The Food Capital of Kerala, Kozhikode in North Kerala is a must visit destination on your Kerala holiday and here is a guide to Kozhikode’s tourist places, the popular and the offbeat.
A rather underrated destination, Kozhikode, with its historic sites, its delicious Malabar cuisine, boat building yards and uncrowded beaches can be the perfect starting point for exploring the Malabar Region of Kerala.
Like most cities in Kerala, Kozhikode too has an anglicised, easier to pronounce name, Calicut.
Calicut even lent it’s name to Calico, that Indian textile which was once at the crux of our country’s Imperial trade-history. Incidentally, it is also where Vasco da Gama first docked in 1498.Tweet
Nearest Airport | Calicut International Airport, 28 kilometres from the city center.
Nearest Railway Station |Kozhikode.
Best Time to Visit | October to February. A coastal town in the tropics, Kozhikode is best visited in the cooler months.
Where to Stay in Kozhikode? Splurge | Raviz Kozhikode Save | Malabar Palace
Kozhikode Tourist Places
#1 Kozhikode Beach
With such a wide array of beaches to choose from, one of the first things to do when in Kerala is to head to the beach. Especially on the Malabar Coast, which is home to not just beautiful beaches but also to probably one of the most historic one.
And, if it is a peaceful promenade that you are looking for, to spend a contemplative evening watching the sunset, then the Kozhikode Beach it is. It is after all the heart of the city, from which it borrows its name.
#2 SM Street
Known for its distinctive food culture, Kozhikode is home to one of the oldest food streets in the country, SM Street. Short for Sweet Meat Street, this was once the busiest of food streets. It was the British who gave this street its name, when they saw it lined with endless stalls of halwa – which they referred to as sweet meat. It still is one of the busiest streets in Kozhikode, selling everything from boho clothes to sliver trinkets.
#3 Kuttichira Jumaath Mosque
If you want to lose yourself in the sights and sounds of Kozhikode, then the lanes of Kuttichira in Thekkepuram would be the ideal place to do just that. Around the Kuttichira pond are mosques and houses, old and beautiful, built in wood, in traditional Kerala style – an architectural style that is as unique as it is striking, thanks to the maritime history of the region.
Of these, the Kuttichira Jumaath Mosque or the Mishkal Mosque, as it more commonly known and the Muchundi Mosque are exceptional examples.
#4 Payyoli Beach
This little known beach on the Malabar Coast is stunning to say the least, what with its unending stretches of clean golden sand, swaying coconut palms and clear blue waters.
Little wonder then that Olive Ridley turtles chose this beach to nest!
But its with secluded locations like these that we need to approach with even more care. And travelling responsibly takes on a whole new meaning when you have to keep the peace of a pristine place like this going, so that these guys keep coming back to their home, year on year.
#5 Beypore Beach & Port
Twenty minutes from Kozhikode is yet another beach and port, Beypore. Here, at the boat building yard in Beypore Port, one can go inside an Uru, the traditional Arabian trading vessel and see master craftsmen at work, bringing to life this striking handcrafted teak wood trading vessel that traces its origins back to over fifteen hundred years ago.
#6 Kappad Beach
It was in the waters of the Kappad Beach that the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama first landed, over five hundred years ago, successfully concluding his voyage to discover a sea route to India. And to mark that historic moment – which opened the floodgates of global imperialism, there still stands a memorial, albeit an unremarkable one.
#7 Mother of God Cathedral
If architecture draws you, then the ‘Mater Dei’ or the Mother of God Cathedral near Manachira in Kozhikode is a must visit. This Gothic church of curved arches and lofty wooden doors also makes for a picture perfect backdrop, for also seeking photo ops on their travels.
#8 Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary
This bird sanctuary on the banks of the river Kadalundi is a bird watchers delight. You could easily spend a happy day here spotting the different species, from seagulls to terns, that make this sanctuary their home. November to April is the typical season for sightings.
#9 Tusharagiri Waterfalls
Three waterfalls of the Chalippuzha River come together in the Western Ghats to form this powerful torrent of a waterfall that is the Tusharagiri Falls. Creating a gush so forceful that it gives the water it’s white colour and the waterfalls its name – Tusharagiri, snow capped mountain.
#10 Kalari Sangams
There are many Kalari Sangams in Kozhikode where one can witness the fourth century martial art, Kalaripayattu and even train in it if one wishes to. This classical Kerala art form is definitely worth a watch and a quintessential ‘Kerala Experience’, so even if it comes last on this list of Kozhikode tourist places it one of those that can’t be missed.
One of the oldest and the more famous of these is the CVN Kalari Sangam.