Kozhikode district

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Kozhikode district

Calicut district
Fishing with cast-net from a boat near Kozhikode Beach.jpg
Ksrtc bus stand calicut.jpg
IIM Kozhikode Aerial View s.jpg
Calicut mini bypass.jpg
View point of Thamarassery Churam.jpg
Clockwise from top:
Arabian Sea,Mananchira KSRTC bus stand complex,
Calicut mini bypass, Kozhikode Beach,
IIM Kozhikode, Thamarassery Churam.
Location in Kerala
Location in Kerala
Country India
 • CollectorSriram Sambasiva Rao IAS
 • Total2,344 km2 (905 sq mi)
 • Total3,089,543
 • Density2,025/km2 (5,240/sq mi)
 • OfficialMalayalam, English
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
ISO 3166 codeIN-KL
Vehicle registrationCalicut City-KL11, Vatakara-KL-18, Koyilandy-KL-56, Koduvally-KL-57, Nanmenda-KL-76, Perambra-KL-77

Kozhikode District or Calicut district is a district of Kerala state, on the southwest coast of India. The city of Kozhikode, also known as Calicut, is the district headquarters. The district is 38.25% urbanised.[1]

Kozhikode district is bordered by the districts of Kannur and Mahé (Puducherry) to the north, Wayanad to the east, and Malappuram to the south. The Arabian Sea lies to the west and Western Ghats stretches towards east. Vavul Mala is the highest peak in the district. It lies between latitudes 11° 08'N and 11° 50'N and longitudes 75° 30'E and 76° 8'E.

In 2001 the district was divided into four taluks: Kozhikode, Vatakara, Koyilandy and Thamarassery. By the 2011 census there are 12 block panchayats: Balusseri, Chelannur, Koduvally, Kozhikode, Kunnamangalam, Kunnummal, Melady, Panthalayani, Perambra, Thodannur, Thuneri, and Vatakara.[2]

Administrative history[edit]

Present-day Kozhikode District was among the territories ceded to the British East India Company by Tipu Sultan of Mysore in 1792, at the conclusion of the Third Anglo-Mysore War. The newly acquired British possessions on the Malabar Coast were organized into Malabar District, which included the present-day districts of Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad, and Wayanad. Kozhikode served as the administrative headquarters of the district. Malabar District was part of the Madras Presidency, a province of British India.

After India's Independence in 1947, Madras Presidency was renamed Madras State. When Madras state was divided along linguistic lines by the State Names Reorganisation Act, Malabar District was combined with the erstwhile state of Travancore-Cochin and Kasaragod District to form the state of Kerala on 1 November 1956.

Malabar District was considered too large for effective administration. It was divided into the districts of Kozhikode, Kannur, and Palakkad on 1 January 1957. The district had five taluks, Vatakara, Koyilandy, Kozhikode, Ernad, and Tirur. On 16 June 1969, Ernad and Tirur Taluks became part of the newly created Malappuram District. South Wayanad, which forms the southern portion of present-day Wayanad District, was added to Kozhikode for a time, but in 1980 became part of newly created Wayanad District.


The Calicut Port of 1572 - Portrait of the Portuguese, from the Atlas of the Cheviot's Orbis Terrarum by George Brown and Franz Hogenberg
Admiral Zheng He's navigation chart from Hormuz to Calicut, 1430

The history of the district is inevitably intertwined with the history of the city of Kozhikode. Calicut is the anglicized form of Kalikat, the name used by Mappilas to refer to Kozhikode. It was also called the Cock Fort, a usage that may have come from kozhi (Rooster) kodu (fortified). According to the historian K.V. Krishnan Iyer, the word Kozhikode is derived from koyil (palace) kotai (fortified), meaning 'Fortified Palace'. Koyilkotai further evolved into Koliykode, which evolved into its present form Kozhikode.

The ports of the Malabar Coast have participated in the Indian Ocean trade of spices, silk, and other goods for over two millennia. Kozhikode emerged as the centre of an independent kingdom in the 14th century, whose ruler was known as the Zamorin.

During the Yong Le era of the Ming Dynasty of China, Admiral Zheng He and his treasure fleet visited Kozhikode. Their visits were documented by on-board Arab language translators Ma Huan, Fei Xin and Gong Zheng. Each one of them published a book documented their visits to countries, including Calicut. Ma Huan's book Ying yai Sheng lan (translated into English as The Overall Survey of the Ocean Shores) contains the following observations of Kozhikode:

  • Calicut was a large kingdom on the West Ocean, bordering Coimbatore kingdom to the east, Kochi to the south, and Honavar to the north.
  • The king of Calicut (Vana Vikraman) was a Brahmin and a Buddhist. His chiefs were Muslims (This we now know is an incorrect observation. The king of Calicut was always a Nair and a Hindu. His chiefs were Muslims and Hindus).
  • The throne passes to the king's sister's son.
  • In the fifth year of Yong Le 1407, the emperor of Ming dynasty ordered Admiral Zheng He to deliver an imperial honor to King of Calicut, with grant of silver seal, and promoted the chiefs with titles and awards of hats and girdles of different grades.
  • Admiral Zheng He erected a pavilion with ceremonial stone tablet in Calicut to celebrate this event.
  • The king minted fanam (panam) coins of 60% gold and silver coins as currency.
  • The people of Calicut were honest and trustworthy.
  • The people of Calicut made silk out of silkworm and dyed silk into colors.
  • The main produce of Calicut were turnips, onions, ginger, eggplants in four seasons; also red and white rice but no wheat.
  • The king of Calicut ordered craftsmen to draw fifty ounces of gold into hair-like fine threads, weaved them into ribbon to make a gold girdle embedded with pearls and precious stones of all sort of colors, and sent envoy Naina (Narayana) to present the gold girdle to the Ming emperor as tribute.
  • According to Ming dynasty Imperial Guard Recruitment Record, Nanking area town guard chief Shaban was a native of Calicut. He was recruited to join Zheng He's expedition and was promoted on his return. Another officer Shasozu from Nanking military division was also a native from Calicut, who joined Zheng He's expedition and was promoted. Admiral Zheng He later re-visited Calicut several times. In April 1433, during his 6th and last expedition, he died in Calicut. The ceremonial stone tablet erected by Zheng He stood at least another 200 years in Calicut; Jesuit Godinho de Eredia wrote that he saw this tablet in 1613.

Trade with kingdoms of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East made Kozhikode a popular trading center. Vasco da Gama landed at Kappad (18 km north of Kozhikode) in May 1498, as the leader of a trade mission from Portugal and was received by the Zamorin himself. During the 16th century the Portuguese set up trading posts to the north in Kannur and to the south in Kochi. However, the Zamorin resisted the establishment of a permanent Portuguese presence in the city. In 1503 a Portuguese trading post was built in Chaliyam on the mouth of the river Chaliyar with the consent of the King of Vettat (Tirur). The fort was used by the Portuguese to attack Zamorin's interests.

The Zamorins later allied with the Dutch to weaken the Portuguese and, by the mid-17th century, the Dutch had captured the Malabar Coast spice trade from the Portuguese. In 1766 Hyder Ali of Mysore captured Kozhikode and much of the northern Malabar Coast; he came into conflict with the British based in Madras, which resulted in four Anglo-Mysore Wars.

Religions in Kozhikode District
Religion Percent
Distribution of religions
Source: 2011 Census.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
% of Population Sex Ratio Literacy Rate (L.R.) L.R. Males L.R. Females
Hindus 56.2% 1049 94.5 97.3 91.9
Muslims 39.2% 1058 91.6 95.3 88.1
Christians 4.3% 1178 98.2 98.6 97.8
Jains 0.06 1003 97.7 99.3 96.1

(Details for 'Kozhikode Urban' retrieved from Census of India.[4])

According to the 2011 census Kozhikode district has a population of 3,089,543,[5] roughly equal to the nation of Mongolia[6] or the US state of Iowa.[7] This gives it a ranking of 115th in India (out of a total of 640).[5] Among this the population of the Hindus increased to 17,34,958 (males: 8,37,824, females: 8,97,134) from the figure of 16,69,161 in the 2001 census. Muslim population grew to 12,11,131 (males: 5,64,489: females: 6,46,642) from the 2001 figure of 10,78,759 while the Christian population stood at 1,31,516 (males: 64,367 and females: 67,149). Its population a decade ago was 1,27,468. The district has a population density of 1,318 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,410/sq mi).[5] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 7.31%.[5] Kozhikode has a sex ratio of 1097 females for every 1000 males,[5] and a literacy rate of 95.24%.[5]

The centuries of trade across the Indian Ocean has given Kozhikode a cosmopolitan population. Hindus constitute the majority of the population, followed by the Mappila or Muslims and the Christians. Christianity is believed to have been introduced in Kerala in 52 CE, and the Christian population expanded with the presence of the Portuguese, Dutch, and British starting in the 16th century.


The district has a generally humid climate with a very hot season extending from March to May. The rainy season is during the South West Monsoon, which sets in the first week of June and extends up to September. The North East Monsoon extends from the second half of October through November. The average annual rainfall is 3266 mm. The best weather is found in towards the end of the year, in December and January — the skies are clear, and the air is crisp. 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
Average high °C (°F) 31.6
Average low °C (°F) 22
Average precipitation mm (inches) 2.7
Source: [8]

Political divisions[edit]

Local authorities, and legislative assembly constituencies in Kozhikode district

Parliament constituencies

Legislative constituencies

Balussery, Beypore, Elathur, Koduvally, Koyilandy, Kozhikode North, Kozhikode South, Kunnamangalam, Kuttiyadi, Nadapuram, Perambra, Thiruvambady and Vatakara.




Flights Parked at Calicut Airport

Kozhikode is served by Calicut International Airport (IATA: CCJ, ICAO: VOCL) located at Karipur, about 28 kilometres (17 miles) from Kozhikode city. The airport started operation in April 1988. It has two terminals, one for domestic flights and second for international flights[9]. There are direct buses from city to airport for transportation. Other than buses, Taxis, Auto Rickshaws available for transportation.

Street in Kozhikode


Kozhikode occupies a prominent place in the history of Malayalam journalism. The origin of journalism in this district can be traced back to 1880. The Kerala Pathrika is likely to be the earliest newspaper published from Kozhikode. Keralam, Kerala Sanchari and Bharath Vilasam are among the other newspapers published from Kozhikode before 1893.

The four major Malayalam newspapers, the Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Madhyamam, and the Chandrika bring out Kozhikode editions. One of the major national dailies in English, The New Indian Express, has its edition in the city. Two national dailies, The Hindu and Deccan Chronicle, recently started editions in the city.

The Kozhikode station of All India Radio was commissioned on 14 May 1950. It has two transmitters: Kozhikode A of 10 kilowatt power and Kozhikode B (Vividh Bharati) of 1 kilowatt power. A television transmitter has been functioning in Kozhikode from 3 July 1984, relaying programmes from Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram Doordarshan. Cable and satellite television are available throughout the district.

View of Kappad beach
Fishing with cast-net from a boat near Kozhikode Beach

Places of interest[edit]

The temples and mosques of this district contain sculptures and inscriptions which are of considerable interest to the students of art. Kozhikode city itself has many temples, the most important of which are the Tali Temple, Thiruvannur Temple, Azhakodi Temple, Sree Valayanad Temple, Varakkal Temple, Bilathikulam Temple, Bairagi Madam Temple, the Lokanarkavu Temple in Memunda near Vatakara, the Pisharikavu Temple in Kollam near Koyilandy, Sree Muthappan Payamkuty Mala in Memunda, and the Sidda Samajam in Memunda, Sree Vettakkorumakan Temple Thuneri

Nadakkavu, in the heart of Kozhikode, 10 km from the city, is famous for automobile spare parts. One can get spare parts of almost any kind of vehicle. Residents are mostly business people, doctors and middle-class people. The Regional Passport office, Regional Work shop KSRTC (Transport Corporation), Sales Tax Office are here.

Tourist places[edit]

Thirayattam (Karumakan Vallattu)

Culture and cuisine[edit]

In the field of Malayalam language and literature Kozhikode has made contributions. The district is famous for folk songs or ballads known as Vadakkan Pattukal. The most popular songs among them are those which celebrate the exploits of Thacholi Othenan.[citation needed]

The intellectual debate for Vedic scholars to win the position of Pattathanam takes place at Thali temple during the month of Thulam.

Kozhikode has associations with ghazals and football. The football game has a following here, and the FIFA World Cup is followed with enthusiasm.

The city has a mercantile streak to it, with the major hub of commerce being the Mittayi Theruvu, a long street crammed with shops that sell everything from sarees to cosmetics and house hotels to sweetmeat shops. The name Mittai Theruvu or 'SM Street' comes from the sweet Kozhikode Halwa which was often called as sweetmeat by European traders. The SM Street is also famous for Kozhikodan Banana Chips.

The multi-cultural mix of Kozhikode ensures that Onam, Christmas, and Id-ul-Fitr (the festivals of the Hindus, Christians, and Muslims) are celebrated with equal pomp.[citation needed]

Kozhikode has a tradition of folk arts. Thirayattam is a tropical ritualistic performing art form of Kozhikode. This is one of the most outstanding ethnic art forms of Kerala. This art form is enacted in courtyards of "kaavukal" (sacred groves) and village shrines of Kozhikode and Malappuram (south Malabar) districts. It is a combination of dance, music, theatre, satire, facial and body painting, masking, martial art and ritualistic function.[10]

Mappilapattu and Oppana are cultural heritages of the Muslims.

Kozhikode offers food for every palate.[citation needed] Vegetarian fare includes the sadya (the full-fledged feast with rice, sambhar, papadum, and seven curries). The non-vegetarian food is a unique mix of Muslim and Christian preparations. This includes fish and meat cuisine.

Kozhikode is famous for its fishing. The practice varies from a person casting a net near beach areas to large boats going far out to sea to catch big fish.

Educational institutions[edit]

There are many premier institutes in this city. They are IIM (Indian Institute of Management), NIT (National institute of Technology), NIRDESH (National Institute of Research and Development in Defence Shipping) the first of its kind in India, IISR (Indian Institute of Spices Research), and NIELIT (National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology). FDDI (Footwear Design and Development Institute) is upcoming in Kozhikode. ZSI (Zoological Survey of India)'s western ghat centre is at Kozhikode.

There are many state government undertaking institutes in the city. They are MBGIPS (Malabar Botanical Garden and Institute for Plants), CWRDM (Center for Water Resources and Development and Management), IMHANS (Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences), SIHM (State Institute of Hospitality Management) and the Kerala Institute of Mathematics.

District court of Calicut[edit]

The District court of Calicut is the pioneer judicial institution in Malabar. It has a long history and it was there before independence and the formation Kerala or present Calicut district.[11]

Descriptive seal of the District Court of Calicut in 1890.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 January 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Reports of National Panchayat Directory: Block Panchayats of Kozhikode, Kerala". Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India. Archived from the original on 13 November 2011.
  3. ^ Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 January 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  6. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 1 October 2011. Mongolia 3,133,318 July 2011 est.
  7. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2011. Iowa 3,046,355
  8. ^ "Kozhikode weather". India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  9. ^ "Silver jubilee does not bring cheer to Karipur airport users".
  10. ^ "Thirayattam" (Folklore Text- malayalam, Moorkkanad Peethambaran), state Institute of language, Karala ISBN 978-81-200-4294-0
  11. ^ http://ecourts.gov.in/kozhikode/history

External links[edit]