A. K. Premajam
| Mananchira Square, Mananchira, Kallayi, Conolly Canal|
Calicut Medical College, Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, National Institute of Technology Calicut, St Josephs College - Devagiri, Farook College
Kozhikode , also known as Calicut, is a city in the state of Kerala in southern India on the Malabar Coast. Kozhikode is one of the largest cities in Kerala and is part of the second largest urban agglomeration in Kerala with a metropolitan population of 2,030,519 as per 2011 census. The city lies about 380 kilometres (236 mi) north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
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. 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 center, gave its name to the Calico cloth.
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.
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. It was ranked eleventh among Tier-II Indian cities in job creation by a study conducted by ASSOCHAM in 2007. 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.
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 Zamorins (in Malayalam Samoothiri), who ruled the region before the British took over. The citys first recorded contact with Europe was when Vasco da Gama landed at Kappad (18 km north) in May 1498, as the leaders of a trade mission from Portugal. He was received by the Zamorin himself.
The city of Kozhikode is 410 kilometres (255 mi) north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. It is located at approximately 11.25°N 75.77°E? / 11.25; 75.77. It has an elevation of 1 metre (3 ft) along the coast with the citys 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 citys 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.
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 states 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.
In the field of Malayalam language and literature, Kozhikode has made many significant contributions. A 17th century Zamorin king named Manavedan 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. It also has a street food culture, though small and confined to the outskirts. The European and Arab trade influences, from the importance of Kozhikode as a port to east Africa and the Mideast, has influenced the culinary culture of Kozhikode.
Halwa, a sweet meat so called by British, made out of refined flour, sugar, palm sugar and cooked in coconut oil, is a sought after savoury in Kozhikode.The four traditional halwa varieties are black, white, red (almond) or green (pistachio) but new varieties like beetroot, tomato, mango, jackfruit, sesame, grape, strawberry and chocolate are popular too.
However, a new generation of Kozhikode people are more inclined towards Chinese and American food culture. Chinese food is the most popular and loved among locals. Vegetarianism is increasing as a new trend.