Asia : South Asia : India : Southern India : Kerala : Malabar : Kozhikode
Kozhikode was the capital of Malabar during the time of Zamorins who where ruling before the British Rule in India. It was trading in spices like black pepper and cardamom with the outside world with the Jews, Arabs, Phoenicians, Chinese from centuries and with the Dutch and Portuguese more than 500 years ago. Portuguese were the first foreigners to find this land, the gateway to Kerala, famous for spices. This city is famous for receiving Vasco da Gama in 1498. He landed on the remote beach of Kappad which is 18 km away from the Calicut City.
The English word calico, a cotton textile, originated from this city's name "Calicut".
The railway station of Kozhikode (code: CLT) is well connected to other city of India. All reservation can be done on the IRCTC website.
Kozhikode to Chennai
There are four direct trains between Calicut (Kozhikode) and Madras (Chennai), each taking about twelve to eighteen hours for one-way travel.
Kozhikode to Mumbai
There are a handful of direct trains connecting Bombay (Mumbai) with Calicut (Kozhikode) via the picturesque Konkan Railway route. Typically, these trains take about 24 hours to cover around 1200 kilometres between Bombay (Mumbai) and Calicut (Kozhikode).
There are plenty of trains between Calicut (Kozhikode) and Cochin (Kochi) and Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram). Keep in mind that unless you reserve your seats, you may end up traveling in unreserved compartments and it can be a tiring experience because these trains can get very crowded.
There are bus services operating from cities like Mangalore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore to Kozhikode.
Kozhikode is well connected to other cities Mangalore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore by road. It is actually a pleasure to drive from Bangalore to Calicut through Gundulpet and Sulthan Battery. But be cautioned that the small stretch of jungle you have to pass through may have wild elephants and moving in late hours along in small vehicle is not advised.
April 2008: The Bangalore-Mysore-Gundulpet-Sultan Battery-Kalpetta-Kozhikode route is fantastic. I took this 'alternative' route to travel to Thrissur from Bangalore since I wanted to avoid the Salem route (which I hear is in a very poor state). The entire Bangalore-Kozhikode-Thrissur route is fantastic and I plan to continue to use this route going forward, till the Salem stretch gets better.
Many places of attractions are near by one another so you could walk between them.
Kozhikode has an excellent local bus service system and it is cheap. Your first choice should be travelling by Bus. Be aware that the busses can travel at neck-breaking speeds, but they are fairly safe.
This is cheap way of transport between attractions. Autos in Calicut are the most trust worthy of any in India. They have the best reputation of being truthful and being straight forward in their dealings similar to the ones in Bombay (Mumbai) and Pune.
Local taxis are also available at good rates. Normally, Taxis are not needed unless you plan to go way out of the city. If you want to move around in City, Autos and Buses are good enough. Taxis usually charge a flat charge and do not operate on meter.
There are many rental companies offering cars with drivers or self drive.
Water pipe enthusiasts should look out for the Koyilandy Hookah, made in the nearby town of Koyilandy. Preparation of an average hookah requires up to 1.5 kg of copper, 1.5 kg of zinc and half kg silver. It takes a week to prepare a Hookah.Available in different sizes (12 to 24 inches), these Hookah are sold anywhere around rupees 500 to 1500. Specially crafted Hookah come at rupees 15,000.
One way to to procure one of these, you could contact the Kozhikode District Handicrafts Artisans Co-op society. They have several pieces ready and can polish it and give it to you within an hour. These range from Rs. 1200 to Rs. 2500 depending on the size. They can also ship it to you in India (not sure if they ship to places outside India). Their contact number is 0496 2623151.
Malabar cuisine is quite popular among gourmands. The midly flavored, gently cooked Malabar Biriyanis are a must eat when visiting Calicut. The mutton is cooked tender, the rice flaky and delicately spiced with the right portions of condiments, to leave the taste lingering for long.
The Famous destinations for Calicut food are 1. Paragon Hotel 2. Bombay Hotel 3. Topform Hotel etc
The side-dishes include `alisa'( husked wheat cooked with chicken) `muttamala' or `egg garland'(yolk of egg cooked in thin strings in sugar syrup, with the white cooked as a pudding ornamenting the centre).
In seafood, mussels are a favorite. A concoction of mussel and rice flour, cooked in the shell is called arikadaka. The Arab influence on the local cuisine is very visible in the rich meat curries and desserts.
As a sweet, you should not miss the Calicut Halwa. Different varieties are available in almost all bakeries in the city.
Kozhikodan banana chips are world famous. There are so many bakeries in and around calicut from where you can buy this.
You should also visit the Zains Hotel, near the beach at Kozhikode to have yummy food. If you miss it, that will be a great loss. People from Bangalore flee to Calicut just to have a meal from Zains. They drive for 8 hours to reach Calicut so that they can have the delicious food.
You can visit the Beach Hotel to have a drink. The ambiance is good.
Check In 1400 hrs Check Out 1200 Noon
Wayanad District, famous for scenic locations is nearby with District Headquarters Kalpetta 68 km away and Sulthan Bathery 90 km away. Palakkad, which has a number of tourist attractions like the Malampuzha gardens, is 140 km away by road.