29 Oct 2012

Kozhikode - The City of Spices

Kozhikode, also known as Calicut, is one of the major cities of Kerala and the capital of the Malabar. It is of historical importance and was once known as the “City of Spices”. You will see ginger and spice plantations along the way as proof of why this name came about.
Calicut City (Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
Kozhikode has attracted travellers from far and wide for more than 500 years. Some of the well known travellers whose accounts of the city have been found include - Ibn Battuta from Arabia in the 1300s, and in the 1400s, Ma Huang from China, Abdur Razzak from Persia, Niccolò de' Conti from Italy and Athanasius Nikitn from Russia. The city came into existence under the rule of the Zamorins in the 13th century. The Mananchira Square is where the Zamiron kings had their palace.
Kadalundi Bird sanctuary, KozhiKhode (Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
There are many things to do in Kozhikode, like sightseeing, attending festivals, shopping or other activities. A few must-dos:

- The Tali Shiva temple
- The Kuttichira mosque
- The Church of South India
- The Pazhassiraja museum
- The Krishna Menon museum and Art Gallery
- The Kadalundi Bird sanctuary
- The Thushagiri waterfalls
Thushagiri waterfalls,Kozhikode (Photo courtesy: yaatrika)
Shopping: Since Kozhikode is the home of Calico soft printed cotton, this is a great market for hand woven textiles. Local handicrafts also include rosewood and sandalwood carvings.

Mahashivaratri festival,Kozhikode (Photo courtesy: Calicutnet)
Festivals, activities and events: The Mahashivaratri festival happens in February and conducted with great fanfare. Be prepared to see elephant processions, fireworks and fetes that happen during this celebration. For those interested in yoga, there are 3-week long camps that are conducted here. You can also go boating on the lake, and relax in the beauty of this city. 

Flights to Kozhikode are now available at a reasonable price. There are also frequent international flights from Kozhikode to the Middle East.