Vatakara is located at 11.60°N 75.58°E / 11.60; 75.58. It has an average elevation of 15 m (49 ft). Geographically, Vatakara is situated about 45 km to the north of Kozhikode City, approximately 44 km to the south of Kannur City and it is proximate to Mahe (Mahe district). This is the third largest town of North Malabar. The town lies by the side of a river known by different names as Moorad river, Kuttiady river or Kotakkal river. Originally known as Vadakkekara (north shore) due to its position with respect to the Kottakkal puzha, the place came to be called as Vatakara by popular usage later. This city name was also spelled as Badagara in English. Vatakara is also one of the most famous city in the district of Kozhikode. It has a good beach called Sand Banks that's near Vatakara municipality.
Vatakara is the capital of old Kurumbanadu, which was inhabited by a tribal folk known as Kurumbrar. The name Kurumbranadu has its origin in the name of this tribe. A Nambiar Lord known as "Vatakara Vazhunnore" was the former ruler of this area.
Vatakara is known as the birthplace of Unniyarcha, Aromal Chekavar, Thacholi Othenan, the legendary heroes of the Vadakkanpattu (ballads of North Malabar). These ballads of oral tradition are considered to be of great literary and aesthetic value. Thacholi Tharavadu (the original Thacholi family home) is still preserved and the birth anniversary of Thacholi Othenan is celebrated. Lokanarkavu is one of the famous temples in this area. Also the temple for the memory of legend Thacholi Othenan is located at Vatakara. This temple is named as Thacholi Manikkothu Kavu temple. The world-famous martial art 'Kalaripayattu' is Vatakara's own one. Kottakkal Bhagavathi Temple, the second richest temple in North Malabar is situated near Edodi Junction in the heart of the city. This Temple is owned by a nair Tarwad known as Edodi who once owned a major part of Vatakara Town. Also a temple resides near to Vatakara town named as Kalariyullathil Temple. Vadakara has produced eminent bureaucrats like Bharath Bhushan who was.Chief Secretary of Kerala He is from Edodi Tharavad.Another member of this Tharaead, Navnith Krishnan was a top executive of Indian Oil Corporation. P.Raghavan Nair, lawyer turned political leader, former Member Kerala Public Service Commission also hailed from Vadakara.
Most of the people are labourers and farmers. Some are government employees. A large number of people, especially in the Malabar regions, work in the middle eastern countries, and their remittances have a strong influence on the local economy.Some people work in the nearby states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
As of 2001 India census, Vatakara had a population of 75,740. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. Vatakara has an average literacy rate of 83%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 85%, and female literacy is 80%. In Vatakara, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Since Vatakara is a coastal town, fishing is one of the main commercial activities. The Moorad River flows into the Arabian Sea at a point close to the town. Sand Banks, a sunset spot and a place of tourist interest, are located at the river mouth.
Vatakara mainly consists of 2 commercial hubs. The first hub is; centering the old bus stand with commercial establishments as old as hundred years. Recently the trend has shifted to the new bus stand area and the road towards Kannur. Many new establishments, including hospitals and flats are on the rise along the Nut street to PT Road highway junction, are planned over the coming years which will be the next commercial hub .
Nut Street is the largest market for coconut, areca nut etc. Produce flow to the collection outlets which are dried packed and transported to other states. as northern kerala is well known for the production of coconut, the nut street is always busy!
Hospitals include CO-OP Hospital, Asha Hospital, Janatha Hospital, Ceeyam Hospital and a new specialty hospital (Parco) at the PT road junction.
Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society is a unique labor cooperative initiative of Madappally area inspired by the Indian sage Vagbhatananda. The society was registered in 1925.Railway Station- Vatakara Railway Station is one of the model railway station in India, which has connectivity with all major metros.
Nearest Airport- Calicut International Airport, approx. 60 km away. On completion of proposed Airport at Mattannur, the nearest Airport for Vatakara will be Kannur International Airport.
Road- Vatakara is well connected to other cities by road.The National Highway 66 passes through Vatakara town. NH 66 connects Vatakara to Kozhikode to the south (45 km) and to Kannur (44 km) and Mangalore (188 km) to the North. A preliminary survey is being done for a National Highway connecting Vatakara to Bangalore through Nadapuram.
Vatakara assembly constituency is part of Vatakara (Lok Sabha constituency). Former Minister C.K.Nanu represents Vatakara assembly constituency and Mullappally Ramachandran, Former Union Minister of Internal affairs represents Vatakara in the Loksabha.Lokarnakavu
The Lokanarkavu situated at Memunda, 5 km from Vatakara, is a popular temple of North Malabar. This temple is associated with the heroes and heroines of Vadakkanpattu. In the vicinity of the temple there are three rock-cut caves. There are candid murals and carvings adorning the caves. The main deity is Goddess Durga. The festival, locally called Pooram, is celebrated during March/April. The temple is 1500 years old. There are two temples adjacent to the Lokanarkavu with Vishnu and Shiva as deities. Lokanarkavu goddess is named as Lokanarkavilamma which was the dearest god of Thacholi Othenan, a celebrated hero of Kadathanadu.
Payam Kuttimala Temple
Lord Muthappan temple situated in Memunda at scenic hill top which have been now taken care by Tourism department of Kerala Government. Temple opens only at evening. Lots of people come here to watch the sunset. 'Theyyam' is a legendary art performed at Payamkuttimala temple which attract people worldwide.
Considered as one of oldest temples in Kerala, and also one of the very few temples which has Dhwaja Prathishta.This is situated 2 km from town and is near to Chorode.The main prathista
is Lord Shiva and Lord Ayyappa.This temple is also known as second Sabarimala. Few years back there was a Big fire in Sabarimala and many people were not able to go there. At this time many people came to this temple.
Kozhukkannur Neyyamruth Madom
Kozhukkannur Neyyamruth Madom is located at Purameri, is said to have a history of more than 100 years. The madom relates to the Kotiyoor festival, and is a centre from where the Neyamruthu [Ghee] offerings are taken to the Kotiyoor temple by walk.
Shivapuram Sree Mahadeva Kshethram
Shivapuram temple is situated near the Onchiyam Grama Panchayath office in Vatakara Taluk, Kozhikode Dist.
Arathil Bhagavathi Kottakal temple
Thuneri Sree Vettakkorumakan Kshethram
Thuneri Sree Vettakkorumakan Kshethram is situated near Tuneri town. Its glorious history says number of devotees got blessings of Vettakkorumakan. Vettakkorumakan, incarnation of lord siva with bhagavathi and adityan are the main moorthees of this temple.according to legend, vettakkorumakan came from balussery kotta, which is the aroodastanam of kirata moorty.
The Marakkars were admirals of the Zamorins, who valiantly resisted the Portuguese on the high seas. Kunhali Marakkar built a fort on the southern bank of the Moorad river.This fort was completely destroyed by the Portuguese at a later time. The place where the fort stood is known today as Kottakkal, 46 km south of Kozhikode. A small hut that belonged to Kunhali Marakkar with collections of ancient swords, cannonballs and knives can be seen here.
A small peninsula with the Moorad river on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west is located approximately 3 km towards the south of the town. This area is known as the Sandbanks. The Peninsula has a building called the Sandbanks Bungalow, which was built by Mr Wilfred Vincent Reilly in the year 1946. This bungalow and the land it stands on was sold on 04 Feb 1966 to Grasim Industries Ltd a company of the Aditya Birla Management Corporation Ltd, and is owned by the company till date. Adjacent to the bungalow is an open area which was previously under lease with Grasim Industries Ltd but was returned to the Government of Kerala in 2002. This area is now developed by the Harbour Dept of Government of Kerala and has been handed over to Vatakara Municipality for maintenance.Construction work of coastal Police Station building is continuing there. Many tourists visit this place for a view of the sunset.
This is an island like beach close to Sand banks, in fact just opposite to it. Still, reaching there takes another 7 km journey.
Peruvannamuzhi Dam is situated near Kuttiady. This is an attraction for tourists and students.
An Initiative of Dept of Tourism, Govt of Kerala Sargaalaya, the art & craft village at Iringal is designed as an initiative to put Kerala's traditional arts & crafts on the tourism trail. The craft village is set up on 20 acres of land on the banks of the Moorad River, just 200 meters off Kozhikode – Kannur National Highway near Vatakara. The craft village has 27 cottages where, a hundred or even more artisans can work. Apart from showcasing crafts & craftsmen from across Kerala, Sargaalaya has a Crafts Design & Technology development centre that provides training for craftsmen on the latest techniques of production & encourages innovation in the traditional system.Azhiyur, Onchiyam and Chorodu
Eramala, Villiappally and Kottappally
Ayancherry, Thiruvallur and Maniyur
Palayad, Nadakkuthazhe and Velom
Chekkiad, Edacherry and Thuneri
Nadapuram, Purameri and Kunnummal
Narippatta, Kayakkodi and Kuttiady
Kavilumpara, Maruthomkara and Valayam
Vanimal, Vilangad and Tinur
College of Engineering, Vatakara (CEV), Model Polytechnic College Vatakara(Undertaken by IHRD), Masters Academy for Professional Studies(MAPS), MiDET College of Engineering, Govt.THS Vatakara.JNM GHSS Puduppanam, Sree Narayana College keezhal vatakara etc. are also present in Vatakara
Vatakara has many schools and colleges.Schools include government as well as CBSE. A list can be found at Educational institutions in vatakara
Also the 62nd IGNOU Regional Centre was inaugurated at Vatakara, Kerala, on January 4, 2011. With the opening of the Centre, students from Malabar region, including Kasargod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, and Malappuram district could approach the Vatakara RC for their course requirements. With the launch of the Centre, four Study Centres and 28 local support centres functioning in Malabar will come under its supervision.