Once the capital of the powerful Zamorins and a prominent trade and commerce centre, Kozhikode (Calicut) was the most important region of Malabar in the days gone by. Basking in the idyllic setting of the serene Arabian Sea on the west and the proud peaks of the Wayanad hills on the east, this district with the serene beaches, lush green countryside, historic sites, all combine to make Kozhikode a popular tourist destination filled with a warm ambience to fascinate a visitor. It’s some of the attractions are – Krishna Menon museum, an exclusive wind dedicated to the late V.K.Krishna Menon (renownwd statesman), Pazhassiraja Museum & Art Gallery – 5 km from Kozhikode, on display here are copies of ancient murals, antique bronzes, old coins, excavated earthenware, models of temples, megalithic monuments like dolmonoid cysts, umbrella stones etc. Thusharagiri Religious structures – Jama-at-palli, Tali Temple Sanctuary – Kadalundi Bird Sanctury etc.
Its historically importance also stems from the fact that it was in the port here that Vaso-da-Gama landed in 1498. Once a prominent trade and commerce center of British Malabar, Kozhikode today greets visitors with its ancient monuments, lush green country sides, serene beaches, historic sites, rivers, a unique culture and a warm, friendly ambience that make it a much sought after destination. On a trip to Beypore, a prominent port and fishing harbours of ancient Kerala, one can witness firsthand the making of Uru (the Arabian trading vessel). The district also prides itself (Kallai) on being the World’s second timber trading center. The many museums and galleries house wide collection of tools and devices used by the ancient tribal communities of Kerala, ancient mural paintings, antique bronzes, old coins, souvenirs and models of monuments. Kakkayam, Thusharagiri and Vellari Mala all with their picturesque locations and thriving wildlife are ideal spots for picnicking as well as trekking. The visits to the dams, the bird sanctuaries, and the waterfalls etch a memorable picture of this beautiful district.
Krishna Menon Museum
– 5 kms by bus from the Railway station / city bus station
This famous Museum dedicated to one of the political leaders of Kerala has many valuable pieces on display. Many of the items here speak volumes about ancient Kerala, its history and folklore. This museum is in East Hill.
– 11 kms from the city, off Kallayi road
This was once an extremely busy trade and maritime centre of Kerala. Beypore is famous even today for the shipyard there that is adept at constructing special sea vessels called ‘Uru’. This is a kind of Arabian vessel, the kind that has been in use for about 1500 years. At Beypore, this huge trading vessel is skillfully hand built from planks of wood.
Another magnificent thing to see in Beypore is the dexterously constructed ‘breakwater’ at Pulimoodu. It is a few kilometers long path that goes into the sea. It was built to provide aid for the landing of ships. Now it has become a popular tourist spot as well.
The beautiful Lokanarkavu temple at Vadakara, (5 kms from Vadakara) is a spot worth a visit. This complex accommodates three temples- with Durga, Vishnu and Shiva as the deities; and has many beautiful sculptures. The Kaavu (temple) is also famous for the marvelous etchings and murals it houses as well as the rock cut caves in its premises. The temple also earns fame from the fact that Thacholi Othenan used to frequent the place and offer his prayers there.
– 60 kms from Calicut city
This one comparatively small area has a lot to offer. There is a dam site and water purification center here. Boating facilities are also available. Particularly interesting are the crocodile farm and the bird sanctuary here.
– 2 kms from Calicut town centre
This is probably the singular spot in the whole state where one might chance upon a few playful dolphins. Here one can see in the early hours of the morning dolphins playing in the sea. Quite nearby is the famous “Thikoti” light house.
Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary-
25 kms from Kozhikode
The Kadalundi bird sanctuary is a paradise for ornithologist, especially from the months December to April. It is the much preferred home for migratory birds like Terns, Gulls, Herons, Sand pipers, Whimbrels etc.
– 1.5 kms from the city
The pride of the city is the long serene stretch of sandy beach. The more popular section of the beach is lined with a particular kind of pine tree that makes it a much-preferred hang out even in summer and early afternoons. The area is also studded with many carts that sell groundnuts and other snacks. The several ice cream parlours near by and adjacent Lions Park makes Calicut beach a favorite spot to spend an evening with family. Partly into the sea and partly on sand stay two 125 years old sea piers that were once extensively used as tracks for cranes. There is another much calmer expanse of the beach towards ‘Kaampuram’ side. Numerous fishermen’s huts line the beach and one can spot many traditionally built rowing boats on the sandy stretch.
– 16 kms from the city
There would probably be no place in Kerala, which is historically more important than Kappad. This is the soil where the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama landed centuries ago, creating a new trade route to India and to the Land of Spices. A stone structure in the shape of an obelisk marks the specific spot. It was in Kappad that the beginning to an interesting series of historical events was laid.
There is also an ancient temple on the rocks that border the Kappakkadavu beach. From Kappad one can also take off on relaxing cruises along the picturesque Korappuzha and connected backwaters in North Kerala
– 78 kms from Calicut city
Kakkayam is well known for the splendidly constructed dam in the area. There is also a magnificent Oorakuzhi waterfall that could be a treat to the eye and a professional camera alike.
Malabar House Boats
Backwaters are in every way an asset to this state and a relaxing cruise in a houseboat along Kozhikodethe lazy waters is an experience that most tourists would not miss. Though there are other places famous for backwater cruises, a luxury cruise on the comparatively untouched backwaters of Kozhikode, is a distinct experience. It was here that the new House Boats of Kerala were first fully built. The best place to take off on the cruise is from Purakkattiri, close to Purakkattiri Bridge on Ullery – Perambra road 10 kms away from Kozhikode.