Calicut was the capital of Malabar in the north of Kerala when Zamorins ruled. It was the Spice Capital and very prosperous. This attracted foreigners who found the rulers friendly and tolerant. The Arabs were the first to arrive. They were followed by Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and finally the British. The rivalry between them resulted in battles during the medieval period.
The Arab influence caused many locals to become Muslims; as a result the city is dotted with mosques. It is said that the name Calicut came from the hand woven cloth calico which was made here. In local language the city is called Kozhikode.
There are a number of good hotels in the city, so you can spend a couple of days visiting some of the nearby attractions. Here are 6 must see tourist places around Calicut city.
The Beach.Image by Athul Krishnan via Flickr
The city nestles on the coast of the Arabian Sea. It is about 1.2 m above sea level. The coastline extends to a length of 15 km. Two piers which are crumbling and the old lighthouse still stand recalling the times when foreign vessels used to anchor near Calicut. The Beach Hospital was built by the British. The Beach Hotel is one of the oldest in Calicut, it was mainly for the British planters to spend weekends away from the plantations. During the last few years many high-rise apartments, the stately Corporation office etc were built.
If you arrive in the month of January you can get a taste of various Indian cultural activities during the Malabar Mahotsavam. The important concerts and the concluding “fireworks”are held at the beach.
Viewing the Sunset is relaxing. During the monsoon, the sight is unearthly! The sea turns black, lit up by lightning flashes and the surround sound thunder! Awesome! A sunset in the monsoon is unbelievably colorful.
Mananchira SquareImage by Vengolis via Wikipedia
This forms the heart of the city. The name comes from the large pool of clear water bound by laterite stone steps built by Manavedan Raja one of the earlier Zamorins. The park around it is tastefully kept with types of palms, trees and shrubs. Recently there is a move to adorn the city with sculptures and a number of them has come up here. There is an open air theater and a musical fountain. The view of the city from a corner of Mananchira is beautiful indeed! The spire of the Church adds to the beauty.
Definitely a beautiful beach about 20 km from Calicut. Its historical importance stems from the fact that Vasco da Gama with his sailors landed here in 1498 in 3 ships. This was the start of economic relationship between Europeans and this part of India now called Kerala. Quench your thirst with the nature-flavored tender coconut water which is healthful.
Located 10 km from Calicut, is this ship-building port of Beypore. It is also one of of the busiest fishing harbors in Kerala. It was known as such centuries ago. The skilled workmen use the best of wood and build huge “Uru” for those who place orders. Even the rivets used are wooden. Their clientele were the Arabs who sailed a lot for trade. Such Urus used to be unloaded at the Calicut port using Cranes. We can see the making of an Uru and also the finished product. Miniatures can be bought from the shops around. People board ships to reach Lakshadweep from Beypore; there are cargoships also sailing from Beypore.
Beypore had a beautiful beach and walkway that extends deep into the sea.
Pazhassi Raja Museum and Art GalleryImage by Pradeep717 via Wikipedia
Named after the brave ruler who dared to fight the British with the help of tribal warriors, this museum displays old coins, mural paintings and monuments. Art Gallery has some excellent paintings, some by Raja Ravi Varma the old master painter. It is near the city centre.
For those who are lovers of Nature , a visit to Thusharagiri Waterfalls about 50 km away is gainful. Far from the mad crowd this waterfall springs from the high hills among the green forests. You feel cool and fresh. if fond of trekking you can trek to reach the waterfall. A bath in the big pool is heavenly!
Do you any other tourist attractions near Calicut city? If know some place, please share it in the comment.
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