and Jain food. The culinary culture of the city has been moulded by Portuguese, Dutch, French, British, Arab and other Indian influence. It offers both veg and non veg dishes in great variety. The mall culture in the city has gained momentum and fast foods are very popular. The new generation is more inclined to Chinese and American food culture and a new trend of vegetarianism is getting popular because of health concerns.


Wikipedia 2015 at Kozhikode

Kozhikode is the 'birthplace' of the widely circulated Malayalam dailies Mathrubhumi, Desabhimani and Madhyamam. Chandrika, Thejas, Siraj, Varthamanam and Calicut Times are the other dailies from Kozhikode. The Kozhikode radio station of All India Radio has two transmitters: Kozhikode AM (100 kilowatt) and Kozhikode FM [Vividh Bharathi] (10 kilowatt). Private FM radio stations: Radio Mango 91.9 operated by Malayala Manorama Co. Ltd. and Red FM 93.5 of the SUN Network. AIR FM radio station: Kozhikode – 103.6 MHz; AIR MW radio station: Kozhikode – 684 kHz.


Telephone services are provided by various players like Airtel, Idea cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Docomo, MTS, Uninor, Tata Indicom and the state owned BSNL and most of them provide 3G services also. The city also has broadband wireless services on WiMAX platform.[35]

In August 2015, Bharti Airtel became the first telecom service provider to offer 4G LTE in Calicut.Currently, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea provide 4G LTE services in the city . Reliance Jio has also started the services.


There are 1,237 schools in Kozhikode district including 191 highschools. There are many premier institutes in the city. They are IIM (Indian institute of Management), NIT (National institute of Technology), NIRDESH (National institute of research and development in defence shipping) first of its kind in India, IISR (Indian institute of Spices Research), NIELIT(national institute of electronics and information technology). FDDI (footwear design and development institute) is upcoming. ZSI's (Zoological survey of India) western ghat centre is at Kozhikode. The University of Calicut the main university named after the city, is in Thenjipalam, about 24 kilometres (15 mi) south of Kozhikode. This university established in 1968 was the second university set up in Kerala. Most of the colleges offering tertiary education are affiliated with this university.[36]

The Calicut Medical College was established in 1957 as the second medical college in Kerala. Since then, the institution has grown into a premier centre of medical education in the state. Presently it is the largest medical institute in the state with a yearly intake of 250 candidates for the undergraduate programme. There are a few research institutes located in or around the city. These include the Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR), the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), the Malabar Botanical Garden and Institute for Plant Sciences, Western Ghats Field Research Station (Zoological Survey of India), the Regional Filaria Training and Research Centre, a centre of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, and Kerala School of Mathematics.

Renowned personalities[edit]

Many famous diplomats and politicians hails from this district. Among them are V.K. Krishna Menon, C. H. Muhammed Koya, K. Kelappan, K.P. Kesava Menon.

Dr. Verghese Kurein was the person who played an outstanding role in the development of Amul. He was known as the 'Father of the white revolution' in India. He is also called as the ‘Milkman of India’. Dr. Varghese was the architect behind the success for the largest dairy development programme in the world, christened as ‘Operation Flood’.

P. T. Usha is one of the greatest athletes India has ever produced. She has won 101 international medals in her sparkling career. During the 1985 Asian Track and Field Meet at Indonesia, Usha also nicknamed as Payyoli Express secured 5 gold medals, in the 100, 200, and 400-metre sprints, 400m hurdles, 4 × 400 m relay and a bronze ine 4 × 100 m relay. This is the current World Record for the most gold medals earned by a female in a single track meet.


See also[edit]

Image gallery[edit]


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  7. ^ http://www.demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf
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  12. ^ "Kozhikode is 'Shilpa Nagaram'". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 8 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "Best cities to live, invest and earn in". Ibnlive.com. Retrieved 23 September 2009.  Indicus considered six parameters: health, education, environment, safety, public facilities and entertainment
  14. ^ http://www.assocham.org/prels/shownews.php?id=1316
  15. ^ "Kozhikode (Calicut), Kerala, India - Kozhikode (Calicut) Hotels, Kozhikode (Calicut) resorts, Kozhikode (Calicut) tourism, Kozhikode (Calicut) real estate and Kozhikode (Calicut) businesses".
  16. ^ Hermann Kulke, Dietmar Rothermund. "18. Ibn Battuta: International Trade at the Malabar Coast". A History of India. Routledge. ISBN 9780415485432. Thence we travelled to the town of Qāliqūṭ. [Calicut], which is one of the chief ports in Mulaibār. 
  17. ^ M.G.S. Narayanan, Calicut: The City of Truth (2006) Calicut University Press, Kozhikode.
  18. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica (2008). calico
  19. ^ Sreedhara Menon.A, A Survey of Kerala History(1967),p.152. D.C.Books Kottayam
  20. ^ Bhāratīya sthalanāma patrikā (page 44) published by Place Names Society of India
  21. ^ "Kozhikode, India: Climate, Global Warming, and Daylight Charts and Data". Kozhikode, India: Climate-charts.com. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  22. ^ "Kozhikode weather". India Meteorological Department. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  23. ^ "Kozhikode Climate Normals 1971–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  24. ^ "Climate: Kozhikode". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  25. ^ "Official Website of Kozhikode". Kkd.kerala.gov.in. 26 December 1975. Retrieved 23 September 2009. 
  26. ^ "Kozhikode Corporation, Councillors" (PDF). kozhikode corporation. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  27. ^ Kozhikode Lok Sabha constituency redrawn Delimitation impact, The Hindu 5 February 2008
  28. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/how-a-kerala-collector-became-a-facebook-hit/article8576768.ece
  29. ^ http://compassionatekozhikode.in
  30. ^ "calicut cyberpark". 
  31. ^ [1] Archived 12 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  32. ^ "HiLITE City, One of India's Largest Mixed Use Development Project Enters the Limelight". Business Wire. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  33. ^ http://wikimapia.org/110031/Thali-Shiva-Temple/
  34. ^ http://www.sreedurgadevi.com/
  35. ^ "3G in Kerala". 
  36. ^ "Calicut education". 

External links[edit]

Kozhikode travel guide from Wikivoyage