Kozhikode , formerly Calicut, is one of the major cities in Kerala, India. Know More..
Kozhikode , formerly Calicut, is one of the major cities in Kerala, India.
Kozhikode was the capital of Malabar during the time of Zamorins who where ruling before the British Rule in India. It was a major port on the Maritime Silk Road trading in spices like black pepper and cardamom with the outside world with the Jews, Arabs, Phoenicians, and Chinese for centuries before Europeans arrive.
Portuguese were the first Europeans 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 city. After that there was much trade with Portuguese and a bit later with the Dutch, British and French.
The English word calico, a cotton textile, originated from this city's name "Calicut".
How to Reach
The railway station of Kozhikode (code: CLT) is well connected to other cities of India. Reservations or details are available through the IRCTC website.
There are four direct trains between Calicut (Kozhikode) and Madras (Chennai), each taking about twelve to eighteen hours for one-way travel.
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), Cochin(Kochi) and Trivandrum(Thiruvananthapuram). Beware that unless you reserve seats beforehand, you could end up travelling in unreserved(general) compartments and it can be a tiring experience as these trains can get very crowded, especially in weekends and other holidays.
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. Be cautioned that a small stretch of jungle you have to pass through might have wild elephants or other animals moving in late hours, and thus travelling in small vehicle during less traffic in late hours 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 buses can travel at neck-breaking speeds, but they are fairly safe.
This is cheap way of transport between attractions. Auto rickshaw in Calicut are the most honest and safest in India. They hold a reputation of being truthful and are charged right to the kilometer(using digital/analog meters) similar to the ones in Bombay (Mumbai) and Pune.
Local taxi 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, auto rickshaw and buses are good enough. Taxi 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.
To procure one of these, you may contact the Kozhikode District Handicrafts Artisans Co-operative society. They have several pieces ready and can polish it and sell 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 at a price(not sure if they have international shipping). Their contact number is +91-496-2623151.
Malabar cuisine is quite popular among gourmands. The mild flavored, gently cooked Malabar Biriyani 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.
Kozhikode has a lot of restaurants. The famous ones include Paragon Hotel, Bombay Hotel, Hotel Sagar, Mezban Restaurant(Hotel Asma Tower) and the King's Bay Hotel.
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 center).
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 of Calicut Halwa are available in almost all bakeries in the city. Kozhikodan banana chips are also world famous, and can be purchased at the bakeries.
You should not miss a good meal at the Zains Restaurant, Convent Road, near the beach. It is famous for its exclusive biriyani as well as warm and friendly waiters. The mappila cook, Zainabi Noor, has been running the restaurant for around three decades, and has won the hearts of foodies all around Kerala.
Sastha Chips and Halwa centre situated next to the ancient Tali Temple in Tali, near Palayam: One can procure the best Banana and Tapioca chips available in the city of Calicut at this old fashioned chips shop where the chips are fried in front of customers. They have an outlet in Mankavu as well.
Kozhikode does not really have any proper pubs. Most bars have A/C and non-A/C sections. Smoking in he public is in violation to the law, although there might be Smoking rooms in bars. There is no specific law governing the closing time for bars, but most of them closes around 10:30PM - 11PM.
Some of the more upscale places to drink are:
Mid range places include:
Several other low end bars can be found in Kozhikode.
Reproduced from Wikipedia
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